Let’s face it. The number #1 goal for any business is to make sales (duh, we know!).But selling your product (or service) is the final step in a frankly long funnel, and there are multiple challenges your sales reps face before your ideal customer decides to purchase and swipes their card.Demand generation is critical for any business, but you can’t simply sell to any lead. You need to qualify them (possibly, using lead scoring) to determine whether what you’re selling suits their needs and whether their budget is enough to access your product (or service).This is where you can implement account-based marketing strategies or ABM campaigns to boost sales and increase revenue.57% of marketers agree that integrating demand generation and ABM processes have drastically improved customer acquisition percentages and led to better alignment between the marketing and sales functions.If you’re wondering how you can begin to leverage ABM strategies to ramp up both demand and revenue generation, keep scrolling below!In this blog, I will discuss what account-based marketing is, how it is essential for B2B businesses, and even provide you with five fire shot ABM strategies that are bound to increase sales and give you the best ROIs for your business.
What is account-based marketing and how is it important for B2B businesses?
Marketing today is focused on creating hyper-personalized experiences for one customer—that is, treating each potential prospect as a market unto themselves. To stand out from the competition, it is therefore essential for brands, to target micro-segments and curate brand-specific experiences, for their most-values accounts. To put it another way, marketers should be all in when it comes to supporting ABM.There are many ways to define ABM, but let’s look at the HubSpot definition,Account-Based Marketing is a growth strategy in which marketing and sales work together to create personalized buying experiences for a selected set of high-value companies.76% of B2B marketers believe that ABM strategies deliver a higher return on investment than other marketing activities.One of the best practices for a B2B business is to concentrate on securing quality leads with a proven need for their products (or services) and who can afford to pay for them. ABM tactics need to be supported by a balanced and advanced tech stack. This should include tools for identifying genuine connections, capturing leads (with a high chance of qualifying), scoring them, measuring engagement, managing client interactions, creating personalized rewards, etc.Features like these significantly strengthen your account-based marketing strategy. This is crucial for B2B marketers (and even sales reps) because it is the most effective use of your time, effort, and resources.
Different Kinds of Account-Based Marketing Campaigns
Account-based marketing campaigns can be of three types:
1. Strategic ABM (One-to-One):
In short, you marry your target business. You need to thoroughly understand the needs of your premium clients' businesses to forge strong personal ties with them. In the same way, you would understand your spouse's needs and develop solutions for a better life for the two of you; this understanding allows you to offer selected transformative solutions.The goal is to establish a strategic alliance where your success depends on the client's success, ensuring that you would work your hardest to achieve it, much like you’d try to make your marriage last years. Strategic ABM involves the human touch for a significant portion of the campaign.There are seven steps in a one-to-one ABM campaign as depicted below:
Example:This 1:1 ad targeting from Nuvolo is an excellent example of a one-to-one ABM campaign. Every time Klowd sees this advertisement, Nuvolo leaves a powerful brand impression thanks to strong, clear messaging, attractive photography, and an excellent color scheme.
1. ABM Lite (One-to-Few):
Marketing initiatives and campaigns that use the ABM Lite approach are frequently targeted at certain small groups of accounts with comparable business characteristics and common problem areas. Employing an ABM Lite campaign requires critical insights from the sales team, including comprehensive information about targeted accounts, key decision-making factors, and their business issues—to allow your marketing team to tailor your solutions accordingly and customize content based on their specific needs.In ABM Lite campaigns, technology plays a more prominent role in the process, implementation, and analysis than humans do. ABM Lite is the way to go if you want to attract accounts outside the strategic ones, expanding your audience and revenue. ABM Lite is the middle ground between strategic ABM and programmatic ABM.Example:Salesloft is a platform that enables digital sellers to take the best possible approach in every stage of the sales process, from lead generation to closing, by carefully analyzing CRM data. The ICPs of Salesloft were unaware of the platform's potential.The marketing and sales teams at Salesloft required a better-aligned method for individualized connection with prospective clients. This led them to create a direct mail ABM campaign where SDRs could send prospects presents that matched their preferences with the aid of the Alyce curated marketplace.Results? Pairing customized gifts with “book-a-meeting” links brought Salesloft a 9% rise in meeting attendance, and a 20% increase in new collaborative opportunities, while 50% BDRs reported more in line with their strategic marketing processes than ever before.
1. Programmatic ABM (One-to-Many):
The programmatic ABM strategy utilizes the most recent technologies that provide precision targeting, statistics, and customization across hundreds or thousands of ideal accounts. This makes it conceivable to maximize target client outreach on the scale.Deploying programmatic ABM solutions, marketers can:
- Utilize social listening techniques to gain insights into customers;
- Display targeted information by monitoring cookies and cache (for example, you just had a thought, and an ad for a similar product popped up in your feed. Sound familiar?); and,
- Nurture leads on scale across the purchasing cycle.
Programmatic ABM uses far fewer marketing resources than strategic ABM and ABM Lite. It requires just one marketer to manage hundreds of clients (especially the multi-functional CRM software and marketing automation tools).The one-to-many approach leverages personalization, with limited availability of both time and financial resources—making it the best bet for smaller companies on a limited budget.Again, there are seven steps in a programmatic ABM campaign cycle, as illustrated below:
Example:Thomson Reuters, an international media corporation headquartered in Canada, offers information-enabled software and resources for legal, tax, accounting, commerce, and compliance professionals.The business has successfully used a variety of ABM techniques. They invited 500+ company accounts to test out programmatic ABM for free for a short period. As a result, sales cycles were shortened by 72%.You can read the case study right here.Now, let’s dive into five of the most successful ABM strategies that have helped drive up revenue for several businesses across the globe (and can get your business on a fast track now—and further into the future).
Five advanced ABM strategies to improve ROI for your business
1. Identifying ideal leads through AI, intent search, and other market research tools
The first step to ace your ABM strategy has to be identifying your ideal high-value prospects. By considering the appropriate data, you can identify and choose accounts that have a good chance of turning out to be your clients, i.e., have an urgent need for what you are selling and be ready to pay your price.You should take into account the following crucial facts to gain more accurate company-level insights:
- Firmographics, to help you choose the ideal feel and design for your broad target companies;
- Secondary Research (as an extra layer of information) to aid you in choosing businesses that are ideal customers for your product or service.
The firmographics research gives you a comprehensive picture of the company, including its size, sector, staff strength, predicted revenue, projected growth, and graphical presence.Monitoring secondary research data suggests a higher level of intellect. For instance, the secondary research layer should assist you in identifying organizations that need automated lead generation if you are providing lead generation services with your AI-driven software, making you a suitable company to partner with for such businesses.You'll be able to select the appropriate accounts to pitch by considering the results of this analysis.However, processing large data volumes can result in system errors, which can render the usability of your ABM campaign non-functional. This is where Martech tools and intent search can help you achieve your objectives. With an AI-powered ABM tech stack, you can hope to:
- Procure data more quickly than ever before;
- Focus on your main clients;
- Find the potential customers who were open to your past efforts; and
- Create a comprehensive understanding of your best fit.
Intent data, on the other hand, puts you directly in front of your in-market prospects by focusing on the past behavior patterns of your target accounts. This is priceless marketing intelligence because you know exactly which accounts are actively looking for what you have to offer.For example, the Web Insights Website Visitor Automation tool efficiently leverages your website’s traffic data to help you create an actionable ABM strategy that digitizes and shaves off precious time wasted in your sales process.You can automate prospecting from account-level site activity data on important product and purchasing pages, sorted by sales territories, and send these directly to salespeople in your CRM so they can observe these buying cycles and help you close sales. This data can monitor the overall pipeline state and identify ways to shorten the purchase cycle for certain businesses.You can also discover anonymous website visitors and send their contact information to your marketing or sales team. Additionally, the algorithm can direct the finest opportunities to salespeople with the greatest chances of converting them.
2. Align the marketing and sales functions
Real sales performance is frequently used to determine the effectiveness of any marketing campaign. Running an account-based marketing strategy enables marketers to focus exclusively on specific individuals.By providing account intelligence to the sales and other revenue departments, the ABM campaign helps to prioritize the marketing-qualified accounts. Additionally, it aids in the 360-degree synchronization of the marketing and sales departments.Companies that have witnessed a closer alignment between marketing and sales departments have reported a 66% increase in pipeline opportunities and an improved 67% success rate in closing deals.To align the marketing and sales departments at your company and deploy a successful ABM strategy, here are a few steps you can take:
- Make your priorities similar to that of your sales team;
- Involve your sales colleagues in creating your ABM strategy, starting with the original ICP and continuing with account selection, insights creation, value proposition input, client experience, and more;
- Build a joint dashboard to view and monitor the entire sales pipeline and different accounts on their buying journeys;
- Use help from your sales team, in validating messaging, testing new customization processes and generating customer feedback, in response to the tailored account experiences you create and serve your customers under your ABM strategy.
It is further advised to achieve alignment between all touchpoints in an organization. Marketers possess a wide range of information about your ideal client base, customer success personnels contribute to creating a 360-degree perspective of your accounts with their inputs, product engineers have valuable product insights and finally, your ABM campaign can only be launched if your company’s C-level executives, have a clear understanding of your objectives.Thus, collaborative work and accounting for the involvement of important stakeholders across all touchpoints in the organization is the key to conceptualizing a winning ABM strategy in 2022.
3. Create hyper-personalized funnel-specific campaigns, targeting your ideal leads on social media:
The right purchasing decision-makers can be targeted with segmented, customized marketing campaigns once your target accounts have been determined. Using the information you have intelligently procured to send the correct message at the right time is one of the core benefits of ABM. If you separate your lists depending on vertical, your ad content and CTA should be different for tech versus lifestyle.You will be more successful in penetrating the account and assisting sales in closing transactions more quickly the more you can relate to the pain points of the numerous buyers engaged in the decision-making process.Each consumer purchasing decision will involve an average of seven steps, as depicted below. Therefore, tailor your adverts to the various responsibilities within a team so that you are responding to each person's needs.Additionally, ensure that your account-based advertisements target customers as they move through the sales funnel. During the awareness stage, be sure to send a different message than the one required during the proposal stage. Plan out the messaging you'll need to convey along the journey in close collaboration with your sales staff.If you’re targeting prospects on social media, giving them social recognition is the best way. Create blog entries that cater to your target audiences. Examples include lists of the top firms, promising new businesses, and qualified individuals. Tag the account owners.An example of this would be this recent tactic tried by Jason Widup, VP of Marketing at Metadata.io, where he posted a personalized bobblehead of Lisa Hasen, VP of Marketing at AbacusNext, to catch her attention and book a meeting to discuss business. Using a hyper-personalized offering to catch attention, Metadata is trying to generate awareness about their brand and product and at the same time, bring in AbacusNext as one of their most coveted clients.You can see what went down after that right here.
4. Use a mix of direct mail, direct messaging, and targeted messaging with special offers or rewards for qualified leads to get them to close:
People still check their emails, you know? Yeah, shocking.However, inboxes are super competitive, and there’s no harm in being innovative.Your main goal should be to stand out to potential customers. So, use all classic and inventive approaches to capture their attention.That’s why the most popular B2B marketing messaging advice in 2022 is to slide into DMs—yeah, you read that right! And not in the spammy kind of way! Sending a highly personalized DM can boost your chances significantly of getting a positive response.Want to go a step further? Reach their physical mailbox! Send them a customized offer letter with a surprise present based on your gathered data that speaks to their liking.Your response rates will soar, awareness will increase, and the overall efficiency of your ABM campaign will be hugely enhanced by a physical, timely, and customized surprise delivered to your prospect's physical mailbox. Direct mail offers countless chances to pique a prospect's interest or revive a lagging account.Your most vital brand differentiator may be direct mail if done correctly. This is your opportunity to thrill and surprise your customers in ways that your rivals haven't thought of, all while keeping a close eye on personalization, which is at the core of ABM.The key takeaway here is to run multi-channel outreach campaigns to acquaint your target prospects with your offers and connect with thepersonallyel, to secure your best chances of converting them when you do come around to pitching whatever you are selling.
5. Add a human touch with in-person events and personalized experiences:
Remember participating in “show-and-tell” in class when you were in kindergarten? Well, that is one of the cornerstone tactics of a successful ABM campaign.The world may have gone remote, but the first connection is still meaningful when you want to make a sale. Any virtual meeting space or program does not offer the outstanding advantages of face-to-face communication. Account-based events give marketers a better opportunity to establish sincere personalized relationships with top-tier accounts and shorten the sales cycle by a wide margin.Whether you're organizing a large-scale event or one that only invites the most sought accounts, you should try to attract attendees who share your ABM objectives. Seize the opportunity to engage with your accounts and make it all about them rather than searching for future clients. Doing this will ultimately speed up the sales pipeline (and reach your revenue goals sooner).It takes a lot of effort but planning your hyper-targeted event pays off. You need not worry if you’re not ready to make such a significant investment right now. You should attend trade exhibitions and conferences that bring together the most important clients and business leaders. In this situation, in-person time to engage with prospects at these events is vital.Managing premium accounts require a human touch. To encourage lasting relationships, provide more individualized experiences. In the absence of human interaction, the strategic ABM stands to fail.
Account-based marketing can seem to be quite the challenge at first and require you to invest time in figuring out how to implement it best. Still, it is a highly targeted approach that will make you stand out from your competition and establish you as a brand that commands authority in your niche industry.ABM tactics can do wonders, especially when deployed with the right technology that contracts your sales cycle through automation and helps you serve your ideal clientele faster.Want your prospects to book instant meetings with your sales reps and turn into paying customers at warp speed? Make RevenueHero an essential for your ABM strategy!This sales automation platform helps you keep track of all your prospects, qualify your leads (though an in-built lead scoring feature), and routes, schedules, and prioritizes opportunities based on their value. Your ABM strategy needs a trusty sales acceleration tool to quickly turn your verified leads into business revenue, allowing easy integration with every product in your marketing tech stack.Click here to learn more.