Account-Based Marketing isn’t just a trending topic, but a mainstay of effective B2B sales and marketing strategies. 2022 is set to solidify this further, with Forrester predicting that this year, B2B buyers’ will expect to be “heard, known, and understood” more than ever before as we transition into a post-pandemic world.
A well-thought-out ABM campaign is an ideal way to fulfill this new expectation. It’s individualized by its very nature, personalizing each message to a highly targeted audience. However, success relies upon genuinely empathizing and understanding these target accounts. To do this, you need to know precisely who you are targeting and why, gaining a solid understanding of their needs to craft messaging that’s tailored specifically to them. This way, your prospects are happier, and you stand out from the competition as the provider that can best solve their problems. It’s a win-win.
But just how do you identify which accounts to target?
Three Steps to Identify Priority Accounts for Your ABM Campaign
Identifying who to target requires a methodical, data-driven approach.
1. Determine Your Goals
Before you do anything, ensure your campaign goals are established and clearly communicated. These should be based on wider business goals and will directly affect which accounts you select for targeting. For example, if you’re seeking to acquire new accounts that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), your prioritization process will be very different than if you’re seeking to grow existing accounts by upselling, cross-selling, or renewals. Defining goals at the outset guarantees an easier process and better results.
2. Identify Your Ideal Customer
Once your goals are set, you need to identify what it is that makes a customer the perfect fit for your business. Your ICP can guide you here of course, but a more robust solution is to begin by identifying which existing accounts are driving the most value. Think of it as marketing in reverse, beginning with a deep dive into your existing customers as opposed to your potential ones.
Once you’ve identified your high-value accounts, you can then deconstruct the various attributes that make them desirable. This should be a data-driven process, consisting of both qualitative and quantitative data. It’s also vital to align sales and marketing here, as both will be able to add immense value to this process.
When defining the attributes, consider such firmographic data as:
And such technographic data as:
- Hardware and Software
- Tools and Applications
By combining quantitative data with qualitative insights, you can build a clear picture of the defining factors that make an individual account the best fit for your business and its goals.
3. Find Target Accounts
Once you have a definitive idea of what a desirable customer looks like for your business, you can then task your sales team with seeking out companies that align with this profile.
Given the personalized nature of ABM, this step is crucial, or you may find that your campaigns fall flat. Really get under the skin of these target accounts. Think about such questions as:
- What are their pain points?
- Who in their organization has buying power?
- Who are the key decision-makers?
- How does your solution solve their problems?
You can also add intent data and predictive insights into the mix, enabling you to confirm these accounts not only meet the criteria for your campaign, but are also in-market for your product. This is also useful for prioritization—it’s highly likely that multiple businesses will meet your criteria but pinpointing those with the highest propensity to buy allows you to focus your efforts on those companies who are in-market right now.
However, don’t completely de-prioritize those who may be looking to buy in the future. B2B purchase decisions aren’t made lightly, and the timeframes involved can be lengthy. Use this to your advantage by personalizing your content to the relevant stage of the buying process, gently warming up those who are at the start of the process and taking a more heavy-handed approach with those likely to decide a little sooner.
Determine – Identify – Find
Following these three steps to identify your priority accounts will help your ABM strategy succeed. If you’re interested in upgrading your pipeline with ABM solutions that identify prospects, activate buyers, and convert opportunities then please contact DemandScience today.