6 Ways to Ace your B2B Strategy with Account-Based Marketing

6 Ways to Ace your B2B Strategy with Account-Based Marketing

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Today, when you want to market and sell your products or services, you can choose from multiple marketing avenues. You may choose to target a range of customers, but there are always some unqualified leads in the pipeline. Imagine if you could only sell and market your business to high-value customers. Wouldn’t that be great? Well, that’s precisely what Account-Based Marketing helps you achieve. The core idea is to align marketing and sales efforts from the beginning to target specific accounts, most likely to convert and become long-term customers.

This means no time and money wasted on trying to convert not-fit leads and closing more high-value accounts.

According to research, 87% of businesses using B2B Account-Based Marketing say that it delivers a higher ROI than other marketing campaigns.

In this article, you’ll discover what ABM means and how you can use it in your B2B strategy to grow your business revenue. You will understand how ABM can help you and how you can start using it from the get-go.

Let’s get started!

What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

Account-Based Marketing is a growth strategy that targets identified high-value accounts through a personalized combination of sales and marketing.

In ABM, each account is treated as a separate market. The process includes personalizing your goals, the buyer’s journey, buyer persona, communications, and campaigns tailor-made for those accounts.

Account-Based Marketing

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Through ABM, you can filter out the high-value accounts and focus your efforts on converting them much faster. It saves time spent on converting unqualified leads and targeting your efforts on businesses with low potential.

So we can say that ABM uses targeted marketing, removing broad market targeting from the focus, which is challenging to scale.

For example, if you have a consulting service for businesses, instead of focusing on startups and SMBs, go after the accounts with a higher need for your services and the budget to pay for them.

With ABM, you can achieve a higher ROI since you’re focusing your efforts on selected high-value accounts. You will also experience customer loyalty through the ABM process because, with B2B, most businesses like to have a long-term collaboration with one service provider only.

6 ways to use ABM to enhance your B2B strategy

By now, you know what ABM is and why it’s beneficial for your business. But, knowing how to incorporate it into your B2B strategy to grow your business is another thing.

You can use ABM tactics to build a foundation for your B2B strategy. This essentially means that there are many ways in which you can use account-based marketing to enhance your processes.

Let’s dig deeper to see six ways in which you can use ABM for your strategy:

1. Incorporate ABM in your organizational workflow

If you want to integrate ABM into your strategy, you need to secure your organizational workflow. Account-based marketing is not a tactic, so it requires the entire company to gain awareness, sign off, and work under it.

It requires all the decision-makers and senior-level employees in your company to contribute and be involved in the strategy processes. Since ABM is applied at every stage of the process, from lead qualification to conversion and retention, you need to ensure everyone is on board with the idea.

Following this, it would be best to create an ABM action plan that maps out the process. Consider focusing on these aspects:

  • Goals and objectives for the strategy broken into milestones
  • Clear roles and responsibilities at every stage for the employees
  • The measure of involvement required from internal stakeholders
  • Marketing and sales team alignment
  • ABM budget and resource allocation
  • Metrics and KPIs for result analysis

Carving out the framework before you jump onto the process will create a benchmark and return point if anyone feels stuck with the structure. You can convert this into an ABM strategy document for everyone to refer to during the process.

It will maintain transparency, ensuring everyone has clarity about where you’re headed.

2. Pay attention to accurate targeting

You’re investing time and efforts in acquiring new businesses. If you want to target high-value accounts, then you need to ensure accurate targeting. You cannot shoot arrows in the air, hoping to hit the bull’s eye.

Your targeting needs to be backed by research and analysis. Without this, you could go after the wrong accounts, which are unqualified, take more time to convert, and don’t have the budget to avail your services.

Now, you must be thinking of how you can look out for high-value accounts for your targeting. While there are multiple ways to go forward, researching your target market and putting out relevant content will help you filter them.

Apart from this, try using these methods:

  • Create eligibility criteria for your target accounts. This can be account size, industry, buying capacities, buying history, etc. Try looking out for businesses that meet these criteria only.
  • Analyze your previous accounts to find out the characteristics of your ideal customer. Use those filters to look for such accounts on LinkedIn or within your network.
  • Through metrics, you can analyze the leads flowing in and see which ones are qualified but not yet converted. You can target the ones which meet your criteria.
  • Search and connect with your ideal customer profile on LinkedIn. These can be stakeholders or buying committee members of your target account.

If you want your ABM efforts to yield results aligned with your B2B strategy, accurate targeting is non-negotiable. It’s the guiding factor for your sales and marketing process. So, it stands on the number one priority.

3. Use optimized content across platforms

Content stands at the center of your B2B strategy. If you want to attract high-quality account clients, you’re going to use tailor-made messaging conveyed through content.

For this, having optimized content that relays the message is crucial. At every stage of the sales pipeline, content is essential to build trust. Once you build trust with them, more content is used to engage and delight them into buying your product or service.

B2B Account-Based Marketing Strategy

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With ABM, since you’re targeting high-value accounts, you will need personalized content for them. Not only this, but you’ll also find out the marketing channels best fit for them and create content based on those channels.

Yes, we know what you’re thinking. That’s a lot of effort.

But is it worth it? Absolutely.

Consider this.

When you’re creating content targeted at a broader market, you analyze their pain points. However, it’s not necessary that all the prospects under that target market would have the same pain point.

When you’re using ABM, you know everything about the account you’re targeting. You use specifics like demographics, age, buying capacity, social media channels, and campaign potential to determine the best fit content. This makes your messaging much more precise, increasing the chances of converting them.

Thus, content optimized for cross-platform marketing is essential.

You create the content suitable for your target account and tweak it as per the platforms used for sharing the content.

4. Align your sales and marketing teams

Account-based marketing is a team effort. Since it combines sales and marketing efforts to target and convert high-value accounts, synergy within the teams is essential.

For this to work, the teams must work together in coordination to produce the best output. The discrepancy can cost accurate targeting, and thus, the conversion of a high-value account.

B2B Account-Based Marketing

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Sales and marketing teams should combine their effort and perform account planning together for ABM to work. This is because both the aspects are essential to take a prospect through the sales pipeline, retain them and ultimately, convert them into a loyal client.

Now, the most critical question.

How should both these teams work together? Wouldn’t it make everything chaotic?

The answer is, it won’t if you organize the process the right way.

Consider answering these questions when sales and marketing efforts are combined:

  • What kind of content would be needed at every stage?
  • Which marketing channels will be used to share content?
  • Who will be the target contact in the accounts?
  • What kind of support will each team provide?
  • How will the sales process run in alignment with marketing efforts?

These five questions will help set boundaries for both the teams and ensure a seamless workflow. If these teams are working together, defining clear expectations and responsibilities is essential for smooth working.

Through the ongoing and effective collaboration of the sales and marketing teams, the ABM process can successfully yield results.

The ultimate goal is to expand the business by closing large accounts. However, to achieve it, the sales and marketing teams should break down bigger goals into smaller ones. This will ensure the work done is of quality and meets the milestone within the timeline.

5. Make efforts to attract high-quality contacts

Your network is your net worth. So, try to look for high-quality contacts that belong to your target accounts in your network. If you’re relatively new to the industry, you might not have many connections; however, if you’ve been here for a while, use it to filter contacts belonging to high-value accounts.

While you can reach out to these accounts with a business proposition, having a personal connection makes it much easier to seal the deal or at least bring them into your sales pipeline.

If you’re not acquainted with contacts from these accounts, you can consider taking the following steps to get connected with them:

  • Invite a thought leader from the target account for an interview or podcast.
  • Engage with them on social media and start a conversation without pitching.
  • Run targeted campaigns tailor-made for them.
  • Create lead magnets like eBooks and checklists, which attract your target accounts, solving a pain point.
  • Ask for referrals within your network or attend networking events where they’re most likely to be present.

The primary purpose of these efforts is to position yourself in front of your target accounts. It will boost your visibility and promote brand awareness. This will help you pitch your services or get them as an inbound lead.

6. Use social intelligence to understand customer’s needs

Personalization is a core concept of ABM. You personalize your communication for an account based on the challenges they face. This means that understanding your prospect’s needs and the problems they’re facing can help you create better messaging and content.

If you want to convert them, you need to hit the right spot. And for that, social intelligence can determine their current situation and how you can use it for accurate targeting.

Social Intelligence is a way of listening to your target market’s decision-makers and influencers. It helps understand their positioning, staying informed on updates, and building relationships.

Here’s how you can analyze their needs:

  • Turn on Google Alerts for your target account to keep track of the happenings in the organization.
  • Monitor their social media activity to catch up on updates.
  • Analyze gaps by measuring their online presence and what they lack to assess how your product or service can fill these gaps.
  • Study their relationship with their customers to understand what problems they solve and the messaging they relay.
  • Follow the decision-makers of your target accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter. Engage with their content and start a conversation to get a first-hand insight into their challenges.

You can use Social Intelligence for both engaging with your target accounts and understanding their challenges. Doing so will help you incorporate personalization with accuracy, increasing the chances of response and conversion.

Conclusion

Account-Based Marketing is often seen as something advanced or overwhelming to carry out but in fact, it’s one of the most effective marketing strategies to adopt. With B2B, you want to appeal to other businesses that involve a number of decision-makers. Going past all of that and ensuring your efforts yield results is what ABM will help you achieve.

There’s nothing more disheartening than spending your time on lead generation and trying to convert unqualified leads. ABM ensures you’re targeting the accounts which can turn into long-term loyal customers. Not only does this ensure recurring work, but also increased revenue.

Once you’ve identified valuable accounts to work with, personalization backed by your sales and marketing efforts will help you convert your target customers. Thus, helping you grow your business exponentially.

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SeeResponse is a full-service B2B marketing agency and a HubSpot Solutions Partner offering a range of marketing services through its team of marketing and demand generation experts. Our focus is on helping startups and larger companies grow through a combination of strategy, email marketing, demand generation, and marketing automation.