This post is by Kevin Payne from Openview Labs
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In recent years, businesses have been making the shift towards using account-based marketing (ABM). Why? Because it works! Take a look at these stats from studies done on businesses using account-based marketing:
- Nearly all businesses (91%) using ABM saw their revenue increased.
- 1 in every 5 companies generated 30% more income after implementing an ABM strategy.
- The average contract value B2B marketers close after using ABM for their marketing strategy is 171% higher.
- Businesses running ABM campaigns are 2x more able to get their ROI within two years.
- Businesses find their engagement rates with leads shot up to 83% with ABM.
- 66% of businesses point to ABM as the secret to their sales and marketing teams working together harmoniously. (Roll Works)
be as effective. One reason is that consumer behaviors have been changing, even those responsible for making buying decisions in companies you want to target. Whether you’ve been using account-based marketing for some time or considering to give it a try, here are 10 ABM hacks you can do to hit your goals.
1. Create account-based entitlementsABM will sure bring in lots of leads to your business. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve got to spend equal amounts of time and effort with all of them. In fact, you shouldn’t, especially if you’ve got a small team to work with. And that’s where account-based entitlement comes in. I first discovered the insight listening to New Sales Simplified which was recommended to me by my friend Pete of Databox. It guides you on how much of your time, effort, and resources should you devote to each tier of leads. As a rule of thumb, leads that qualify in your top tier should receive more than those belonging to the lower levels. For example, you can opt to use email marketing automation to engage with leads in the lower tiers. But for those that are in your top tier should be sent personalized direct emails from you or someone from your sales team.
2. Inject lead scoringThis ties in with #1. Lead scoring is the process of how you’ll determine whether a lead qualifies in your ABM’s top-tier or not. Here, you assign points to each of your leads based on how close they are to your ideal customer profile and how they engage with your content. Through this, your marketing team can pinpoint which of your leads are red hot and ready to buy your services. Members from your marketing team can then send these leads over to your sales team. This not only helps shorten your sales cycle. It also ensures that your sales reps won’t find it difficult to convert them into customers.
3. Nurture your leads with highly personalized contentPersonalization is essential in ABM. You’ve got to make sure that when your leads read your content, they’ll feel like you’ve written that email or blog post just for them. An effective way to make this happen is by optimizing your content for local search. 46% of people searching on Google are looking for local businesses. That includes those key decision-makers from those companies you’re targeting. Here are some tips on how to create engaging and highly personalized content optimized for local SEO:
- Create dedicated landing pages. If your business has physical offices in different geographic locations, it’s a good idea to create a landing page for each of them. Keep them cohesive by using landing page templates.
- Go for long-form content. Studies show that blog posts with an average of 1,890 words are more likely to land on the first search results page (SERP) of Google.
- Include your location in your keywords. For example, if you’re targeting to rank for the keyword “bookkeeping services” and you’re based in Baltimore, opt to use “bookkeeping service in Baltimore” in your content and metadata.
4. Blend in omnichannel marketing to your ABM mixFor years, businesses using ABM engage with their target accounts through email. So while email marketing still brings you results in 2019, it’s no longer enough. That’s because by the time key decision-makers from those accounts you’re targeting visit your website, they’d have already completed 75% of the buyer’s journey. What that means is that they’ve already done their research elsewhere. If you want to increase your conversion rates in your ABM strategy, you’ve got to get the word out about your business and services to other channels and platforms, both online and offline. Examples of these are digital displays, telemarketing, trade shows, conferences, and social media.
5. Sniper, not shotgunMost marketing strategies tend to use what I call the “shotgun approach.” They launch their campaign and pray under their breath that the ones they hit are the right target. Unfortunately, many that make the switch bring this approach with them when they start doing account-based marketing. Thing is, ABM works best when you approach it like a sniper. That means you first get to know who your target is. Then, you pick out that target from the crowd. Only then do you shoot. With this approach, you can make sure that you don’t just publish the right content and personalize them. You also get to carefully choose which channels to distribute them so that your target accounts see them.
6. Don’t turn away from outbound marketingMarketers have begun to shy away from outbound marketing because of claims that it’s no longer as effective as before. Not to mention that it tends to cost more. On the contrary, incorporating outbound marketing campaigns like Google ads can help boost your ABM campaigns. According to Syed, Founder of GigWorker:
“Google will put your links you include in your ad campaign at the very top of its first search results page, even if your business is completely new. Since the majority of people click on the first 2-3 links on the first page of Google’s search results, you’re giving your business the exposure it needs to get those target accounts to click.”
7. Retarget dormant accountsLet’s face it: not everyone in your email list is engaging with you or your content. One reason is that they’ve signed up for the services of one of your competitors. That doesn’t mean that you should take them out from your list. In fact, you should do the complete opposite. Maybe they’re reconsidering the service they purchase and are looking for alternatives. Reaching out to them by sending a personalized email may jog their memory and spark their interest with you and your business again. Some of them may even decide to give you a try. But you’ll never know until you begin reaching out to them.
8. Hire the right salespeopleThe people who make up your sales team are those responsible for closing the deal on your behalf. So make sure that they got the right skills and experience to get the job done. When choosing who to hire for your sales team, take a peek inside their LinkedIn profile, and see how they “sell” themselves there. After all, if they can’t sell themselves, how sure are you that they can do a good job selling your services to your target accounts. During the interview, get them to describe the sales process they use. This gives you insight into two areas. First, it’ll tell you whether or not they’ll fit in your business’ culture. Second, it gives you a better idea of how well they know not only what the job entails, but also help you achieve your set goals.
9. Prioritize customer retention over acquisitionGetting a new customer cost as much as 25x more than keeping an existing customer happy. Of course, you’ll still need to get new clients to your business. Even more important is to make sure that you get your existing clients to keep doing business with you. For starters, having a list of long-standing clients serves as a testimony to your product’s quality and level of customer support they receive. Repeat customers spend more than first-time buyers. Results from Bain & Company’s study show that the amount of returning customer spends is directly proportional to the number of times they return. Above all, satisfied customers become your unofficial brand ambassadors. They’ll not hesitate to recommend your services to those in their professional, and even personal, network. And because people would opt to patronize a business recommended to them by someone they know, they won’t need too much convincing to make a purchase.
10. Invest in the right toolsYou got to have the right tools in place to make it easier for you and your team to develop, launch, and track your ABM campaigns. Here are the essentials:
- CRM. Aside from serving as a database of your leads and existing customers’ data, it also monitors your lead’s interactions with your content, lead scoring, and gives you more information about your ideal customer profile.
- Marketing automation tools. These will make sure that you’re sending the right content at the right time across different channels to nurture leads you’ve generated through your ABM campaigns.
- Analytics. You’ll need this to track your campaigns to see if you’re hitting your set goals. It’ll also show you which landing pages and channels are giving the most and least conversions, so you’ll know what’s working and what needs to be improved.