For many organizations, the marketing department (or a marketing agency) is in charge of leading up an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy and execution, even though this is definitely a sales initiative (most marketing campaigns really are). But just because marketing might lead things up, that doesn’t mean that sales doesn’t play a critical role.
With ABM in particular, there are some key things that salespeople can do to effectively increase the success of an ABM campaign. In this article, we’ll explore a few of those.
Ensure Your Marketing and Sales Teams Are in Alignment
To start, it’s important to highlight the first and most important piece here which is that there is true marketing and sales alignment within the organization.
This must be driven by leadership and truly be part of the culture. That means open and regular communication is happening, salespeople are asked for their expertise, marketing asks smart questions, and there are agreed upon goals that all team members are working toward.
Once you’ve got a solid marketing and sales alignment culture in place, ABM is going to be that much better and more successful. Then throw in some of these tactics below, and you’re truly setting your team up for success.
1. Select Strong Target Accounts
Every great ABM campaign starts with an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Be sure this is agreed upon by everyone involved, and that it’s clear and accurate. Then use your ICP as law (not just guidance) to build a solid list of target accounts for your ABM campaign.
Choosing target accounts shouldn’t be guesswork, it should be strategic and well thought out. It should be composed of decision-makers with a high buyer’s intent. In addition to aligning with your ICP, you also want to look at things like product fit, industry fit, deal size potential, and job titles.
I also recommend taking a close look at the lead intelligence and marketing/CRM data you might have on the types of companies you plan to target.
What can that data tell you?
What kinds of deals are most likely to close?
Who are your best new customers from the last year?
What patterns are you seeing to identify high-value accounts?
A common question is, how many accounts should be on your target account list per campaign? HubSpot reports that 57% of marketing professionals say their companies target 1,000 accounts or under with ABM.
What’s more important than the actual number is that it’s a feasible list size that allows you and your team to properly personalize the experience for everyone on your account list and that can be determined based on a lot of different factors.
2. Really Research Your Target Accounts
A common mistake is treating your target accounts like they’re just another marketing list that you’re going to blast your messaging to. Every account and person on your ABM campaign target account list should be thought out, strategically placed, and well-researched.
Research can include visiting their websites and social media pages, other online research, through surveys, documenting your own personal interactions and communication with them, and using technology and tools that helps with research.
Some key questions you should be able to answer about those on your target account list include:
Are you finding multiple people from each account that can be targeted – in different roles?
Who are the key decision-makers?
Do you really understand their industry/business?
Can you create powerful VBRs (valid business reasons) that are personalized?
Do you know of any changes at their company?
What kinds of challenges are they currently facing?
Are they using any services/products similar to yours already?
3. Use a Variety of Channels for Outreach
Marketing should already be using multiple channels for outreach including everything from Google ads to social media to email marketing to retargeting ads and beyond.
However, from a sales perspective, you should also be utilizing a variety of channels. The most common are of course phone and email, but be sure to go beyond that in your ABM outreach. This could include:
Connecting on LinkedIn
Social media commenting
Visiting in person if appropriate
Using video in your communication
It's not a one-size-fits-all approach, but instead, it’s about really understanding your target accounts and what types of outreaches are going to move the needle with them.
4. Share Feedback with Marketing
What’s important to know is that your experience, expertise, and opinion really matters and can impact the success of your ABM campaign. Be involved in conversations early and often. Share your feedback on content being created by marketing.
Also, be sure to share feedback throughout the campaign. This includes sharing little wins in communication or engagement, or letting them know the content or messaging that you think most resonates.
5. Personalize Your Outreach
You’re a skilled, experienced salesperson. You know how important personalizing your outreach to any prospect is already and when it comes to ABM, it’s no different.
Using valid business reasons that are going to get someone to actually respond and engage with you is very important and proves to drive results.
6. Use Video
Video continues to prove to be an incredibly effective form of communication and can greatly increase engagement and results in the sales process, including in ABM campaigns.
Hopefully, you’re marketing team is incorporating video into the campaign in general, but as a salesperson, you should be thinking about how you can create personalized videos for those on your target account.
These tactics, when used strategically and appropriately, are proven to help increase the ROI of your ABM campaigns.
Evaluate what works for your company, your prospects, and the campaign you’re running – and above all else, stay engaged and persistent in your approach.
About the AuthorFollow on Linkedin More Content by Dani Buckley