What is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a marketing and sales strategy that focuses on selling to a defined list of accounts. This list of accounts are created from a company’s ideal customer profile (ICP). Under an ABM strategy, marketing and sales teams are more aligned in common goals, targeting, nurturing, and communicating with a defined list of accounts.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Account-Based Marketing for Marketing Teams

From a marketing perspective, an ABM strategy includes reducing advertising and communication with the broader market. Marketing is focuses efforts on communicating to the defined list of accounts. As a result, advertising and messaging efforts are more targeted and personalized.

Account-Based Marketing for Sales Teams

From a sales perspective, an ABM strategy includes restricting communication only to prospects defined on the ABM account list. Sales teams should not pursue any opportunity available, they choose opportunities that fit the company’s goals and objectives.

Steps to Establish an Account-Based Marketing Strategy

Companies execute account based marketing strategies in different ways. Strategies differ due to company’s resources and goals. There are, however, common steps in which companies execute an account based marketing strategy.

Step 1: Create an Ideal Client Profile (ICP)

Sales and marketing teams define their company’s ideal client in order to find a list of companies that fit a similar description. Sales and marketing teams should use firmographic data, such as company size, revenue, number of employees, etc., and business intelligence such as past results, goals of the company, etc as a factor in their ICP definition. Once an ideal client profile is created, marketing and sales teams can compile a list of accounts to target in their ABM strategy.

Step 2: Define a Process For Executing an ABM Strategy

Sales and marketing teams should define a process for identifying, qualifying, nurturing, and connecting with leads that fit their defined account list. For example, sales and marketing teams should define a repeatable process for adjusting their ICP and therefore, refreshing their account list. Another example, sales and marketing teams should to define a process for when marketing should pass off leads to sales.

Step 3: Craft a Personalized Pitch and Deliver Messaging

Sales and marketing teams should create personalized messaging and decide the most effective channels to communicate their personalized messaging. Sales and marketing teams should analyze firmographic data and past efforts to decide the best way to connect and demonstrate value to their prospects. Companies connect with prospects in different ways depending on factors including company size, industry, etc. Then, sales and marketing teams should choose a mix of marketing automation tools and sales prospecting tools that will assist teams in execution and delivery.

Step 4: Execute, Measure Results, and Optimize

Once sales and marketing teams determined a strategy, a plan to connect and demonstrate value, and marketing and sales tools. Sales and marketing teams should execute their ABM strategy. Sales and marketing teams should track and measure the results of their ABM strategy to gather insights and optimize their performance. For example, a company’s Ideal Client Profile might need to be adjusted due to products and/or services changing or sales and marketing teams are finding better results with companies in a different industry.

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