A high-quality account list is crucial to the success of an ABM campaign. This helps marketers to convince more people to make a purchase.
In recent years, account-based marketing has been experiencing a return in popularity thanks to the rise of B2B companies, personalization trends, and marketing and sales alignment.
It’s a smart approach for many companies because it allows marketers and sales professionals to analyze and target high-value accounts through highly personalized campaigns instead of going after a wide audience pool. This shortens the company’s sales cycle, boosts profits, and reduces costs. In fact, around half of the companies that switched to ABM claim their ROI increased twofold when compared to more traditional approaches.
But, maintaining relationships with high-value accounts is not an easy job, even for experienced sales professionals. Numerous factors need to considered, including account planning and cataloging, team alignment, quick problem-solving solutions, client satisfaction management, and KPIs.
In this article, we’ll share 11 tactics that you can use to get a better grip on ABM and drive growth by building long-lasting relationships with just the right accounts for your business.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
In 2022 there are two major trends to watch out for: personalization and artificial intelligence. B2B companies are increasingly leveraging AI to predict changes in consumer demand, identify patterns in their buyers’ journey, and find growth opportunities. On top of that, hyper targeting high-value accounts by offering a highly personalized experience builds trust between the company and the customers, increases the ROIs, and aligns the sales and marketing efforts, which results in improved customer retention and satisfaction.
Because of this, many of the following tactics involve using technology, personalization, and new ABM strategies to drive growth to your B2B company.
First things first, you must create a precise target account list, which is the foundation of the effectiveness of all your future efforts and activities to build relationships with your target accounts.
Account lists may contain clients you have already worked with in the past or clients you want to work with in the future, based on detailed classification factors. Either way, they should reflect the characteristics of your ideal audience. And, to achieve that, you’ll need to rely on customer insights and detailed buyer personas for your segmented market.
However, businesses do not always have all the necessary information to create a detailed and precise account list. In this case, it’s best to collaborate with a service provider (such as B2B intent data provider) to create a target list.
Intent data providers give insights to companies about the purchase intent of their web users. In other words, intent data reveals whether and when a prospect is actively considering buying your product or service.
Together, the information from your buyer personas and intent data will give you everything you need to create valuable account lists and reach out to prospects who are actually ready to make a purchase.
One of the reasons why a high-quality account list is crucial to the success of an ABM campaign is that it guides marketers to invest time and effort into prospects that are most likely to do business with you. And that is also the ultimate goal in sales in general - convincing more people to make a purchase - measured through conversion rates and/or won deal ratio.
However, you won’t get closer to that goal if you waste your resources on a broad audience in which only a small percentage of accounts are viable sales opportunities. Instead, you need to leverage the power of hyper-targeting to send the right message to the right people in a place where they’re most likely to see it.
In some ways, hyper-targeting can also be described as one-to-one marketing or strategic ABM. Here, marketers create and execute highly-customized campaigns for individual accounts, which is why each marker is usually assigned one (sometimes a few) account(s) to manage. The activities of marketers working on hyper-targeted accounts include monitoring social media activities, tracking changes, evaluating engagement, building relationships, communicating through multiple channels, and being available for any questions or concerns the account might have.
Relevance and personalization are important components of account-based marketing. This is because ABM is a very narrow approach to marketing. It pursuits only a few carefully selected accounts that have the potential to scale your businesses. And while that approach has its rewards, low conversion rates can kill your business here more than anywhere else. Therefore, you need to invest in personalization and make those accounts feel special and important.
With these numbers, it becomes clear that one of the best ways to support your ABM campaigns is to offer your clients a personalized user experience and make them feel special and important.
Since we concluded that personalization is important, let’s discuss other ways to personalize your ABM approach: tailored content, content syndication, and personalized advertising.
One strategy for personalization is to tailor content marketing campaigns by developing offers that are made specifically for a given target account. Personalizing content makes potential accounts feel like your company understands them and knows what they need, and gives them a chance to see how your products or services might meet those needs. You’ll capture their attention and position your brand as an authority within the industry.
Additionally, you can try to use content syndication to add depth and immediacy of information for your subscribers. On top of that, syndication increases exposure. With syndication, you may pass relevant information to channel partners and reach new audiences that find it useful.
Finally, another aspect of personalization is targeting high-value accounts with personalized ads (personalized copy). According to statistics on personalization, brands that invest in advanced, personalized marketing campaigns increase ROI by 200%. We can explain these results by reasoning that personalized ads reach accounts that find your products or services relatable and useful. So, naturally, they’re much more encouraged to interact with your brand after seeing your advertisement.
Although ABM has many benefits, its most well-known drawback is the long sales cycle during which a lot of accounts may lose interest and fall out of the marketing funnel. To prevent that from happening, you can use account-based retargeting to keep your prospects warm.
Account-based retargeting is a great B2B solution for giving your marketing efforts an extra boost and staying on top of your prospects’ minds. When done properly, it can increase conversion rates up to 43%.
Retargeting software for B2B companies, such as Criteo, can add a unique cookie tracker to your visitors’ IP addresses, which allows them to later display your ad or content when those users are browsing the web. Now, this is especially useful when you want to target higher-level executives and other decision-makers who are likely to research your brand and products on the web - not just the ones that you have immediate contact with.
One thing to note here is that account-based retargeting (ABR) is not the same as traditional retargeting of individual visitors, which is not really effective for B2B companies and ABM strategies.. ABR works by creating a single company account that includes everyone (or carefully selected individuals) who work there - especially C-level executives. Then, you can retarget company accounts and the people who work there instead of individual visitors.
Social intelligence arms you with knowledge about your accounts which accelerates account-based marketing processes. So, it’s only natural that gaining insights into the intent of executives is a key tactic in ABM.
Knowing the intent of executives and decision-makers puts you in a position of power where you can customize your sales strategy, and be more relatable, trustworthy, and persuasive when you interact with decision-makers.
Social intelligence, insights, or intent data in this context go way beyond the information needed to create buyer personas and account lists, as previously discussed. We’re talking about researching an account after you qualify them as a viable sales opportunity - an ongoing process that continues even after a prospect becomes an account.
How to gather social intelligence?
Today, when everyone has an online presence, the easiest way to gather current insights about accounts is by keeping up with them on social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Also, keeping an eye out (setting up notifications) for news and articles that reference them is another valuable source.
For instance, on LinkedIn, you can easily find out who the decision-makers are through their professional roles in the company. There, you can find information about their background, education, interests, and recent activities.
Unfortunately, this activity is grossly overlooked by many companies because it takes valuable time away from direct selling. Around 88% of sales leaders believe they missed a chance to close a deal because there was either lack of information or information overload (mismanaged and unorganized information). To prevent such scenarios, power your ABM strategy with sales intelligence.
ABM strategies focus on marketing to C-level executives who actually have the power to make a purchasing decision. Reaching them is harder than engaging low-level employees, but with the right tools and tactics, you can launch a powerful C-level campaign that will help you build close relationships with them.
Here are a few ways to reach and win over C-level executives:
When you’re trying to engage decision-makers, you’ll find that multichannel communication is probably the most effective tactic to keep up with all of their activities and be always available to them. If executives use a variety of communication platforms, that means that you should too.
For instance, the majority of B2B buyers routinely use niche social networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Although, when you start talking to business, more direct channels of communication are much more appropriate. In this sense, B2B marketers may also communicate with decision-makers via text messaging, video conferencing, emails, and direct mail. Sometimes even, you'll find the most important people on forums or communication platforms such as Slack, Discord, and the like. Finally, meeting executives in person is always a good option.
To conclude, when it comes to online communication, the possibilities are endless. And although there are several dominant channels for B2B companies, such as LinkedIn and emails, having a multi-channel communication strategy is the only thing that really makes sense in 2022.
In one of our previous articles, we discussed the benefits of aligning your marketing and sales teams and how to best achieve the alignment. There are many reasons to want to completely align these two departments, especially if you’re driving growth through an ABM strategy - one of them being increasing the effectiveness of your ABM campaigns.
You can make your ABM strategies and campaigns more effective by joining the forces of sales and marketing. This means fusing together their expectations, goals, standards, and processes in a way that allows leads to be processed more seamlessly, effectively, and quickly. Alignment removes any frictions in the buyer’s journey when they move from marketing representatives to sales executives.
For the company, that translates to higher conversions, faster sales cycles, fewer mistakes, and more transparent communication across departments.
For B2B companies with an ABM strategy, alignment is even more important because the longer sales cycle means a lot of people will be involved with the process of bringing in a new account. Salespeople are almost always included, but if you exclude marketers for the campaigns, you’ll be losing on both sides. Marketers need sales professionals to get better insights about accounts and target them better, while sellers need marketers to better understand how the prospects have interacted with the brand so far. Together, marketers and sellers will be able to drive your account-based processes much more efficiently.
Influencer marketing is not a new trend, but using B2B influencers as part of an ABM strategy is definitely an innovative tactic that is slowly becoming mainstream.
Companies realized that just like there are influencers who are followed by a large mass of people, there are also niche experts and prominent industry leads that are influential in a particular professional niche. These people have the power to influence the opinion of entrepreneurs, C-level executives, and many other decision-makers - something that B2B businesses can leverage.
When you properly identify and partner with professional influences within your industry, you can expect the following benefits:
Traditional influencer marketing is not exactly the same as B2B influencer marketing, but they both have something in common: they’re incredibly rewarding for brand awareness, reputation, and even sales.
According to the State of B2B Influencer Marketing Report, around 75% of marketers believe that collaboration with experts in the field improves customer experience.
Last but not least, let’s talk about automation. Research suggests that ABM delivers higher ROI and conversions, thanks to personalization and automation.
Marketing automation refers to the technological tools, such as CRMs, that manage large marketing campaigns and complex processes with massive amounts of data and long account lists.
On top of that, automation is a great tool for achieving hyper-targeting and personalization in your ABM campaigns.
The main benefits of ABM automation is that it makes your acquisition strategies scalable (promoting growth), shortens sales cycles, allows the sales and marketing team to align better, as well as opens better retention opportunities.
Here’s how to use marketing automation to drive ABM processes:
On the market, you can find many different marketing automation tools with different features and functionalities. We recommend starting with a free tool and then slowly progressing toward something more inclusive as your needs grow.
Account-based marketing is a wonderful approach for B2B businesses that want to focus on high-value accounts that can help the company grow and scale. It has a narrow focus because it’s all about quality over quantity. With only a handful of prospects in your hands, this means that marketers and sales professionals need to work that much harder to successfully close a deal.
Hopefully, with our advice, you’ll have no problem driving your account-based processes in 2023. By creating precise account lists and using hyper-targeting to find accounts that are actually worth it, and personalizing marketing ads and C-level campaigns, your teams should be ready to take the wheel into their hands and start implementing these tactics.
Of course, depending on the nature of your business and the industry you’re in, you can always pick and choose the tactics that you believe will best suit your ongoing initiatives.
However, if you’re unsure what’s the best tactic to invest your resources in, schedule a call through Redware. Our team of growth experts will contact you for far more personalized advice.
In the meantime, you can keep reading our blog because we have a lot more coming up. To stay on top of new releases, subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll keep you informed.