While many look forward to a fresh start for 2018, sales and marketing teams look forward to increased revenue goals for the year. Most have fashioned a new way to attack these aggressive goals. But some will continue to use the same tactics and strategies, hoping for a different outcome.
Everyone knows that’s the definition of insanity, so if you haven’t adopted an ABM strategy, 2018 is probably a good time to make the leap. Better late than never.
Target Your Approach to Increase the Odds of Success
ABM is more than just hype or the latest marketing buzzword, so it’s time to get serious. According to LeanData, 86 percent of marketing and sales professionals from B2B companies are using targeted account strategies.
The competitive B2B marketplace and the pressure to meet increasingly higher revenue goals are the most obvious reasons for ABM’s appeal. Marketers have figured out that by aligning sales and marketing in this era of automation, the odds of closing more new accounts greatly increases. The ability to target prospects at an account level based on data collection and predictive analytics will also set B2B account teams up for success.
These are clearly compelling reasons to get serious about ABM. But there are other benefits for deploying an ABM strategy that you may not have considered.
1. Better Return-on-Investment
Measuring ROI is critical for any marketing organization because it’s important to know what kind of return you’re getting for your efforts. Not only does ABM allow you to efficiently put your marketing resources to work by placing the focus on a few, highly strategic accounts, ABM tools provide the data to do this with accuracy. The tools also provide the precise ROI measurement you need to make decisions about where to allocate your resources.
2. Marketing Credibility
Adopting an ABM approach to your sales and marketing effort allows you to deepen engagement with prospects in your targeted accounts. Once that is achieved, you can begin to identify areas where you can provide value. The odds of closing the sale are greatly increased when you’re able to provide value rather than a mere product.
The value you provide is the solution to a problem within the account. You can tailor your messaging to reflect your account-based knowledge of their situation. By delivering targeted messages that provide a solution, your prospects are more likely to deem your information credible.
You’ve now opened up a communication pathway that wasn’t previously available, and you can engage more frequently, in meaningful ways, because you’ve proved yourself as a credible information source.
3. Consensus Selling
Sales don’t happen because one decision-maker says ‘it’s a go’. You have to convert the account. That means there’s more than one stakeholder you must win over. Each stakeholder will most likely be at a different stage in the decision process.
ABM tools can provide the granular account data you need about the various stakeholders and where they are in the buyer’s journey. This will help you focus on all of the stakeholders in the account rather than individual decision makers.
4. Content Marketing
Content is still king in today’s marketing world. The difference now is the way content is used with ABM to drive influence. One-size-fits-all content simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Content has to be tailor-made for account stakeholders. That means adapting content based on how it performs on an account-level. It also means delivering content that’s actually relevant to each account.
ABM tools come with analytics that can shine a light on what’s happening on an account basis. It’s just smart to use this data to generate content that’s relevant to the stakeholders within your accounts. Otherwise, your content marketing efforts won’t be impactful enough to generate positive ROI. Allow the data to drive your content marketing efforts in 2018.
5. Buyers Demand Relevance
Trust is key for B2B conversions. By delivering highly personalized and relevant experiences for your prospects, you can gain that desired high level of trust. ABM makes this easier and when you have the right ABM automation tools in place, you can deliver the right messaging based on account data.
Don’t Let Cost Stop You before You Start
In today’s competitive B2B landscape with increasing sales goals, a targeted account focus just makes sense. Improved ROI measurement along with the increased trust, relevancy and consensus selling are all compelling reasons to adopt a formal ABM strategy. Without one, you’re in the minority and it leaves you at a clear disadvantage going into 2018. You may think implementing ABM is expensive. Think again.
According to ITSMA, 72 percent of B2B marketers worldwide said they would increase spending on ABM. None of the respondents in that survey said they would spend less. If marketers are willing to open their wallets, rest assured, there’s a pretty compelling reason.
So don’t let cost be a barrier. There are high-end ABM automation tools you can incorporate into your marketing stack, but you can also leverage the automation you already have in place. There are also low-risk, low-cost options you can use to execute your ABM strategy.
No matter which way you parse it out, ABM is more than just the latest marketing buzzword. It’s a solid, winning B2B customer acquisition strategy. It will be tough to meet aggressive sales goals in 2018 without it.
Have you read the ABM Playbook? Download and read the definitive guide to nailing your account-based marketing strategy. No fluff, just good stuff.