Here’s a story we hear a lot. At first, everyone is excited about Account-Based Marketing. It’s the missing piece in the marketing puzzle.
Finally, we have a way to create growth in our top customers and crack the biggest prospect accounts.
It starts with gusto and energetic account workshops. Great insights are unearthed. The team creates super-relevant content that everyone loves.
And then there’s a dawning realisation. It’s all back on the account team to follow up. They will have to do all the legwork to create any tangible results. It’s on them to get the content in front of the right people, speak to the decision-makers, open new doors.
The realities of the day-to-day management of the account get in the way. The content isn’t used to its fullest. The opportunities don’t get the attention they need. The results fail to match the high levels of investment.
The excitement fizzles out and the pilot doesn’t progress. But we know that ABM can have some of the highest ROI of any marketing approach. So how do we close the gap between promise and results?
How do we solve the problem?
We have a different approach to ABM that integrates account-based inside sales within specialist teams, dedicated to ABM that works.
“The O2 ABM programme, especially since our ramp-up in 2018, has been noted by the board as one of our key business programmes – not just for marketing, but for the whole of O2 Business. That’s an outstanding success, and a testament to the hard work of the team delivering it.”
Mark Larwood – Head of Marketing, Enterprise & ABM, O2
Do the basics brilliantly
Any two account-based marketing programmes will follow a similar process. What will make one successful and another fail is the quality of the execution. Every step in the process needs to work effectively, from account selection to reporting.
The missing ingredient in
Working in account-based marketing requires a specific skillset. BDR teams and telemarketing agencies aren’t effective in this environment. Our account-based inside sales specialists are in a different mould. They are ex-field salespeople, dedicated to working on ABM programmes. They cover the ground the account team don’t have time to, closing the gap between great plans and great results.
Count what really counts
ABM is far more likely to go beyond a pilot if success is defined in terms the business understands. This might be winning ‘beachhead’ accounts to open up a valuable new segment. Or retaining a top customer by better aligning sales, marketing and other areas like service and product to a shared strategy. Many find this type of value harder to report on and articulate but laying out the business case clearly at each stage of the journey helps ABM fulfil its potential.
Defend and grow the top 20% of customers
ABM is particularly effective at unlocking new opportunities within existing accounts, for example with business decision makers not just the IT audience.
Win breakthrough accounts
ABM can crack the highest priority target accounts which have so far eluded your best efforts. It can be a key part of a strategy to open up new sectors or markets by winning flagship deals.
Increase adoption and retention
For many software companies, ABM is an effective way to sell a platform model and make sure clients are getting full value from the product, supporting satisfaction and retention.
Create stronger propositions
The rigour of ABM work leads to insights that are often true across a sector, making it a powerful source of new messages and content.