Increasing Sales Pipeline Velocity with Account-Based Marketing
Gone are the days of the sales handoff. With account-based marketing (ABM), your marketing team should be actively involved in the sales process from the first touch until the deal closes and beyond. Not only that, but marketing should be invested in improving pipeline efficiency and shortening the sales cycle.
In this post, we’ll look at two important sales pipeline velocity strategies, different ways you can approach them with account-based marketing, and editable templates that will help you get started.
3 Account-Based Approaches to Pipeline Velocity Campaigns
You can run pipeline velocity campaigns no matter how many accounts you’re targeting, but the more personalized you can get in your approach, the better. The three approaches to account-based marketing that apply to the sales pipeline are:
- 1:1 ABM – This highly personalized approach to ABM is usually reserved for high-value target accounts and relies on close collaboration between sales and marketing. Because it requires significant time and effort, most B2B companies only use 1:1 ABM with ten or fewer accounts at a time.
- ABM Lite – With this approach to ABM, you still personalize your marketing outreach to some degree, but you won’t be creating brand new content for every individual account. For example, many B2B marketing teams use ABM Lite to complement sales outreach with industry-specific content, digital ads, emails, and direct mail.
- Programmatic ABM – Programmatic ABM is the most scalable of the three approaches. By engaging your sales opportunities using digital ads, you can provide stage-based air coverage as your sales team continues outreach and 1:1 conversations.
You can use any of these approaches when running pipeline velocity campaigns to support your sales team. The key is identifying how many resources you can dedicate to each account based on its revenue potential, strategic value, and propensity to buy.
Pipeline Velocity ABM Campaign Templates
Here comes the fun part: planning your campaign! There are two general types of pipeline velocity campaigns you can orchestrate using an account-based approach.
1. Pipeline Acceleration
Pipeline acceleration campaigns are the bread and butter of sales pipeline velocity. This campaign focuses on moving accounts currently in your pipeline through each stage of the sales process more quickly.
By using account-based marketing tactics to complement the 1:1 conversations your account executives are having with opportunities, you can reinforce the message sales is sending and reach more decision-makers at those accounts. As a result, you’re educating your audience and engaging with key stakeholders who are not yet involved in the sales conversation.
Real-World Example: How SOASTA Used ABM to Shorten Their Sales Cycle by 40%
Jenny Coupe’s team at SOASTA, an Akamai company, started out using account-based marketing to generate demand but quickly realized they had an opportunity to use it for pipeline acceleration as well.
“We haven’t had good reach historically around marketing to [the] marketing function and C-level function,” Jenny explains. But with account-based advertising, they are now able to engage the right people at their target accounts, leading to faster acceleration through sales funnel.
As a result, SOASTA shortened their sales cycle from 95 days to 57 days using ABM.
2. Wake the Dead
“Waking the dead” refers to reengaging cold opportunities to build your sales pipeline from “dead” accounts that are most likely to close. You can take a data-driven approach to wake the dead campaigns by using intent data from a tool like Bombora to unearth accounts that are demonstrating interest in keywords that matter to your business.
One common problem B2B teams run into when they try to reengage old opportunities is inaccurate data. According to InsideView and Biznology, a whopping 70% of B2B data decays year-over-year. This can happen when the old point of contact changes jobs, companies, or phone numbers, or the company moves to a new building. Make sure you’re using reliable technology to validate contact information and expand your reach within each account.
Real-World Example: How Vidyard Revived Dead Opportunities with Account-Based Marketing
Tyler Lessard, CMO of Vidyard, explains, “We ran a campaign to target previous dead opportunities — individuals at the accounts that we know as well as others that we didn’t know yet — to raise awareness across the base. It was a great example of how we can reengage them back into our brand.”
“We were able to revive over 35 different opportunities with those previous dead opps. When you can turn a program on and within 30 to 60 days generate dozens of new opportunities worth potentially millions of dollars in the pipeline, that’s how we know it’s working.”
Get More Worksheets & How-To Guides
Get more resources for planning, orchestrating, and measuring your ABM campaigns in our e-book the Blueprint to Account-Based Marketing Campaigns. Download it now to access worksheets, real-world campaign examples, and tips for ABM success.