Reaching the key decision-makers in your target audience in B2B SaaS marketing has become increasingly challenging as traditional channels aren’t performing. Audiences are fatigued with the endless spam, digital ads, cold calls, and impersonal marketing emails. Their issues are unique, and they are quite certain a “one size fits all” solution is not the answer. How do you engage these individuals? Today’s successful companies employ personalized tools and techniques to transform their marketing efforts, providing the right content at the right time through ABM.
Gartner defines ABM (Account-Based Marketing) as a “go-to-market strategy targeting certain accounts with a synchronized, continuous set of marketing and sales activities, (a steady stream of personalized content tailored to the individual business). With ABM, instead of casting a wide net, a B2B marketer gets intentionally selective about focusing on leads or accounts that have a high chance of conversion.”
There is no questioning the logic; in a recent study, ITSMA (IT Services Marketing Association) found that 87% of marketers implementing ABM reported that it provides a higher ROI than any other type of marketing. You may have experienced success previously with a highly targeted and personalized approach, but how do you scale this go-to-market effort? In this article, we detail a four-step strategy to simplify the execution of ABM.
Getting Started with Account-Based Marketing
Just as there is no “I” in our 4-Step approach, there is no “I” in ABM. The strategy requires collaboration and alignment across the organization. Senior management buy-in and a coordinated sales and marketing effort will ensure your program is as efficient as possible. ABM allows sales and marketing teams to focus on full-funnel activity for your selected set of target accounts. Having all stakeholders engaged and fully committed to creating personalized experiences to delight your audience is essential.
4-Step Strategy to Getting Started with ABM
The cross-functional alignment of an ABM strategy requires a “team” approach targeting the right accounts, engagement, activating and executing the strategy, and measuring success.
Target Accounts – Identify Your Ideal Target Customers
Select those high-value target accounts with your ideal customer profile where you will invest your time and resources. Prioritize accounts based on specific criteria, such as fit, companies that share the same attributes as your best customers; or potential, accounts where you may generate the most sales, revenue, or profits. Other considerations are size, enterprise, or mid-small cap, industry, geography, or previous engagement, customers already in your database. Ask your team, if we could replicate one great success from last year; what would that customer look like.
Engage the Appropriate Key Account Personnel
The right message, at the right time, to the right individuals. Sales and marketing collaborate to identify the “who,” influencers, and buying committee members involved in purchasing IT or SaaS services at targeted accounts. With sales’ input, ABM marketers create personalized engagement content to address solutions to the unique issues of the targets. Sales and marketing jointly determine channels and required touchpoints for support and engagement at each stage of the sales process.
Activating and Executing Your ABM Strategy
The most successful ABM executions determine the company’s most salient point/points of difference and specific value proposition for each targeted account. Content addresses solutions while reinforcing these messages. In a recent study, LinkedIn found that a combination of lead generation coupled with brand awareness advertising delivers the best holistic ABM campaign performance.
Measure Performance with Account-Based
Monitoring performance by targeted accounts will help sales and marketing identify gaps or areas where course correction is required in your strategy. Among those companies with an advanced ABM program in place, pipeline generation, account engagement, and revenue generated are typically the top three metrics to measure success. When starting with ABM, deal generation and deal-to-close time should also be scrutinized as early indicators.
Reaching the appropriate decision-makers with the right content is, by far, the most significant challenge for those initiating an ABM strategy. If you’re interested in solutions to these challenges, Revenue-Inc. is the B2B SaaS Marketing Agency that can help you – “execution and results guaranteed.”