Account based marketing, a new way to go?
Two indispensable methods to connect with your customers
The landscape of marketing and sales is progressing rapidly unlike any time before. And with great changes come equally great challenges, the main challenge being how to zoom in on the needs of your individual customers who now have a lot more say in their buyers journey. Currently, two methods are coming to prominence-social selling and account-based marketing.
What is ABM?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach to business marketing in which the vendor treats a large existing or potential customer as being in a market by itself. The rigor, focus and personalization used to tailor a sales engagement process for a market sector is applied to just one customer organization. This calls for a highly-targeted mindset from the seller and also demands for close cooperation between marketing and sales. This requires herculean effort from the vendor, but the results can consequently be significantly greater, in the form of:
- Larger volume of opportunity identification
- Higher sales conversion rates
- Increased deal size
- Better customer account control
- Longer revenue streamsCompared to traditional sales process, with ABM you are using a magnifying glass rather than a telescope to survey a customer account for opportunities and this is where Social Selling comes in.No ABM without social sellingThere can be no smoke without fire and likewise, no ABM without social selling, these techniques are interdependent upon the success and efficacy of the other. Therefore, it is vital to implement social selling at every stage of the buyers journey. Here’s how to do that:
ABM works differently from standard marketing approaches. As we have already established, it is individual driven but the manner in which content is delivered is markedly different too. Here, rather than simply trying to get your message across, the aim is to tailor your marketing to what your target desires. What issues are they having? Where can gaps be filled? How can they get the best value so much so that they choose your product over other existing ones?
Focusing on the people that influence purchases within a company saves a great deal of time. The actual number of influencers is usually very small. Once you find them, your next step is to provide them with engaging content. Thankfully this is much easier in the age of social media where you can read what they are saying and keep tabs on the content they themselves like to share.
B2B salespeople increasingly apply a popular technique for strong buyer/seller relations known as the ‘360-degree customer view’. What does this mean? It’s the process of keeping updated with your customer interactions and making sure your company knows them too. In fact, even negative feedback can be very useful in achieving the 360-degree view. Any kind of feedback or communication is a key to how to tailor your content and when best to deliver it to clients.
Like all things, ABM requires the right skills and understanding of your prospects. You will need to invest to get ROI, your team will need the appropriate training and intelligent software that gets results.
The 5 basic steps for social selling as suggested by LinkedIn apply equally to ABM even when dealing with individuals “Create a professional brand: Establish a professional presence on LinkedIn with a complete profile that showcases your experience and increases your credibility. Find the right people: Researching social information to prepare for sales conversations.”
Social selling experience isn’t just advantageous, it is essential to implement productive and profit-making ABM. This is a fact attested to by the best marketers in both fields. The consensus when it comes to advice is make your message relevant, find your best long term customers, make your audience feel special, find that sweet spot where you can add value to their business and be sure to use the right channels.
Other things you can do to maximise your own benefit is to have proper measures in place to get the best ROI. Have a long and a short term plan for measuring your results. Do bear in mind the importance of having a creative strategy as well as a financial one or in other words, ensure your sales and your marketing is fully aligned.
If you want to give your customers what they deserve and don’t have the experience to implement a productive and profit-making ABM, in combination with an effective Social Selling supporting strategy, we are happy to advice you and share information during a consultative meeting.
Our CEO is willing to plan a free consultation, and guide you in turning words into reality.
About the Author:
Peter Rovers is CEO of 2MARK-IT a global Social Selling training, consultancy and enablement firm.