10 min read

ABM Strategy That Can’t Be Ignored: Calling Your Prospects

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Introduction

Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a hot🔥 strategy in B2B business development right now, and for good reason: it’s been proven to work. Not some fad, the concept of ABM was coined in 2004 by the ITSMA. For almost 20 years it’s been tested in the marketplace. Its widespread adoption now is based on compelling, irrefutable data. If your B2B company is not yet implementing it, it’s time to start.

If your company has been practicing ABM for a while, you have developed a cadence of targeted emails, unique website pages, LinkedIn and pay-per-click ad campaigns and organic social media designed to reach your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and targeted companies. Sales calls should be included in that cadence. However, in some organizations only the marketing department is driving ABM. If so, outbound sales calls may not be included in the strategy mix, or may be considered an afterthought.

But here’s the cold hard truth: whether your sales organization has been using ABM for years or months, or just now jumping in, there is one affiliated strategy that should not be ignored or postponed: Outbound calling to your prospect list

Outbound Calling Provides Alignment  

It’s difficult for marketing pros to admit that they may not be sending out the right messages, at the right time, to the right prospects. That is the essence of the job, after all. However, too many marketing teams are sending out emails and creating ads that are not coordinated with sales messaging, and perhaps are sending messages out to prospects in separate cadences that don’t coordinate.   

And that’s why in the most successful companies, sales and marketing are consciously aligned.   

It’s during the phone calls with customers that Sales hears the most current, accurate, legitimate concerns of the prospective customer. That “Voice of the Customer” should be informing all of Marketing’s campaign messaging.

Outbound calls📞 made within an ABM program, with the data captured in the company’s CRM system, are golden opportunities to learn both the good and the bad realities that are affecting your sales and marketing goals.

Because ABM is focused on targeted “Ideal Customer Profiles” (ICP) and identified, researched companies where those ICPs will be found, sales and marketing should have a good understanding of your potential customers’ needs. Phone conversations hone that understanding from “good” to “precise.”  

Five Key Advantages to Calling👍

1. Confirm Your Messaging 

Talking directly to a prospect allows you to confirm their pain points. You might not always be correct in assuming you know what problems a prospect company is facing. After having an honest conversation, your messaging can be tweaked across the entire cadence so it is tailored to those prospects. Other ICPs that are similar can also be tweaked for messaging going forward. For instance, you may know that your solution meets several specific customer needs, but your messaging shines a light on one in particular. Phone calls may make it clear that a different feature should be emphasized, for a need you may have been aware of but were not previously focused on. 

2. Create A Trusted Dialogue

Website content, email and social media (in particular, LinkedIn) are powerful tools to connect you to B2B prospects.  But unless your prospect is already aware of your brand, these marketing strategies sometimes get lost in the noise, or it will take dozens of impressions before your brand name sparks interest. A conversation creates awareness and compliments your digital strategies. It’s a two-way sharing of information that is priceless in understanding your buyer and their needs. One-on-one conversations paired with an ABM strategy positions your organization as the thought leader in your space. Be the go-to for their questions about their problem and keep the conversation going

3. Establish a Personal Connection

Nothing is more personal than a phone call. Hearing a voice, finding a shared interest, and talking about commonalities in your personal lives help prospects engage with you on a human level.  Harvard Business Review has noted that an emotional connection is much more valuable to measure compared to an “overall customer satisfaction” rating. Develop an emotional connection with your customers by reaching out and discussing their concerns. Make it clear your business is run by actual people and that you care about and understand your prospect’s problem. Phone calls accomplish this faster and to a greater degree than blog posts or emails ever could.

4. Create an Expected Follow Up

Phone calls help set the stage for the “next step” in the sales cycle. Following up is imperative in order to move the process forward and maintain momentum. It’s much easier to do this on a phone call with a simple question than in an email that requires someone to hit “reply” and type an answer. We all know that less direct contact can easily be ignored. With a good cadence software tied to your CRM, the call disposition will allow salespeople to know immediately what activity comes next, so nothing is forgotten and the prospect sees a fast follow up and therefore adds “reliable” to the list of attributes applied to your company. 

5. Collect the Data

Outbound phone calls are an activity that can provide immediate results – setting meetings, gleaning more information about your prospect company and its needs, learning how best to fit your solution to solve their problem. Besides this, calls can provide invaluable data to sales and marketing department leaders, to help improve campaigns. The data from them can also provide information about competitors, or future features that could be developed.  

Even “negative” data can provide a lot of information that can be used productively. Objections such as information that they already use a competitor can push that prospect into a cadence that can gently inform them over time about features you offer, and have them primed to consider you once they are considering looking again.  

 

sales-engagement-playbook

 

Use a Dialing Platform with Cadence  

As ABM has shown its worth, the prospect lists created to implement it are ideal for sales teams to utilize with power dialers. In fact, it’s just plain silly to have a solid ABM list of prospects and not use a good dialer program. The whole idea is efficiency, right?  

If your ABM list is very long – you’ve got a large TAM, and you’ve spent the time and effort to find all those prospects – then a parallel dialer with cadence can shift a week of approximately 35-40 outbound calls with one meeting to 300+ outbound calls and 18 meetings. Seriously, this is not an exaggeration. 

If your firm is working with Account Reps who have tighter, more targeted lists, then a dialer such as Koncert’s AI Flow Dialer can eliminate hours of manual processes, help reach your prospects faster and keep all the data in the CRM bi-directional sync. Cadence software (which comes with every Koncert Dialer) can keep all the activities on track.


Compliment Your ABM Plan With Koncert 

In an ABM strategy program, the goal is to create a customized experience for your prospects, based around that person’s or company’s specific problem. Every form of communication should be a part of your ABM strategy. Tell them by phone, email, display advertising, or Social Media post that you understand their pain points and can provide the best solution.

Elevate the results of your ABM strategy. Enable your sales team to engage in conversations with customers and maximize your Return on Investment (ROI). Make cold calling a part of your plan and make it the most efficient way, using a Sales Engagement platform such as Koncert’s dialers with Cadence. Koncert offers five different dialers, and can mix-and-match them for the best solution to YOUR company’s sales and marketing workflow.  Check Koncert out today👇.

 

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