Account Based Marketing & Selling - What Does it Mean?

With ABM, the focus is how many of your target accounts actually progress through the sales cycle.

The sales ecosystem is always changing, and businesses seem to constantly be adopting new approaches and philosophies in order to maintain their competitive edge. While account-based selling is not a new concept for most sales teams, and marketers recognize the value of targeted campaigns, there is still some confusion as to how ABM and ABS programs can work across an entire organization.

Keep reading for an overview of the key components to ABM and ABS, as well as a few tools that are available to help you organize your approach and maximize your success.

What Is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Using traditional marketing methods, marketers measure the success of a campaign by how many leads are generated. The obvious shortcoming, though, is that a majority of those leads will not result in a profitable relationship. With ABM, the focus shifts to how many of your target accounts actually progress through the sales cycle. Here are the three essential components of a successful ABM strategy.

Identify the Best Target Accounts

When determining the best target accounts, you will consider factors like which accounts will yield the highest revenue, how well your products or services will suit their needs, and which accounts are likely to make a quick purchase decision.

Engage Your Target Accounts Across Multiple Channels

After you've determined the best accounts to pursue, your next step is to engage them across various channels. These channels include ad targeting, email, web personalization, events, and any other channel in which your potential customer engages.

Measure the Success of Your Strategy

With traditional marketing methods, you measure success by evaluating metrics like your total number of customers, the number of demos booked, your cost-per-acquisition, and total number of leads. With ABM, you'll look instead at how quickly prospective customers are identified, how long it takes for them to move through your sales cycle, the actual conversion rate, and the average deal size.

What Is Account-Based Selling (ABS)

Account-based selling, or ABS, takes the target accounts that were identified by ABM and develops them to revenue. While ABM is generally in the hands of the marketing department, ABS is a collaborative effort between marketing and sales.

Identify Your Ideal Customer Profile

When developing your ICP, consider factors like industry, company size, geographic region, how the services or products you provide will work with other tools that they use, and their specific pain points.

Find the Decision Makers

When working an ABS model, a single point of contact with an account isn't enough. Instead, you'll pinpoint the ideal responsibilities and roles of your target personas and target specific people, such as CEOs, sales managers, sales reps, and account executives, within an account to set meetings and expedite the decision-making process.

Create an Individualized Approach

According to research conducted by Aberdeen Group, a technology and services company, when content is personalized at the sales rep level, there is on average a 36 percent boost in conversion. With ABS, you will tailor an individualized approach that specifically addresses the interests and pain points of the decision maker that you've connected with.

Develop an Organized Plan

The sequence of your emails, phone calls, action items, and more should be compiled into a single organized plan. This will let you track where you are in your approach and how the process is progressing. You'll also be able to pinpoint what worked and what did not, enabling you to tweak your approach for the next account.

Implementing These Concepts

Account-based marketing and sales can lead to success and drive growth, and it can easily become the go-to strategy for your business. While implementing ABM and ABS may seem like an arduous undertaking, there are a few steps that you can take right now to begin the process and an abundance of online tools that can help.

Identify Your Most Likely Buyers

At the heart of account-based marketing and selling is the focus on connecting with the decision makers for which the message of your business is well-suited. Discoverorg, an industry leader in marketing and sales intelligence solutions, uses predictive analytics to make it possible for your business to identify potential buyers early in the purchase process and scale your ABM strategies.

Automate Engagement

Engaging potential buyers across multiple channels doesn't have to be a hit-or-miss strategy. Terminus takes the guesswork out of engaging the right people at the right accounts by finding those people within the company and serving them your ads across social media, the web, direct mail, and video email.

Measure Success

Account-based marketing and sales focuses on quality over quantity, and a successful ABM and ABS strategy will have different metrics than a traditional marketing strategy. Engagio's ICARE framework measures relevant metrics, such as your reach and engagement, to paint an accurate picture of success.

By understanding the philosophy behind ABM and ABS and implementing the right tools for the job, you can put this powerful strategy to work for your business.

Written by William Flaiz and originally published on Forbes.com on March 16, 2018.

Published by William Flaiz on 05-25-2018




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