Still think B2B sales and marketing tactics are all about lead generation activities? If you’re serious about growing your business, remember these three letters: A-B-M.
Today’s marketing managers and sales strategists in the B2B world have a lot to consider when creating powerful and far-reaching marketing campaigns. Should these leaders employ an influencer campaign to drum up business, or should the company simply purchase lead generation software to create customized calling lists for their sales team?
Perhaps targeting the one key decision maker within a prospective organization is the ideal way to capture a bigger piece of the market? Or maybe flooding the social media sphere with snippets of exciting content will be enough to create interest within the market?
One thing is certain – the B2B world is changing. Contemporary marketers now realize that one of the best ways to close deals and create lasting business relationships is to employ a unique approach called account-based marketing.
What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?
In short, ABM refers to the idea of creating customized marketing campaigns to specifically attract the attention of high-value accounts – not create leads. The overriding assumption here (or fact, if you think like most marketing managers) is B2B purchasing decisions are made by committee, and not by one individual at the helm of the ship.
Therefore, ABM marketing tactics are tailored to generate interest among several individual business leaders who ultimately combine to create a cohesive leadership team at a given business. The goal, then, is to offer and cultivate a potentially lucrative and mutually beneficial relationship with the company doing the marketing. This relationship begins with the data collection and prospecting phases, and then moves to the acquisition phase and ultimately, closing new business.
Account-based marketing (ABM) strategies can be effectively supported and implemented using customized software solutions on the market, or businesses can choose to hire a digital marketing firm to help identify, manage, and execute on collected data. Smaller businesses may first want to seek the services of a digital marketing group before investing in in-house hardware and software technology.
How does ABM effectively target other organizations?
ABM allows for more direct and tailored conversations with industry prospects or existing, underperforming clients. Personalized messages that aim at the heart of the targeted business can reinforce the importance of creating a working relationship with your firm, while social data can clue you into the key motivations and priorities of the business leaders in your crosshairs.
Remember, ABM also allows you to use technology to retarget prospects at the ideal time – such as when they’re browsing a specific topic or visiting a particular website. This crucial piece of the puzzle enables you to always “keep the lights on” if the prospective client is within range.
Why is ABM a boon for marketers?
If you’ve spent time generating leads for a sales team, you’ve probably felt the overriding feeling that all of that prep work likely won’t translate into the results you’re looking for. After all, we just mentioned that most B2B transactions are made by a committee. Why, then, do we continue to adhere to the age-old notion of “filling the sales funnel” with leads that target singular people?
Instead, maximize your time by using ABM to cohesively combine the sales and marketing activities to create a singular “conversation” with the prospect. Look at it more like opening a relationship than closing a sale. Create awareness early on of your business by tapping into the world of social media. And then use a tailored analytics package to continually refine the ABM process to realize your business’ maximum potential in the market.
ABM won’t eliminate the need to employ traditional marketing and lead generation activities – like outbound calling and creating referral networks, but it will help you to target prospects in a more organized and efficient way. The ultimate goal? Reduce the average sales cycle, convert more business, and drive revenue.
Make it personal, make it specific, do it at the right time, and the sales will come.