Are you spread too thin these days, working through leads from two broad-based ads and a major trade show? Are you having trouble prioritizing prospects because everything is given equal weight? Are you making cold calls without confidence because there isn’t enough time to do adequate pre-call research?
There may be someone that can help, so you can devote ample time to the most promising prospects. I’m talking about your marketing brethren that generate leads. By working more collaboratively on critical accounts, you can both save time and score big, raising the odds of landing new business.
More B2B sales professionals are teaming with their marketing colleagues to create marketing campaigns focused on specific accounts, rather than traditional territories. In fact, in 2017 SiriusDecision’s study, 62% of survey respondents reported having such account-based management (ABM) programs.
Focusing on marketing to one or few companies rather than broader markets sounds counter-productive, but it’s not. ABM actually improves the odds of landing a deal when done well.
Highly personalized messaging that clearly (and perhaps cleverly) demonstrates your credibility and business acumen are much more likely to get a busy buyer’s attention than generic campaigns with low engagement levels. Both sales and marketing realize this, which is one reason ABM is growing in popularity.
Though ABM has been around for decades, it wasn’t widely practiced, namely because until recently it couldn’t scale. There weren’t enough resources to create campaigns for everyone’s accounts. However, today’s sales automation technology makes it easier to both launch and sustain ABM campaigns. Business intelligence tools quickly deliver metrics to determine if a strategy is working as intended. Soon, ABM-specific artificial intelligence will further optimize the ability to identify who has purchasing power within key accounts, and then how and when to target those decision makers.
Until such tech is standard, consider the following advice for developing account-based marketing campaigns:
Focus on the right accounts. Not every prospective company is ABM-worthy when you have limited resources. Together, sales and marketing teams create customer profiles and personas to consider common pain points that your solution is well suited to address. The next step is to then leverage a CRM to find the decision-makers within that organization.
Tailor content to individuals, not industries. Here’s where marketers likely know the best medium to use to gain someone’s attention, versus sales’ expertise being better suited to actually drive a conversation. One strategy to get someone’s attention is to discover a pressing issue they may or may not know they have. With this trigger, build a compelling story around those issues that land that phone, web or face-to-face meeting. Our Vortex Prospecting™ tool provides excellent communication with executives via various mediums of communication.
Conduct regular check-ins to see what’s working and what’s not. One of the benefits of one-to-one interactions versus global outreach is having more flexibility to pivot or put on a full-court press. Marketing and sales must communicate frequently on agreed-upon tactics and metrics. If something isn’t working as planned, work collaboratively on a new channel or content marketing strategy to get that decision-maker’s attention. Crafting stories using the ValuePrompter® is an excellent way to customize compelling content.
These are simply some of the basics and best practices every interdepartmental team should follow to ensure an ABM campaign works as intended. That is, turning leads into long-term, loyal customers.
Sell with Value!
Relevant topic? Listen to this recorded webinar hosted on Thursday, April 16: ABM for Sales: Double Your Deal Size.