USe Account-Based Marketing to generate more qualified, b2b sales leads

Today, a company’s marketing team must be more strategic than ever. Instead of focusing on lead generation efforts that drive high volumes of unqualified leads, you need to produce a steady flow of highly qualified B2B sales-ready leads instead. That’s where account-based marketing (ABM) comes in.

ABM leverages the simple but effective notion that your company should focus its limited time, energy, and resources on a select number of industries/companies (AKA “key accounts”) where you expect to achieve your greatest impact.

Your ABM objective is to create a detailed key account strategy that focuses your marketing initiatives, activities, and content on the key decision-makers and influencers at the accounts you want to win.

Start by developing personas for each of these key decision-makers and influencers

The ABM communication strategy that you develop should address the specific needs, issues, wants, and desires of those people. Consider their pain points, needs, and situation when determining what to say to them with your marketing.

If you’re not sure what will resonate with your ABM targets, then ask them!

 Also, figure out what differentiates your company from your competitors regarding the value you provide these key decision-makers and influencers. Then, be sure to communicate that in your ABM marketing messages, campaigns, and materials.

Identify the actual key decision-makers, recommenders, and influencers at each target account organization

Ask your sales team which industries/companies to target and which job titles play a role in the buying decision. 

Request each salesperson give you a list of their top 20, 50, or 100 target accounts and any contacts they have identified at those organizations. Then, add them all the target account database you will be using for you ABM.

Then append your database using third-party database providers like Dun & Bradstreet, Seamless, or Zoominfo to acquire additional key decision-makers, recommenders, and influencers at those target accounts. Also, consider purchasing data on additional organizations and their key contacts, similar to those already identified.

Engage your ABM contacts with relevant/valuable messaging and content that helps them move forward in their buying process

Before they accept what you’re offering, prospective customers must clearly understand what they’ll gain from choosing your company and its products or services. 

In other words, they need to believe that what you’re marketing will help them achieve their goals, and they must trust your company to deliver on its promises.

Getting to that point requires making the right offers or calls-to-action for each stage of your prospect’s buying process, from awareness to inquiry, inquiry to qualified lead, qualified lead to a sale, and from purchase to up/re/cross-sell.

Then select the channels through which you will send your ABM messages to key contacts at your target accounts. Email, blog posts, social media posts, white papers, reports, etc., are valuable ABM communication tools to consider. 

Be sure to concentrate on delivering useful and relevant ABM messaging that is more personalized, “one-to-one” messaging than a one-size-fits-all.

And, be aware that if they’re not getting value from what you send them, don’t be surprised when they opt out of your ABM messaging campaigns!

Don’t forget to develop ongoing marketing campaigns to nurture these Key Account contacts.

You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date. Instead, you would nurture (date) them a while before proposing, improving your chances of getting a “yes” when you finally do pop the question.

Similarly, as a business-to-business marketer, you must develop sales-winning relationships with your key accounts before you can expect them to say “yes” to your sales proposals.

Readers, do you have any suggestions to add about generating qualified leads with ABM?

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