Companies looking for a way to laser-focus their B2B sales and marketing strategies should look no further than account-based marketing (ABM). ABM is used to reach a clearly defined set of target accounts that your sales and marketing team agree on.
It takes the practice of trying to reach a crowd and replaces it with a one-on-one, personalized approach. It’s most effective for your sales team because it helps them land high-value accounts that drive revenue. But in all reality, it’s a joint effort between your reps and marketers. In fact, getting your sales and marketing teams together should be a priority when considering implementing ABM. Keep reading for more details on how to do that and other best ABM practices.
#1 Align Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing alignment is critical to successful ABM. Marketers work on getting prospects qualified but sales are the ones who often will help create or narrow down a list of target accounts and land the deal. Only by working together can you achieve this goal. Having joint meetings to discuss potential accounts, sharing insights and reports back and forth, and integrating your sales and marketing tools are sure-fire methods to get your teams on the same page.
#2 Define Your Ideal Client Profile
An ideal client profile (ICP) describes the kind of company you want to work with or one your team thinks will be a perfect fit for your company. Without an ICP, it will be challenging to create your first list of target accounts and, subsequently, be challenging to market to them. An example of one may be a B2B company with 50-100 employees located in the Northeast region of the U.S., who make at least $3 million in revenue annually. In order to build your examples, look at specific company-wide issues such as the size of their customer base or their budget and personal characteristics like whether or not you want to work with a hands-on or hands-off point of contact. As always, be sure your sales and marketing teams are involved in defining your ICP.
#3 Build Your List of Contacts
Once you have your ICP knowledge in hand, it’s time to build out your list of contacts you can market to and work within your company’s CRM. If you’re using HubSpot, you can utilize their ABM features for automatic recommendations on target accounts or by manually marking contacts as target accounts using a company record, importing them, or building a workflow. In HubSpot, you can also note who within your target account has buying power, so your sales team knows who to engage with. Without building out your list, you won’t be able to monitor your progress or optimize any of your efforts over time.
#4 Create Personalized Content
Because you’re working off a list of target accounts and not generalized buyer personas, personalization is key to ABM. So, take time and do your research on these accounts. You’ll need highly focused content that shows that you understand their unique, individual needs and challenges, and you have the ultimate solution. You can also use HubSpot’s tools to utilize company and name tokens and create smart content for landing pages and emails that change accordingly. Similarly, you’ll also need to contextualize how you distribute your content. Most ABM strategies target B2B companies, making LinkedIn a more preferred channel. DemandBase is another avenue for successful ABM marketing as well!
#5 Know Your End Goal
Often, companies center their ABM efforts around revenue generation and not lead generation. Your goals will generally center around this. For example, how much growth do you want to see within a month or quarter with ABM? You should also strive to be as specific as you can. Ask yourself, how many new accounts do you want to land? Are you trying to sign your dream client? If you don’t know what you want out of your ABM strategy, you can’t accurately measure it and make adjustments to your content, distribution, or target list. And if you can’t do that, you can’t reach your goals!
ABM is a popular trend that continues to pick up steam. These best practices can get you started with the strategy, but if you’re looking to learn a little more, we recommend diving into some HubSpot INBOUND sessions on the topic. Any Powerhouse Pass user can access these on-demand sessions for a year:
- How B2B Marketers Are Using Inbound and ABM To Drive Growth and Move Upmarket
- Debate: It’s Up for Debate - Which Is More Effective: ABM or Content Marketing?
- AMA: ABM Tactics & Strategies With Justin Keller, VP of Marketing at Terminus
- 7 Fundamentals of a Strong ABM Strategy With HubSpot
- 3 Tried-And-Proven ABM Plays for Small Teams
For any further help defining your ICPs, personalizing content, or anything else, don’t hesitate to reach out!