For us marketers operating in the B2B realm, it can be hard to figure out a strategy for dealing with various company stakeholders involved in the buying process. With so many people having an input, you have to find a way to efficiently narrow down your marketing efforts to achieve maximum results. That is where account-based marketing comes to the rescue. This method allows you to group these stakeholders into an account and effectively nurture them by providing targeted campaigns, content and resources that address their collective pain points.
Looking at your leads as accounts not only improves efficiency, it can lead to great results. Recent research from the Information Technology Services Marketing Association revealed that 84% of businesses using account-based marketing say approaching marketing in this way offers a higher ROI.
And it seems many marketers are taking notice and implementing ABM into their marketing strategy. In 2016, 62% of marketers said they were equipped with the skills to succeed in account-based marketing. But for the rest of us 38% who don’t, what are we supposed to do to excel at this marketing strategy?
To help you be on your way toward account-based marketing success, we’re bringing you 4 tactics that will take your account-based marketing efforts to the next level and get you even better results:
1. Get to Know Your Account
While the customer persona will get you far with individual leads, that isn’t necessarily the case when you’re dealing with accounts. After all, the whole purpose of account-based marketing is to take the headache out of dealing with a multitude of individuals.
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in the work to get to know your customers. Your account description should encompass an array of key interests and pain points of individuals involved in the decision-making process. You should also look into trends within your customer’s industry to understand the context regarding the issues they face on a daily basis.
Using this information, strategize what type of information will best serve the group and in what format. Also think about the best delivery method. Is it email, a video or a landing page? And, if there’s a particular person facilitating the decision-making process, look for ways in which you can equip them with tools and resources they can present to their team.
2. Set Up an Account-Based Scoring System
Having an account-based scoring system will help you assess the status of a company’s willingness to convert by evaluating the actions of key stakeholders. When putting together your scoring system, think about who is involved at each step of the process and what type of action you’d like them to take.
These collective actions will allow you to assess where a company is as a whole. Instead of measuring where each lead is in the sales funnel, you’ll be able to look at the bigger picture and track a company’s progress through the sales funnel, and better identify gaps that need to be filled to keep them moving along. Not only that, having an account-based scoring system will help you figure out the best time to facilitate the handover to your sales representative.
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3. Ensure Good Sales/Marketing Alignment
Having a good alignment with sales is crucial to ensuring the success of your account-based marketing efforts. In companies practicing account-based marketing, 60% say they are aligned with sales, and 83% say that sales helps them determine target accounts.
Why is marketing/sales alignment so important? To start, according to research from Forrester, 68% of customers would rather investigate a company and perform outreach on their own rather than having a member of your sales team call them.
What this means is marketing needs to have a clear perspective of what needs to be communicated to each account in place of the sales representative. To accomplish this, marketing should collaborate with sales to ensure that campaigns and content communicate clear messaging and calls to action that effectively guide lead accounts through the sales funnel. Your role as a marketer is to help motivate these account leads to reach out and schedule that phone call with your sales rep.
4. Look for opportunities to expand your relationship
Part of the appeal of targeting accounts is that there’s huge opportunity for greater results. That means your efforts shouldn’t stop at the initial point of of conversion. You and your sales team should continuously collaborate to evaluate the health of that account, and identify new ways to grow your relationship with that customer.
By continuing to build a relationship with these accounts, you’ll not only find ways to expand, you’ll improve customer loyalty. Take a moment to show the customer you appreciate them, check in to see if they need any help making the most out of your service or product and guide them to any resources that can enhance their work. By doing this, you’ll always be one step ahead of the game when it comes to winning them over the competition.