What is ABM?
ABM stands for Account-based marketing. It is an account based marketing strategy for B2B companies where sales and marketing work together to identify and target prospects that are most likely to convert. In the modern era, there is an overload of information; ABM helps to provide a structured target and clear focus, so the sales and marketing efforts achieve the best possible ROI (return on investment). Several account based marketing tactics are used to narrow down the target list to more high-value accounts. Here are six ways that ABM can help identify, target, and market companies:
1. Ability to target the pain point of the customer
At the core of any sales, the transaction is problem-solving. Any product or service in the market is solving some kind of problem that is being faced by the customer. Whether it is buying a new printer that is broken down or hiring a management consulting firm to improve the bottom line, there always is a pain point for the customer.
ABM helps to identify and target this pain point. In ABM marketing and sales teams can focus on information specific to each account. Using that particular information, marketing has a better chance to determine the pain points of the customer. What products or services were they using previously? Why did they not work? What value can you bring to the table? What features are most important to them? Marketing teams can create content targeting this pain point, whereas sales can use the pain point as part of their sales pitch. The ultimate goal is to match the value proposition of your company with the pain point of the customer and to convey this message to the prospect.
2. Measurable ROI for sustainable marketing
As part of the over account based marketing tactics, with ABM the ROI for marketing and sales efforts is more comfortable to measure. You can only improve on what you can measure. Once you know the results and ROI, you can recalibrate the efforts to improve the ROI. To get more granular data to improve ROI, there can be fixed costs assigned to each campaign with clearly defined objectives. With ABM marketing and sales get the opportunity to identify metrics that matter. It is good to look at lead generation and conversion rates, but more specifically the number of impressions, coverage, and engagement levels for each account can be analysed to get more insights related to that account. With ABM, companies get more granular level data that is more useful to recalibrate compared to general marketing data that includes all accounts.
3. Enriched customer experience
ABM is part of the overall account based marketing strategy. Markets are becoming increasingly commoditised, and customers are more used to being targets of marketing campaigns, which mostly have generic content based on industry or product type. When customers receive tailored content or sales pitch addressing their specific pain points, it is a pleasant change to what they are used to. Receiving a mass email that is not relevant to your needs or has a salesperson walk in without knowing what you need, can be frustrating for the prospects. One of the advantages of account based marketing tactics is that it allows personalization at scale. That allows for all your customers to get the benefit of personalization.
4. Agile Decision Making
One of the biggest challenges in B2B dynamics is sluggish decision making. Account based marketing tactics can help speed up this process. The entire process to make a decision is so long that by the time the decision is implemented, it is often too late. Decision making can be slow from either buyer or seller, making the process drag on for too long. As part of the account-based marketing tactics, ABM marketing can speed up the decision making process. More specifically, by using an account based marketing strategy, it can help identify and establish a relationship with decision-makers. Once a connection has been established with a decision-maker, content can be created that is worth their time and precisely targets the pain point of the business. Even if you are not able to reach a decision-maker, by delivering personalized content, you can start higher up in the customer journey.
5. Cultivating relationships
ABM marketing and sales are provided with an opportunity to engage their marketing team in customer relationship management (CRM), which is typically a role for the sales team. With ABM, marketing can “communicate” with accounts. They make content specific to accounts and therefore cultivate a relevant relationship with the customers. There can be several quality based metrics that can be used to measure the strength of the customer relationship with the company.
It is essential to have metrics for customer relationships. Marketing can measure communication with customers by monitoring calendar patterns or email communications specific to each account. Content engagement can also be a metric but is often more passive than direct communication with the customer. Passive engagement will only improve if relevant and value-oriented content is delivered to customers. Throughout the customer journey, data can be collected to continuously recalibrate the sales and marketing efforts to cultivate long-lasting customer relationships.
6. Alignment of sales and marketing
Account based marketing strategy has several benefits including cross-team alignment. For most companies, the departments of sales and marketing operate in silos without an integrated view of customer account information. This creates several challenges for the company. For example, for lead generation teams, it is difficult to use intent data without having a comprehensive view of the specific customer account. ABM can provide a solution to this problem but aligning sales and marketing teams. ABM combined with CRM, and AI (artificial intelligence) can create and deliver seamless prospect engagements. Both sales and marketing can see the same customer data to identify what kind of content, campaigns, and the sales pitch is needed for each specific prospect. Cross-team alignment allows for better customer experience and a higher probability to convert a prospect into a customer.