Whether you work in sales or marketing, one of your top KPIs is to generate new leads and sales – that’s especially true if you work in the B2B space.
We’re also willing to bet that you’re using marketing channels like paid ads, email and social media. But, if you’re not getting the results you need, then its time to stop the ‘spraying and praying’, switch things up and get more targeted.
And we’ve got the answer – account-based marketing (ABM). 👇 👇 👇
What is account-based marketing?
Have you ever heard the phrase account-based marketing before? We’re not going to blame you if you haven’t. 🙄 😛
It’s one of those terms that tends to come and go in the world of marketing and sales.
But what exactly is it? 🤔
Think of the sales funnel you’re probably using now (please tell us you’re using one!).
You’re probably creating interesting, informative content and then casting it out into the digital realm, be it via blog pages, emails, social media platforms or any combination thereof.
You then hope and wait that all of that lovingly crafted content gets noticed by a potential customer who gets in contact or submits an enquiry. ✨ ✨ ✨
So far so good.
But it’s all a bit speculative, isn’t it?!
Do you really know who is going to respond? Do you know if they’ll be the right type of customer for your business?
Not necessarily. 👀
You’re effectively casting a net and seeing what you catch. That’s not always the best use of your marketing budget. 🎣
That’s where account-based marketing comes in… 💪 💪 💪
Account-based marketing flips the sales funnel on its head 🙃 , with the first stage seeing your sales and marketing team working together to identify businesses (or ‘accounts’) that they would like to secure as customers. 🎯
The results of this first stage of the ABM should be a series of ‘ideal customer profiles’. In other words, descriptions of the best businesses you want to work with. 🙌
This is followed by identifying a contact within the target company, who is then nurtured by both sales and marketing until they become a customer. 🫂
The nifty illustration below shows how account-based marketing differs from the traditional marketing funnel:
The difference between the two approaches isn’t simply restricted to tactics. As you can see in the table below, account-based marketing has a different focus, measure of success, objectives and research tools compared to traditional marketing funnels:
Why not both?
You can’t have the best of both worlds, can you?
Actually, yes, you can! 😀 🌝
It’s possible to set up your marketing and sales functions so that the traditional sales funnel ‘plugs in’ to your account-based marketing process.
For example, if your traditional marketing funnel generates a lead which is part of a target account, then that lead can then be nurtured by your account-based marketing process.
That way, you can continue your brand-building and lead gen marketing activity, but have the leads generated nurtured by your crack team of ABM specialists.
Win, win! 🎉 🥳 🎉
Get account-based marketing right and it really can have a transformative impact on your B2B business. 📈
In fact, there are more benefits to account-based marketing than many people realise.
Let’s take a look at them… 👇 👇 👇
The benefits of account-based marketing
Should you really go to the effort of establishing an account-based marketing approach in your business?
After all, your leadership and your sales and marketing teams may be perfectly happy with the way they’re doing things at the moment. 🙋
But, tell them about the following benefits and they’ll quickly realise that account-based marketing is more than worth a go. 🔥 💯
1. Sales and marketing alignment
They’re perennial complaints. “Marketing isn’t generating good enough leads”. “Sales isn’t doing anything with our leads”.
The traditional marketing funnel all too often pits sales and marketing teams against each other. 😡 😡
Account-based marketing eliminates this conflict and aligns sales and marketing teams so they’re working towards a common goal. 😇 😇
Because marketing staff are focused on targeting accounts, they’ll be speaking the same language as sales staff. Traditionally, marketing bods would be focused on industries or sectors, whilst sales teams would be focused on accounts.
Account-based marketing brings the two functions into alignment. 🤲
Oh, and it really does work.
According to Forrester Research, ‘organisations with aligned sales and marketing teams see an average of 32% annual revenue growth, while less aligned companies see a 7% decline in growth’. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
2. Efficient marketing and sales funnels
When you compare the traditional marketing funnel to account-based marketing, it’s immediately clear that ABM is far more efficient.
Instead of casting a net and seeing what you get back, ABM has a laser-like focus on accounts that you want to win. 🔫
ABM is so focused, that there’s little to no waste (in either your marketing or sales functions). 🗑️
One of the best analogies we’ve seen on this point is that ABM is like fishing with a spear compared to a net.
In other words, you’re only targeting people and businesses who are actually going to want to work with you. 🎯 🎯
3. Shorter sales cycles
Have you ever been frustrated at how long a lead takes to convert? 🥱 😴
Yeah, us too!
That’s one of the issues with the traditional marketing funnel. There’s no guarantee that a lead is going to convert. And if it does, it could take months.
This is often because a major purchase involves multiple decision-makers. This slows down the sales process as a decision will have to move up through an organisation to the primary decision-maker.
ABM shortens this process as ALL prospects within an account are nurtured simultaneously across multiple touchpoints. 🙌 🙌 🙌
4. Demonstrate expertise
Businesses are approached all of the time by other businesses looking to sell them a service or product.
These approaches are typically fairly generic e.g. ‘you work in this industry, so you need this service/product’. 🙄
With account-based marketing, you can really stand apart from these generic approaches. Because you are focusing on an individual business and a set of individuals within it, you can truly learn its nuances and particular details. 🔍
This means that you can make your approach highly personalised and tailored to the business. 😏 😏
In other words, you can truly demonstrate that you understand their business and that you have the expertise to solve their pain points.
5. Personalised customer experiences
Related directly to the above point, ABM allows you to create personalised customer experiences. 🤝🏿
Account-based marketing allows you to run campaigns targeted at a single company. 🏢
All too often, marketing campaigns are crafted and delivered in a way that suits the marketing team rather than in a way that suits the target audience (e.g. content is highly generic, gets reused across multiple campaigns etc).
Account-based marketing forces marketing teams to drop this lazy approach, and create campaigns that are truly individualised and tailored to the target business/audience. 🧑💼 🧑💼🧑💼
This results in campaigns that not only actually convert, but also deliver far better returns.
6. Zero waste marketing
Talking of returns, here’s another benefit of account-based marketing.
It’s effectively zero waste marketing! 🚯
When you’re running traditional marketing campaigns, you’re often pouring significant resources into campaigns that don’t have a guaranteed return. There’s a huge amount of guesswork and considerable risk.
Consider the following; the average email click-through rate is 2.6%. The ROI on direct mail is approximately 1%. Social media campaigns tend to convert at around 1%. 😮💨 😮💨
Those aren’t great returns. Especially when you consider the time and effort that goes into those types of campaigns. 🗑️ 🗑️ 🗑️
Account-based marketing on the other hand only creates campaigns that will convert (as long as the initial ideal customer profiles are correct). 💰💰💰
You’re only pouring effort into campaigns which have a strong chance of success.
Now that’s what we call zero waste marketing! 👍
7. Better ROI
Account-based marketing isn’t only zero waste, but it generates an excellent return on investment (ROI).
Don’t just take our word for it though.
According to a survey conducted by ITSMA (Information Technology Services Marketing Association), 82% of survey respondents said that their ABM initiatives outperformed their other marketing activities in terms of ROI. 💯
That’s not all. Forrester Research (yep, those guys again), report that 91% of companies that use account-based marketing have increased the size of the deals they make. What’s more 25% of these companies saw their deal sizes increase by 50% or more.
Yep, ABM really is that good! 🔥 🔥 🔥
Do you want to implement ABM in your business?
You should do!
As we’ve set out above, ABM has a wealth of benefits, particularly for companies operating in the business-to-business space.
But, like anything worthwhile, it’s the execution that matters. 😎 😎 😎
ABM is easy to talk about but requires expertise to be deployed correctly.
That’s where Snap comes in. We’re experts at running account-based marketing initiatives that build pipeline, drive sales and grow your business.
Ready to find out more? 👇 👇👇
Find out more about account-based marketing from Snap now
For more marketing advice, ideas and more, read the Snap blog!