According to research by ABM Leadership Alliance, B2B companies see a whopping 171% increase in average annual contract value after implementing an account-based marketing strategy. Considering the tremendous benefits you could gain from switching up your marketing and sales strategies, here’s what you need to get started:
What is account-based marketing?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a B2B marketing strategy in which marketing and sales teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers. Instead of using up all of their resources for lead-generation efforts, marketers leveraging ABM work closely with sales to identify key contacts and create customized campaigns and messaging for them within target accounts. Account-based marketing is certainly not a new concept, but it has recently made a comeback due to its high success rate and widespread adoption across industries.
Why is ABM important?
One of the ways you can get the most value out of your top customer accounts is by marketing to them—whether to the department you’re already working with or other departments within that account—to boost upselling and cross-selling opportunities. Account-based marketing is now seen as a revenue strategy across teams, and it is rapidly becoming the standard way for Go-To-Market teams like marketing, sales, and customer success to work together as full-funnel revenue generators.
What are the benefits of leveraging ABM?
- Shorter sales cycle
Significant purchase decisions involve multiple stakeholders. According to a survey of technology buyers and vendors by TrustRadius, just this past year, 67% of buying committees were made up of between 2-5 people, and only 4% of purchases were made by a single buyer. Naturally, the sales cycle becomes longer the more decision makers are involved, and this has a potential to slow down the sales process. With account-based marketing, the length of the cycle can be shortened since all prospects are nurtured simultaneously. In many organizations, the sales cycle involves launching a broad campaign to attract as many prospects as possible, going through all those prospects to identify high-value leads, and slowly moving the leads through the pipeline with the hope of eventually closing the deal. However, with ABM, marketers and salespeople can identify target accounts, gather key contacts, and personalize the messages and experience, giving the sales team a higher chance to convert them.
- Higher ROI and efficiency in the use of marketing budget
Account-based marketing is measurable and precise, providing the highest ROI of all B2B marketing strategies. This statement is backed by the 2017 ITSMA account-based marketing survey which concluded that compared to other marketing initiatives, 87% of companies say ABM delivers higher ROI. Opting for more targeted campaigns leads to a less sporadic approach and fewer wasted resources. With lead-based initiatives, companies are forced to spend their marketing budget on acquiring as many leads as possible (good or bad) and then qualifying them afterward, which oftentimes results in money being wasted on low-fit leads. To avoid this from happening, it’s far more cost-effective to determine which accounts are the best fit for your products or services before you reach out to them, and then spend your money and efforts on acquiring them through the appropriate channels: email, mobile, web, events, and more.
- Sales and marketing alignment
This may or may not sound surprising to you, but companies with strongly aligned sales and marketing teams earn 208% more in annual revenue. Lucky for those who leverage ABM, this strategy aligns marketing and sales in the identification and pursuit of a set of target accounts with the greatest potential for business. With the help of ABM, companies are able to gain competitive advantage when their marketers work with sales to make strategic and tactical decisions on which accounts to focus on, what those accounts and their decision makers care about, and how to use those insights to engage prospects in relevant and timely ways. By teaming up, sales and marketing get to share knowledge and insights that benefit both parties—marketers can customize their campaigns and messaging, and salespeople can present more tailored solutions, resulting in a great customer experience throughout the entire cycle.
- Personalized approach
Personalized marketing approaches are more likely to receive higher engagement from prospects and customers. According to Aberdeen Group, 75% of the customers say that they prefer personalized messaging and content. For example, when you are sending out emails, almost everyone prefers to be addressed by their name rather than by generic openers like “Hi there,” “Dear valued customer,” and “Greetings.” Account-based marketing takes personalization to a whole new level by allowing marketers to develop content that resonates with key decision makers’ wants and needs in order to move them through the buyer’s journey. Such targeted content requires research, which the key decision makers should recognize and appreciate. It also requires marketing and sales to work together to efficiently and effectively engage these high-value contacts in a way that is going to be the most meaningful to them.
Are you leveraging account-based marketing at your organization? Find out what other marketing strategies industry leaders are using by joining the RevOps sub-group in Systematic!