Marketing

Launching And Scaling an Effective ABM For Your B2B

You are a B2B (business-to-business) marketer and you’ve not integrated ABM (account-based marketing), then something is definitely wrong and needs fixing right away. In a world where B2B marketers are facing stiff opposition from their competitors, every marketer should utilize the ace from the pack.

You are expected to play your best hand and not hide behind a finger. B2B marketing thrives on information gathered about the customer and what better way to utilize the data than account-based marketing. 97% of marketers say ABM approaches have resulted in higher ROIs than other marketing initiatives.

Of what use is any data to you if you can’t use the information to target the customer? Focusing attention on a given account allows marketing and sales teams to be more effective in their efforts so that they stop beating about the bush and chasing dead-end leads which consume time and other resources.

There is always the “these guys actually know me feeling” about buyers when you send them a personalized message. Any time you hit on their pain points, they appreciate your concern and feel like your company understands them, and that translates to easier sales.

With humans spewing out data to the tune of about 1.7 megabytes of new information being created every second for every human being on the planet by the year 2020, you can’t be having any problem in “harvesting” data. You have all the tools to launch an ABM for your B2B.

The advancement in technology with live chats and chatbots also makes the integration of conversational marketing into your ABM for the purposes of scaling an easier task. You have all it takes to give 24/7 service to your customers who also have graduated to asking where, how, and when.

Before embarking on an ABM campaign, however, you need to put in place the following strategic steps in order to have an effective outcome.

1. Create an authentic target account list

To ensure the ABM your want to launch would be effective, there is every need to create a target account. You must ascertain that the list is comprehensive in that both sales and marketing must make inputs.

Your list can only be valuable if it has the right accounts with the most potential for your B2B. The success of your ABM depends on the accuracy of these target accounts.

The more data you are able to lay your hands on (such as the ideal revenue, size, location, and key business challenges), the easier it is for you to come up with an effective ABM strategy that fits the principal needs of your customer. The amount of data you have about your customer determines your ability to have an all-inclusive understanding of your potential customer from varying perspectives (sales and marketing).

2. Marketing and sales alignment

The mistake most organizations make is to allow sales and marketing to operate independently and often at crossroads to each other. Marketing tends to focus more on lead generation, thereby caring more about quantity, sales, on the other hand, place their focus on lead conversion, ending up caring more about quality.

While you may believe that marketing is the key driver of ABM, marketing, sales, and even operations need to be working together at every single stage of the funnel. All necessary hands must be on deck for an effective ABM.

A survey by SiriusDecisions, reports that 24 percent faster revenue growth and 27 percent faster profit growth over a three-year period can be achieved by B2B organizations if there is proper alignment between sales and marketing. Develop a Service-Level Agreement (SLA) between them, a weekly meeting in which sales and marketing leaders meet to review and update their strategies is not out of place.

3. Live-chatting your customers

The advancement in technology has really brought out the best in customers. They are no longer willing to swallow anything you try to stuff down their throats line, hook, and sinker.

Customers have started asking where, when, and how. They want you to be available 24/7 to answer their questions and address their pain points.

Fortunately for B2B marketers, the development of chatbots has made it possible for you to attend to customers around the clock. Chatbots can live-chat your customers just the way humans do and even better because they don’t have any cause to go on breaks, take holidays, or call in sick.

They are very consistent and that is the reason over 100,000 businesses are using them to deliver messages to consumers faster. Chatbots will be very handy in the scaling ABM for your B2B.

4. Define an approach

It’s highly relevant that you define the approach you want to use for your targeting. Fundamentally, there are the one-to-one, one-to-few, and one-to-many approaches, while you may one to go for only one of them, a blend may be necessary.

A one-to-one approach will be highly resources involving. You should always focus on achieving your primary purpose of reputation, relationship, and revenue (the three Rs) of strategic marketing. So a mix of practices may become essential for you to achieve your aim.

5. Steps to measure performance

You must at the onset put in place quality-focused metrics that show business outcomes, including win/loss rates, funnel velocity, and customer lifetime value (LTV). Measurement should take place at every stage of the process to quickly discover when things are going in the wrong direction.

ABM is not an option for a B2B company, it’s the magic wand, putting the round peg in the round hole, ROI spinning machine, and a must do.

Photo Credit: GmanViz Flickr via Compfight cc

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About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
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