What is ABM?
Chances are you’ve heard about account-based marketing (ABM) – but have you been wondering what it actually means?
In essence, ABM is a marketing and sales strategy that focuses on specific clients and target accounts, offering them personalised experiences and content. It’s the antithesis to traditional inbound marketing, where a wide range of audiences are broadly targeted with just one message. On first glance this may sound like a lot of work, but ABM is not actually about redesigning the wheel. The strategy should not necessarily replace your broad-based marketing tactics, in fact, it can work in conjunction.
Professional services marketers are beginning to turn to ABM, as it offers a better means to truly engage and build strong relationships with target buyers.
When a customer believes they are deeply understood, they are more likely to engage, and that is where ABM really comes into its own.
So how can ABM help your firm?
Strong alignment between sales and marketing
Right now, your sales/consulting and marketing teams might be swapping the occasional report and catching up on a monthly basis, but mostly working in silos. ABM changes that. It’s designed to give both your sales and marketing teams the closed loop insight they need to coordinate, leading to true alignment between the departments.
Aligning under the same goals and objectives with KPIs attached will help to unite the teams from the outset, meaning they are working towards a common goal.
Aligning under the same goals and objectives with KPIs attached will help to unite the teams from the outset, meaning they are working towards a common goal. According to Forrester Research, organisations with aligned sales and marketing teams see an average of 32% annual revenue growth, while less aligned companies see a 7% decline in growth, so the evidence is there.
It reduces waste
ABM begins with a significant amount of initial research – we shouldn’t kid ourselves that it doesn’t, but what it means is that once a key account is identified they have in essence already become a qualified lead. This targeted approach allows your team to focus their resources efficiently, engaging in strategies that are optimised for those key targeted accounts.
A common analogy in ABM is that it is more like fishing with a spear, not a net. So although there is considerably less ‘by-catch’, the prospects you are engaging are considerably more likely to buy. ABM is essentially zero-waste marketing.
Crafting personalised messaging for individual accounts rather than large faceless groups will result in a 6 times higher transaction rate
By its very nature, ABM gives your clients a personal touch. Crafting personalised messaging for individual accounts rather than large faceless groups will result in a 6 times higher transaction rate, proving that personalising content really pays off.
Customisation could is not just personalising a mass email campaign to address each client individually, it needs to go further than that. By identifying the key accounts you intend to target, you can not only customise messaging with those prospects, but also customise the service or programme you are offering to them. Once you have done the necessary research to determine the needs of each key account it’s then just a case of tailoring your messages and offers. This highly personalised service that speaks directly to your prospects needs, significantly increases the chances they will convert into clients.
Shorter sales cycles
By targeting both sales and marketing efforts towards specific individuals, ABM can more effectively close deals in a shorter amount of time. Because of the highly targeted approaches you are making, it’s more likely you’ll have more prospects converting at a faster rate.
It is said that the average B2B purchase requires over 5 people to formally sign off. This means grappling with a long, drawn out sales cycle. ABM differs as you are targeting accounts instead of individual leads – thereby addressing a number of the key decision makers together, thus shortening the cycle and streamlining the sales process.
Account based marketing is an area where professional services firms can save both time and money whilst more actively engaging the target demographic. If you’d would like to learn more about ABM and how you can introduce it into your marketing approach, please get in touch.