Many experts predicted that account-based selling would be a fad, but the approach has actually turned out to be a very effective way to generate hyper-specific leads for your business.
According to Hubspot, 67% of brands have started using an account-based strategy as part of their overall lead generation efforts. The interesting thing is that almost two-thirds of these professionals say they’ve made more inbound requests via email as a result of this strategy.
What’s more, almost 90% of companies say account-based practices have helped them develop better working relationships with their leads. Therefore, it only makes sense to look at how you can use account-based marketing tactics within your next B2B sales campaign.
Account-Based Marketing Best Practices to Rock Your B2B Sales
1. Build a Strong Target Account List.
Image Source: ABMLeadershipAlliance
When you’re working on an ABM campaign, the most important thing is to make sure you choose the right accounts.
You can begin by taking an inventory of your current client base, then identify patterns of success. Companies that are similar to your current clients will be an ideal fit for future sales campaigns. You can also consider using account based marketing services to look for companies that fit a certain profile, such as location and size.
Remember: Accuracy is key. The more targeted your list is from the outset, the less work you will have to do down the line. Inaccurate account lists can be costly in terms of time and money—you want to be talking to the right decision-makers in the companies you’re reaching out to, after all.
Also, do not forget about existing clients. These are people who have worked with you in the past and are happy with what you provide.
2. Pay Special Attention to High-Value Accounts.
In account-based marketing, you invest more time and resources into a select group of highly valuable accounts instead of distributing your efforts across a wider audience.
To do this, you must become better acquainted with the accounts you want to target. You can then create personalized content, campaigns, and communications that address their specific goals and challenges. When you are able to tailor your offerings, your relevance among these key accounts is maximized.
3. Design Offers That will Land You Meetings with Your Prospects.
As a marketer, it’s easy to fall into the trap of using the same old tactics to generate leads. And while webinars and white papers can be effective, there are other ways you can engage with prospects that may not be part of your current strategy—such as designing offers.
Examples include free technology assessments or security audits. The goal of an offer is to get prospects to agree to a meeting with sales. Once they’re in front of sales, they are much more likely to convert into an opportunity.
4. Create Personalized Cold Email Campaigns.
First, get yourself a good list of targeted companies that you want to do business with and develop a strategy for reaching out cold. Prepare an email that is both personalized and direct:
- Tell the company about yourself and your company.
- State your purpose for contacting them.
- Provide an interest-gated offer of some kind.
Make sure you give them a way of responding without being intrusive—if they’re interested they’ll let you know.
5. Content Syndication Can Help You Warm Up Your Leads.
Content syndication is a fantastic way to warm up your leads long before your sales teams engage them, and the best part is that it’s easy to implement. All you need to do is put your most meaningful and relevant content in front of your target leads. This could be anything from whitepapers and articles to ebooks or videos or even more customized content.
Let’s say you’re a B2B company selling security systems for network infrastructure. With content syndication, you could put together a guide that discusses what types of security breaches are happening now and how companies might be vulnerable to them.
By providing this information, you’ll be on the mind of your target lead when they’re ready to turn on their security system. Plus, they’ll already associate you with helpful resources, so it’ll make it easier for them to consider purchasing from you!
6. Use Intent Data to Find Potential Buyers.
Finding the right people to target is one of the most important parts of an ABM strategy. If you don’t have the right accounts, even a perfectly executed account-based marketing strategy won’t have a significant impact.
Enter intent data. It’s a great way to get insights into the behavior of your most qualified prospects, enabling you to target them with tailored outreach.
For example, if you sell cloud storage solutions to small businesses, how do you use intent data to find companies with a need for such a solution? You might start by looking at all companies that are in the market for cloud-based solutions by looking at their overall consumption of content related to cloud computing. This can give you a long list of potential candidates.
But it’s not enough just to look at cloud computing in general — you also have to understand what types of cloud computing they’re interested in. From that perspective, you can see all companies whose employees have been consuming content about SaaS storage solutions or hybrid storage solutions or enterprise storage solutions, or whatever other criteria you think would be relevant.
7. Measure Your Account-Based Marketing Success.
Let’s take a look at some of the metrics you should be tracking as part of your account-based marketing program:
- Revenue generated. This seems like an obvious metric, but it’s important to remember that ABM is about influencing revenue, not immediately generating it. You can’t expect a huge increase in revenue after one campaign — it will take time to see the results.
- Revenue per account(RPA). This measurement shows how effective your efforts are at converting target accounts into customers who pay for your products or services
- Leads. If you’re doing a good job of targeting your prospects, you should see a significant increase in the number of high-quality leads that come through your funnel.
- Engagement Rate. Are you seeing an increase in engagement on your website? Is there more activity on your social media pages? Are people clicking through your emails? If they’re not engaging with your content, you may need to adjust your messaging or re-evaluate which accounts you’re targeting.
- Quality of new sales opportunities created. Not all sales opportunities are created equal; some have a better chance of converting than others. Are the leads generated by your account-based marketing strategy meeting or exceeding the quality of leads from other methods?
- Account engagement metrics: Account engagement can be measured in a number of ways, including the number of calls, email opens and clicks, video views, web visits, and downloads. You may also want to track the number of meetings scheduled with each account as well as the deal size for those meetings.
- Account win rates: This metric is especially important because it shows how many deals are actually won from each account once they come into your pipeline.
There is no one-size-fits-all with account-based marketing. Job titles and roles are going to vary and so should your approach to them. Make sure you’re not just adding another task to the bottom of your to-do list, but that you’re taking the time needed to have a personal relationship with these key accounts.