4 MIN. READ
If you page through the Bible to Matthew 13, you'll find the parable of a farmer who sowed seed. Unfortunately for him, his agricultural methods were indiscriminate. The seed fell on good soil but also in harsher locales where it couldn't take hold and grow.
A generalized marketing strategy is similar. Your pitch may reach some good prospects but also find many who consign it to a spam or circular file. Account-based marketing (ABM) is a process that allows you to aim for the targets most likely to return a crop of successful sales. ABM best practices involve personalizing your approach to the peculiarities and pain points of your most fertile prospects. You build stronger relationships with key accounts by directly addressing potential purchasers' needs and company cultures.
Personalization in your ABM can take many forms. It can apply to:
● The content of messages such as emails.
● The content of presentations is delivered in person.
● Experiences such as on-site demonstrations of equipment or software.
To achieve this personalization, you will need a great deal of data. Analytics are one source of data. They can focus on metrics such as conversion rates and return on investment (ROI). You can find many types of software and web tools for this purpose. You will also need the information of a less numerical nature, such as the names, positions, and direct emails of contacts most likely to yield sales.
You'll find many of the most current approaches to ABM based on the "Forester B2B Revenue Waterfall." With this model, you can address multiple selling opportunities within a company and related businesses. For this purpose, you may find the family trees and lists of competitors offered in IndustrySelect subscriptions particularly helpful.
ABM identifies specific high-value accounts and crafts messages specially tailored to engage the contacts associated with those accounts. To create this engagement, your message must be highly relevant. For example, if you sell tooling, you'd want to highlight how it would produce parts with tighter tolerances and fewer rejects. If your company creates software, you might offer a product that would reduce the time to process reports and lessen the need for overtime. This attention leads to better bottom lines for you and your customers.
Personalization in ABM also aims to improve the customer experience. Through a greater understanding of a prospect's situation, you can answer any questions or concerns without boring them with extraneous material.
Personalization can also yield more rapid sales. When you directly address prospects' pain points, they'll jump at the chance for a cure.
Your increased knowledge and understanding of your customers can generate greater loyalty. Why would they take the chance of jumping ship when they dwell in comfort and security aboard?
With the shift from services to goods, industrial labor is a scarce commodity. ABM can help you target prospects where your products can fill the gap.
As industry struggles against inflation, targeting prospects where you can offer a hedge against increasing costs will up your sales.
You can implement personalized ABM in seven steps.
1. Identify your targets. Use your analytics data and internal and external sources to tag the accounts most likely to provide your company with the highest value.
2. Understand your targets. Dive deep for everything you can learn about the accounts you've chosen. Find out their annual revenue and who their competitors are. Consider the requirements of any relevant stakeholders.
3. Personalize your content or presentation. Study your prospects' pain points and identify contacts with the power to allow you to address them. When you send an email, walk in the door or pick up the phone, be ready with a pitch that goes to the heart of their business needs.
4. Choose the appropriate channels. Are you looking to approach through social media, a call, email or personal contact? Determine the approach that works best for a particular account and target it at the most likely responder(s).
5. Offer solutions. Not only must you understand pain points, but you also need a plausible solution to assuage them. If you are offering what didn't work with the other guy, you're wasting your time and likely to face a closed door in the future. Investigate previous failures and offer a fresh approach.
6. Take stock of results. Measure what's working and what isn't and adjust accordingly. A slight change in messaging can make all the difference in conversion.
7. Automate what you can. There's no substitute for your firm handshake on a shop floor. However, emails and social media posts can be sent automatically. Using analytics to improve performance the next time around can be automated as well. Employ your human resources where they can generate the most value.
While implementing personalization in ABM may seem daunting, you'll find the effort worth it in increased prosperity for your company.
By using ABM best practices, you'll increase revenues from new and existing accounts. You'll reduce your deal cycles and increase your conversion rates. You'll see every dollar allotted to sales and marketing produce a greater impact. In short, you'll be more successful – and so will your clients.
To personalize, you need personal information. An IndustrySelect subscription offers precisely that. You can access everything you need to know to build relationships with potential prospects. You'll also find information on related businesses and competitors. Set up your free demo account today, loaded with 800 free company profiles, and see how personalized ABM can be. Or read further on how IndustrySelect can supercharge your ABM campaigns.