There was a time when the notion that marketing could be automated and machines could nurture customer relationships was considered highly unreasonable. Fast-forward and ‘marketing automation’ is a key part of today’s promotional lexicon.
Instead of swilling responsibly, many a marketer got drunk on the concept that if you could send enough emails, compel enough prospects to spend more time on your website, or get them to click more links in your newsletter, then you had successfully performed a Jedi marketing mind trick magically resulting in sales.
Marketing has traditionally played a numbers game while sales prioritized accounts they thought they could close. Generating more leads (quantity, not quality) by using a list-based, territory-driven approach was thought to yield the most revenue. Without business intelligence to identify and land ‘big whale’ accounts, relationships only took you so far.
Quantifying your target’s needs and challenges was impossible before technology could help make sense of client satisfaction. Measuring sales effectiveness came down to perception and what account representatives were willing to share. Don Draper and team solved their knowledge deficiency with good old-fashioned lead nurturing: a great steak, a compelling story, and plenty of hard liquor.
But Draper knew that landing lifeblood accounts takes more than a memorable sales pitch and intuition; it’s about understanding the customer’s collective-decision making process. One person doesn’t make decisions for an entire company, so why take an individualistic approach to sales marketing? Engaging a major prospect calls for a strategy that prioritizes revenue potential and solves for the many challenges of a singular company.
Today, we call this account-based marketing. Here’s what it takes to pull-off an effective ABM strategy:
1. Get A Reality Check
Data didn’t create account-based marketing, but its advent certainly made it a reality. Eighty-two percent of website visitors aren’t potential customers. Most ignore calls-to-action, and, according to Salesforce and MillerPierce, half of all marketing-generated leads are not pursued.
2. Establish Common Purpose
A strong account-based marketing strategy knocks down internal silos. It streamlines sales processes, optimizes marketing dollars, and aligns resources so stakeholders have common purpose. ABM requires operational focus, as teams center their attention on developing and growing the same key accounts while working together to enrich and learn from every pitch, campaign and upsell.
3. Third-Party Data or Bust
You wouldn’t be reading this if your business has already figured out how to identify, capture, and analyze the (right) data you need to always be closing. And, if you’re thinking of implementing an account-based marketing strategy, then you presumably have accumulated as much internal data as you can on your potential customer base.
What’s next? You need the right business intelligence partner to marry your first-party customer information with superior, third party data to build a fuller pipeline, deeper account relationships, and greater ROI.
To do this correctly, we recommend investing 20 percent of your total marketing budget into sophisticated data and business intelligence tools. Without accurate third-party data, you simply can’t have a holistic vantage point – your sales efforts become gambles and you end up ignoring the power of available knowledge. With HG Focus, you can see what technologies your targets have installed, competitive and compatible technologies installed at these targets and HG Insights verified install dates.
4. Drive Revenue With Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics is the fastest growing marketing automation technology today, and is expected to become a 9.2B market by 2020. And identifying high-quality leads is just the beginning. You’re now on the hook to capture – and keep – an account’s attention, converting your target into a loyal, repeat customer. Predictive analytic tools, like HG Discovery, unlock the knowledge necessary to create compelling content that best suits the account persona and appeals to its decision-makers with direct influence over the buying journey.
Whereas additive CRM solutions provide answers to a variety of questions: When did my target account last purchase inventory? When are they likely to need more? How do they prefer to source it? What tools are they using, and are they faster than mine? What technologies have they installed? Which do they use regularly? What do they cost?
Thanks to third-party data and the right business intelligence, you can quickly develop greater lead quality and precision, and capture serious market share from your competitors.