When marketing your B2B organization, it’s easy to imagine that more is more. Casting a wide customer net, especially when you have a niche product, could seem the obvious choice to capture a larger customer base and increase sales.
Account-based marketing, a much more targeted and precise marketing approach, helps B2B companies reliably reach motivated customers who are ready to purchase. ABM provides a focused, results-driven marketing (non-evil) scheme for B2B companies.
Keep reading for tips on how to shift gears from your traditional B2B marketing strategy to an account-based marketing approach that will create more sales wins for your business.
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How does account-based marketing (ABM) work?
Think of ABM like a laser. Instead of shining a flashlight on your target companies to advertise your wares and services, ABM strategy focuses your “flashlight beam” into a much narrower scope.
You enact a particular set of marketing tactics toward just a few companies within a sector, based on extensive research and data to support a clearer pathway to a close.
Using a customized approach with a select few companies can accelerate your success and create more customer loyalty, which pays higher dividends over the long haul.
ABM can take more resources and time at the front end of the operation, but the pay-off can be much greater when it comes time to ask for a sale. With ABM, you’re asking better questions and placing your products where the need is highest.
First, do extensive sector research
The first step of a successful ABM campaign is research. Your priority here is to define and clarify the high-value companies of your market likely to produce repeat purchases over time, as well as industry influence and referral potential.
In an ABM approach, you can mine your existing clientele as well as search for new companies that represent your “dream” customers. And, you commit to assertively target those companies exclusively with your messaging and calls to action.
Once you have your dream client list, you must gather more data on those companies, including:
- their purchasing patterns
- the significant business challenges your products and services can solve for them
- which are the decision-maker roles and who holds them at each of your target companies
- who are the stakeholders and what are their desired departmental outcomes
- what are the consensus-building requirements (how many people need to say yes to a sale and what product requirements exist for each stakeholder?)
Discover decision-makers and influencers
Even the most carefully crafted marketing campaigns fall flat if you’re not reaching the right people. As part of your research, you must discover as much about the consensus team at each prospect as you can.
Learning the names and roles of influencers and decision-makers is paramount to advancing the sale. If the Operations Director holds influence with the CEO, it pays to develop messaging and a relationship in-road to the OD first before asking the CEO for a purchase.
Now, create your sales narrative
With an ABM strategy, you may have a slightly different sales message for each company you target. Companies have unique pain points, values, and archetypes. You’ll need to know precisely what those are in each of the businesses you prospect and how to speak to them effectively.
It helps to use the brand vocabulary of each target company in your ABM strategy, so you can appeal to the values inherent in the company you seek as a customer.
For example, if your target company values exploration, innovation, and freedom, you can tailor your sales message to support those values. You should also position your products as an essential part of achieving those values.
What channels will you use?
If you create a stellar email campaign, but your target decision-maker never reads it, you’ve missed the ABM boat. You must discover which channels your desired customers use for product research, education, and networking, and then you must leverage those channels effectively.
Consider elements like long-tail keywords, PPC, social media channels, live events, and even sales calls in your comprehensive approach, based on the preferences of the decision-makers on your shortlist of dream customers.
Use metrics to tweak your approach
No matter what channels you use for your coordinated ABM campaigns, be sure you can continually update your traffic and conversion data as your campaign rolls out.
You’ll want to measure accurately how much your website traffic increases from your PPC ad, for example, as well as compiling or updating lead-qualification results from an accompanying outbound call campaign.
Consistency pays off
When you regularly provide relevant content and helpful (not desperate) reach-outs to your target account base, you stay top-of-mind with your dream clients and customers.
When you time your nudges with company purchase cycles and the correct decision-makers, increased closed sales with high-value clientele are much more likely.
Continually updating your CRM with personnel changes, new product needs, recurring pain points or business challenges, and shifting purchase cycles will help your ABM prospects convert more readily to customers and remain loyal purchasers over time.
When your customers trust you, they also recommend you to others, especially if they hold significant industry influence. Holding a position of trust as a vendor to an industry influencer is the sweet spot of account-based marketing.
Achieving such a status takes a “crockpot” approach over a “microwave” mentality, so don’t be a flash in the pan with your ABM strategy.
Outsource your next ABM campaign with Romain Berg
When you decide to jump into the account-based marketing world, Romain Berg can help. We’ll develop a multi-channel ABM strategy customized to your dream B2B clients and customers.
Our expertise with relevant content generation, PPC, on and off-page SEO, call-to-action landing pages, and more will place your sales messaging where you want it: on the desktops and mobile devices of the decision-makers in your sector.
Contact us today. We’ll be in touch to get started crafting the ABM messages and delivery systems that convert.