Experts Weigh In On Account Based Marketing Best Practices
August 15, 2016 10:28:26 AM | By Matt Benati
In the simplest terms, Account Based Marketing (ABM) is the concept of marketing and selling to “best fit” accounts first, personas second. But within the Account Based Marketing concept, there are several factors that directly impact the success of your ABM strategy.
We’ve put together a top list of quotes and stats surrounding Account Based Marketing, Sales & Marketing Alignment, Campaign Reply Emails, Lead Nurturing, Database Integrity, and Trigger Events.
Account Based Marketing
When you identify best-fit accounts first – those companies matching your Ideal Customer Profile – your communication and content strategy becomes laser-focused. You are essentially selling to pre-qualified accounts, no longer wasting time wading through the mass of unqualified Top of Funnel prospects or blasting out generic marketing messages in hopes of netting an occasional interested (and qualified) lead.
“In its purest form, account based marketing has been around forever. Account based marketing is simply instead of fishing with nets, we’re fishing with spears. You identify exactly the prospects you want to do business with and then you market very precisely and narrowly to them directly.” — Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing
Our definition of account-based marketing is just good marketing. If you only had one prospect to sell and market to, you would treat them with the same principles as outlined in ABM. It’s just aiming at a more well-defined area of that funnel, and treating your best buyers in a much more personal way. And we’re focusing on not only the lead but the account as a whole. — Justin Gray, CMO, LeadMD
“Account Based Marketing is a strategic approach that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to open doors and deepen engagement at specific accounts.” — Jon Miller, CEO and Co-Founder, Engagio
ABM is rooted in the basic idea that marketing works better when it starts by focusing on the needs and specific opportunity within a single account or a group of named accounts. This was the original promise of customer relationship management and one-to-one marketing. It’s still a great idea. — Megan Heuer, VP Research, SiriusDecisions
Sales & Marketing Alignment
The alignment of your sales and marketing teams is essential for a successful ABM strategy. Historically tied to very different goals and metrics, the key is getting both teams on the same page, focused on key accounts first, personas second. When pitching to a narrower group of accounts, marketing has the ability to create highly-targeted messaging, and their contribution to revenue becomes more apparent and valued. Simply put, aligning sales and marketing naturally boosts your productivity and ultimately, revenue.
“Account based marketing is focused B2B Smarketing. I say “Smarketing” because ABM is all about focusing on the right accounts in collaboration with sales. ABM is not a solo activity. It’s the combination and range of activities from advertising, direct mail, calls, emails, content – all centered around the ideal set of accounts that you believe has the need for your solution. It’s quality over quantity in its most basic form.” — Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder and CMO, Terminus
“ABM drives marketers to align their targets directly with the same companies and accounts that sales has in their sights. Implemented well, it’s a version of forced revenue responsibility for marketers that is long overdue.” — Matt Heinz, President, Heinz Marketing
“What’s new is that the marketing side of the revenue machine is getting in sync. And sync is the whole point: it’s not just that ABM works best when Sales and Marketing work closely together. ABM only works when Sales and Marketing work more closely than ever before. As a single team, in fact.” — Doug Kessler, Creative Director, Velocity
Campaign Reply Emails
Whether your marketing department sends out 3 hundred or 3 million campaign emails per month, replies are a fact of life. Both manual replies: interested in information, or unsubscribe requests; as well as auto-replies: Out of Office, Left the Company, Change of Title, Role, Phone or Email address, contain valuable Account Based Intelligence (ABI) about your existing accounts and leads.
While this information has always existed, and many marketing professionals have expended countless resources to manually mine it, it’s a tedious and error-prone process that is very difficult to scale. Today, automated solutions (like LeadGnome) exist to make extracting this data incredibly fast and painless.
“How do you mine info from campaign reply emails generated by your marketing automation system? Right now you are sitting on a gold mine of contact and trigger event info that is being totally wasted.” — Steve Richard, CRO, ExecVision
“I’d been manually mining email replies for years, searching for an automated solution. I knew there was valuable information in those replies, and every time I tediously extracted a new contact from an Out of Office email it was a victory.” — Nick Ezzo, Vice President of Demand Generation for Host Analytics
“It sounds like an eco-friendly solution for the digital space — taking wasted stuff [reply emails] and turning it into something useful.” — Jonathan Green, co-host of the B2B Growth Show.
“Bounced emails and out of office alerts can be a lead generation goldmine. The challenge is that, until now, it was such a laborious, time consuming endeavor to find those golden nuggets in a mountain of emails that few people bothered with it. That was until LeadGnome came along.” — Craig Elias, CEO, SHiFT Selling
Gone are the days of sending prospects a few generic emails and expecting them to magically convert to paying customers. Today’s buyers are savvy and discerning; they know they have options and they want to work with the person who can best solve their problem.
Sales and marketing teams have to be more refined in their approach, not coming on too fast or with too hard of a sell. Today, it’s all about getting to know your accounts, their problems and pain points, and showcasing how you provide a solution. The result is a more focused lead nurturing period, using highly-targeted and personalized messaging and multiple touches throughout the process.
“The customer doesn’t care about features – they care about solving their problems.” — Trish Bertuzzi, founder of The Bridge Group
“Lead Nurturing is about building relationships through relevant conversations, not campaigns.” — Brian Carroll, Founder of the B2B Lead Generation Blog
“Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at a 33% lower cost.” —Marketo
“33% of B2B marketers cite “targeted delivery of content” (i.e., delivering the right content, to the right people, at the right time) as their biggest lead nurturing challenge.” — Forrester Research
“Personalized emails can generate up to six times higher revenue per email than non-personalized campaigns do.” — Experian Marketing Service
Your sales and marketing efforts are only as good as your data, and database decay is a painful reality no matter what you’re selling. Manually staying on top of changes in account and lead information is time-consuming and doesn’t stay fresh for long. List vendors and data cleansing services are effective to some degree, but can be a pricey solution when used as often as needed. Only a continual cleansing solution can effectively maintain the accuracy and integrity of your database.
“If you care about the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns or the productivity of your sales teams, you NEED to invest in data.” — Trish Bertuzzi, founder of The Bridge Group
“High integrity data provides an essential foundation to successfully execute marketing strategy and reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.” — Gary Katz, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer of Marketing Operations Partners
“It is NOT about counting the people you reach – It IS about reaching the people who count” — John Miller, CEO and co-founder of Engagio
“60% of companies have an overall data health scale of ‘unreliable’ and more than half of all leads in the average B2B contact database are obsolete. — Gary Katz, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer of Marketing Operations Partners
“With accurate data at the heart of your persona development, you can immediately enhance the specificity of your content. By addressing the content topics you know your personas will be interested in, and promoting it via the digital environments you know they use, campaigns become more relevant.” — Strategic Internet Consulting
Trigger events are changes within your accounts; big changes that present a sales opportunity, and when acted on quickly, provide a major timing advantage over your competitors. Examples include a lead leaving or changing roles, when your user becomes your buyer, when there’s a shakeup in the C-suite, or when you catch wind that an account is dissatisfied with their current provider.
“The ability to quickly identify changes within our accounts — and act swiftly — gives our sales team a huge competitive advantage.” — Nick Ezzo, Vice President of Demand Generation for Host Analytics
“The silver bullet in sales is timing: getting in front of the right person at exactly the right time. First in wins the sale 74% of the time!” — Craig Elias, CEO of SHiFT Selling
“Don’t underestimate their power of triggering events to illuminate the motivations of all the buying influences in a given prospect account, and their power to help you see clearly their vision of a solution.” — Bill MacDonald, Founder of PleinAire Strategies
“A defining moment is what we call a “triggering event” that shifts your prospect’s perception of his situation, so he realizes the need to change. Change cannot occur without a trigger event happening first─it sets off the entire chain reaction of the buying process.” — Bill MacDonald, Founder of PleinAire Strategies
“Job changes are the biggest lead generation tool you could possibly have. — Ken Krogue, Founder of InsideSales.com
Account Based Intelligence
LeadGnome is an automated solution that mines campaign reply emails for valuable Account Based Intelligence — a key component to successful ABM campaigns. Because this information comes directly from your targeted accounts, your database is continually cleansed and updated, you identify net new leads, and uncover trigger event opportunities, giving your sales team a 3-6 month advantage over the competition.
“I think of LeadGnome like a car’s turbocharger that converts exhaust into horsepower. LeadGnome converts wasted reply emails into Account Based Intelligence that boosts our B2B pipelines.” — Matt Benati, CEO & Co-founder of LeadGnome
LeadGnome positively affects virtually every aspect of Account Based Marketing – all in a simple, web-based application that takes less than 2 minutes to set up. See what LeadGnome can do for you – try it for free for 30 days!