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The Shift to Account-Based Marketing

Over the past few years, marketers have been talking about the rise of account-based marketing. The B2B buying process is shifting. More and more of the buying process is happening online before your buyer ever stops to engage with your brand. What’s more, when they do engage, today’s buyers expect more relevant content. B2B buying is now a considered sale that required multiple influencers and decision makers.

What is Account-based Marketing?

Ask ten people how they define account-based marketing (ABM), and you’ll likely hear ten different answers. So we turned to the experts at SiriusDecisions, a leading global B2B research and advisory firm. According to SiriusDecisions, “Account-based marketing (ABM) is the strategic approach marketers use to support a defined universe of accounts, including strategic accounts and named accounts. It also includes support for the post-sale customer lifecycle using marketing’s toolkit to contribute to the overall customer experience.”

In other words, ABM can include:

Named accounts that your organization has targetedAccounts reaching you through inbound channelsThose in your existing customer base with the potential to buy more or at risk of churning

 Another strategy in the toolbox

By considering your entire marketing universe, ABM helps you optimize spend around all account-based activities and strategies. And to help you lay a foundation, this type of marketing helps answer the following questions:

What is the DNA of a target account?What is our target account universe?What are our goals with these accounts?What is they best way to achieve those goals?

Existing tools are great at helping you to implement account-based marketing by driving personalized web content, ads, etc. to your target accounts but they leave the hard job to you.

How do you identify which accounts to focus on?What messages will resonate with those accounts?

Let’s focus on how a predictive ABM approach can help marketers target the right accounts with some examples.

Too Few Inbound Leads?

Sometimes companies have too few inbound leads to satisfy and meet the capacity of the sales team. In that case it is very important for marketers to be able to identify and proactively engage prospects with highest potential success rate and largest revenue opportunity. ABM can help you do this. Consider rolling your predictive lead scores up to the account level to develop a smart list of targeted accounts.

Overworked Sales Team?

Traditional approaches to prospecting are often not very effective – sales reps spend a lot of time on research and preparation rather than on making actual calls to potential targets. 80%+ sales reps are challenged by the amount of information and time it takes to conduct research and, as result, miss sales opportunities. This is even more challenging if organization is focused on small and medium-sized companies. ABM can help narrow in the focus and provide information to help a sales rep engage the right accounts with the right message.

Are you experimenting with any ABM programs? We’d love to hear your stories!


Written by

Nipul Chokshi
March 30, 2015