VP of Account Based Marketing
When measuring value throughout the funnel in an Account based marketing model, it’s crucial that marketing and sales combine as one. With a traditional siloed approach, marketing attracts the leads, which are then handed over to sales to convert. The ABM model tries to create a blended model, which is strategic, with both sales and marketing teams working in tandem with each other to define what is important
Are you already there yet?
While the hype around ABM can seem overwhelming, in reality, less than 20% of companies are running mature account based marketing programs. Marketers name various obstacles when it comes to getting started, including lack of resources, strategy, and technology. With so much of resources but so less experience, the account based model is still difficult to get off the ground – dearth of successful business cases, lack of confidence in the strategy and technology stack, and difficulty in securing the management buy-in for ABM specific budget
However, there is a growing realization of potential rewards with the account based model which is driving rapid adoption, especially with high growth focused companies. Marketing leaders are warming up to potential benefits such as:
Focused and Profitable Growth – Experienced sales and marketing leaders are realizing that identifying specific types of accounts and growing them drive the most compelling revenue metrics
Shifting Goalposts – Many marketing organizations’ traditional inbound, volume and velocity tactics have already peaked thereby needing new avenues of focused growth. An account based marketing strategy offers an alternative, targeted growth model, especially for high growth B2B marketing organizations
Proven Results – Early adopters of ABM are seeing impressive results, particularly with respect to strategic revenue metrics, where mature account based companies have seen more than 100% increase in metrics such as LTV and account growth
Getting the Basics Right
ABM has five defining characteristics:
Selecting high probability accounts – Account selection is without a doubt the single most critical step in the Account Based Marketing process. As one of the first steps, it impacts every other subsequent step of the program. Refer to our thought piece on the account selection process.
Contact data at the individual and buying committee level – High quality data and intelligence are essential to ABM. Contact data and account intelligence allow marketing and sales to engage buyers more effectively. Technology improvisations has made it possible to aggregate account level insights. With products such as SalesboxAI’s Echo, you can go one step further and discover, aggregate and score intent through first party and third party data for each buying group within strategic accounts
Programmatic orchestration – Orchestration is the sequenced coordination of different activities, programs and campaigns across marketing, sales development, sales and customer success to drive engagement with multiple stakeholders in target accounts. It is important to choose the right ABM stack to allow you to automate campaigns and processes without compromising program metrics
Valuable and personalized experiences – As opposed to the traditional spray and pray, volume and velocity model, where low value content creates low conversion rates, account based marketing requires companies to deliver relevant, personalized, valuable experiences to specific buyers or buying groups
Coordinated, high frequency, high effort outreach – ABM requires continuous high touch, high frequency campaigns against the target account list. Shifting from volume and velocity models where marketing focuses on measuring activities or tactics in bulk, account based organizations plan and track activities by target account. It helps to have omni channel conversations with potential buyers through Demand unit marketing driven by conversation AI
Choosing the Right Tactics
With an exhaustive list of available tactics across multiple channels and multiple functions, marketers need to select the ones that will have the most impact. Successful programs are not solely based on which tactics were selected before, but on specific tactics that have been found to work well together at improving overall program results.
An orchestrated program is designed to meet a specific objective, and with account based marketing, that objective is to set up an account to progress towards the next goal post – scheduling a meeting or demo. Sometimes, specific program objectives differ from scheduling meetings and may veer towards broader branding goals. Since it’s a short duration, high intensity program, choosing the right tactics for a specific program is instrumental for a successful outcome. The success of a previous program can be slightly improved by reviewing the performance of each individual tactic; however, high growth companies choose tactics that also improve the performance of other tactics.
a. Generating Awareness: Marketing air cover
An integrated account based marketing strategy uses air cover to build awareness about your product before or even at the same time that a sales rep is reaching out. Air cover acts as the “in-between” space between the awareness of the product and the conversation with the sales rep. These build awareness of the company and its solutions, as well as present its point of view to all contacts at target accounts, not just the senior-level decision makers. This prospect awareness generates broader support for the company’s solutions and makes other tactics more effective. The goal of these tactics is to provide enough of the right information so contacts at target accounts will take the next step and respond to the outbound requests.
For instance, SalesboxAI leverages artificial intelligence to create awareness of your company’s product or service. You can run multiple experiments that are broken out by channel (Social / Whitepaper Syndication Brands ), Audience, Offer Type (Click-Through to Landing Page / Click-Through to a native Facebook or publisher form), and the ad itself (text / creative variants).
Increasing the number of impressions you get through air cover helps to build your brand. When you create compelling content and distribute it through targeted advertising, you create an impression within your target personas. Even if your targeted customer doesn’t take action with your ad, it pops up in their feed which creates an impression. While your targeted customers may not buy right away, your company will be at the top of their mind when your outbound channel kicks in
b. Trade Shows, Conferences
Launching an ABM program around a trade show or event is a great way to build momentum. Going to conferences is a good way to build brand awareness and get face time with potential clients. This is very effective, when trade show participation is coordinated with marketing air cover to provide branding support before and during the event. Trade shows and events still deliver great leads and it can be leveraged to attract new, interested customers and engage with prospects on a one-to-one basis. SalesboxAI’s conversational AI platform can be used to turbo-charge event lead follow-ups and derive superior return on investment
We can also incorporate related editorial into our company blogs—things like speaker interviews, session takeaways, and best practices shared at the event—and we get backlinks by posting guest blogs on third-party sites that relate to the event.
While a follow-up call to a printed white paper with a hand-written note has a strong likelihood for response, any follow-up call is better than a cold call. This is where a programmatic ABM platform such as SalesboxAI steps in to empower your sales reps. SalesboxAI discovers all members of buying groups within each target account, runs personalized campaigns as per their role in the decision making process and make this data available to your sales rep when an opportunity is created in the CRM. Hence, your rep has multiple points of contact for each opportunity, making the follow-up process easier and more comprehensive. Some of the very effective tactics here include executive outreach and direct mail
d. The outbound
Outbound touch points delivered via emails, phone calls, events, direct mail, and other paid channels play a key role in ABM. When combined with other tactics, direct outreach activities add a proactive component to the tasks of identifying, engaging, and converting new accounts. While these might not seem that different from the types of outbound activities conducted by SDRs, AEs, or account managers on a daily basis, it is their coordination with marketing air cover and pre-outbound tactics that impact the results of these outreach activities. Targeted outreach amplifies your ABM efforts by helping you focus on specific opportunities through scalable, one-on-one touches. While inbound channels work well for broader ABM activities, it’s going to be outbound tactics that let you pinpoint and engage each opportunity.
The outbound tactic most likely to get a response from a prospect is the triple touch. This is a combination of SDR email, phone, and LinkedIn all sent on the same day with the same message and theme. The email creates context, conveys value, and delivers the offer, while the phone and LinkedIn touches refer back to the email. And when appropriately executed with marketing air cover and event support, we have created a favorable environment for our sales team to succeed in that account