ABM Strategy: Account-Based Marketing Playbook For B2B Startups
Account-based marketing, at its core, focuses on particular accounts and companies. In ABM instead of trying to attract large groups of people to your site, nurturing them with emails, and then finding your target audience, you reverse the equation with your ABM strategy and playbook: find your target account first, then engage them with tailored campaigns to cultivate long-term relationships.
ABM is required in such an evolving digital terrain that has previously been geared primarily toward the largest players. It leveled the playing field for startups by restoring marketing principles such as identifying, segmenting, obtaining customer insights, testing results, and responding in real-time.
It abandons the anonymous B2B marketing and sales strategy in favor of microtargeting potential customers through technology. This enables businesses, even those in their early stages, to try out an innovative marketing playbook that stresses the need to efficiently customize their sales and marketing messages.
In this article, we'd discuss strategies to make sure your account-based marketing gets off to a good start. Template of launch dates for ABM plays by the sales and marketing teams. ABM plays that are tested and trusted and have all the minute tactical details you require to motivate you to try out account-based marketing, close deals, and improve your funnel without hiring a marketing agency.
In comparison to the traditional sales method, ABM marketing strategy yields greater conversion in any sales cycle. Though ABM can be used in a variety of industries and business types, a systematic approach must be followed to guarantee its success. The following are the key elements of an account-based marketing framework.
Ideal Customer Profile Creation (Target Account)
Account Research and Selection
Ideal Customer Profile Creation (Target Account)
Building the right ICP helps you not blow marketing campaign dollars on the wrong fit. Imagine targeting a huge account and surrounding them on every channel only to get them on a call and find out they're not a fit or not currently in the market for your solutions. That'd be a huge blow to your time, effort and money! This is why marketing and sales teams need to be innovative when it comes to creating an ICP.
Here are some questions that'd help you have a clearer view of the type of persona you want to target. Document the process, come up with another ICP, and repeat the process. You're ready to move on once you've discovered your ideal customer profile. Some businesses target different ICPs, which can also be effective.
**a. Which industries have I worked in and currently have case studies
It's difficult to break into a new industry you have no experience in as a marketer, so stick to what works or choose industries that are similar to the one you're already familiar with and have case studies that show you've already had success.
**b. Do I have minimum account requirements?
Keep your ROI in mind and consider adjusting the criteria for ABM accounts, as successfully implementing an ABM marketing strategy will almost definitely cost you more. Accounts that cannot utilize your solution in a reasonable timeframe or are a poor fit due to size, location, or other requirement should be avoided.
**c. What issues does my ICP have that I can address right now?
Consider your ideal customer's market. Learn about their business and how your ideal client gets results in that space. This will enable you to personalize content for ideal accounts that directly relates to their basic values and objectives.
**d. What effect does timing have on my ICP?
Are recently funded accounts a good fit for you? Or are there indications that a business is moving too fast and might not be in the perfect situation to commit the hours needed to completely implement the product? If the answers show this might be a wrong fit then it might be time to try a different marketing approach.
**e. What is the best account size for me?
Dollar signs can be enticing so be careful when tempted to close huge enterprise accounts. You need to consider if they're they perfect fit and always bear in mind that an ideal customer is not = money. You need to have resources capable of managing deals of such huge size. Also, enterprise deals have long cycles. So, what account size is suitable for your product, and why? Keep in mind that your ICP may change over time as your company, the market, and your products change.
**f. What job roles am I interested in? Would the business have the
right option for my product? Examine your previous successes. What
titles give you the most traction? Which ones don't?
The best marketing tactic for this is to find accounts that have needs that align with the company's offers. In situations where your product is essential for companies with a huge marketing department, having a target account list full of startups would ruin your account-based marketing strategy.
**g. Why my ideal customer?
Again revenue is important but not a priority when creating a buyer persona so you don't have to end up with unqualified prospects. Some customers are essential in expanding your brand recognition and reputation. With them your marketing efforts are seamless and you'd be able to form bonds and partnerships that would help you excel in a new space. Revenue alternatives can be considered, but note that ABM Consider alternatives to revenue, but keep in mind that while it requires time and resources ABM works.
Account Selection and Research
Once you're done with creating an ideal customer profile, the next thing on your mind should be list compilation. It can be either through data sellers or tools like Poseidon that provide you with 98.7% accurate customer data. Ensure that there is an alignment between sales and marketing during this stage as they're possibly more familiar with accounts that are the best-fit. This is very necessary if you want your account-based marketing approach to be successful. They are unlikely to pay attention to accounts that they do not believe are a good fit for your company.
This stage of the process can make or break your campaign, so make an informed decision. Pick accounts based on insights from your ICPs, then get into the details of building a list.
Once you have a list of people you want to reach out to then you should start the research process immediately. Successful ABM strategies rely heavily on highly personalized outreach, you don't want to waste time with a pray-and-spray approach so thorough research and personalization of assets, emails, and direct mail pieces are of primary importance. All that can be achieved if you research properly.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Playbook
If your team is focused on trying out ABM plays then the following 3 plays would help you scale effectively, and even entice your contacts to call you. This will help to generate interest and improve pipeline quality.
ABM is dependent on omnichannel success, which necessitates meticulous multi-channel collaboration. An omnichannel marketing increases the possibility of conversations and this leads to better responses at an average of 7.9%, according to studies, and our customers see much better results.
This is even higher when combined with physical outreach (direct mail). After sending your prospect a physical package, follow up with a call to confirm the package delivery using it as context for reaching out. Next in line would be a digital outreach.
For the account, use customized retargeting ads, a well-tailored email campaign, and landing pages. Always balance resources and opportunities, but be as specific as possible. The aim is to ensure your warm contacts don't cool. The more personalized your communication, the easier it will be to keep the conversation going.
For this play, you need to use a well-tailored cadence. Below is an example of a 30 Days Cadence:
Day 1 - Physical Package
Day 3 - Call To Confirm Delivery
Day 5 - Email Outreach (if delivery is confirmed)
Day 8 - SDR Call
Day 10 - Email Outreach
Day 11 - Linkedin Connection
Day 13 - Physical Package
Day 15 - Call To Confirm Delivery
Day 17 - Email Outreach
Day 18 -Sales Call
Day 20 - Email Outreach
Day 22 - Physical Package
Day 25 - Call To Confirm Delivery
Day 27 - Email Outreach
Day 28 - Linkedin Message (or Inmail)
Day 29 - SDR Call
Day 30 - Email Outreach
Multi Personas Targeting
ABM excels at securing significant, complicated accounts. Although they have substantial financial resources, their purchasing processes can be convoluted, tangled, and slow-moving. You can use those challenges as stepping stones to help you land a Leviathan with the aid of this play.
Divide your large account into more manageable chunks; this play will place a lot of emphasis on your formal and informal account mapping, so be sure to do your research. Before you start this play, make sure your data is accurate. The key is accuracy.
This play is divided into two. One that focuses on influencers and another that focuses on decision-makers.
Getting your influencers on board with this play will help you persuade decision-makers.
Send a package containing information pertinent to the recipient's
Target each influencer separately if there are several scattered
throughout the account. Even better, try to find something entertaining to do to bring everyone together (games, puzzles, riddles, etc.).
Finally, thank them for coming to a meeting or demo with you with a
nice reward. Before receiving their reward, the influencer must act. Requesting for a commitment from them will increase their interest in you and help you save money because you won't be giving them pricey gifts in the air.
**The Decision Maker
The strategy is to remain in your decision maker's thoughts until you have influencer buy-in, at which point you can unleash powerful messaging and physical send.
Send messages via email or Linkedin to connect. If it doesn't make
sense at all, don't make any cold calls.
Send inexpensive but incredibly well-done, tangible marketing to
stay at the top of their minds.
Send decision makers valuable tangible marketing, hyper-personalized
emails, and noteworthy ads once your influencer groups start to transform into champions.
Personalization is not just important, it is absolutely essential when dealing with high-value accounts. We advise spending the time to produce unique content that appeals to particular decision-makers as well as to groups within the account.
It's true that all of this seems like a huge resource waste. With a customer who wasn't a real whale for your brand, you would never try this level of intense personalization. A huge need not equate to a huge employee base. It might imply high value, sought-after access, a fantastic partnership, or significant brand exposure.
For this play, you target a vertical rather than a particular account with your tactics. Consider your verticals to be like your accounts. Each account throughout the vertical will speak the same language, have comparable problems, and seek comparable benefits.
Small-sized accounts need minimal focus, but a wider net needs to be cast in order to capture more of them. This strategy is ideal if you're trying to build recognition and authority in a market before snagging a major brand.
Tips for this play:
To learn industry language, check business blogs and websites and
follow industry thought leaders and influencers on Linkedin.
Join professional forums and online training.
Leverage an industry consultant, or find one you enjoy and follow
With this play, you'll be dealing with a greater number of accounts, so it's critical that your sales and marketing teams work in unison. For the management of leads, qualifications, follow-up, and communication, create an effective sales and marketing process. Everyone should be aware of the current status of each account in the sales pipeline. Of course, your CRM is important, but don't stop there. To keep your teams on the same page, hold standup meetings, call one another, and spend as much time in person as you can.
With LinkedIn's Company Targeting feature, you can use the network's database of more than 13 million company pages for your ABM initiatives. With the help of this tool, you can upload a list of the businesses you want to contact and make ad campaigns that are specifically directed at the people you want to reach there.
Account-Based Marketing Success and B2B Marketing Strategy
A different strategy is needed for ABM campaigns than for traditional ones. You examine an account in depth while concentrating on personalized outreach. You will expend a lot of energy during the process, but it will be worthwhile in the end. Keep your objectives in mind as you move strategically. The good news is that it can all be finished in 30 days.
**Day 1-5 - ICP Build
Work with sales to review MQL & SQL qualifications and handoff processes as the sales process may differ for account-based marketing. If this is your first ABM campaign, decide your KPIs and success metrics and scale them accordingly. Set your budget and base your play selections on audience preferences.
**Day 6-15 - Choosing your Accounts
Less targeting and more individualized attention should be given to accounts that are more strategically important to you. Map your accounts; if you can, involve sales so that they are as informed as possible so that they can sell more effectively later. Start developing your marketing materials, including emails and content. Compared to other campaigns, these will require more personalization, so allow more time to get it right.
**Day 16-20 - Account Research
Poseidon helps make this process easy so you don't get tired. Look for pieces of content authored by your prospect, company goals highlighted on their 10k reports, online reviews of their company, or anything you can find on their Linkedin profile that'd help make the personalization of the message easy.
**Day 20-30 Run your Opening Play.
Discuss opportunities and leads in an open dialogue. How effective is your ABM campaign? Did it produce any unexpected outcomes? Recalibrate after comparing results to previous campaigns. On your first sends, start checking metrics and rating KPIs.
Account-based marketing need not be a burden. You can more effectively identify valuable accounts, lower any friction affecting your flywheel, and improve growth by putting the strategies we've listed above to work and implementing software --- like Poseidon --- for your marketing and sales team to use and collaborate together.