Five Ways Business Development Teams Can Accelerate ABM
Many companies are increasingly re-orientating their sales and marketing approaches towards Account-based Marketing (ABM).
In a Hubspot survey of 1,500 marketers around the globe, 7 in 10 companies this year (2021) indicated that they use ABM. Compared to the previous year, this was a surge of 15%.
All indications show that this marketing trend is even more likely to catch on.
It could be because this business strategy is living up to the hype. According to an IT Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) marketing survey, 87% of marketers believed that ABM performs much better than all other marketing strategies.
In the face of all this, how can business development teams escalate the adoption of ABM in their marketing efforts so they can see faster—and better returns.
We suggest these five simple ways:
1. Identifying ICP and tier-1 account targets
The first step on the ABM ladder is identifying an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). This is because you want to work with high-value clients who have the potential of giving you the best returns for your investment. And this is incredibly important because ABM is a resource-heavy strategy.
So how can you easily identify your ideal customer profile?
You should first be aware that an ICP is not about an individual but about an idea of a company that, in your mind, is not just good—but perfect—for the solution you’re offering.
In identifying your ICP, you should list down desirable company characteristics like:
- Geographical location
- The number of employees.
- Annual revenue
- Technology adoption, and the like.
These highlighted parameters are not, however, conclusive.
Plugging these characteristics, your ICP may look like this:
Our preferred client is a B2C fashion store on the east coast with annual revenues of at least $10 million. Their customer profile should largely consist of generation Z.
After identifying your ideal customer profile, you should classify them into different tiers. Consequently, you should devote the highest resources to customers who are in tier-1. This is the category that’ll give you the highest revenue.
2. Follow priority accounts in the news
If you want to succeed with a potential client, you’ll need to follow them on the web, perhaps even stalk them and become customer-obsessed. We say this positively, of course.
You’ll want to know the challenges they face, the new products they are rolling out, the community causes they are engaged in, and the like.
You can do this very easily by:
- Following their accounts on social media, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
- Setting up a Google Alert so you’ll be notified whenever your potential client’s name registers on Google searches.
You can then congratulate them when the news is positive. On the flip side, you can empathize with them. When tactfully done, both situations may be good sales and conversion opportunities.
3. Find and follow leaders within your target accounts
Account-based marketing involves personalization and building enduring relationships. As a result, identifying leaders and decision-makers in the respective target is critical. Without these individuals, your engagement will be faceless and impersonal.
The next step is to follow these decision-makers on their social media accounts. By doing this, you’ll see the type of content they are interacting with.
You should then send them information on similar topics or related ones. If your solution addresses their pain points, your journey to conversion is firmly on track.
4. Come to every conversation as an industry or customer expert
If you’re not careful, your sales conversation can mess you up big time. You mess up here, and you’re done. The thing is, you need to research the prospect and know exactly how your offering provides a solution to them.
While knowing your stuff can make you confident—which is OK—you shouldn’t be cocky. You must be on top of your conversational selling game, articulating the benefits of your product calmly and listening patiently to questions or even objections.
5. Move accounts into a nurture program if they aren’t ready to buy
Don’t rush decision-makers. They may smell desperation. Instead, nurture them.
However, nurturing prospects is no stroll in the park. According to the 2021 Lead Nurturing & Acceleration Survey, 84% of marketing respondents viewed nurturing as either challenging or very challenging.
When tailored, useful content is one way to go about nurturing your accounts. You may also want to use multiple channels instead of a single one, like email marketing. Also, a prompt call after a lead always has higher chances of conversion than cold calls—no matter how numerous.
ModuleQ can help accelerate revenue
As B2B revenue teams, ABM undoubtedly has immense potential to revolutionize the sales and marketing landscape. Yet frustrations and challenges abound. You may find it difficult to identify high-value clients or nurture your accounts.
At ModuleQ, our AI Platform helps you align your sales strategy with today's buyer expectations by making it easy to target high-value prospects and prioritize leads who will be most likely to convert into customers.