ABM stands for account-based marketing. It’s a business-to-business (B2B) marketing strategy that helps you target the highest-value prospective clients at the top of the sales and marketing funnel rather than at the bottom. This helps you put the most time, effort, and resources into pursuing leads more likely to convert into paying customers. But there are other ABM benefits you may not have considered. In this article, we discuss topics like:
ABM allows you to sell to your best leads faster. Instead of wasting time trying to decide if a partnership is right for you or the client, you can jump right in and start making relationships and connections. Some benefits of creating and using an ABM strategy include:
For ABM to work the right way, the sales and marketing teams have to do more than just communicate. They have to align their strategies and tactics. Cross-team collaboration on any project helps growth. But for ABM, things work even more seamlessly when both teams focus on the same goals and stick to the same budget.
Sometimes sales and marketing seem like such different areas of an organization, even though they have the same primary roles: grab leads and turn them into customers. Think of this alignment as a baseball team. Your marketing team is like the game pitcher and the sales team is like the closer. Depending on the game, one might carry more of the load than the other. But both want the same result: to win the game.
Collaborating on ABM projects makes this happen and makes for better communication among these departments in everything they do. Not just the work on ABM accounts. And it makes for a better customer experience when the messages and attention leads get from both departments match.
ABM can shorten the time it takes your company to find a client and make a sale.
Image via Service Source
We’ve used this image before to discuss the stages of the marketing and sales funnel. But this graphic is great to describe the benefits of ABM because it also shows you the stages of the sales pipeline and how it aligns with the funnel. It typically takes about seven stages in the sales pipeline to get a lead from the first interaction with your brand to closing a new deal. But with ABM, you can shorten that.
ABM lets you combine pipeline stages one through four to identify your most qualified leads at the beginning of the process. Then you can market to those leads directly, close the deal, and work on efforts to keep the client. That cuts your pipeline in half.
Why should you care about having a shorter sales pipeline? Because the faster you can get people from the beginning to the end, the faster you see more money in your bank account. Also, the faster you get one client from the beginning to the end, you can focus your efforts on the next. If you have a lot of high-quality clients in your pipeline, you want to make sure they’re feeling that one-to-one connection and want to partner with your brand. When you have more time to devote to each one, this process is easier.
ABM cuts down on the experimentation you have to do to get companies to see that you’re the best solution to their pain points and problems. When you know exactly who you’re targeting, you can create more foolproof strategies that meet their individual needs. Compare that with developing something general and hoping it appeals to the right target audience. It gives more results with less guesswork.
ABM is all about highly targeted personalization in every facet of the marketing plan. From the content to communication and campaigns, you work hard to make each one special for every account. Doing this makes each lead or client see how relevant your services are to their specific business needs.
It plays on the consumer mentality of “what’s in it for me?” But it takes the thought to the extreme. You’re not just showing leads what your company can do. You’re showing them specifically what you can do for their company. That’s going to make your brand stand out from competitors. It shows how you’re the most relevant options for the accounts you want to earn. It also proves to your current clients that you’re dedicated to providing them with top-quality products or services for the long term.
It’s better to have fewer high-quality leads than tons of low-quality ones. Read that again. Now commit it to memory. Yes, you’re trying to find as much business as possible in sales and marketing. Who doesn’t want to be successful and make more money? But to use the old saying, ABM helps you work smarter, not harder.
You can still get the same returns from fewer better accounts than a lot of mediocre ones. By finding out who are your best potential clients and paying attention to their needs, you can actually get them to spend more money over time. It costs your business more to find new clients than it does to keep existing ones. That means every time you go out to find yourself more and more clients, you’re actually costing your company more money.
By working strategically with ABM, you’re using the resources you have to your best advantage and saving money. Having better relationships with your clients reduces churn over time. If they’re happy, they don’t have any reason to look elsewhere. And if you’re working on the targeted scale of ABM, you’re going to know if there’s something not satisfying the client. You can address it before they even think to look for a new partnership, product, or service.
Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of some of your marketing efforts can be difficult. Take content marketing, for example. Short of tracking specific calls-to-action (CTAs) from individual pieces, how can you tell which ones directly contribute to ROI? There are some ways, but even with the right data, it’s not completely straightforward.
But with ABM, you can see exactly what you’re getting back from the spend on each account. It’s one-to-one. You can look at the input and the output to see if you’re breaking even or exceeding what you spend in each area. This helps you determine which of your accounts are worth more spend and more effort. Ones that are bringing in more money deserve more attention and spend.
You can nurture those accounts for an extended time to get them to spend even more. You can also look at what makes those accounts unique and determine why they provide more ROI. When you figure that out, you can target new leads with similar qualities to increase your ROI on those accounts, too.
ABM is a balance between attracting leads to turn them into customers and keeping the business of your current clients. It’s a twofold strategy that allows you to do both. It works thanks to consistent and pleasurable customer experiences. This starts with aligning your sales and marketing departments, but it doesn’t end there. Every time a lead or client interacts with your customer service department and every piece of your content they read should be consistent, too. The way you speak to the audience and the attention you give their needs should all be high-quality.
You may wonder how you can sustain high-quality interactions long-term for every client. But if it’s built right into your business model, your goals, and your mission statement, it’s easy. When you take the time to learn as much about your leads and clients as possible during ABM, this kind of top-notch performance becomes second nature. It’s natural, and you don’t have to force anything to make it happen.
ABM works well on its own. But like with any other marketing strategy, collaborations can take a good plan and turn it into a great one. That’s what happens when you pair ABM and Inbound Marketing together. ABM is a targeted strategy and inbound marketing is foundational. Putting them together lets you work from your already solid inbound marketing plan and put a laser focus on specific, high-quality leads. This lets you maximize your efforts with the same amount of resources. Other benefits of using ABM and inbound marketing together include:
Inbound marketing relies on creating valuable content, promotions, and resources to draw potential clients to your business. Leads can be more receptive to inbound marketing because it’s not pushy. You’re laying out what you can do for your clients, and if it entices a lead, they come to you to ask for more information.
When you receive an inbound marketing inquiry from a high-quality lead, you can start your ABM tactics right away to increase their speed through the sales funnel. They’ve already proven their interest in your products or services, so you can develop targeted proposals, content, and resources to meet their needs. This pushes them down the funnel faster than it would with a lower-quality lead or a less targeted approach. Pairing inbound marketing and ABM also lets you accelerate what HubSpot called the flywheel model.
Image via HubSpot
This model focuses on three specific areas of the marketing funnel and how leads and clients behave within each one. They include:
What makes the flywheel different is that it’s cyclical. Unlike the funnel, which starts and ends in different places, the flywheel never ends. What you do in one area directly affects the others. And it keeps coming back around to grow your business. Using inbound marketing and ABM together makes the wheel spin even faster.
Any time you use more than one marketing tool, tactic, or strategy, you have a better chance of reaching a larger audience. Inbound marketing helps you draw in that crowd, and ABM helps you narrow it down. ABM helps you find the most qualified leads from the larger pool to personalize each account’s marketing the right way. That way, you’re still drawing in other potential clients. You can work them slowly through the funnel. But with ABM in place, you can work on the best leads fastest to see new conversions and more income more quickly.
You can use the content you create for inbound marketing for ABM and vice versa. With the consent of the lead or client, any content you create for one company also becomes part of your inbound marketing strategy. For example, if you develop a laser-focused case study for one lead, you can also share that on your website for others to browse. It was originally part of your ABM campaign for a client, but it also serves as inbound marketing to appeal to new leads.
There’s also the potential that a qualified lead sees a more generalized piece of content on your website that interests them. If they bring it up in your initial discussions, you could repurpose something like an eBook or a video tutorial using more specific examples relevant to the lead’s company, products, or services. This shows them the benefits of working with your business.
Many marketing tools have features that make them applicable across multiple marketing strategies, including ABM and inbound marketing. Whether you’re looking to segment your email campaigns or track important marketing metrics, there’s likely a tool out there to help.
When you work with CopyPress, you get access to two different marketing tools that work for inbound, content, and ABM strategies. Our proprietary software, Thematical, allows you to compare your digital content or that of your leads, to your top three competitors. This shows you where you’re hitting the mark to grab your market share of the audience. But it also shows content gaps or areas you could cover to not just get more leads, but more qualified leads.
Want a preview of how Thematical works? Request your free content analysis report today. The report gives you access to those gap topics, as well as ways to build your backlink profile and find new opportunities for content syndication.
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Our proprietary content management system (CMS), Dante, makes content development for broad audiences or targeted ABM clients a breeze. Check on the status of every project, review writer and editor feedback, and provide details of your content reviews for further tweaking of any piece. You can also publish content straight from Dante to your website with an API option or download the content to share with a specific lead through another channel.
If you’re looking to work with a great team and use tools that get your ABM strategies off the ground, CopyPress is your best partner. Our creative team develops content that gets right to the heart of relationships with your clients, like eBooks and white papers. Our vast knowledge of industries helps the personalization process you need to make your leads and clients feel like you know them inside and out. Ready to get started? Schedule your free strategy call today.
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