Bay Area Inbound Marketing Blog

Eight Steps to Succeed at Account-Based Marketing

Posted by Laurie Monahan on Wed, Sep 25, 2019 @ 02:13 PM


IMG_2702Account Based Marketing was all the rage in 2017. It makes sense, you do everything as if you have a market of one. Just like when you interview, you study the company and interviewer's background. If you want to do well, you find out who' does what and ask questions like, "What's going well and what isn't?" You get to know things about the people you will be working with. It's the same thing when you are going on a date. You ask them what they like and you are polite and considerate. 

When you are trying to penetrate a target account to sell them something, shouldn't you be just as courteous?

Shouldn't you try to customize your emails to show familiarity with them and their issues before you tell them how you can solve their problems? Any decent Marketing Automation platform like Hubspot can do Account-based interactions like persona-targeted CTA buttons and landing pages.

Most marketer's can merge a list of names into an email these days, below are a few more things you might want to consider.

Eight Steps to Successful Account-Based Marketing

Ground Zero- Know who you are targeting and what problem you solve for them

Do your Research. Understand your customer's pain points from a web survey of social media, blogs, forums. Understand the language your customers are using to describe their problem that your company can solve. Create a target list of named accounts and only try to interact with companies that could use your products or services to their benefit. Buy extremely targeted lists, never spam people or they will black list you and all your email will be blocked forever.

1) If no penetration in target account

Use VITO (Very Important Top Officer) Email with Quote from executive, ideally theirs, about the problem we can solve for them, bullets of how to solve it, and time and date they can expect a call from our sales rep. Typically sales sets 160% more appointments after a targeted blast to a targeted list, with targeted titles like this.
 

2) Use educational offers to drip target personas in target accounts:

a) Jump start webinar to show technical feasibility
b) ROI Justification
c) Market landscape overview and how you are positioned in the market
 

3) Use social media to interact with them tactfully

a) Find out their pain points and language they use to describe problem for use in SEO and offers
b) Build relationships
c) Build brand recognition
 

4)  Use cookies to re-target and brand ads with their company name

a) There are a lot of guides on how to do this out there that involve points and clicks, download one. I won't bore you here.
 

5) Do cross selling

a)  It's easy to do, because if a customer already uses one of your products, they are familiar with your software look and feel, they believe there is proven technical feasibility (meaning your solution won't break their system and solves their problem), and they know you are an approved vendor through purchasing.  Send email with video mentioning all four products, an email outline with other products descriptions, and other offers like e-books describing other products.
 

6) Do reference selling to target personas

a) By mentioning other people at their company already buying your products, again, they will know you are an approved vendor, and that someone else has done the technical feasibility investigation. It's very easy to sell into an account you have already penetrated, this is also known as "low-hanging-fruit" and should be the first target for any seasoned sales and marketing team.
 

7) Co-branding with their logos

Gain Executive approval by starting with VITO, then ask for higher-level meetings, work with SDRs, get approval to co-brand emails and other marketing material with their logos.
 
a) Then do vendor of choice emails with co-branding, meaning both your and their logos. Say something like "We are your vendor of choice, to signup, use this link, you are approved at this level".
b) Offer them training or a jump start webinar.
c) Drip offers to overcome objections like ROI Justification, Webinars, and Competitive Landscape positioning.
 

8) Offer account targeted Events

a) Training
b) Hack-a-thons
c) Meetups at a brewery
d) Sponsored events with guest speakers

Bonus-Use Partners to penetrate accounts quickly

a) Use VARs or Manufacturers reps in two-tier sales strategy. Marketing can obtain account lists to email digital offers or use auto-dialers with Vars or Manufacturer's Rep on line to listen to your Sales Development Reps give the pitch over and over.
 
Obviously this strategy kills four birds with one stone:
a) it helps train your two-tier sales force
b) it enables sales to set a lot of appointments
c) it introduces your product to your target accounts
d) it gives your marketing team targeted info about accounts because the VAR or Manufacturer rep calls on the accounts regularly as they represent a wide variety of products, you find out who's interested, who's not and why if sales makes notes in the database as they are using the auto-dialer
 
A lot changed with account-based marketing, but a lot is still the same.
 
Remember, when targeting accounts, treat them like a first date, not just an email on a list that you spam all over.
 
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Topics: Account -based Marketing, ABM