What’s your current sales system look like?
You focus on getting leads, nurture them and hope they turn into customers. Looks similar?
But what if your product isn't right for those people? What if the leads you're getting are not a good fit for your product? What if your time spent trying to get them is wasted because your product isn't a good fit for them?
That's why many B2B businesses are switching to account based marketing.
Account-based marketing is a better way of doing business because it maximizes the chances of success while minimizing wasted time and effort spent on fruitless efforts.
In this article, you will learn about creating your account based marketing strategy with 6 steps and its benefits.
Let’s dive in.
What Does Account Based Marketing Means?
Account-based marketing is designed to help companies identify and engage with specific accounts and create tailored solutions that meet their specific needs. It’s a strategy that focuses on the accounts that are most likely to buy from you rather than just any account with which your company has an existing relationship.
This way, you can ensure that you are working with people who are interested in using your product.
In fact, MarketingProfs research shows that the right ABM strategy can lead to a 208% increase in marketing revenue! It's evident that by focusing on specific accounts instead of general audiences, ABM helps companies better align sales and marketing efforts while increasing revenue per customer.
How to Develop an ABM Strategy for Your Organization?
As with any marketing strategy, there is no one size fits all ABM strategy that you can use right out of the can. What works for one company might not work for another.
However, there are some general guidelines that you can use to get started with your account based marketing strategy.
We have put together 6 steps to help you build an ABM strategy that works for your business.
1. Analyze your existing customer base
As we mentioned earlier, ABM is about narrowing your marketing and sales efforts to a specific segment of your customer base. You can’t do that unless you know what they are looking for and how they interact with your brand.
To do this, you need to analyze your existing customer base. Analyze who is buying from you now, why they are buying from you, and how successful they were with your product.
Shortlist the top 20% of your customer base by evaluating their,
- How often do they buy from you?
- How satisfied are they with your product?
- How successful are they with your product?
The next step is to segment your customer base, based on the above parameters. When you filter out the top 20% of your existing customer base, you will get a clear overview of your audience's market segment, their needs, demands, and expectations.
With this step identified, go ahead and create your ICP.
2. Ideal customer profile
Once you have identified your customer segment, the next step is to create an ICP.
An ideal customer profile is a fictional persona that represents your ideal customer.
It includes information such as
- Product preferences
- Buying habits
- How they use your product,
- The reasons why they bought from you in the first place.
This will help you to understand more about your actual customer. Moreover, in account based marketing strategy, this is critical as it helps you to identify specific accounts that fit your ideal customer profile.
3. Build a solid target account list
It’s time to build a target account list. The target account list is a detailed list of accounts that meet your criteria for being an ideal customer. This will help you focus on specific accounts and not waste time contacting people who are not interested in what you have to offer.
Here are some recommendations to get this part done right,
- Use account intelligence software to find your top accounts and contacts.
- Use LinkedIn as a research tool to find decision-makers accounts at companies you want to target in your ABM efforts.
- Focus your search for target accounts on companies in a particular industry or region.
- Research companies and leads using or engaging with your inbound content but haven’t committed to a deal (yet!).
- Identify three businesses you consider lighthouse accounts and use them as references.
- Each salesperson should be in charge of no more than 10 accounts.
4. Outline a plan for how you will reach your target accounts
There are several ways to connect and establish a relationship with your audience, but the crucial thing is to use the platform where your customers are. This means that you need to carefully select the proper channels for your outreach and make sure your business has a robust presence in them.
Here are the most used methods to get conversions,
- Social media: It's the best way to establish a relationship. Follow and engage with accounts on social media (e.g., join groups they’re in, share helpful content you create).
- Cold emails: Send cold emails to your audience. The conversion rate will be decent here as you move your coins based on data-driven research. Personalize your cold emails with basic information about the recipient, such as a product demo and a solid call to action. You can improve the response rate by including an interactive product demo in your email, as it directly educates your prospect about your product!
- Retargeting: As your prospects interact with your social media and website, you can run retargeting campaigns to make them take action. Moreover, you can build a look-alike audience and run paid ads on social media with the data gathered from your existing users.
5. Deliver a personalized experience
Delivering personalized experiences across multiple channels is an apparent account based marketing strategy. In fact, in a Forrester survey, marketers strongly agreed that personalized content (56%) and advanced data management (43%), are two key factors to achieving ABM success.
If you are using email as your primary source, you can personalize your email by adding a custom demo for each account filled with their basic information.
Yes, your team can't customize every aspect of your demo, and that's where Storylane comes in. It helps you create a personalized demo with all the relevant information about your target accounts.
This way, you can educate your audience better and get maximum conversions as you are also using ABM here! Learn more on how to build these product demos here
6. Analyze and improve
As you assess and review your ABM results, you’ll discover areas that need improvement. Then make changes to address those issues that will benefit all facets of the business—marketing, sales, and accounts included.
Here are some examples of common account-based marketing KPIs that help you evaluate your efforts:
- The number of deals completed
- The number of new contacts added to an account
- The level of engagement with customers (that is, the amount and quality)
- How soon do you close a deal
- How much revenue comes from each deal
When you are using a product demo at the center of your sales and marketing efforts, it's easy for you to track the behavior of your prospects with the help of Storylane.
With the advanced analytics of Storylane, you can view how your prospects interact with your product demo. This helps you and your team tailor your follow-ups and strategies that move your prospect down the funnel!
7 Best ABM Strategies in 2023
As consumers' buying behavior continues to evolve, companies need to adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. To effectively reach your target audience, marketers are turning more and more towards account based marketing strategy as the go-to approach for engaging with customers.
The following are some account based marketing tactics you can implement right away:
1. Tailor topics to address target audience needs
It’s essential to keep your finger on the pulse of what matters to your target audience. By tailoring the topics you cover in your blog posts and social media posts, you can better address their needs and concerns.
Instead of using broad topics, talk about things that are important to your most likely buyers.
To win key accounts, you must focus on the direct needs of these accounts. Try to answer the question: “How can I help?” This will help you maximize your chances of winning essential clients with your account based marketing strategy. Quality over quantity matters here—so make sure each contact has a clear purpose and benefits from your work with them.
2. Use product tours to stand out from the crowd
As you have your ICP in your hand, you know their pain points and what makes them buy from you. Using this information, you can roll out an interactive product tour that shows how your product helps them to solve their problems in real-time.
You can do the same with Storylane. It helps you craft interactive product demo that educates your prospect with its rich features. It is a great way to create a value proposition for your product. It also shows that you understand their needs and how you can help them—making it easier for them to decide in your favor.
3. Leverage the power of LinkedIn
You might be surprised to know that 80% of all B2B leads coming from social media come from LinkedIn. That’s 4 out of every 5 leads.
It makes it evident that LinkedIn is a trusted platform to drive your B2B sales. You can use LinkedIn ad campaigns and target specific accounts relevant to your product.
Unlike other social media platforms, you can also benefit from more laser-focused segmentation when you decide to push for paid promotions.
4. Align your sales and marketing team
Account-based marketing is a strategic shift from sales and marketing operating independently. Leadership must establish the alignment between these two functions to support the quick mapping of customer journeys and effective communication over time.
In fact, companies that use account based marketing strategies are 67% more likely to close deals when they sync their sales and marketing teams. With the latest marketing automation tools, you can segment accounts with greater specificity without overloading your team.
By grouping accounts into clusters, you can focus on regional and territory sales activities. A solid approach to account based marketing begins with your marketing team implementing new tools and strategies, which sales leadership should walk through.
5. Couple sales enablement with your ABM
Sales enablement provides sales teams with the tools, knowledge, and support they need to win new business. More often than not, sales enablement and ABM goes hand in hand.
Account based marketing strategy needs perfect content that sticks with the needs of a particular account with personalization. And without perfect content, your ABM won't deliver results.
This is where sales enablement rolls in. It helps sales teams create, curate, and distribute content that aligns with their account based marketing strategy. With Storylane, you can create a product demo tailored for individual accounts.
It helps your team create, share and analyze the efficiency of the content under one roof without complicating anything.
6. Use intent-based advertising
Intent data gives valuable insights into your customers’ preferences and behavior for use in account-based marketing.
One way to target your ads is through Google's Custom Intent Audiences, which allow you to reach people based on their interests and search history. Another—and arguably the most important thing - is that you can customize the content of your ad, so it responds effectively with a solution for whatever pain point drove them there in the first place.
7. Start slow and scale on the go
It’s important to start slow when you first start using ABM. It can be tempting to dive in headfirst and set up dozens of accounts and campaigns, but this will likely lead to confusion and wasted time.
Instead, take a more measured approach by setting up around 100 accounts per stage of your sales funnel with one campaign each—that way, you’ll be able to track how each one works for your business.
Benefits of ABM
By speeding up the movement of decision makers through your funnel, aligning internal processes, and increasing revenue—all things that ABM can do for you.
Here are the top benefits of using account based marketing strategy,
- Increased ROI: With ABM, you’re able to target customers who have a high likelihood of converting. That way, you can spend your budget more effectively and efficiently than ever.
- Better optimization: With ABM, you can create and optimize your campaigns based on individual customer profiles. That means you’ll be able to reach your target audience more effectively with the right message at the right time.
- Increased revenue: When you use account based marketing, it’s easier to get in front of your ideal customers—so they have a better chance of making a purchase decision.
- It's data-driven: With an account-based marketing strategy, you can be more data-driven and make better decisions because you're starting with existing customer data.
- Shorter sales cycle: With ABM, you are eliminating the need to reach out to a prospect who doesn't have an interest in your product. This will shorten your sales cycle and make it easier to close deals with customers who are interested in what you have to offer.
- Increased efficiency: With ABM, you can streamline your sales process and increase your efficiency. By focusing on a smaller number of accounts, you'll be able to spend more time with each and get the most out of it.
Educate your prospects and win the deal
What makes your prospect signup for your offer?
The answer is simple: They need to understand what you have to offer and how it will benefit them. This is the heart of your account based marketing strategy.
You need to educate your prospects and show them the value of your product or service before they understand why they should buy it. Though you can use multiple content formats to educate your prospects, an interactive product tour is the most effective.
This is where Storylane comes in. It helps you create your interactive product demo in minutes with its rich features.
With the help of a product tour, they can touch and feel your product and the value it brings. As you are already using the ABM strategy, the conversion rate will increase when your prospect learns how it will benefit them.
Want to know more about how Storylane works for your account based marketing strategy? Schedule a free demo, and we will show you how, as we have helped multiple B2B product owners like you!