Account-Based Marketing (ABM)  has very quickly evolved from the “new thing” in marketing to the need of the hour for all businesses. Its rapid growth can be credited to the fact that it expedites your marketing initiatives and makes good use of the company’s data, time, and resources. The structure of ABM is such that it can help businesses navigate through complicated deals with ease. The factor of providing the right value to each customer stands true in lieu of ABM. 

Patience and persistence are the words to go by for incorporating ABM in your marketing plan. However, a Virtual Marketing Officer (VMO) comes equipped with tools that can cut the strain off of the discipline and rigor it takes to target the right accounts. By working per the needs of sales teams, VMOs are able to determine the scope of growth for existing accounts and can also help them target new ones. 

Personalized content is the core of ABM and in order to develop an aesthetically right message, it is imperative to utilize the data sales teams have at hand. Here we have a list of components VMOs use to accelerate the implementation of ABM in your marketing plans-

Align sales and marketing

A key aspect of the implementation of ABM is to create alignment between the sales and marketing teams. VMOs overcomes the challenges of mapping and managing effective communication between the teams by creating a strategic channel at the account level. Now, if you look at it from a macro perspective, you will realize that this strategy enables segmentation and communication with greater ease without having to overburden the teams into diverting their flow of communication. 

Tying up of territory-level sales activities with your marketing strategy can effectively reduce the time and effort required to reach a goal. This can only be achieved when the sales and marketing teams are perfectly aligned and in sync with each other. Some activities that can bring in this alignment are hosting shared training sessions, collaborative meetings, and such. 

Segmentation of accounts

ABM works towards targeting the right audience with the help of strategically devised tactics. Segmentation of accounts enables you to significantly improve your campaign results and increase personalization. It is imperative to have a definitive framework to segment your database in such a way that it complements your marketing strategy. By focusing your delivery value largely on activities and messages targeted to specific segments, you can achieve effective results. Some of the basis of segmentation include categorization based on- 

  • Classification of company 
  • Size of the organization
  • Annual revenue
  • Current spend 
  • Projected spend
  • Products bought
  • Opportunities that are open or closed
  • Geography

Segmentation of your accounts ensures effective messaging and helps in simplifying execution at all levels. ABM can only help you if your audience is resonating with your content and segmentation can help you in refining your approach. Most VMOs have automation tools that can help with the segregation based on uniquely defined account-related information. 

Automation plays 

ABM programs yield effective results only if the coordination between sales activities and marketing plays is in place. VMOs target to achieve measurable results and automation is what helps them align their efforts. Automation tools guarantee efficient workflows at all levels be it program, campaign, or territory. They can provide palpable insights into the effectiveness of our strategies with flow-based alerts, follow-ups that are pre-programmed, alignment of tasks, and such. 

Not just these, automation in ABM enables-

  • Definition of ABM strategy
  • Alignment between targeting audience, creating messaging, and execution
  • Tracking results
  • Continuous and rigorous optimization

A comprehensive marketing strategy can struggle to take root because it requires additional planning and execution which can be strenuous for the already overworked sales and marketing teams. This is where a VMO steps in and helps organizations in developing the tools required to automate the process and take control of core ABM strategies. 

Evolve per needs

The final component to drive an ABM campaign is constant evolution and optimization of the marketing approach. Taking up consistent review sessions and measuring the performance bi-weekly or monthly is what VMOs suggest. This way they ensure the delivery of your campaign is efficient and the experience of targeted accounts is on point. Working in sync with the sales team allows VMOs to utilize the data of different segments and create a thorough segmentation system. The data collected by the sales team also helps in focusing the efforts per the needs of the audience. 

Source-Unsplash

Now, with the key components in check, let’s move on to growing your ABM strategy. Here’s what VMOs recommend to help you-

ABM- Strategy, not tool 

Adoption of ABM is not like any other marketing tool, it requires precision and changes on the organizational level. Thoughtful planning and effective use of data are the two components that can ensure you are targeting the right accounts. The process starts off with your sales team categorically dividing the accounts based on their territorial knowledge. Then comes the task of data utilization; by working in line with the sales teams you can analyze the customer trends and then strategize on the ways to target them and build a rapport. 

Then comes the usage of automation; you can simply use marketing tools to brush through details of your latest mega deals, be it a success or not. These details will then help you in analyzing the wins and losses from a microscopic perspective. Once you are through with the comparison, you will have a proper analysis of the factors of dos and don’ts. 

ABM allows you to optimize your messaging and build better relationships with your clients. It acts as a channel between sales and marketing and allows both teams to fully explore its potential. 

Identifying key customer profile

Another significant aspect of your ABM strategy must be to build a kay customer profile. Now, these accounts to you may feel like the ones that will get on board the earliest. Well no, these are the ones that have the most likelihood for staying the longest with you. 

The development of key customer profiles is another process altogether, it requires you to analyze your alpha clients and map them for similarities. The data mapped will be on the basis of industry, size of the company, region, technology, and such. Once you are able to determine the similarities, it will get easier for you to target the right accounts. High-relationship clients are invested in their customer relationship and this is what can help you in making more strategic decisions about them. You can start by analyzing the needs of their customers and work towards making them more efficient in terms of reaching their goals. If you’re successfully able to evaluate the client and their customer profile, you will easily be able to nail your key customer profile as well. 

Internal engagement

The alignment of sales, marketing, and other departments of an organization is of utmost importance- this is one fact that simply cannot be stressed enough. However, implementation of such an effective channel of communication requires persistence and constant management and that can be extremely difficult to achieve especially in larger corporations where the data flow is abundant. 

Internal engagement can be increased by laying focus on complementary training sessions for divisions that are to work together, seminars that showcase the importance of such a channel of communication, and activities that help both the teams in seeing the benefit of complementing each other. The fact that humans can be extremely competitive especially in a professional environment simply cannot be overlooked in a scenario such as this. And, this is why it is encouraged to instil the benefits of team-work and alignment in the organization. 

The future of marketing is ABM. It may evolve just like everything else but the core values that ABM brings in focus towards a wholesome approach that incorporates finding new accounts, engaging with them interactively, winning them over with your strategies, and driving mutual growth. This never-ending process is what will help your organization scale to the heights you have always dreamed of. Reach out to us today to know how VMO can help you with a tailor-made marketing plan and ABM strategy.

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Vibhu Satpaul

Vibhu Satpaul is the co-founder of Saffron Edge. He is a Digital Marketing and technology expert with a penchant for sharing ideas on technology, digital marketing, and innovation. Vibhu has successfully created various progressive systems to streamline management and marketing results for clients worldwide. A graduate in Information Systems and Softwares from LSE , his style of management involves providing innovative and transparent solutions to improve efficiency and value. In his free time, he likes to take to the court for tennis bouts and enjoys gaming. Vibhu also likes to write about Business and Marketing solutions and has been featured in Social Media Today.