ABM is a highly personalized sales and marketing strategy that is designed to improve engagement, increase deal size and improve ROI by effectively reaching your most qualified accounts. Here’s how to make ABM work for your B2B in 2024.
What is Account-Based Marketing & How Does it Work?
Account-based marketing is a focused strategy for B2B companies where marketing and sales teams work together to target high-value accounts with the highest possible ROI.
Many B2B marketers tend to cast broad nets, targeting general leads to appeal to as many companies as possible. This approach doesn’t guarantee results, as widespread targeting often leads to unqualified leads and poor ROI. Conversely, with today’s technology, ABM is a highly personalized strategy that can generate more conversions and qualified leads. This efficiency is what led to 97% of marketers reporting a higher ROI when including an account-based marketing strategy, according to Alterra Group- not too shabby.
By focusing on specific target accounts rather than relying on traditional firmographic filters, B2B marketers and sales teams personalize campaigns for each account and send them content tailored to their unique business needs rather than a generalized value prop.
What are the Benefits of Account-Based Marketing?
Improved Customer Acquisition/Sales Cycles
ABM uses B2B personalization to nurture key personas throughout the buying process. Marketing teams can eliminate poor leads with smaller (or no) potential and prevent the sales team from wasting time on them. Getting rid of these leads early in the process creates a shorter sales cycle and allows marketing and sales teams to focus on leads most likely to convert.
Faster Sales Process
In B2B, multiple stakeholders (with different agendas) are always involved in final purchasing decisions. These opinions and needs typically slow down the sales and marketing process, but ABM allows you to leverage them. You can cater specifically to your primary and secondary decision-makers with account-based marketing to facilitate and expedite the sales process.
Forrester found that 91% of companies using ABM increase their average deal size, with 25% reporting an increase of +50%. ABM is targeted, personalized, and measurable. It captures the highest ROI of other B2B marketing strategies while using the least risk and resources. This strategy creates marketing and sales alignment for consistent growth.
Time & Cost-Efficiency
Marketing directly to targeted accounts as prospects can be very cost-efficient. It also helps to use tools and platforms that allow for account-matching to target only the specific organizations that fit your ideal customer profile. For businesses that know exactly who their most promising prospects are, ABM makes a lot of sense for budgeting reasons.
Account-based marketing focuses your marketing efforts on key accounts to drive the most revenue. With such a narrow focus, ABM optimizes time and money. Besides pure ad spend, with marketing and sales alignment, you can efficiently develop content for key accounts and build successful communication between teams, saving resources in the long run.
When implementing ABM, the metrics and data you are analyzing are slightly different. Rather than looking at traditional, vanity metrics, you are tracking pipeline movement as a whole to better understand the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts as a whole. Account-based marketing data provides a framework for sales and marketing teams to shorten sales cycles and maximize opportunities by identifying key B2B stakeholders.
5 tips to get started with AMB in 2024:
Tip #1: Establish Marketing & Sales Alignment
Marketing and sales misalignment is a common problem. According to Marketo, when sales and marketing teams are aligned, leads are 67% more likely to convert. Both departments have different objectives but have the same goal of driving revenue and sales.
When departments are aligned, strategies become more efficient, effective, and relevant in targeting leads. Alignment allows different perspectives to be shared and broadens the conversation leading to consistent messaging and positioning.
“I think at the end of the day, Sales’ priorities are my priorities, and regardless of organizational structure that should really be the mentality of any ABM marketers or just marketer in general. It’s moving beyond just seeing Sales as your customer and really embracing them as your partner and really meaning it.” – Alessandra Possamai, ABM Manager, Shutterstock
Invoca found that “Well-aligned sales and marketing teams drive more than 200% revenue growth from marketing tactics.”
ABM has proven to be an effective strategy for B2B marketing but it can only be successful if both teams agree to align and work together.
Tip #2: Define your ICP
Establishing marketing and sales alignment also helps both teams understand and build your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) with specific criteria for selecting leads. Knowing your ICP benefits you in creating messaging, content, and playbooks that are catered to your target’s particular needs.
According to Martech Alliance, companies with a strong ideal customer profile, achieve 68% higher account win rates.
To build your ICP, you should consider:
- What problem are we solving?
- How does your audience define this problem?
- Are there others in the space that are addressing this problem?
- How do we provide unique value?
When building your account-based marketing strategy, you should start with 1 to 2 critical segments for your ICP and research their demographics, buying patterns and other key metrics to create highly relevant and personalized messaging.
You are more likely to improve conversion rates by creating marketing and sales messaging that resonates with your B2B audience. Automation platforms can help you with this process with account-related filters with inclusion/exclusion rules to make ABM more effective.
Tip #3: Align your Plays
When you combine the first two tips, your sales and marketing teams will be synced with the same target audience and strategies. Collaboration with these teams will lead to consistent, highly targeted messaging and sales tactics. The better this coordination is, the more likely your account-based strategy will work.
With the help of marketing automation workflows, you can coordinate the timing between customer interactions and sales follow-up, targeting your tactics on closing on the most critical accounts.
Tip #4: Personalization
After you build your ICP, you can then incorporate personalization. Forrester found that 56% of marketers agree that personalized content is key to ABM success. As B2B marketers, our targets want a personalized experience to be entertained and engaged.
To cut through the noise of other market noise, personalization creates a connection that builds trust in your business and what you’re offering. You want to show your targets that you understand their business, challenges, and pain points.
Here are some ways you can add personalization to your account-based marketing strategy:
1. Target Ads
Creating target ads based on a company or role is an excellent way to drive leads to your site. These ads should speak directly to the personas you are targeting, regardless of platform.
The more personalization you can add, such as mentioning job roles directly to your ad text, the better. If you are targeting different positions, you should create separate ad sets that speak to each different role and their specific pain points.
2. Website Content
ABM will usually lead your prospects to your site as they see your company and solution for the first time. This is why it is crucial to form a connection quickly, and personalization is an excellent way to accomplish this. Ensure you have content specific to each ICP / Persona on your site, with resources for them to review and contact information.
3. Nurture Emails
ABM relies on secure email automation strategies to help nurture prospects toward becoming qualified leads or requesting a demo. Instead of relying on generalized email copy for multiple people, you can establish better relationships with prospects by simply incorporating first and last names, company names, job roles, and locations. In addition, the more specifically your email address their pain points, the better the open rate.
Tip #5: Understand your KPIs and Metrics
ABM is about quality, not quantity. Your ABM strategy could be ineffective if you are not tracking measurable results. It is important to track metrics at every level of the strategy.
Marketing automation platforms can help you easily track performance with little effort from either team. It is more important to focus on conversions than the number of leads. Metrics should focus on how your strategy impacts your ROI and bottom line.
Set your KPIs to measure revenue performance, such as average deal size and close rates, to understand if your strategy is truly successful. Once you know your strategy is success and where it isn’t, you can keep adjusting until it works and stay consistent.
With these 5 tips to help implement your account-based marketing strategy, you can cut through the noise of competitors and build memorable relationships with your prospects, all while saving your company time and money.
At RenderTribe, we help customers build an ABM strategy to drive more sales and accelerate growth. Our RenderLab process helps you identify the unique pieces that fit your marketing strategy and align your plan with overall business objectives. We help build the foundation for measurement, expertise, and tactical execution to support the plan.
Contact us today to see how we can help you align sales and marketing activities to achieve your revenue goals.