Account-based marketing is a hot topic.
If you’re on social media you may have seen #ABM trending on Twitter. Perhaps you recently attended a business-to-business (B2B) marketing event where a speaker discussed the importance of account-based marketing, especially if you’ve ever met Sangram Vajre or attended a #FlipMyFunnel event.
The term account-based marketing isn’t necessarily new.
Identifying and targeting key accounts has always been a best practice for B2B marketing and sales teams. What’s different about account-based marketing today is that the rise of technology has given marketing teams the tools they need to do account-based marketing at scale. B2B “smarketing” teams recognize the importance of using account-based marketing to more quickly grow revenue, yet according to a 2015 survey by Sirius Decisions, less than 20% of B2B marketing teams have implemented an ABM program.
This why we authored Account-Based Marketing For Dummies
Account-based marketing is about identifying the right accounts.
For B2B marketing, this is essential because it’s the most efficient way to use your time, energy, and resources by targeting businesses who are most likely to buy from your company. This is very different from the way B2B marketing works today. The key term B2B marketing and sales professionals use to monitor potential new revenue is the sales pipeline. The pipeline is commonly referred to as the funnel.
Pouring leads into the funnel
The traditional B2B marketing and sales funnel’s different stages show how a revenue opportunity moves the sales pipeline. The pipeline itself got its name because of the funnel. A lead became an opportunity as it progressed through the funnel, or pipeline, where it eventually closed. Marketing and sales teams are all too familiar with the CEO or President looking at opportunities in a pipeline like a hawk on its prey. This is why marketing for so long has been focused on pouring leads into the top of the funnel. The idea was the more leads that came in, then more deals would be put into the pipeline.
It’s important to note the stages of the buyer’s journey as your potential customer moves through the funnel. Here’s what the traditional funnel looks like:
But what if your company flipped this funnel so that your customers are at the top, and the channels you’re targeting come second? Instead of asking yourself which technologies and channels you should use to target your buyers, you should be asking, “which customers?”
Here is how we flip the funnel with account-based marketing.
The traditional lead-based sales and marketing funnel has been turned into a cone using account-based marketing. The tip of the cone is your initial lead. This lead becomes your “contact” and is then developed into an “account”. That’s how account-based marketing got its name. You are identifying the accounts you want to do business with, then expanding your reach to each contact in the account.
Throughout Account-Based Marketing For Dummies, Vajre discusses all levels of account-based marketing and shows you how to use technology for marketing to these contacts.
There are four stages of account based marketing:
The four stages of account-based marketing each have a different process and components of technology involved. It’s through utilizing technology that you are able to do account-based marketing.
For years, B2B marketing and sales teams have been doing account-based marketing as a side project. Now, it’s time to take account-based marketing mainstream by making it a core part of your company’s go-to-market strategy.
Today, the modern B2B marketer is an innovator, creating new ways to connect with potential customers that defy the status quo. Technology has given a platform for B2B marketers to reach customers, but it’s a blessing and a curse because buyers are inundated with thousands of messages every day. This is why it’s essential for marketers to identify their best-fit customers before ever creating that first message. By targeting your customers and engaging them on digital channels such as mobile, social media, display advertising, and video, you can connect on their own terms.
“Account-Based Marketing For Dummies outlines the operational process and instructs marketers to become heroes within their organizations,” Vajre said. “Since the inception of B2B marketing, the standard approach has always been spray-and-pray. Marketers would create content and campaigns that were intended to gather as many leads as possible, and then hope that some of these leads became high-quality customers. But that’s woefully inefficient. In contrast, ABM enables marketers to create content and campaigns that target only the best-fit accounts.”
There are many elements to engaging individual accounts on their terms that go beyond just online or offline conversations. The question to ask is, “Are you a B2B company that knows which ideal customer personas to target?” Focusing your marketing efforts on the best-fit accounts will allow your team to become more efficient and grow sales revenue.
This book exists to help you understand this new trend called account-based marketing. Whether you are new to the world of B2B marketing, work as a salesperson for a B2B organization, or you’re an experienced CMO, having a strong understanding of account-based marketing is a must. The reason account-based marketing has become such a buzzword in the B2B marketing world is because it solves an issue of how to target and engage your best-fit prospects and customers at scale.
Check out the video from the Account-Based Marketing For Dummies book launch party
To learn more about how Terminus can help your account-based marketing efforts, schedule a demo now.