In recent years, there’s been a significant resurgence in account-based marketing, and for good reason. ABM has historically shown a higher ROI, better success measurement capabilities, and improved customer retention. Companies that aren’t already using an ABM model are becoming more compelled to as their competition adopts this successful practice.
Shifting to an ABM strategy requires time and dedication to ease the transition. However, this collaborative sales and marketing strategy fits seamlessly with the broader marketing trends of hyper-personalization and data-driven decision-making.
Here are five tips to successfully implement an account-based marketing strategy.
Leverage Your Data
The foundation of account based marketing lies in collecting and leveraging data. First, you require data to determine which accounts offer the highest opportunity for a tailored approach and what specific problems you need to solve for your customers. Data also plays a role in understanding the key decision-makers, motivations, and expectations of a target customer.
Data is also the connection point through which sales and marketing can come together to determine which targets hold the most merit and devise the most effective approach to secure the account. It’s integral to understand that both qualitative and quantitative data play pivotal roles in ABM. Hard numbers and facts help narrow down potential targets, but finessing a sale takes a human approach.
Prioritize Proactive Customer Service
Proactive customer service is another burgeoning trend in the world of B2B marketing. While it already has a strong hold in SaaS marketing strategies and product-based B2C sales efforts, incorporating proactive customer service techniques can help improve success in ABM efforts.
As transparency and authenticity are essential for success in ABM, proactive customer service fits nicely into the overall strategy. With proactive customer service, companies are forthcoming about challenges and issues, often anticipating problems before they occur, and offering solutions.
The idea is to help your customer before they’re even aware they have a challenge. One example would be offering in-depth onboarding tutorials and webinars to enhance customer adoption of a B2B software platform. Another would be collecting frequently asked questions and incorporating them into sales copy.
Ensuring a proactive customer service framework is in place is essential for success when implementing ABM for a B2B enterprise.
Set Clear Metrics and KPIs
As mentioned, one of the benefits of ABM is the ease in defining success metrics. As you navigate this process, set clear goals and success metrics to measure progress.
Some key metrics to consider include:
- Time to close (pipeline velocity)
- Account coverage
- Engagement and influence
- Retention and churn
As you navigate this process, you may require additional tools in your tech stack or expert support in collecting and analyzing data. Additionally, you may determine that consultation is required for turning the collected data into actionable improvement strategies.
Shape a Collaborative Company Culture
Sales and marketing teams have always had significant overlap, despite largely working in silos. While buzzwords like “synergy” have thankfully been left in the past, collaboration and support are a must for ABM success.
One of the most significant changes and long-term needs for ABM is the cultivation of collaborative company culture. This means breaking down barriers between sales and marketing teams and ensuring everyone is working in sync.
Cultural change has a trickle-down effect from the top. Get leadership engaged and proactive in supporting these changes with consultation from human resources. Create alignment between the teams and focus on a common goal; with ABM, everybody wins.
Invest in Training
Changing processes in an organization is challenging. The renewed focus on proactive customer service and data-driven decision-making will leave many sales and marketing team members feeling overwhelmed. The best way to overcome these barriers and streamline the process is to invest in training and skills development.
Account-based marketers and sales leads need empathy, active listening, and problem-solving soft skills to build strong customer relationships. Providing advanced training for key players in your strategy will help improve your chances of success.
Implementing an ABM strategy takes time and dedication, but your organization can transition effectively with these core focal points.
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