Account-Based Marketing lets the marketing and sales team focus on the highest value targets. The good news? You can leverage your marketing automation platform, together with predictive marketing, to move from lead-centric to account-centric marketing and successfully navigate a multi-stakeholder, complex purchase process.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is, as the name implies, concentrated on the account, not the lead. Is your solution or product sales team required to navigate a complex purchase funnel through an array of decision-makers? Then ABM provides a structure for engaging prospect accounts. Here’s how you move from a lead-centric to an account-centric approach.
Align sales and marketing around target accounts
Structure sales-marketing alignments around the target account list as you would in traditional lead generation, where you must define your marketing qualified leads. More granular definition results in identification of the highest value accounts.
You may also use predictive scoring to find your most likely accounts. Predictive scoring will highlight accounts with the highest purchase likelihood. Predictive marketing integrates with your marketing platform and can score your accounts in real time, applying the thousands of web-collected data points on each account, employing a predictive model identifying whether the account is analogous to your highest value targets.
Enrich your accounts with robust data
Data is crucial. After isolating key data points that separate your high value accounts from lower ones, import these data points into marketing automation platform and your CRM from your predictive marketing platform. Be sure that the imported data not only supports your sales process but is also accurate and fresh.
Sales development reps (SDRs) are acutely more effective facing decision-makers when armed with robust account data. When familiar with the account’s challenges, technologies and decision-makers, SDRs’ sales dialogs are more personal, relevant and, of course, successful.
Turbocharge your account-based marketing by isolating account-level buying intent. Intent indicators are derived from web traffic data analysis at the company level, which reveals whether a company representative is researching a new product or service. Sophisticated machine learning, scrutinizing account web-visit data over time, ascertains if the account is in research mode.
You can sync intent indicators with marketing automation platform, designating accounts for special nurturing programs or passing them directly to Sales. Using intent indicators to provide focus to ABM is a game changer, enabling you to perform proactively, sending the right content, emails and campaigns to accounts that are probably researching your competitors as you read this article.
Identify key buyer roles
Moving through the sales funnel, you are likely to cross paths with several key people who formulate buying decisions. Buyer roles may vary from company to company, but typically include key decision maker, influencer, user, buyer and initiator. Requiring different information, sales and marketing collateral, each role has a varying degree of involvement in the process.
Employ a campaign (in your marketing platform) to identify and segment these roles. Define a set of job titles for each buyer role. For example, VP of Sales may be a key decision maker. Assign roles to your database by running the campaign. However, using simple rules of thumb and basing decisions only on job title risks misidentifying the role that buyers actually play.
An alternative is to divide your buyers using predictive segmentation. This method uses a heartier dataset of thousands of indicators, creating full-bodied segmentations based on many moving parts and statistically sound algorithms for accurate role-identification.
Choosing the right marketing tactics
Once you’ve concurred on the identity of your target account parameters, develop consensus on the scale of marketing, time, energy and budget earmarked for those target accounts. Reach agreement on overall resource dedication prior to discussing the different marketing tactics.
There are many marketing tactics that can work well for ABM. There are, however, no rules of thumb on what works and what doesn’t, making it critical to try and test as much as possible. Your marketing automation platform–with its hefty supply of metrics–provides the key measurements that enable you to improve marketing plans as you go.
ABM is all about engaging accounts via stakeholders and decision-makers, rather than generating leads. Leverage your marketing automation platform and predictive marketing to deploy and scale your account-based marketing program.
Companies with a complex purchase funnel or a multi-stakeholder decision process find account-based marketing irreplaceable and vital. Marketing and sales alignment coupled with judicious data application and research will pave your way to success.