How to convince your boss to do ABM

Perhaps you already know what ABM is and you are convinced that it is what you need in your company, but do you know how to convince your boss or your team?

In this post I want to give you some arguments to get it and a brief reminder of what it is. You will be interested to know!

It may seem easy, but ABM is much more than making a list of target companies that you want to reach through marketing and communication actions. It requires that sales and marketing teams be closely aligned and use a multichannel approach that integrates personalization throughout the customer’s journey.

To see how you can convince your boss or colleagues, let’s divide the process into three steps.

Step 1: reasons to opt for ABM

The first point of ABM is to focus on the target audience you are addressing as a company . The Account Based Marketing solves the casuistry of companies that have a target market with very few actors.

In these cases, it doesn’t make much sense to create a massive traffic channel. On the contrary, it is interesting to identify these actors in order to try to reach them individually.

ABM is a surgical precision marketing technique that allows these interesting profiles to be achieved much more immediately than inbound marketing.

In addition, it is effective when generating 5000 leads does not matter much if those leads are not within the companies to which you want to sell. This idea of ​​focusing on the company applies to everything at ABM.

In short, with ABM you generate accounts (instead of potential customers like Blue world City Islamabad and measure the commitment and growth of the account as a whole.

Step 2: differentiate what is and what is not ABM

You may know theoretically what ABM is, but have you ever wondered what it is not? It is important to know how to correctly differentiate in which occasions this technique is used or if, on the contrary, we are facing another type of similar strategy, since knowing how to differentiate this fine line that separates the ABM from other marketing techniques will help you to have more arguments in favor to achieve the Account Based Marketing in your company.

Most of the time, the ABM concept is associated with outbound techniques. So it is that from the outside it is seen as a process that consists in choosing a set of companies that you would like to attack and sell. For this, many companies that believe they are carrying out a good ABM strategy carry out actions of the type:

  • Use online databases to create an organization chart for those companies.
  • Use tactics such as cold emails and calls, direct mail and live events to involve key stakeholders in the accounts you found in your investigation.

This part of outbound is wrong and we see examples of constantly meaningless ABM emails. I am sure that you have also seen examples of this type at some time. Instead of calling any company, I’ll show you a compiled dummy example of the types of outgoing emails we receive.

In the image below, you can technically see an email based on ABM. However, it is still invasive, right? There are some things that are wrong with this type of ABM email from the point of view of the user experience that we will analyze next.

First, although my partner Susana may have an interest in the solutions they are offering us in the messages, it is noted that the communication that is being made is not personalized (it is seen that there are tokens in the messages) and that this message is massively send more people.

Another clear example of the lack of personalized interaction is that, when she places the position of my partner Susana, this is not updated and her profile has not been looked at either, because she is the Content Manager and of course she performs and supervises all the InboundCycle content.

In addition, speaking with another person within the agency, we realized that he sent this same message to several people on the team.

With this in mind, do you think this type of strategy can work?

Therefore, although the email is fine in terms of the tone and the report it sends, it is still very cold, so Capital Smart City chances of showing interest are very low.

Our email or LinkedIn trays are full of emails like these. This is also my email. And I bet yours too.

But within all this example there is good news: ABM is not like that. There is a better way to carry it out, a warmer, more human and, of course, much friendlier to the buyer.

Step 3: know well the solutions offered by ABM

Given our account-based approach, we must ensure that every message and communication we send, whether on a landing page, by email, etc., is addressed and personalized to each person in our target accounts.

Always keep in mind that what we are looking for with this technique is to attract customers that can be transferred directly to a sales team to contact them or incorporate them into marketing automation processes to build a relationship between customer and brand.

To understand well what solutions the ABM offers , it is important that you know all its phases and what exactly is being pursued with each of them.

ABM’s strategy goes beyond contacting the specific profile with which we want to start a conversation, and rather focuses on the accounts we want to get (that’s why it’s called “account based marketing”). For example, Banco Santander, BBVA, La Caixa, etc. But how can you get to contact that person or account that interests you?

In the previous example I have given you the example of contact messages through LinkedIn, but there are other tools that work (although they are often more expensive).

Therefore, each case must be studied individually, in such a way that the ideal tool is chosen depending on the type of contact, always taking into account variables such as relationship, affinity, work sector, position, etc.

A good example of this type of tools whose cost is higher is SalesForce in its Marketing Automation tool , which has already developed a specific part to do ABM.

Another action that also works very well for this type of strategy is paid campaigns. Here are some examples:

  • A good action would be to impact those profiles that are contacted and click on a landing and then do not fill in the data, so that retargeting campaigns are carried out with them.
  • On the other hand, you can also carry out segmented paid social campaigns to this type of profile: campaigns that redirect to an ebook, downloadable or any valuable resource, creating for your communication landing pages of content that help increase the conversion.

Once you have seen some examples of how to impact the account or person you have selected, what phases should be followed for this?

  1. Organize an initial session in which we identify all the accounts of interest. You have to study them individually to identify in them the profiles with decision power.
  2. Attract potential customers through different channels. You will have to choose the mode and channel where we are going to get in touch with them.
  3. Choose the content you are going to send, with the writing and layout team.
    • Keep in mind that today’s buyer doesn’t care about your company. They don’t care how you just launched the coolest widget. They don’t want to book a 15-minute meeting with you if they have never heard of your company. They want things that make them better professionals or that teach them something they don’t know, or that fill a blind spot in their day. Even better if it makes them look good at their managers.
  4. To these people we deliver valuable content to try to get their data,and then we can pass them directly with the sales team or enter them into automatic processes of nutrition and education. For this you can follow the following examples:
    • Create content that helps one person influence another. As an example, in InboundCycle we have many ebooks or success stories of our clients. They are designed to help marketing managers present their case to their management team and also help our marketing and sales teams to attract decision makers to the conversation.
    • Make your content easily shared. It includes shared links on its thank you pages and in your follow-up emails, to help the purchasing team be exposed to its content.
  5. Through tools such as HubSpot or Salesforce we can use predictive scoring to discover those opportunities that are more likely to close, or are involved in purchasing processes. To do this, create lead nurturing campaigns by email. For example, the workflow enrolls contacts within the target accounts whose title includes “marketing”, sends them a specific email and then alerts their account representative if they have opened the email.
  6. The result is the achievement of high quality MQL (MQL = Marketing Qualified Leads).

Two ways to do ABM that you have to know

Before starting to implement the phases that we have told you, you have to know that we can either go to companies or market segment , choosing between one option or another depending on the budget you want to allocate.

If we want to go, for example, for a specific account, we will have to make several decisions: to which company we want to go, select the profiles with decision power within them and make very personalized content thinking just about that company. This makes sense when the client is very large and is very difficult to achieve, with its achievement being a business success.

The other way there is very similar and occurs when you have much more volume of companies and looking for new potential customers according to segment or vertical, for example, the insurance vertical. This is done when the value of each client does not justify a specific campaign, and this content is done by segment / vertical.

Once you have clear the two ways you have to do ABM, what else should you consider?

  • A key assumption can be given: if companies are from different sectors and there are only, for example, two sectors of activity:
    • It is advisable to do ABM first creating content about these two sectors. It will be a great job to get the content of each of the sectors to the companiesthat belong to the sectors. Not only do you have to send the information to the buyer profile, but to your environment (for example, decision-makers or influencers), and for this you can use Sales Navigator to deliver these different contents at all times.
  • Go company by company, make ad hoc content for each company, which would be two or three contents for each company and use these contents until the meeting is achieved and visibility is achieved for each of the companies. Mainly using the LinkedIn Navigator, you can get to this type of content, but we will also value using other ways to reach these profiles depending on who they are.

In any case, investigate the benefits of using marketing automation tools in your company to help you reach your target audience and make the lead mature. If we keep scaling on how to carry out this type of communications, you should keep in mind that:

  • By using tokens and personalization content, companies have the ability to adapt their messages. By delivering relevant and personalized content to each person in an account, we believe that we are adding more value to the interaction, and we can position ourselves as a reliable source to provide a solution to your problems.
  • In the paid campaigns part we can deliver personalized ads to the target accounts. Create custom campaigns to show the correct ads with the correct message in the correct account.
  • In addition, we can customize certain landings of the website using dynamic and personalized content based on what we already know about our accounts (such as custom fields).
  • Finally, I recommend working under landings and forms with an automation tool (the one you acquire as Active Campaigns, Marketing Cloud, HubSpot, etc.). Your results will improve a lot.

With all this in place, you will only have to collect data to be able to present it to your boss or the corresponding team.

In our case, we usually receive between 10% and 20% response rate of all the messages we send, although with the training and other new tactics that we are implementing of continuous improvement, we will reach a 25-26% ratio of response and 10% conversion.

In short, thanks to ABM we can identify new opportunities in our accounts. You will be able to develop new clients similar to your current clients to reach new large-scale audiences with less effort. Do you dare to take the leap?