ABM can be a new norm in sales and marketing landscape but is it apt for your company? Some call it a buzzword, some call it a new marketing style or a marketing strategy suitable in B2B marketing domain. But should you be looking at ABM as a marketing strategy to act on immediately?
Let’s first look at the basic requirements that can be enough to kick off ABM in your organization:
1) Yours is a B2B organization
2) You want to go after big accounts and add them to your portfolio
3) You personalize content to allure these identified big players
4) You want your sales and marketing to function in tandem
But these are just the high level requirements and they are not enough to justify the implementation of ABM. There are much more at the granular level that you and your team need to answer before you decide to bring ABM under your marketing strategies.
Questions that need to be answered
1) Who do you want to target?
Do you have the list of your target accounts ready? How big are these players? It’s important for your team to have done a thorough research on these accounts and their decision makers. Every account or business that you are targeting will have more than one decision maker. This means that your sales reps should be prepared to meet with each individual of the account in the same or various different meetings or touch points and get them closer to conversion.
2) Is the content ready and engaging?
Yes, content needs to be tailor-made in case of ABM to influence the decision makers of an account. Always remember that these decision makers of your prospect client are top-notch executives or sometimes owners of the business themselves. So, when writing and email or sharing your valuable content about your business, it is best to stand out and not waste their time. Hence, personalization is highly recommended.
3) Is your organizations’ sales and marketing teams aligned?
ABM isn’t just yet another type of marketing strategy. ABM can show successful result only and only if your sales and marketing teams are aligned. How do you know if your marketing team’s new campaign done for an account was received well until marketing talks to sales about feedback? How can sales reps prepare their pitch if they don’t get insight from marketing? Hence, make sure that the two are tightly aligned and have just one goal- to close the targeted account!
4) Is your data clean?
If you have multiple sources of data, invest in one good CRM and bring them under one umbrella. Clean your prospects data and align them. Once the data is cleaned you will get to know your prospects well and design campaigns around them.
5) Do you use Analytics to glean through data?
Who are your prospects? Who needs your service or product right away? How many contacts are there in each account? Which accounts share similar characteristics? All these you can know if you have
Data Analytics in place to predict and know your target audience. This is the stage that comes after data cleaning. Yes, with the use of Data Mining and Analytics techniques you can work on your campaign more intelligently.
What type of companies can benefit from ABM?
1) If you have really big deals in your sales pipeline, then roll up your sleeves to get that account sign up for your business.
2) If your predictive analytics is in place and you don’t have to rely on guess work, then implement ABM and go after the accounts that are sure to convert.
3) When you need something more than inbound marketing. If you have exhausted all inbound techniques to let prospects discover you, it could be time you want to allure the prospects with ABM tactics.
4) If in the targeted account has more number of decision makers. These decision makers influence each other in a product’s purchase cycle. So, it’s your job as as sales leader to influence each of them with personalized content and messaging. This can be achieved only through ABM techniques.
What type of companies may NOT benefit from ABM?
1) If you are a new kid in the block with new product or service, you can’t benefit from being selective. In that case you have to target everyone in the industry and let your data grow.
2) If you haven’t built a predictable pipeline. For ABM to work in your favor you need to predict things like which source gives more number of customers and scale from there. Through sales pipeline you make calculations to reach your target revenue and if you haven’t built this pipeline, don’t venture into ABM.
3) If you don’t have the right infrastructure to support big clients. The business doesn’t end with the handshakes, it actually starts from there. So, figure out first if you have the right number of people and other resources to support big accounts once they come onboard.
Is ABM for you ?
Now that you have answer to these questions you can judge by yourself if you need and can afford ABM. ABM in B2B selling can’t be taken as an experiment. It needs lot of resources and hard work to start the implementation itself before your organization could reap the benefits.