Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Danny Wong. Danny is a marketing consultant, sales strategist, and writer. He is a member of the marketing team at Tenfold, which provides a seamless click-to-dial solution for high-performance sales teams. Connect with him on Twitter at @dannywong1190.
In the vast majority of B2B companies, quantity trumps quality when it comes to sales and marketing tactics. In these organizations, marketing strategies include generic email campaigns, cold calling, and mass mailings. These strategies can be highly effective when selling consumer goods and services but are often significantly less fruitful for organizations that need to sell to other organizations.
Companies that sell their products or services to other companies must approach marketing and sales from a different place if they want to achieve meaningful results. These high-impact account-based marketing strategies will help your business excel at selling to other businesses.
1. Put the Relationship Before the Sales Pitch
The most successful salespeople recognize the value of relationships. Never drop your sales pitch without first aiming to connect with the potential client in a personal way that shows you did your homework and you care about the success of their company.
What stood out about their company when you did your research? Do you have any mutual connections on LinkedIn? Use these talking points as leverage for building rapport. Keep detailed notes to ensure each conversation builds on the previous exchanges and nurtures the relationship first and foremost.
2. Customize Everything to Do True Account-Based Marketing
When you choose account-based marketing, generic emails should go to the same place as typewriters and VHS tapes. Because personal relationships are so critical, every contact you make with a potential client should be customized. This means that:
- Phone calls don’t follow a script, but are instead organic and personal.
- Emails begin with a personalized greeting and a connection point. (e.g., “How was your vacation last week?”)
- Email content is tweaked to fit the custom needs of the company and individuals you’re working with.
- Follow-up contacts accommodate the prospects’ preferred schedules, not yours. Ask, “When would be a good time to reconnect?” or “How soon should I call back to see if there are any questions I can answer or additional resources I can provide?”
The only exception to the customization rule is social media, which we’ll discuss at length next.
3. Establish Your Organization as a Thought Leader in the Industry
Utilize your website, blog, white papers, newsletters, and social media to establish your organization as a thought leader in the industry. Consider these to be value-add assets. They aim to grow the knowledge base and success of your potential clients and establish your organization as a critical resource.
Think about a company that provides a software solution for human resource management, for example. They might establish themselves as a thought leader by sharing information, metrics, and research on a variety of HR topics, such as the correlation between employee satisfaction and benefits, the best benefits providers in the United States, or the most uplifting websites for employees.
This serves multiple purposes, including:
- HR execs seeking seemingly unrelated information (such as the correlation between benefits and satisfaction) may be exposed to the company’s brand message and services.
- HR execs may provide their contact information in order to download a white paper, which grows your pipeline.
- The company begins to become an expert and invaluable resource from the perspective of HR practitioners adn executives, which makes moving forward on a deal easier when the time comes.
- Social media likes and follows increase as HR professionals seek educational content and exposure becomes consistent and long-term. (Vanity metrics on social media may not directly correlate with revenue, but they can indicate trust and value!)
4. Market Yourself, Too
The most successful marketers and account managers consider themselves part of the product they sell. Establish a personal brand that accurately reflects the organization as well as your unique offerings and commit to representing that brand in person, over the phone, via email, and through social media.
Consistently reinforce your personal brand. Ensure your LinkedIn profile — and even your personal Facebook and Twitter profiles — accurately reflect who you say you are. Always aim to add value and answer the question “What’s in it for me?” when speaking with the buying committee at your target accounts.
People are more likely to respond to and buy from somebody they like. Be recognizable, familiar, and likable among your target market.
How to Orchestrate a High-Impact B2B Marketing Campaign
By putting the relationship before the pitch, customizing your contact, adding value as a thought leader, and branding yourself, you can yield higher gains from your account-based marketing approach. Keep these key points in mind as you plan and execute your next ABM campaign across multiple sales and marketing channels. To get started, use the editable worksheets in the Blueprint to Account-Based Marketing Campaigns to orchestrate your demand generation, pipeline velocity, and customer marketing campaigns with ABM.