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  • Wei-Ling Chiu

Pick up your profits with Account-Based Marketing

Traditionally, the purpose of marketing has been to generate leads, while the purpose of sales has been to sell products and services. When the bottom line dips, we urge marketing to create more messages and we motivate sales to sell more products. This approach would work well if your competitors weren’t doing the exact same thing.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) puts the focus on growing accounts instead of individual leads, creating incredible alignment between sales, marketing, and customer success teams. This approach gets these teams to aim for a common goal, and it works. According to Forrester Research, organizations with aligned sales and marketing teams see an average annual revenue growth of 32%. ABM requires close, constant, and completely focused collaboration with customers. These requirements make it important to ensure your customer really is the best fit because your teams are going to spend the majority of their effort on pre and post-sales accounts.

“ABM delivers the highest Return on Investment of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic. Period.” - ITSMA Account-Based Marketing Survey

We put a South African tech company on the path to ABM when they approached the BeBold team with a challenge. The company’s key account lead was struggling to identify new cross-sell opportunities with their biggest client. They needed to let the client know that they could buy more than just a few bricks from the business…they could buy the whole house!

To meet the challenge, we focused on three key elements:

  1. Position the brand as a trusted partner

  2. Enable the sales team to deepen their customer relationships

  3. Serve personalised content at the right time to attract the right customers

Position the brand as a trusted enabler

ABM requires a shift from the production of broad brand messages to personalised content. The content you publish depends on what your business objectives are.

We hosted a series of roundtable discussions with our clients to understand their industry and tap into their expertise. We used these insights to map out a joint 5-year vision shared between our client and their customer, positioning our client as a strategic business partner.

Enable sales to deepen customer relationships

ABM also requires a shift in mentality for sales teams that operate transactionally. This means thinking beyond what the customer currently buys and considering how else your products can help achieve their business objectives. To do this, you need to know your customer. Not the brand, not the department, but the individuals your team sells products or services to. When you know the customer, you can adjust the way you communicate to be most appealing to them.

Start by acknowledging that our information-abundant world has led to short attention spans that make any sort of ‘disruptive’ marketing ineffective. Therefore companies need to build trust with their customers and identify those magic moments when people are open to engaging. When that magic moment arrives, make it exceptional for your customer. Forrester Research notes that revenue growth is 40% faster for businesses that invest in creating great experiences.

Serve personalised content at the right time

Often, the right time is in real-time. In the pre-pandemic world, we helped our clients put together a conference. Whether your clients are multi-national or minuscule, everybody loves a free lunch!

The content covered in the conference left delegates with a much better understanding of what our client can offer. Breaks between presentations created the perfect setting for the sort of casual conversation that leads to more formal discussions in the boardroom. Most importantly, the conference led to an increase in sales. Leads generated from the conference resulted in R50 million in new deals closed.

Hosting that sort of event today might not be practical, so webinars and live streaming are a must. We’ve been meeting remotely for long enough that there are plenty of tools to make webinars engaging.

For sales teams looking for brand new clients, the work begins in the marketing department. To create awareness that your business has more than one solution to offer, targeted digital content is key. ABM ensures sales teams aren’t wasting time on the wrong leads with the wrong products at the wrong time while helping marketing to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.

Measuring Success

The rewards of spending a lot of time on just one client are far-reaching when you take the ABM approach. Success is measured in the value of leads generated as well as revenue growth. The immediate benefit for our client was a revenue increase of R50 million in new deals, but the long-term benefit is worth much more. The conference generated leads to the value of R150 million and the beginning of a mutually beneficial partnership.

How ABM helps you work smarter

If ABM sounds very time-consuming to you, that’s because it was. Technology makes the process of identifying, nurturing, and converting leads quicker. We use a combination of digital tools to enable marketing to deliver qualified leads to the sales team. These tools monitor client data in real-time so the team can give each lead a score depending on the actions they have taken.

Lead scoring is critical for the sales team to know when to approach their clients. Leads are scored according to responses to various calls to action. For example, if a lead is attracted to your website via a banner ad, they won’t get any points, but if they download a white paper you could give them 50 points. If that same lead also attends your webinar, allocate another 10 points. The marketing team keeps serving attractive content to that lead until their online actions indicate genuine interest.

All this data is neatly presented on a dashboard for sales and marketing to have quick and constant sight of new opportunities.

It’s Make or Break Time

ABM is a discipline that assembles the right people, processes, and technologies. These elements become a well-oiled machine that is designed to scale the toughest mountains in your world - the boardroom battle for deals that make or break companies.

At BeBold, we believe that Account-Based Marketing is the single most important opportunity facing B2B companies today. Our commitment is to help businesses rise to the challenge ABM presents and seize the opportunities this approach creates.

Connect with us and uncover the impact ABM can make on your business.


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