Account-based marketing (ABM) has become an indispensable strategy for B2B companies looking to align their marketing and sales teams, personalize outreach to target accounts, and ultimately convert and retain key customers. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the key elements for building a successful ABM strategy.
Introducing the ABM Strategy How-Tos: Aligning Teams, Personalizing Outreach, and Converting Target Accounts
How to create a strong ABM target account list
The foundation of any ABM strategy is a well-defined target account list. Rather than casting a wide net, ABM focuses on identifying and engaging a small number of high-value accounts.
To build this list, leverage both firmographic data and intent data signals. Firmographic criteria like industry, company size, and tech stack will help you identify accounts that match your ideal customer profile. Meanwhile, intent data reveals which accounts are actively researching solutions related to your offerings, indicating buying intent.
Specifically, look for spikes in content downloads, social media activity, and page visits related to keywords that align with the problems you solve. The higher the frequency and variety of intent signals, the stronger the buying intent.
You can also expand your target list by looking at contacts and buying groups within existing customer accounts. Monitor their digital body language for signals that they’re interested in additional products or services you offer.
How to align sales and marketing with shared ABM strategy goals
One of the biggest pitfalls of ABM can be lack of alignment between sales and marketing teams. Without collaboration, your outreach efforts will seem disjointed to prospects.
Here are some tips for improving alignment:
- Hold regular pipeline review meetings: Syncing on target account status gives marketing insight into which assets and messages are resonating. Sales gains visibility into upcoming marketing plays to coordinate outreach.
- Define shared goals and metrics: Agree on target conversion rates, sales cycle length, and revenue goals. Track both marketing generated pipeline and influenced revenue.
- Segment and tier target accounts: Coordinate which accounts marketing will focus on at the top of the funnel and which are sales-ready. Tight collaboration is essential for named accounts.
- Prioritize communication: Keep an open dialogue on what messaging and positioning works with each account. Share feedback and wins between the teams.
With sales and marketing strategically aligned, you can craft coordinated, consistent messaging that nurtures accounts across every touchpoint.
How to personalize content and outreach for your ABM strategy
ABM is all about relevant, customized messaging that speaks directly to an account’s pain points. To deliver that level of personalization, you need to tap into data.
- Conduct deep account research: Develop detailed buyer personas and build an account profile database. Working with a trusted data provider can help you run deeper analysis and get more out of your data.
- Map content to account needs: Analyze which content assets will best engage each account based on their current challenges and interests. Adapt content when needs shift.
- Develop targeted offers: Make exclusive offers to accounts based on their needs, whether it’s free assessments, tailored demos, or bundled packages.
- Tap into intent data: Identify the topics and solutions accounts are researching to inform next best actions. Monitor signals to understand what challenges they’re experiencing. Then, personalize your outreach around solving those challenges.
- Retarget strategically: Retarget accounts as they consume content across the web related to the issues you can help solve so you stay top of mind.
When your marketing is highly personalized and driven by data-based insights into each account, you demonstrate that you truly understand their business and can provide real value.
How to engage buyers on multiple channels
To maximize impact, use both broad channels that build brand awareness and targeted tactics to reach individual stakeholders.
- Leverage brand awareness strategies: Use events, PR, and digital advertising to increase visibility. Highlight customers from your target industries.
- Tap into account-based advertising: Target display ads, LinkedIn ads, YouTube ads, and other digital ads specifically to the accounts on your list.
- Conduct account-based email campaigns: Identify stakeholder email addresses for one-to-one outreach. Run multi-touch nurture programs.
- Coordinate direct mail touchpoints: Try sending personalized packages, gifts, and swag to executives and decision-makers at each account.
- Engage on social media: Join discussions on the channels your accounts are active on.
- Leverage personalized sales plays and meetings: When accounts engage, capitalize quickly with tailored sales presentations, demos, and conversations.
Delivering consistent messaging across diverse touchpoints demonstrates your brand’s authority and relevance to each account. Omnichannel coordination is key to driving conversions.
How to optimize tactics to boost ABM conversions
With your target account strategy rolling, constantly refine your approach to improve performance. Follow these best practices for optimization.
- Obsess over tracking and reporting: Closely monitor response rates, funnel progression, and downstream conversion metrics for each account. Attribute influenced revenue.
- Continuously append your account data: Add more contacts, titles, and buyer insights to expand reach as needed. Look to third-party data sources to fill in any gaps.
- Nurture accounts consistently: Establish optimal nurturing cadences, then trigger relevant content sequences when accounts show buying signals. Automate for scale.
- Conduct win/loss analysis: Identify what tactics and messaging led to won and lost deals. Apply lessons learned to strengthen your approach.
- Leverage intent throughout funnel: Monitor buying signals to adapt outreach for accounts by funnel stage. Be sure to share these insights with your sales reps.
- Double down on high-performing strategies: Invest more budget and resources into channels, content, and sales plays yielding the highest conversions. Go all in on what works and don’t be afraid to move away from channels that aren’t moving the needle.
With continuous optimization powered by hard data, you’ll consistently improve performance and ROI from your ABM programs. Alignment, personalization, and measurement are the keys to account-based marketing success.
Execute a high-converting ABM strategy
Now that you understand the core elements of an effective account-based approach, you have a blueprint for driving greater marketing and sales alignment, more streamlined personalization, improved engagement, and conversions.
Bookmark this guide and refer to it when you’re ready to launch your next ABM campaign. Ready to take your ABM campaigns to the next level? Learn how you can use intent data to prioritize accounts, find buying groups, and more.