Last updated on August 17th, 2017 at 11:15 am
Since the inception of B2B marketing, marketers would create content and campaigns that were intended to gather as many leads as possible, and then hope that some of these leads would be turned into high-quality customers.
But the recent rise of martech (marketing technology) has necessitated changes in the way modern B2B marketers engage customers.
After learning the shocking statistic that fewer than one percent of leads become customers, Sangram Vajre decided to focus on this area of martech.
Although account-based marketing (ABM) has been around for years, many B2B professionals are just becoming aware of the innovative quality-over-quantity sales development strategy.
With many pros needing help in getting started, Vajre, the co-founder and CMO of Terminus – a leading provider of ABM software – authored Account-Based Marketing for Dummies, A First How-to Book on ABM for B2B Marketers.
Although Vajre will undoubtedly help scores of marketers in B2B with his book, one of his peak moments in the publishing process didn’t come from this community at all.
“My five(-year-old) called me author, which made me super proud,” said Vajre in a recent live-tweet interview with B2B News Network president Jen Evans.
He said that although marketers need to respect that the buyers are in control and want to engage on their terms, this statistic has to (and can) be fixed. “I can’t imagine marketers keeping their jobs if they can’t help sales close more deals,” he said. “B2B marketers should make sure they don’t become a statistic and challenge the status quo.”
ABM enables marketers to create content and campaigns that target only the best-fit accounts, he said.
He suggests that marketers start with their current prospects and opportunities and making a list. “You’ll be surprised at how much more time, energy and resources you have once you list the B2B accounts you want to go after,” he said.
For a marketer considering the switch, Vajre suggested getting alignment on the goals.
“Abolish vanity metrics like clicks, leads,” he said. “There are BS metrics like the number of leads generated, open rates, etc.,” he said. “Measuring or slicing the data in different ways won’t change the results. We should focus on making money, not reporting on numbers.”
One of the most common questions Vajre gets is about whether ABM will work for small or mid-size companies.
The answer, he said, is always yes.
“Smaller sales teams are optimal, in my opinion,” he said. “Tighter handle in specialized worldviews allow deeper interactions.”
The key to doing it successfully is knowing who your target audience is, and the way you go about doing ABM might change dramatically based on the number of target companies.
He acknowledges that ABM requires more upfront work, including getting the right data and identifying best-fit accounts.
“From there, it’s about focus,” he said, quoting Abraham Lincoln: “‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree. I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.’ That’s how we should think,” he said.
“It’s simple, but not easy. ABM is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s not about quick wins. It’s about doing what matters,” he said.
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