So you’re looking for a marketing strategy that can help you land big ticket accounts at lower acquisition costs.. and you’ve settled on account based marketing.
Before you dive in,use this checklist to assess whether ABM is a good fit for your organization:
If you check all four of these boxes, your sales process is tailor-made for an account-based approach.
- Our sales process requires dedicated sales reps or account managers
Dedicated account managers are a good indicator that you care about nurturing potential clients until they convert. ABM empowers these customer success advocates with a nurture process that helps more prospects flow through to the bottom the sales funnel.
- At least three people are involved in our customers’ purchasing decisions
ABM is great at communicating with multiple decision makers at the customer end. Leading them through personalised content paths on the buyer journey guides them separately to the same destination – you.
- Our sales cycles are long and/or complex
B2B sales typically have longer sales cycles, especially when they are complex. Since there are usually costs associated with submitting proposals as part of complex sales, it is best to adopt a strategy with higher conversion & win rates.
- Our average contract value is large enough to justify spending more time and resources on key accounts
High average contract/purchase value or lifetime value ensures that the time & resources spent on key accounts provide high value returns. Such sales are also likely to have greater scope for expansion, discussed below.
Business Goals and Challenges
Account-based marketing supports three key areas of business growth: acquisition, acceleration, and expansion. If you check one or more boxes in any of these three categories, ABM can help.
- We’re struggling to generate high-quality leads
In an ABM approach, actions taken by prospects are monitored & scored to reflect their engagement with you. Thus only leads who are most responsive get qualified for a sales approach.
- We need more efficient tactics for breaking into enterprise accounts
- Nurturing leads takes time & personalised effort. ABM dedicates this effort towards key accounts, offering lower customer acquisition cost (CAC).
- We’re launching a new product or selling into a new market
In situations like these, you need to educate potential customers before attempting a sale. Focus your nurture on those who are climbing the awareness ladder. Adopting ABM right from scratch helps you minimise wasted time & resources.
- We have a repository of “dead” opportunities in our database that we don’t know what to do with
Just because a prospect isn’t immediately ready to make a purchase doesn’t mean you need to bury them. Use ABM to bring them back on the buyer journey and score their response. Make a pitch when the time is right, and you may just bring the dead back to life!
- We have valuable opportunities stuck in our sales pipeline
Someone stuck along the sales pipeline is likely on-the-fence regarding a purchase, needing a little nudge. Identify which stage of the pipeline they’re at, and provide the right ‘nurture’ content to earn their trust. An ABM approach has higher conversion & win rates – your prospects land on your side of the fence.
- Our sales team is struggling to reach the right people at their accounts
Finding a way into the inbox of your buying center might be easy – but so is ending up in ‘spam’. Adopt an omnichannel approach to increase recall, and ensure that your content is personalised to each key decision maker.
- We want to increase customer retention and decrease churn
Increasing customer retention is a great way to boost your top line, since ‘acquisition’ costs are around 20% that of new customers. Decreasing churn helps improve your brand’s reputation as well.
- We have the opportunity to upsell existing customers to increase average contract values
If you’re a business with multiple products, ABM helps you spread awareness of them among existing customers. Apply business intelligence to determine the right buying center & design contextual content for their journey.
- We have enterprise customers with cross-sell potential
Enterprises typically have multiple business units, each with its own ecosystem. Use a targeted approach to leverage the trustworthiness of existing engagement to drive more sales with ABM.
If your wider team isn’t prepared for ABM, your account-based strategy is less likely to succeed. Make sure you socialize ABM across your organization to get key leadership onboard with your pilot program.
Remember: you don’t need to be perfect to get started; you just need to be aligned.
- We have buy-in from marketing and sales leadership to run an ABM program
In an ABM approach, marketing & sales work hand-in-hand from start to finish. Each hand must therefore know what the other’s needs are & adapt accordingly.
For example, creation of a ‘named list’ of target businesses is a vital cog of the process. The quality of this list directly affects the success of the campaign, so having buy-in from leadership is a must.
- We can dedicate a portion of our marketing budget to our target account list
If you’ve checked a lot of the boxes above, you already understand that this approach is great at landing big ticket sales. Setting aside a budget for targeting key accounts delivers high RoI.
- We are prepared to track and measure target accounts using account-based metrics
“More reports? No thank you.” – If this sounds like you, might as well forget it. You may pick your targets or design the best content paths. But if you’re unwilling to track their progress or trigger timely responses, your leads will grow cold & unresponsive quicker than you imagine.