• Wei-Ling Chiu

A Step by Step to Guide to Account Based Marketing

Get your sales and marketing teams to start turning the ABM wheel for wins

For any business, priorities will always include growing existing clients while identifying new sales opportunities. Our current climate has created a much greater sense of urgency to meet these priorities, but those who shift their approach will get it right first. A shift in approach can be as quick as a change in mindset, because the tools and technology we have available only make us faster.

Sales and marketing teams who take the Account Based Marketing (ABM) approach bring more revenue to their businesses and we’ve seen it work. Read about the results of a tech team we helped get on the path to ABM here. It starts with understanding that ABM does not follow a linear approach and cannot be treated like a campaign with a traditional beginning, middle and ending.

ABM is a circular way of working between sales and marketing to achieve better results with new and existing clients.

We make the approach work with three key elements:

1. Position your brand as a trusted enabler

2. Enable sales with intelligence, to deepen customer relationships

3. Serve personalised content at the right time

You can read more about the details here but to apply the approach to your own business, find out more about how below.

Step 1: Position your brand as a trusted enabler

Start by establishing credibility. Marketing teams need to create messages that show, rather than tell, your customers that your business can be relied on. Consider the number of people your business has provided value to, the quality of the product, and the collective expertise that comes from a team working in a specific industry for a number of years. These messages must be crafted with the aim of giving customers peace of mind.

To grow existing customers

Where a transactional relationship has already been established, don’t assume credibility is therefore also established. The customer might trust you to deliver one service but not be sure about your expertise in another area. When you want the customer to send more of their business your way, personalised messages are ideal. In this case, marketing teams can create InMail content for sales teams to send to their clients on LinkedIn. Sales can also give marketing insights about what their customers are currently thinking and talking about, so relevant people can be included in marketing campaigns targeted to niche groups.

To target new customers

For the customers which sales teams have yet to convert, keep serving content until they take an action. Showing, rather than telling, becomes even more important when people haven’t had a chance to interact with your brand or products yet. Marketing teams should use the successes of sales teams to identify stories for case studies, and target potential customers with content that proves your brand’s ability. Use what the business already knows about its customers, their intentions and habits at different stages, to identify the best messages to send to potential new customers.

Step 2: Enable sales to deepen customer relationships

The marketing team might not get face time with customers like sales people do, but they know their digital habits! ABM tools enable marketers to track how people interact with the company’s messaging online. The insights gathered shed light on which topics catch the attention of which people, who prefers a 30-second video over a detailed white paper and who is so curious to know about our last success story that they filled in a form to get the details. Sales teams can use this data to talk the customer’s language in their next meeting.

To grow existing customers

Knowing what content a customer has recently interacted with gives sales teams a better understanding of what their customer’s current priorities are. This information can cue sales on how they should interact with their customers, when to elevator pitch that new product and when to hold back. The way customers interact with content online can even inform sales teams on how best to communicate with their customers – while some people enjoy an impactful video to start a meeting, others prefer a few detailed presentation slides.

To target new customers

When a sales person first meets a client, they usually arrive with the purpose of selling one specific product. If the moment is appropriate, a discussion about other products and services usually follows. When the marketing team has armed the sales team with the insights they need to know about what caught their customer’s attention, the sales team can prioritise products the customer actually wants to know about.

Step 3: Serve personalised content at the right time

ABM is successful when the approach brings you closer to your customers and makes you better able to use your products to serve their needs. When ABM works, both the customer and the business win. Personalised


content is all about communicating the right message to the right person at the right time. Conferences and webinars are the way to do it at scale. They also show customers that their business and time is valued.

To grow existing customers

Bringing existing customers to a conference gives you a chance to show them everything your business can do in an interactive way. Events create opportunities for natural and meaningful conversations that provide more insight than what sales teams can get from transactional meetings. Aside from casual conversations that lead to both immediate and future sales, brands that host such events establish themselves as leaders with a voice in the industry.

To target new customers

Events and webinars are an excellent way to introduce new people to your brand. People who attend are engaged and intentionally open to understanding what your business can offer them. Introduce new clients to established clients, so they can see how you’ve already created value for others. Use the event to make delegates feel valued and show them first-hand how well your company treats its clients.

After the event, invest time in detailed follow-ups with your clients. Send the brochure you promised to and schedule that meeting your client casually suggested. The leads gathered from the event are hot, so strike fast!

Keep Turning the ABM Wheel

When you’ve gone through the process, it begins again with every new client gained. Account Based Marketing is a practice to be incorporated into the way sales and marketing people do their jobs, rather than a tactic to try once or twice. Once a transaction has grown into a partnership, the cycle is repeated so that even more growth can come from the relationship.

To bring the ABM approach to your business, get in touch with the BeBold team and start seeing the benefits of a swift approach to change.


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