Go Big or Go Home: 5 Steps to Begin an Account-Based Marketing Plan
In my last post I outlined effective ways for marketers to align with sales. As you work closely with salespeople, you’ll hear about “whale” or “enterprise” accounts, those that will generate three or four times more revenue than a typical account. These often require long sales cycles and only happen once or twice a year for a salesperson.
For these accounts, account-based marketing (ABM) has proven successful. Forrester defines ABM as “A strategy through which marketing and sales jointly obsess over how to pursue, establish, and grow long-term, highly engaged revenue relationships with specific customer accounts.”
These are the accounts that need strategic planning and systematic approaches to communicate effectively with multiple decision makers to win the business.
Below is a quick start to help your team develop an ABM program:
1. Define your contacts
This is not a large list of prospects that need general messaging. These are key contacts who have a particular impact on the sale. Let’s say your sales rep is focusing on a financial services company where your multi-channel services can enhance their business communications. Each person or stakeholder in the sales process can be placed into one of these roles:
- Decision makers – marketing VP
- Users – marketing team
- Influencers – sales team
- Purchaser – CFO
By understanding the differences in their key roles and their strategic requirements for their departments, you can appropriately communicate to each individual.
2. Understand the market
Do your research. Learn their buying process, seasonality, what motivates their decision process, what is their fiscal year, etc. Then tie that research into not only your messaging but the appropriate timing to promote your content.
3. Relevant Messaging
Include information that is compelling for each persona. How are you resolving their pain? How will your solution impact their KPIs? You’re the expert. Demonstrate how you understand not only their market and their business but also their daily challenges.
Based on your research, what platforms do they use to consume industry news and best practices? A CFO will access different platforms for information than the product marketer. Create a personalized, multi-channel program not only to demonstrate your capabilities but to provide meaningful content at the right time and in the right place for each stakeholder.
5. Evaluate and Measure
These enterprise accounts take time to close. ABM, done well will support your sales team. Like all good strategic processes, you need to evaluate, measure and adjust.
What are your results? Are you finding that your contacts are engaging with your brand and your salesperson, have meetings been scheduled, what is the sales cycle, are you gaining more stakeholders in the account?
Account-based marketing is a strategic sales and marketing approach that uses personalized messaging that is extremely targeted to win new or expand large account business.
Support your sales team and use the materials you created as a template for your next enterprise account.
Have you considered account-based marketing? It may be time to make a change. Leave a comment, share the post, visit my website, KimberlyMeyers.com or call me direct 646.320.8854 for more information. Let’s connect.
Kimberly Meyers is the principal at Kimberly Meyers & Associates, a marketing consulting firm. Kimberly is a Marketing VP for hire. She develops marketing solutions based on strategic assessment of her client’s business, sales and marketing requirements. She lives by the philosophy of ensuring the appropriate message and content is delivered to the target audience – always, focusing on customer needs and satisfaction. Kimberly welcomes your connection at firstname.lastname@example.org.