Does your company currently struggle when it comes to developing lean and impactful sales and marketing processes? Maybe you have concerns surrounding lead generation, customer retention, or simply just improving organizational alignment. Whether you’re a large, established enterprise or a small startup, the truth of the matter is that generating consistent revenue and growth on a long-term basis both efficiently and effectively is tough stuff. Enter account-based marketing (ABM).
ABM is an account-centric approach which can help you increase efficiency, improve alignment among your various departments, and boost ROI and revenue for the long haul. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this nifty little guide to help you get started.
What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing is a strategic approach which helps businesses target and communicate with individual customer accounts as if they were a single market. Instead of casting a wide net among a sea of potential leads of varying levels of value, businesses using ABM focus their efforts instead on key individuals in specific high-value accounts. Account-based marketing leverages the use of data, technology, and most importantly — interdepartmental collaboration between sales and marketing teams.
In fact, it’s this very collaboration which serves as the linchpin of account-based marketing. In order to be successful, ABM requires sales and marketing teams to work closely with one another in order to develop joint strategies and tactics to acquire, retain and nurture high-value clients.
As you can imagine, this requires a great deal of transparency, including the sharing of assets such as data. It additionally requires continuity – the ability to maintain these coordinated efforts and the development of consistent, seamless customer experiences long-term in order to realize results.
Furthermore, account-based marketing requires a fundamental shift from developing reactive strategies targeted to random prospects to proactive ones which target specific personas with laser precision.
Ultimately, successful businesses implementing account-based marketing are able to coordinate seamlessly between their marketing and sales departments in order to create impactful, personalized customer experiences which ultimately boost revenue and foster advocacy.
But don’t just take our word for it. A 2019 survey by the Alterra Group found that a whopping 97% of marketers surveyed claimed that they achieved a higher ROI by incorporating account-based marketing than they did with any other marketing initiative.
So, just exactly why is it such a big deal?
Benefits of account-based marketing
There are literally countless benefits to be had from implementing an account-based marketing strategy. Here are just a few:
Improved organizational alignment
In order for an account-based marketing strategy to be successful, your marketing and sales team must learn to work closely together every step of the way. You absolutely need organizational buy-in. This means getting everyone in sync so that they are able to make joint decisions on everything from goals and strategies to tactics, personas and metrics. This will require regular briefings and consistent communication. As a result, an improvement in organizational alignment just flows naturally because you have multiple teams working together with shared responsibilities towards a shared goal.
Targeted efforts means less waste
Let’s face it – not all leads are the best fit for your business. While it may be tempting to cast a wide net, the truth of the matter remains that such approaches all too often end in wasted resources. Instead, doesn’t it make more sense to take the extra time and energy to focus your efforts on cultivating the interests of key decision-makers in high-yield accounts with a high likelihood of converting?
Generate revenue more efficiently and faster
When you refine your strategy to target high-yield accounts which are a better fit for your products and services, you set yourself up for success. Naturally, accounts such as these have a higher likelihood of generating revenue. Furthermore, when you develop custom, personalized strategies with a strong focus, you’re no longer having to experiment with a vast pool of potential leads. In fact, a Marketo report found that ABM has the power to reduce your sales time by as much as 50% on unproductive efforts.
Boost sales and marketing ROI
It’s not just marketers that are praising the effects of account-based marketing. SiriusDecisions found that 91% of businesses leveraging ABM were able to increase their average deal size. But, by how much, you ask? Around 25% of respondents reported an increase of over 50%.
Maximize your relevancy
Getting your brand in front of the right prospects is just one side of the coin. Once you do, you then have to tackle the obstacle of making your company stand out in the sea of competition. Account-based marketing relies on the seamless collaboration between your sales and marketing departments in order to create a targeted, personalized, impactful multi-channel experience which truly resonates with your customers. This in turn boosts clout and keeps you at the forefront of their minds. So, it should come as no surprise to find that according to one ITSMA study, 84% of companies which leveraged account-based marketing saw an improvement in their reputation.
Unlock opportunities through account relationships
When you’re able to create content and journeys that resonate with your customers, you’re able to foster stronger, deeper, longer lasting relationships which ultimately lead to brand advocacy. We’re talking referrals, word-of-mouth marketing, testimonial kind of advocacy.
But, again, don’t just take our word for it.
Marketo found that 85% of marketers surveyed felt that implementing ABM “significantly benefited them in retaining and expanding their existing client relationships”. Another report by Terminus/TOPO additionally found that 80% of the marketers they surveyed reported that they saw an improvement in their customer lifetime values. Interested in expanding your client base and potentially penetrating new markets and verticals? ABM has you covered.
Data-driven decision making
In order to be successful, any solid account-based marketing strategy must rely on data. When you combine the efforts of your sales and marketing team, you’re able to access and leverage valuable data from both sides in order to gain insights that were previously unattainable. This data in turn can be used in order to justify engagement, processes, and the allocation of valuable resources.
ABM Process Maturity
An account-based marketing strategy is ultimately best viewed as an iterative process. As your business begins to implement ABM and continues to grow and evolve over time, so too should this strategy.
When you’re first getting started, the key areas of focus should be fostering collaboration and transparency and identifying which accounts make the most sense to target for your business. From there, you’ll want to begin coordinating your teams to jointly develop personas, strategies, key metrics and issues like potential content gaps along the way. Then, you’ll want to work on establishing metrics at each stage of the customer experience so that you can set a proper foundation for measuring and tracking progress and success.
As you processes begin to mature, so too will your strategy. Eventually you may want to begin incorporating some more advanced techniques such as behavioral tracking and using predictive models and/or intent data. You may also find that this is the time to start bringing additional teams on board such as customer support and to begin developing savvier marketing and sales techniques.
When you reach a more mature stage in your account-based marketing strategy, you’ll want want to focus on achieving a greater level of sophistication. You may want to begin considering more advanced techniques such as leveraging AI, account scoring, attribution models, further automating your workflows and ensuring that your processes and customer experience are integrated and end-to-end
Many companies may find an ABM software solution such as HubSpot, Terminus, 6Sense, or Demandbase serves as an effective route for assisting with the implementation of an account-based marketing strategy. Platforms as such can serve as extremely valuable in providing your business with the tools you need to succeed all while centralizing information for analysis, strategizing, tracking, and reporting. Solutions such as these are often user-friendly, assist with organization, and can provide you with scalable features which can support continued growth.
When searching for an account-based marketing software solution, it’s important to consider one with robust offerings that can support lead and account targeting, cross-channel engagement, and comprehensive, real-time analytics. You’ll also want to consider solutions which leverage artificial intelligence and automation to support lean processes and reduce manual legwork.
The key here is choosing a solution that supports key integrations and will allow you to reduce your technology stack at a price point which fits within your budget.
However, it’s also worth noting that those just getting started with ABM may want to consider a more intensive and personalized solution such as partnering with a vendor to ensure the proper execution of their efforts. The right ABM vendor will partner with you to develop a strategy and tactics for cultivating leads within your market which work well with your business’ unique position and needs. This means that you get to focus more on marketing and sales, and less on lead generation.
Account-based marketing ultimately has the power to provide you with the keys to long-term success and sustainability. Interdepartmental coordination and transparency helps minimize information silos and improve organizational alignment. This in turn ensures that everyone on your teams are in sync and working together towards the shared goal of developing a seamless, personalized approach to acquiring, cultivating, and retaining high-value accounts. This process improvement naturally fuels the creation of enhanced customer experiences, which leads to higher ROIs, increased conversions and ultimately satisfied clients who keep coming back.
Are you interested in learning more about account-based marketing? VisioneerIT offers a number of solutions which can help set you up for success during your ABM journey. Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your goals.