Guest post from Matt Heinz as part of the #FlipMyFunnel #ABM Innovators Series.
Although the concept of direct, targeted account marketing is not new, a disciplined and coordinated focus on account-based marketing (ABM) across the B2B marketing industry has come on like gangbusters over the past 12 months. Numerous service and software providers have joined the movement and are providing much-needed tools to enable more precise, focused and multi-channel engagement with specific Named Account targets.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll highlight several B2B marketers at the forefront of account-based marketing in 2016. Last week, we featured Julia Stead, director of demand generation at Invoca.
When should an organization begin leveraging ABM practices?
An organization is ready for ABM when there are:
- Long sales cycles
- Large order values
- Internal politics around buying
- Risky decisions include change management components
- Expensive sales people
- 80/20 rule – meaning 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your accounts
How should they do it?
The strongest ROI with ABM is found in cross-selling. Here are some ways to do that:
- Top 10% of all accounts worldwide or in a region
- Top 3-5 cross-selling offers mapped uniquely per account
- Gather content supporting the 3-5 offers and ads promoting the content. (Assume 15-20 ads in total).
- Blend the ads uniquely per targeted account based on each account’s account plan.
- Steer the sales efforts based on:
- Which account that shows the most interest.
- Which mix of offers that resonates best per account
What are your best practices for integrating ABM efforts with your sales team’s enterprise sales strategy?
Make sure your top sales reps are handling the most important accounts, are involved and supported in their sales by marketing with ABM in their account plans.
How have you or your customer integrated ABM with other marketing efforts – including inbound marketing? Or has ABM replaced other, less effective marketing efforts?
The best practice is to use specific Marketing Automation rules for ABM Accounts while other generic Accounts can have persona based rules. It is also important to track the ABM advertising links when the contacts visit your websites. Other best practices include lunch & learns and swarming named accounts on Social Media.
What is your primary metrics for ABM progress and success?
In the beginning, you can see marketing metrics like site traffic increase, opportunity increase, improvement in pipeline metrics, and more parallel contact discussions. Also, depending on the length of the sales cycle: Revenue increase. The results of this should be compared to the same metrics but for sales people (or Accounts) without ABM support.
What are the most common pitfalls that you see?
- Only focusing the ABM efforts on new accounts. Some marketing organisations believe that their sales staff have existing customer accounts in full control.
- Some marketing organisations want to use ABM for the long tail instead of focusing on the right accounts (the accounts where the current or future big revenues are found).
- In both new and existing accounts, there is still a tendency to focus too much on sign-ups as a key metric instead of evaluating the full value. Sign-ups are a great KPI for transactional sales with short sales cycles, but not so good for cases where ABM makes more sense.
- Many marketing and sales organisations are still very product oriented in their communication.
Have you observed any organisational trend in B2B companies marketing departments?
Early adopters of ABM are now setting up their marketing organisations to include ABM departments, to become the sales equivalent of Key Accounts.
What is one thing you want to share that people should expect to learn at the #flipmyfunnel conference?
We will focus on sharing learnings about ABM from the biggest companies in the world at the San Fransisco event. We do ABM with a few hundred Fortune 2000 companies around the world and have done so for 8 years. Many ABM users and providers coming together in one event is a great thing for all. The #flipmyfunnel movement is great!
Don’t miss Christopher Engman’s session on 2/25 at #FlipMyFunnel San Francisco. Sign up today and save 50% off your ticket with promo code HEINZ50.