The Best Approach for Naming Target Accounts During ABM
The importance of having a strong account-based marketing (ABM) strategy isn’t lost on today’s savvy sales and marketing teams. Human-to-human contact and building relationships with key decision makers has always been critical. What has changed, however, is how and when we start building those relationships.
As we think about the resources and energy spent on finding prospects, we know that a significant amount of time is wasted on leads that don’t convert. ABM helps us save wasted effort by specifically targeting those accounts most likely to generate revenue.
The key to a more successful ABM strategy is quickly identifying which accounts will generate revenue. There are a few approaches companies use during account selection.
Let’s take a look.
The Traditional Approach
A classic approach for your ABM strategy is to let the sales team dictate accounts. They may have a list already, or be assigned to a specific geographic region. This is generally the makeup of the target account list, coupled with the experience of the sales team, and often times a good “gut feeling.” Not to discount intuition, but this approach overall is painting with a broad brush.
The traditional approach is helpful when understanding which accounts should stay on your list because of future buying potential, based on the personal relationships and experience of your sales team.
A More Refined Approach
In an effort to simplify your efforts and maximize resource utilization, a more refined approach uses account lists from specific industry verticals (pharma, manufacturing, financial services, etc.). The sales team is already targeting clients within these verticals. This approach may include sales data that you’ve collected manually through the years, or that you’ve purchased from a third-party.
This approach to account selection is a bit more systematic. Instead of casting a wide net, it incorporates buyer’s personas, lead scoring, and even technographics in order to rank accounts. The key to making this approach work is to be as specific and detailed as possible with regard to who your potential buyer is.
As refined as this tactic is, there is a way we can dive deeper still.
Predictive Analytics: The Sophisticated Approach
As ABM carves out a top spot for itself among marketing strategies, a more sophisticated approach is emerging for target account identification. More and more sales and marketing teams are turning to predictive lead scoring and analytics tools. This technology selects the best prospects for your campaigns based upon several characteristics like in-market activity, demographic data, and behavioral signs.
Predictive analytics works by mining data from several different sources — your CRM software, public records, third-party databases, social media — and compares this data with your ideal customer profile using a proprietary algorithms. It’s a sophisticated way to apply historical data to future events, predicting what is most likely to occur. The result is that you identify and spend time on those accounts which are most likely to convert.
The goal of ABM is to make sure your company is focused on the right accounts and on finding prospects that match. As you build a strategy, try to decide what combination of tools and processes makes sense for your market, based on your available resources. Whatever your conclusion, don’t rule out predictive analytics.
Jessica Barrett Halcom is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com, with specializations in human resources, healthcare, sales, and marketing. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and currently lives in Nashville, TN.
If you want to learn more about best practices for account-based marketing, consider attending Revenue Summit 2017! Recognized by Huffington Post and Technology Advice as a top marketing conference to attend in 2017, Revenue Summit will offer the latest insights on how to drive revenue in your organization through account-based best practices and discover the latest tech that will enable you to run these programs at scale.