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Part 2 | Account Based Marketing (ABM): Lead Development--Quality, Not Quantity

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Don’t Wait for Buyers to Find You -- Go after them with ABM!


Account Based Marketing (ABM) aims to personalize the approaches to individual accounts -- 75% of customers prefer personalized offers. With an ABM methodology, personnel in marketing work in tandem with those in sales to identify key prospects, and then together construct personalized programs and messages targeted to specific accounts. This “personalization” (emails, websites, and calls-to-action) enables potential customers to perceive value for your product, as it aligns with their business goals.

Reliable data is critical to the success of any ABM program. ABM is an evolution from account-based selling that now involves marketing. "The idea is to no longer have a massive, wide funnel,” says Jim Williams of Influitive, “but rather to have a highly targeted funnel with very qualified leads.”

Due to the digital communication revolution there was an explosion of B2B companies and thus a heightening of competition. “There is now more noise than ever,” says Williams. “Hence, getting back to basics -- targeting key customers and retaining them — is the name of the game, and we now couple those principles with technology.” The ABM business strategy becomes a highly advanced CRM system/methodology. The use of sales dialer technology, such as ConnectLeader’s Click Dialer, Personal Dialer, and Team Dialer in addition to their brilliant predictive intelligence software, Adaptilytics, is enabling these high ROIs and causing a revitalization of ABM.

When ABM is done well, sales and marketing are working in harmony--fluidly, efficiently--which contributes to larger deal sizes, faster deal cycles, and better win rates. "If you wait for customers to come to you, says Jon Miller, CEO of Engagio, “you're waiting for them to have a project in place, which means they may be already considering your competition (who may have been already guiding the customer in selecting the solution), and that more junior-level people may be engaging with you.” With account-based initiatives, you can reach out to the right people at the right level in a way that speaks to them, and ahead of your competition which means you're more likely to succeed.

The digital transformation has meant the breaking down of the traditional silos between sales, marketing, and other departments. “When you agree on the desired accounts and you get everybody aligned on that focus, you’re ultimately just going be more efficient, which usually makes you more effective,” says Miller. Teamwork aligns dollars and focus behind the accounts that the sales teams care about.

Buyers ready to buy! Account-based marketing appeals to B2B companies because “it enables them to connect individual buyers to what they're already looking for," says Lauren Walsh, head of marketing at Sullivan.

When done right, marketing and sales align on these goals:

  • which people in which accounts should be targeted
  • what criteria to use in targeting those accounts
  • where the ABM program is going

The benefit of having the two departments, sales and marketing, focused on the same list of accounts cannot be underestimated. Inbound marketing primarily focuses on creating content to bring prospects to you; ABM puts their aim on individual prospects or existing accounts. ... Use them in tandem! ... Actively go after customers using outbound marketing methods, like ABM, instead of waiting for them to come to you through passive inbound marketing efforts.

Author: Senraj Soundar, CEO, ConnectLeader

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