10 Steps to Maximize Account-Based Marketing

By Sangram Vajre

Account-based marketing is focused B2B marketing. That’s raw truth. If you can focus all of your attention on accounts that matter, people who care about your message, and channels they like to engage on, you are doing account-based marketing.

Start with identify

Focusing on the right accounts is the first step for any successful marketing campaign. If you don’t know which companies you’re targeting, your message might end up being too generic. This is why we’ve flipped the traditional B2B marketing and sales funnel on its head. Instead of blasting your message to tons of leads, you’re tailoring your message to the right accounts which you’ve identified as a best-fit for your company’s product or service.

Know who to target

Persona is a big buzzword in the B2B world, but it’s also very real. A persona is the individual in a company you have identified as being an ideal user for your product or service. Personalizing your message to the person who is passionate about your industry, interested in your product or service, and understands how it fulfills a business need is the holy grail of B2B marketing. Your message is only as good as the person receiving it and acknowledging it on the other side of the table.

Focus on right channels

Almost every day, a new channel emerges in the digital marketing world. But not all marketing channels are important. What is important is knowing if your target audience is on channel. Be where your customer is.

Not all leads are equal

According to the traditional definition in the B2B world, leads are folks that have shown interest. However, not every person who has shown an interest is a qualified lead. For example, if a lead completes a form, or downloads a piece of content from your website, you will want to take an ABM lens to this lead.

  • What company does this lead work for?
  • Is it in your targeted industry or marketing vertical?
  • Does the lead’s job title align with one of your personas?

Only focus on the right leads which belong to your target companies and fit one of your personas to make sure you give them incredible customer service. Don’t push them to buy from your company. Start with asking them why?Engage them to learn why they were interested in learning about your business.

Turn salespeople into marketers

Marketing’s most-important job needs to be accelerating deals through the pipeline and providing air cover to sales. This can only be done when marketing collaborates with the sales team to learn more about the accounts they’re targeting and providing content that will truly help them close new revenue. So who’s the marketer now? “Smarketing” is a god term for one sales and marketing team.

Focus on quality over quantity

For over a decade, the marketing team’s job has been to fill the top of the funnel with leads, irrespective of who these contacts are and what company they work for. The new age of B2B marketers understands the need to focus and do targeted marketing to get better results. Just putting more leads at the top of the funnel doesn’t drive real results.

Upsell, cross-sell, and advocate

The best place to get more revenue and new customers is from your existing customers. Focusing on net new customers is not targeted marketing. Focusing on the right customers is account-based marketing. These are the customers you want to engage with, providing them with “how to” content (such as checklists, implementation guides, and video tutorials) to turn them into champion users of your product or service. Ultimately, your goal is to create customer advocates who become an authentic voice for marketing your product or service. Word-of-mouth marketing has a higher ROI than any other type of marketing activity or channel.

Run velocity campaigns

Effective B2B organizations know the time it takes to close a deal from point A to point B. Create ABM campaigns to improve the time it takes to close a deal incrementally. We call this generating sales velocity. Just like in physics, sales velocity = distance over time. So how can we move accounts through the sales pipeline — from prospect to opportunity to customer — in a shorter amount of time? This is where account-based marketing comes in with targeted activities and campaigns tailored to those accounts. A percentage increase in the time it takes to close any of these qualified accounts to closed-won revenues could mean millions in new revenue.

Change the metrics

Stop looking at vanity metrics like impressions, leads, clicks, and open rates, and start looking at business metrics that matter! For account-based marketing, this means looking at pipeline velocity, account engagement, and deal size to measure the success of your ABM metrics.

Hold yourself accountable

Give ABM a real shot. If you try it for three months and quit, that’s not ABM. This is a fundamental shift from doing a batch and blast marketing to focused marketing. This requires a cohesive strategy, alignment with sales and marketing, and buy-in from your executive stakeholders.