To remain on top of the marketing world and generate revenue for your business, your marketers and salespeople must understand the difference between account-based marketing (ABM) and account-based selling (ABS). These two methods use different strategies and approaches when it comes to achieving the ultimate goal. JT can collaborate into a successful advantage, or sometimes it can conflict based on the methods. While both of these frameworks have differing purposes for focus, communication, operations, and targets, they can be used together for success and overall revenue.
For this guide, we are going to go through everything you need to know about account-based marketing and account-based sales.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic marketing approach in which a company first identifies a select group of essential accounts they think are most likely to buy and then creates an individualized marketing and sales campaign for each of these accounts to personalize each marketing interaction throughout the buying process.
In short, ABM begins at the other end of the funnel, the bottom part. That means you initiate with your target accounts, then work your way backward to develop content and campaigns targeted to these particular individuals at those companies. While it may seem like something that is bound to fail, this method has proven itself to work. According to statistics, 40% of companies that use ABM have plants to grow their efforts by a lot in the coming future.
While the strategies a company uses can vary depending on its target market, for the most part, ABM has something in common. This method is most effective for enterprise-level customers because of the amount of time and toll. Helps leverage automation to streamline the process, such as email follow-ups and lead generation automation. It builds a close and personal relationship with decision-makers in the market. Lastly, it requires the sales and marketing team to work together.
Instead of having to target people who work in financial institutions as a whole, ABM allows you to focus on companies that are your ideal customers. For sentence, you may track who visits your website or by researching prospects and then generate content and campaigns circumstantially made to that prospect.
It is one of the many things that makes account-based marketing different from other marketing tactics. Look at it this way, for a standard marketing strategy, you would write a blog post about how your product helps the company resolve an issue. You would promote that content by targeting people on social media platforms who work in the industry you are targeting.
Account-based marketing allows you to decide who you want to target and then conduct research to find out what they are concerned over. If you manage to discover what they are worried about, you can create content that addresses the issues.
Now that you understand what account-based marketing is let’s go over how you can implement the process. Here is a basic understanding of how your company can set up its own specific ABM.
Before you can even set up your strategy, you need to identify who your target audience is going to be. Begin by using visitor identifying tools to see who is visiting your website this shows a level of interest in your product or service. Furthermore, look into the tools you are already using for marketing, such as your email list and CRM for potential prospects.
Consider using places like Linkedin or AngelList to look for companies that are within your target audience. You could also use a search engine like Google to look them up as well. For instance, if you are targeting enterprise grocery stores, you can search “grocery store chains,” which should give you a decent result for brands, to begin with. Concentrate on high-value companies since these are the best for the ABM approach.
Once you have gathered a list of prospects, you need to start ranking them. The company website and platforms like Linkedin can be used to locate contact points. Linkedin has a Sales Navigator that is very useful for this, but you won’t require any specialized tools if you are willing to put in a bit of extra work.
For instance, if you go onto LinkedIn and search for Whole Food Market, you will get a list of people you can reach out to, such as marketing managers or human resources executive assistance. While people like the CEO may appear there, it is best to target someone a little lower since they are likely to be too busy to answer your emails.
Collect their names, email addresses, and questions they have asked in online communities or social media platforms and place the information onto a spreadsheet.
Now that you have a list of prospects, it is time to start ranking them. To rank them, consider which of these prospects you have listed has visited your site several times. Which of them have asked any questions indicating they are looking for a solution that is similar to what you are offering?
Depending on the contacts you have written down, which of them feel more attainable? For instance, let’s say your senior marketing managers shared one of your blog posts on social media or even asked a question on a forum or group. These are the leads that you should be reaching out to at first.
At this point, you know who your prospects are now you need to entice them over to yours.
This is the actual core of ABM, developing personalized content for your prospects. The content could be in the form of emails, blog posts, white papers, webinars, ebooks, and so forth. The purpose here is to address the problems the companies are dealing with or a particular issue that is preventing them from advancing.
With the excellent content you have finally finished creating, it time to hand it over to the prospect you have chosen. Begin by developing range and persona-specific campaigns, then personalize the approach for each of those channels and tiers. Since the content was created for a particular audience, you need to personalize the outreaching process as well.
Personalization is what makes account-based marketing so effective, after all. The methods you use to deliver the content could include email marketing, advertising, carefully targeted PPC ads, social media posting, and so forth. It all comes down to where your target audience is located the most.
Account-based selling (ABS) is a strategy that handles each account as a market of one. That strategy targets either the company or accounts, instead of a single lead or contact, within the company. With account-based selling, a business can identify a set of targeted accounts. It then has its marketing and sales department working together to give targeted content to contacts within the target accounts. That process is used to nurture them through the buyer’s funnel until they finally decide to become a customer.
ABS is effective due to it pleasing the interest and concerns of every stakeholder a part of the purchasing committee. In an age where personalization is required to make yourself shine through the crowded content environment, account-based selling grants the prospects informative content.
For ABS, the sales strategy has a somewhat similar approach to ABM, except that it concentrates on converting opportunities into new accounts, whereas ABM concentrates on building that opportunity. When companies erase the barriers between sales and marketing, they can then come together and collaborate on a strategy to fascinate and close high-value accounts.
When it comes to ABS, there is no exact one-size-fits-all approach, but there are several steps that are necessary to make it into a successful strategy. Here are some things you need to consider when setting up your model.
Identifying your ideal customer profile (ICP) is crucial for making a successful ABS. If you skip this process or poorly structure it, you could end up wasting tons of time and resources going after the wrong accounts. Here how you set up an ideal ICP.
Make sure to invoke stakeholders from every one of your departments so they can get a perspective from every side of the company. The sales manager and sales operation have the appropriate experience and are likely to convey the accounts that are suited best. Marketing has the most insight into customer pain points as they are steadily trying to tailor-make messages that address those problems. Customer success can advise you on which accounts need the shortest support and have the best experience with your brand.
Furthermore, you need to also use data points to further define your ICP, such as behavioral data, firmographic data, predictive analytics, and technographic data.
At this point, you should have identified your ICP. That means you need to start developing your pipeline or a list of the strategic accounts you wish to target. Not every one of your targets is going to be the same, so you need to create tiers for the level of effort and value to your company. Set them up by how large the target companies are from largest to smallest.
Now that you have identified your ideal accounts, you need to segment them by the essential stakeholders that you feel will be your best entry towards convincing them to purchase. Come up with a profile for each of your buyer's persona. It should include their pain points, goals, and involvement during the purchasing process.
This is a significant aspect for the success of determining which metrics you will be tracking and what your benchmarks for success are likely to be. For the top of your funnel, you need to track engagement metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and lead to opportunity conversion rates. Near the bottom of that funnel, as you close the sales, you want to track down the average customer acquisition cost, deal size, contract value, close-win rate, and lifetime value. Ideally, you want to see them rise over time.
The team you set up to handle your ABS strategy needs to include several members from multiple departments, such as marketing, account management, sales, and customer support.
The roles required for this include accounting executives who are in charge of providing you with a strategy for account acquisition and work directly with the prospect during the closing process of the ABS.
Account managers will be communicating between the team and support the customer's account, all while addressing any issues that may occur. Sales development reps are the ones in charge of researching the accounts, compiling the CRM data, and performing initial outreach to stakeholders. Lastly, your marketing strategist should be the one developing the messaging playbook and campaign marketing strategy that targets accounts and keeps track of performance metrics.
With everything from the previous steps taken care of, you need to start getting their attention and begin a conversation with them. For this part, you need to make sure that your channels and tactics are hyper-personalized to each of your targeted accounts.
Personalized interactions are the main appeal of developing a differentiated customer experience, and they are also a fundamental aspect for an effective account-centric marketing strategy. The ABS team is going to need to think their content strategy through if they want to leverage these crucial insights.
Account-based marketing and account-based selling offer companies a different way to target the decision-makers of a specific industry. If you are trying to reach out to people in the eCommerce industry, for example, either of these strategies could work depending on varying aspects of the companies. Intro.so is an excellent solution that offers your team the opportunity to reach out to these prospects and make a connection with them that should open doors for your business. If you are planning to use either of these strategies, then Intro.so can assist you with these endeavors.