What B2B marketing strategy works the best? According to 73% of B2B marketers, account-based marketing exceeded their expectations. And another 37% say it offers a clearer path to ROI.
So if you’re on the border about using ABM to grow your B2B company, then now it’s a great time to cross over. More businesses are using it to attract and cultivate long-term relationships with their best customers.
But how do you run an ABM campaign efficiently?
You can begin with implementing the top account-based marketing best practices.
Let’s jump right to it.
Use Data to Drive Decisions About High-Value Accounts
A successful account-based marketing campaign focuses on your best customers. These are high-value accounts responsible for the majority of the organization’s revenue. If your business model relies on recurring income, then these are your long-standing accounts. They may also upgrade or purchase other services over time.
To find your high-value accounts, you need data (not just anecdotal data from marketing or sales teams—although it helps). Use your CRM and sales tools to identify these accounts. Then pinpoint the similarities between them to develop your ideal customer profile (ICP).
This includes commonalities in firmographic, geographic, and behavioral data. Don’t just look at deal size alone—consider all factors to find a trend. If you can see a pattern, then odds are you can capitalize on it with ABM.
Identify Key Stakeholders to Market to Directly
Targeting the boss’s boss isn’t always the best choice in marketing. To boost the odds of getting a response (let alone a sale), focus on stakeholders directly connected to the decision-making process. Although these individuals don’t complete the transaction, they’re the ones bringing up the conversations and convincing higher-ups to make the purchase.
So if you sell a sales platform, then target the VP of sales. Your approach will be drastically different than if you targeted the CEO. For instance, to capture the interest of the VP of sales, you’d focus on their pain points in the sales department and how your product is the solution.
This may be improving the speed to lead time or sales pipeline.
The CEO doesn’t feel those pain points daily, so you’d have to play into their desires— increased sales, decreased customer turnover rates, and rapid growth.
Select Your Target Accounts
Deciding which accounts to target in your ABM campaign shouldn’t involve guesswork. As with all steps in this process, you need data to make an informed decision. Here’s a look at some of the factors to consider as you’re selecting your target accounts:
- Ideal customer profile: Take a look at your ICP to see who’s a good match from your current target account list. Maybe you should target homebuilders instead of homeowners because they make up more of your high-value accounts.
- Product fit: Which companies can use your product or service? Look outside of those in your ICP to see if you’re missing an industry that’s a good match. It needs to have a strong selling case. Otherwise, you’ll waste time attempting to close deals instead of closing them.
- CRM data: Look at your CRM to analyze historical data—which companies show high engagement and closed deals? Use this to identify your high-value accounts.
- Deal size: Check to see which accounts offer the biggest deal closings across the board. One-time large purchases don’t count—there needs to be a consistent pattern.
Using this information, pinpoint which accounts to target in your account-based marketing strategy.
Create a Personalized Customer Journey
With your ideal client profile in hand, you have the information to develop personalized customer experiences throughout their buying journey. So when your ICP reaches your site, they should feel they’re in the right place. Your copy and offer should speak to them enough to perform additional research or convert.
If they’re not ready to convert, use a popup that appears after several minutes, asking them to download a relevant whitepaper or case study. Then within that case study, you can point to a product page and blog posts with additional information.
More businesses are adding chatbots to their websites to answer common questions their target stakeholder has.
If you have a blog filled with high-value, educational content on topics relating to their pain points, use it as a resource. It’s a key component in taking stakeholders from curious to interested. You can also retarget stakeholders who leave without converting using ad remarketing.
The goal is to have content that caters to your target accounts at each stage of the buyer’s journey. So always include relevance and context to ensure you’re touching on your target buyer’s unique needs, pain points, and challenges.
Choose the Right Marketing Channels for Your ABM Campaigns
You’re creating content for your ideal customers. But how will you ensure they see it? It depends on the channels you use. If you’re publishing or sharing content on mediums they don’t visit, then you won’t generate results.
In your ideal customer profile, include information about the social networks, websites, and even podcasts they frequent. Then identify which channels to publish to. Maybe you can make a guest appearance on a popular B2B podcast or publish a guest post on a niche industry blog.
Consider reaching out to your accounts via social media networks. For example, if you’re connecting with a VP of sales, then LinkedIn InMail may be optimal. Yet, if you’re reaching out to a graphic artist, then a DM on Pinterest may be a better choice.
Don’t select the channels without hard data proving your audience uses them regularly.
Align Marketing & Sales Teams
Your ABM campaign won’t get far if sales and marketing teams aren’t aligned. All stakeholders need to be on board with the ABM strategy to make it work. This is critical to creating a holistic and personalized experience for accounts.
Take, for example, a target company downloading a whitepaper and then reaching out to sales through the chatbot. Both marketing and sales teams should see the two interactions and know where the lead is in their journey.
The download will tell the salesperson their interest and needs, so they can make a better offer. And maybe even point them to other relevant content that answers their questions. This may be a blog post or eBook explicitly created for this moment by marketing.
Define Your ABM Campaign Goals
Throwing together an ABM campaign isn’t going to deliver consistent results. You need a data-driven plan backed by defined company goals. Not only will it drive your business forward, it’ll determine what metrics to measure to monitor performance.
So if your business goal is to increase your email list by 30% in six months, then monitor the rate of visitors downloading your eBooks and guides. Then if the secondary goal is to increase revenue by 10% in that time frame, you can attribute sales from the leads within your email campaign.
When setting your ABM campaign goals, make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T.:
- Specific: What exactly do I want my organization to achieve?
- Measurable: How am I measuring progress towards achieving these objectives?
- Attainable: Is there anything stopping me from meeting my objective?
- Relevant: Does my objective align with our overall strategic direction?
- Timely: When does my objective need to happen?
If you’re not clear about why you’re doing something, then chances are you won’t succeed. With S.M.A.R.T. goals, you can design an ABM campaign that delivers relevant results for the company.
Build an ABM Team
Having ABM alignment across departments is the first step. The next is to have teams from each dedicated to creating and bringing your ABM campaign to fruition. Your marketers can design content that answers the questions key accounts frequently ask sales. And then provide them to sales teams to share on sales calls.
Sales enablement is key to taking a highly-qualified lead and turning them into a long-term customer. And the same goes for customer success and support. Everyone needs to work together to proactively create personalized content and experiences for target audiences.
Hold regular meetings or gather information to share to help marketers deliver content that makes their roles easier.
Ideally, your ABM team should consist of several sales reps, a marketer, and a member from customer support. This way, everyone has input into crafting marketing and sales collateral that’s resonant with target accounts.
Attract & Build Relationships from High-Quality Accounts
In B2B, you sell products and services to businesses. But who within that business do you conduct ongoing communications with? You need to identify the contact for each account you service and target in your ABM campaign.
The goal is to classify who to attract based on your product or service. If you’re targeting VP of Sales, then be sure to look for these contacts within the organizations you cater to. From there, reach out and start conversations that are relevant and helpful.
You don’t want to engage in sales talk right away. Use your communications to learn more about the contact and their needs.
So how do you open communication with contacts? Try finding them on LinkedIn and engaging in the comments section of their posts. Then send a connection with a note complimenting work they did or achievements they made.
You can also send a corporate gift to surprise and delight them. Sending Platforms like Sendoso will even handwrite a note to personalize it.
Other account-based marketing tactics include:
- Distributing content from your blog, podcast, or other mediums you publish to
- Create targeted ad campaigns on social media and Google
- Invite your contacts to digital events and ask them to invite colleagues or others they know
- Sponsor a booth at a target account’s event
The goal is to forge strong relationships with the account’s decision-makers. This process takes time—sometimes months or even years. But it’s worth the wait, and the journey helps you learn intel to further improve your ABM campaigns.
Measure & Analyze Your ABM Results
All marketing activities require ongoing monitoring and iterations. What works once may not work again, so consistently switch up your methods. When you closely monitor and analyze your campaigns, you can catch when your marketing efforts aren’t performing as expected.
But what exactly should you measure in your ABM campaign? Here are several account-based marketing KPIs to gather insights from:
- Deals created
- Account engagement
- Account penetration (adding net new contacts to an account)
- Time to close deals
- Percentage of deals closed
- Net-new revenue
You’ll have to run your ABM campaign for at least 30 to 60 days to have enough data to evaluate your campaign’s effectiveness.
Learn How Sendoso Can Help Boost Your ABM Strategy
In an ABM campaign, your goal is to drive more target accounts to your business. This means using strategies to appeal and engage stakeholders. The beauty of ABM is you know exactly who you’re selling to, so you can design personalized touches in your outreach.
This is where Sendoso comes in. B2B companies use Sendoso to send corporate gifts, swag bags, and fruit baskets (among other things) to ideal customers. It’s an excellent way to open up conversations and initiate engagement.
Some customers use it to entice leads to schedule a demo or call. And others use it as a thank-you after successfully hosting a meeting with potential customers. Corporate gifting is a direct mail technique that showcases your thoughtfulness.
With Sendoso, you have a dashboard to monitor your gift sending to ensure on-time deliveries. Plus, you can quickly find personalized gifts that match your prospect’s personality and tastes. It’s the ultimate form of personalization, and it works in getting a return call or email from a defrosting lead.
Get Started Building Your ABM Campaign
By following ABM best practices and employing the right tools and strategies, you can get favorable results from your campaigns. So keep these tips top of mind and continue experimenting to see what works for your business and its accounts.
If you’d like to learn more about growing your ABM campaign, see how these marketing teams get over 200% return on their campaign investment.