Account Based Marketing can prospect your dream B2B accounts. But what are your dream accounts?
These days, demand generation is highly segmented. You carefully construct offers to attract each cohort. The content you create and serve up to your prospect list segments is based on the personas you have constructed, the industry and buying cycle stage of your prospects, and (where possible) on buying intent. Marketing automation makes this not only feasible, but automatic.
But are they jellybeans?
But what is happening to the leads you generate? How excited is the sales team to follow up? Are the prospects from your marketing program followed up with the eight or nine touches it often takes to monetize them? And at the end of your campaign, do you carefully measure conversions to marketing qualified leads, then to opportunities and sales?
Finally, when you track leads back to your various campaigns do you know which are truly the most productive, does the sales team give you the feedback you need to improve the program with continuous input to make it even more effective?
No more silos!
In many large companies, sales and marketing are siloed, possibly even pitted against one another in competition for dollars and other resources. These separate empires, while traditional, are no longer viable in today’s collaborative multichannel world. To be most effective, the goals of marketing and sales need to be aligned, and the sales and marketing programs need to be implemented in lockstep, so that marketing is generating the leads that sales will salivate to follow up.
(Indiana Jones music cue here!)
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a focused marketing effort that concentrates marketing resources to target the prospects your sales team wants most. These should be the dream accounts for which your company is an ideal solution. Dream accounts are the ones your sales team knows will be profitable, your solution successful, your relationship long-lasting.
In B2B, these dream accounts often take a long time to close—sometimes 12 to 18 months. That’s because their buying committees are complex, with many disciplines involved in the decision: purchasing, engineering, quality control, often plant management, and sometimes even corporate. Compound this with COVID, which has many senior decision makers working from home, sometimes far from each other, and impossible for your sales team to reach in person. Does this mean that you shouldn’t try to find and target them? Of course not. That’s what ABM is all about. That’s what we’ll talk about in Part II.