It’s no shock that account-based marketing (ABM) has become as widespread as it has. The fact that it’s based around crafting marketing messages, content and pitches targeted to individual accounts (rather than firing out generic content to anyone and everyone), means you’re more likely to make sales and enjoy ROI. After all, ABM is all about aligning marketing with sales objectives. You might think there’s a risk attached to creating beautifully honed campaigns for every target account – especially if they don’t buy – but it’s less risky than wasting hours picking up the phone and pitching to hundreds of unqualified leads. In this article, I’m going to build on what we’ve already covered in previous posts about ABM (you can read those here and here), and discuss the best channels to include in an account-based marketing sales strategy.
Data tells you which leads to target and how to form a sales strategy around them
Before launching into leveraging the ultimate ABM channels, your ABM sales approach needs to fulfil a few criteria. You’ve first got to elucidate which accounts you’re going to target with a perfectly formed sales strategy. For this, you need to make use of data sourcing to generate the information that’ll indicate what a lead’s needs are and how likely they are to convert. This data needs to be segmented so that you can break up lead lists (based on criteria such as industry type, revenue, number of employees, annual expenditure) and adjust your sales approach to each segment accordingly. For example, you won’t be sending CTOs in chemical manufacturing the same content as you would CFOs in finance.
Consistency and content are integral parts of an ABM campaign
When it comes to making contact with your lead, the messaging and approach employed by your sales team needs to be consistent across each account, and rather than diving in with a stereotypical sales pitch, your ABM sales strategy should be based more on educating and adding value to your prospects through content marketing (blogs, eBooks, product guides, white papers). Remember, ABM is more of a marathon than a 100-metre sprint, so be patient when waiting to close those deals.
Segmented email marketing allows you to reach out directly to prospects in a personalised way
I’ve already stressed the importance of segmentation and the need for data when creating an ABM strategy. Segmented email marketing is a powerful tool in the ABM channel mix, as it’s a highly personalised form of communication that lets you reach out to a prospect directly. These emails need to be completely bespoke and written as if you’re writing to a colleague you know well. Of course, you probably won’t know your prospects this well, and that’s why you need data to inform the content of these emails.
B2B telemarketing is one of the most personalised ways to contact a lead and helps you gather further data about them
B2B telemarketing is perfect in an ABM context, as it’s as personalised a form of communication as they come. It can be applied before you implement an ABM strategy, when profiling prospects and gathering information about how an account is structured, throughout the lead generation process, and right up until conversion. Telemarketing allows you to connect with a lead, get to know their needs and pain points and collect further data about them.
Paid media allows you to promote ads to a very targeted audience
Making use of social networks is a no-brainer when it comes to ABM. If you mention a prospect’s name or company in content specially crafted for that account, tagging them in the associated social copy is essential – to alert them and their extended network. You can leverage social media further with paid ads on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Facebook lets you target specific audiences (based on email address, phone numbers, age, location, gender); Twitter can promote your ads to designated handles; you can target employees in certain companies on LinkedIn. In a paid search context, Google AdWords can promote your ads to a list of email addresses, as long as these prospects are logged into their Google accounts.
Content marketing lends itself perfectly to account-based marketing
Content marketing and inbound marketing is about creating informative and valuable content that speaks directly to your leads. No wonder it lends itself perfectly to account-based marketing. In the past, content creation was solely the marketers’ domain. In ABM, sales have (and should have) a lot more input into what goes into this content so that every touchpoint a lead has with your business is as relevant to them as possible. Inbound marketing ingredients like landing pages, calls to action and content offers can all be personalised to certain visitors to your website based on cookies and an IP address.
Account-based marketing is the ideal paradigm for B2B companies looking to generate more leads and raise conversion rates. To find out more about how ABM can improve your team’s sales performance, download the guide: