Content marketing and demand generation have helped B2B companies generate visibility and interest. This results in benefits, such as thought leadership, new leads, and high profiles. Alongside this, B2B companies also use account-based marketing (ABM). This type of marketing lets them shorten the sales cycle and enter new markets.
More importantly, an ABM strategy leads to an increased return on investment (ROI). Companies adopting an account-based strategy have seen a 208% increase in revenue. ABM has a meaningful influence on business growth and your bottom line. It allows your marketing team to concentrate on accounts that your company is interested in working with.
But, just like any other marketing strategy, you need to know how to create and execute an ABM strategy. This article will explain every step you need to take to use ABM in your company. The right approach will make your strategy more effective and reap more benefits.
Why Do You Need an ABM Strategy? 5 Statistics to Consider
There is a huge increase in B2B companies that use ABM, especially after the COVID pandemic. In the 2020 State of ABM Report, only 5.8% of companies don’t have an ABM program. That means approximately 94% of marketers turned to ABM during that year.
But, why is that the case? What’s so special about an ABM strategy? Take a look at these statistics to understand how account-based marketing can help the company:
- 87% of marketers agree that having an ABM strategy yields higher ROI than other marketing strategies.
- 86% of marketers believe that ABM is a great investment because it improves win rates.
- An ABM strategy also helps a company close more deals, with a 171% increase in the average annual contract value.
- 84% of marketers believe that investing in targeted marketing helps retain and expand current client relationships.
- Using ABM helps the sales and marketing teams become in tune with their goals and processes. This alignment offers a lot of benefits, including business growth, high customer retention, fast profit growth, high win rates, and increased hitting quotes.
Steps to Create An Effective ABM Strategy
As you can see, ABM is a great investment if you want to grow your business and boost your revenue. But, the thing is, you need to invest a lot of your time and effort for it to be successful. Creating an effective ABM strategy is a complicated process, but here is a rundown of the steps you should take.
#1 – Create a Plan
Developing a strategy is the first step in putting ABM into practice, just as with any new marketing campaign. For the best results, you need to know why you want to use ABM. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What goals do you want to achieve using ABM? Do you want to introduce a new product or move upmarket? Do you want to maximize the value you get from your current customers? Make sure your whole team is aware of and agrees with your goals.
- Can you start the ABM process right away, or should you wait until the next quarter to give it more thought? You’re setting your B2B marketing strategy up for failure if you don’t have realistic timetables in place for ABM projects.
#2 – Put Together Your Core Team
Your ABM strategy is no good without a dedicated team. Find the following people to join your ABM team:
- A marketing manager to oversee your marketing automation software. He or she will also make sure your connections and accounts are aligned based on where your buyer’s journey is with them.
- A sales manager will be in charge of updating your main accounts’ information.
- Account managers to carry out your ABM strategy.
- Content creators will create tailor-made and targeted materials in different formats.
#3 – Align Both Your ABM Marketing and Sales Team
To make any ABM strategy effective, you need to align your sales and marketing department. But this can be hard, especially when teams are working in silos.
The first step in the collaboration process is to bring both teams together. If you can, have them work in the same room. Meanwhile, you can set up a video conference for both teams if they work remotely.
By bringing these two teams together, you can pinpoint possible roadblocks and difficulties for both of them. If not, these problems can affect your ABM strategy.
After that, you need to discuss the specifics of your ABM plan, including:
- The goals you want to achieve
- The key accounts you want to target
- The different metrics of which to track the success
These will improve the alignment of your sales and marketing teams. Moreover, you can make sure that both teams are accountable for the entire plant.
#4 – Determine Your Target Accounts
Targeted account marketing takes more time, patience, research, and preparation before you can launch campaigns. After all, how can you create a list of accounts you’d want to sell to if you don’t know your ideal client?
An Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is a set of company attributes that best fit your products or services. Defining your ICP is one of the key components of ABM success. You can create your company’s ICP through qualitative and quantitative analyses.
After creating your ICP, it’s time to build a Target Account List. This is a list of accounts that share certain features, and are more likely to buy your products and services.
Although creating your ICP and TAL is a great accomplishment, you shouldn’t assume that it is finite. You need to do a quarterly review to strengthen it, especially when there are drastic changes in your team, resources, or budget. By doing this, you’ll keep everyone responsible and position yourself for scalable success.
#5 – Choose the Right ABM Tools for Your Needs
Although you can do everything by hand, using tools will make the job easier. It’s not advisable to manage your marketing demands with an improvised spreadsheet. There are tools that yield accurate results, which will make your ABM strategy more effective. Make sure you find the right ABM tools and platforms that can supply your needs.
#6 – Create and Carry Out Targeted Campaigns
Now it’s time to design and carry out specific targeted campaigns. Even, if you’re making similar ads, each of them should be tailored to a specific account.
In other words, the messages and material that each account sees should appear to have been specifically made for them. Gather content assets, customize them for the target account, and prepare your strategy for each stage of their journey.
You need to use the content you create for different channels and circumstances. Distribute them both offline and online as well. While you perform a huge portion of the process online, you should also include offline, in-person interactions. You’ll reap a lot of benefits by integrating both marketing efforts.
#7 – Keep Tabs on Your Progress and Measure the Results
Your ABM strategy should undoubtedly help you produce outcomes. The main question is: What kind of outcomes are you getting and are they successful?
For that, you’ll need to keep an eye on and track the development of your plan. This includes your website, CRM, and distribution networks.
Develop an analytics and KPI scorecard that can inform the sales and executive teams of all operations by account. Use the analytics, as well to gain insight into how to improve your efforts in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Do You Need Account-Based Marketing to Targeting Enterprise Customers?
Enterprise accounts are excellent ABM targets because they frequently have higher lifetime values than small accounts. While that is the case, there are other ways to apply ABM to small enterprises. For example, if you offer highly-tailored products or call for repeated purchases over time, you can apply ABM to smaller clients as well.
2. Why Is an ABM Strategy Effective for B2B Companies?
B2B marketing is different from consumer marketing in a lot of ways. B2B marketing often has a more targeted focus, which means you don’t market to a very broad audience. Instead, you concentrate on particular market segments or buyer personas.
B2B customers aren’t the same. Most of the time, only a small number of businesses account for most of your income. The larger set provides what is known as the run rate. Many B2B businesses divide their clients into two groups: one for the larger market with fewer purchases and the other for more profitable ones.
Lastly, B2B buyers’ decisions are more complex and oftentimes lengthy.
Account-based marketing supports the notion of targeting qualified accounts. It helps B2B companies organize their resources and efforts on important accounts. By doing so, they won’t have to waste anything on accounts that don’t yield anything.
Account Based Marketing Best Practices
Account-based marketing lets you target specific, high-quality accounts that will more likely bring revenue. When done right, you can improve win rates, increase contract value, boost client relationships, and align your sales and marketing teams. This can ultimately result in huge returns on investment and the success of your company. If you are looking for a service to curate a tailor-made strategy for your business, you can choose appointments.co.