If you’re trying to get an ABM program off the ground, you might want to reevaluate your account-based marketing tactics.
We know you’ve heard of some teams implementing ABM and seeing a 208% increase in revenue, but you shouldn’t get too excited, rush it, and make embarrassing mistakes that’ll cause your program to completely flop (like targeting the wrong accounts!).
ABM strategies require time, planning, and patience. It’s worth it – the payoff and growth in your sales is usually astronomical. Get pumped to learn about three ABM tactics that’ll target the right people, increase engagement, and squeeze every last drop of money out of your high-value customers. Then, read about three inspirational account-based marketing examples from teams who added millions to their pipeline using the exact same tactics!
What is account-based marketing (ABM)?
Account-based marketing is a B2B marketing and sales strategy used to target a group of high-value accounts with personalized messages, content, and offers. The most important part of successful ABM is targeting accounts that are qualified, profitable, and will consistently bring in business over a long period of time.
When teams pour their efforts into their most valuable customers rather than in casting a wide, impersonal net over many low-quality prospects, they see a better ROI. In a survey from ITSMA, 87% of B2B marketers reported that their account-based marketing tactics received a higher ROI than all other activities! ABM is the smartest way to focus on the people and strategies that matter to grow your business and not waste precious time.
The 3 most powerful account-based marketing tactics
ABM tactic #1: Find your high-value accounts and rank them
There’s a scene in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire where Tom Cruise (playing a sports agent) is not pulling in enough dough for his client. They’re talking over the phone and the client shouts the iconic line “SHOW ME THE MONEY!” and asks him to scream the phrase back. What was the reason? The client wanted his agent to get fired up and focus on the only important thing – the money.
In account-based marketing, you shift gears from marketing and selling to everyone to looking for where the money is—with your high-value accounts. If you’re unsure, here are a few characteristics of a high-value account:
- They bring in the most revenue
- They match your ideal customer profile (ICP)
- They have an immediate need to buy your product or service
- They have a longer, more complex sales cycle
- They have a lower customer acquisition cost
- They have decision-makers who are easily accessible
- They respond well to your inbound and outbound marketing/sales messages
You can find your most valuable players by looking through your CRM database.
First, download Lusha API, a tool that you can use to bulk enrich your entire CRM database. It updates the contact details and firmographics for company profiles. It’s a smart idea to refresh your system to stay on top of your accounts’ every move. A decision-maker may have left the company, or a company may have recently grown in revenue or employee size, and this is important information for you to know when targeting accounts. You’ll maintain a better understanding of how your customers have changed over the years, ensure they match your ICP, and increase the visibility of your high-value customers in minutes!
Next, take a peek at your marketing data. Email campaign metrics, social media views, and website analytics will determine who may have an immediate need to purchase and who engages with your marketing and sales team the most.
Now that your account list is organized into a hierarchy, your marketing and sales teams can begin mapping out their account-based marketing tactics for each individual company.
ABM tactic #2: Personalize every stage of the buyer’s journey
Personalization isn’t easy. It’s an account-based marketing tactic that tends to be talked about as if it’s as quick as tying your shoelaces. In actuality, it is time consuming and labor-intensive to make every touchpoint personalized and squeeze every dollar out of your accounts. Data can be gathered from customer demographics, previous purchasing patterns, and by using technology to track your account’s online behavior. You will use this information to create content, messages, and sales pitches for each stage of their buyer’s journey and make sure to send it at the perfect moment.
Here are a few examples:
- Awareness stage: A free e-book or checklist that answers a specific question your prospect was recently searching for an answer to.
- Consideration stage: A product demo or sales presentation after your prospect has signaled that they’re interested, but need more info.
- Decision stage: A relevant case study that shows them exactly how they’ll overcome their problem with your help.
Next, you should continue to personalize the experience across channels. You can turn an e-book topic into a podcast episode or a case study into an infographic. The best way to do this is to know what your customers want to see and make sure you have the right software to execute your account-based marketing tactics.
Consider using one of these tools:
- Account engagement software that watches your accounts’ every move and gathers insights to secret buying behaviors so you can make the right move at the right time.
- Personality assessment software that analyzes the social media accounts of your targeted decision makers to give you insights into their personality and tips about their communication style.
- A pipeline management system that helps grow your account pipelines, send ABM campaigns, and more.
As you can see, personalization isn’t just about knowing what your customer’s favorite snack at Trader Joe’s is, it’s about knowing where they are located in their buyer’s journey, sending the right content and messages, and speaking their lingo.
ABM tactic #3: Host and attend in-person, online, and hybrid events
According to Bizzabo, 97% of B2B marketers believe that in-person events have a major impact on achieving business outcomes, 80.2% of event organizers were able to reach a larger audience with virtual events, and over half of B2B marketers within the Professional Services industry host VIP events! A live event can be a conference or workshop. These events can be hosted online in a webinar or other virtual medium, or transformed into a hybrid event with the option for attendants to view via a live stream online. All three variations of an event are account-based marketing tactics that have a high ROI.
Out of the three, in-person events have the potential to make the biggest impact. Jonathan Taylor, senior psychologist at Pearn Kandola business psychology firm says, “In a typical 10 minute conversation, studies show we can give away up to 150 micro-behaviours, which can be positive or negative. When we’re building trust with someone, the ‘micro-affirmations’ that we give away are really important – eye contact, open body language, building on what we hear. Our body language reinforces our words and our intent,” he notes.
We need face to face interaction to build rapport, trust, and authority quickly in sales. In most cases, in-person events should be used to network with high-value accounts first and as often as possible. If you want to use this account-based marketing tactic, here are a few ways to win over stakeholders:
- Find an in-person event and purchase tickets, flight plans, hotels, and other amenities for your chosen decision makers to attend.
- Create a virtual event, where your decision maker can shine as a thought leader and promote their personal projects.
- Host hybrid events for key people that may not have the option to travel and need flexibility.
With this account-based marketing tactic, you’ll want to start planning your events early, select a list of target companies, determine which of the three formats they’d prefer and be most likely to attend, develop a relationship with stakeholders, and create personalized messages, campaigns, and offers to get them to come.
3 inspiring account-based marketing examples
Case Study #1: Three traits of high-value accounts that brought SAP $27 million in opportunities
SAP is an enterprise resource planning software that helps multinational corporations run their HR, inventory management, and supply chain.
Here’s their challenge: They noticed the top 10% of their accounts brought in over a third of their revenue in the U.S., but SAP failed to deliver personalized marketing experiences to them. In fact, they found out that many decision-makers didn’t even know what products were being used at their company. Major fail!
How they fixed it: To cater to the top 10% of their accounts and keep them informed about their products, SAP created three criteria to prioritize high-value accounts:
- Accounts with long-term growth potential, not only accounts who had a profitable calendar year.
- Accounts with decision makers who would be easy to introduce to their sales team.
- Accounts that were receptive to ongoing, long-term meetings, discussions, and engagement.
SAP selected just 5 accounts to begin their ABM program and eased their way up to 55 over two years. They began implementing account-based marketing tactics such as creating custom marketing plans for their top accounts, finding out where they were in their buying cycle, and initiating regular communication to help them execute plans.
The results: SAP created 27 million dollars in new pipeline opportunities and progressed $57 million down the pipeline!
Case Study #2: How Genesys’ personalized campaigns created a 400% increased in revenue
Genesys is a call center and customer experience technology for mid to large businesses. In this account-based marketing example, you’ll see how they used personalization to explode their engagement and opportunities.
Here’s their challenge: They had fierce competitors who were destroying them in the marketing department and Genesys, unfortunately, had not done enough research on their prospects. They had no idea who the stakeholders were, what their pain points were, or how to get their foot in the door.
How they fixed it: In order to engage each key person and make every touchpoint personalized, they needed deep insights and the right technology to communicate one on one.
Here are the steps Genesys took:
- Hosted a series of marketing and sales workshops to flesh out profiles for 5 key executives, and establish their preferred tone of voice, communication style, and conversation starters.
- Wrote viral thought-leadership content which was distributed through email, direct mail, and social media by sales teams. Then, audience respondents were mapped, segmented, and entered into the ABM program.
- Used a predictive marketing tool that produced intent data about buying signals, helped target accounts more precisely, and automated account-based marketing tactics.
The result: Hyper-relevant messaging and content was created for each account and Genesys received 74% engagement with priority contacts and a 400% increase on target pipeline, which equaled millions of dollars.
Case study #3: Thomson Reuters’ event marketing strategy that achieved a 95% win rate
Thomson Reuters is a media company for legal professionals and business owners, and provides content, software, and services.
Here is their challenge: They needed help scaling an ABM program with accounts that had a longer sales cycle, accounts that were newly acquired and not engaging with the sales team, and accounts that were at risk of leaving before closing the deal.
How they fixed it: Thomson Reuters took 500 accounts that matched their ideal customer profile and placed them into three tiers. Each tier had an event marketing component offered to help scale the program.
Their tactics included:
- For accounts with longer cycles: accounts are invited to any number of 700 in-market events which the company hosted throughout the country.
- For accounts that are new and not engaging: decision makers are invited to high profile events like the White House Correspondents dinner and sporting events, and they’re also set up with exclusive suites for them to stay in.
- For accounts that were at risk of leaving: hosted exclusive events, published content within the industry, and worked with decision makers to give them opportunities to be mentioned in blogs, white papers, and other media for publicity.
The results: The Thomson Reuters team was able to build a scalable program which resulted in a 95% win rate.
Lusha Extension’s quick solution for connecting with any stakeholder
If you look at the above account-based marketing examples, there’s one recurring problem: marketing and sales teams had trouble reaching decision makers and having a deep understanding of who they are. Without this critical information any ABM program attempt will fail.
Lusha Extension offers a quick solution. It’s a LinkedIn email finder Chrome extension that delivers accurate email addresses, phone numbers, and firmographics like company revenue, industry verticals, employee headcount, and so much more. Sales teams can use it to extract this information from their prospects’ LinkedIn and other social media, have it sent straight to their CRM, and updated in real time.
Aircall, a call center software, found themselves wasting time and company resources searching for prospects’ contact info. In order to gather accurate contact and business info on prospects, they used Lusha Extension to enrich their database which gave them a 95% accuracy rate when receiving data. Aircall gained a 30% increase in sales demos and increased their sales.
- Create a hierarchy of your accounts: There are many factors that make an account high value, so decide what that means for your company and make sure they’ll deliver the most long-term revenue.
- Personalize the buyer’s journey: Nurture accounts during the awareness, consideration, and decision phases at the right time and on the best channel for them.
- Create and attend events: Events are a great way to build authority and trust with prospects. It’s also a time to go all out and spoil your decision makers with opportunities to share their knowledge or enjoy a fun experience!
Finally, every account-based marketing tactic begins with that initial conversation. To get your foot in the door, grab Lusha Extension, a B2B lead enrichment tool that delivers contact information and firmographics to help you qualify your prospect and gives a list of key personnel at the company so you always know who’s a head honcho.