Why B2B Account Based Targeting Works
Using ABT (ABM + ABSD + ABS) to Drive Your Revenue
Account Based Targeting is the best way for many companies to drive sales results. Let’s start by looking at the top of the funnel with ABM. Terminus updated its definition of ABM to “An end-to-end go-to-market strategy designed to focus a majority of marketing, sales, and success effort on the pre- and post-sales accounts with the highest likelihood of closing, through data-driven targeting and personalization programs at scale.” (source: Terminus) In the original definition from Terminus emphasized: “A focused approach to B2B marketing in which marketing and sales teams work together to target best-fit accounts and turn them into customers.” It’s about targeting accounts and less about individual leads.
Engagio in its “NEW 2 nd Edition: The Clear and Complete Guide to ABM” defines Account Based as “Account Based Marketing is a go-to-market strategy that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to land and expand target accounts.” Also, Engagio says “Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) is a pillar of Account Based Everything, is a coordinated strategy that combines personalized, multi-channel outbound activities in order to create high-value opportunities in new and existing customers.”
Note that both definitions emphasize the complete go-to-market strategy, and not simply marketing. Both marketing and sales are working in-sync together which is why we call it ABT. ABT (ABM + ABSD ABS) is a critical B2B strategy today. According to HBR, “the number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today” (Source: HBR – “The New Sales Imperative – https://hbr.org/2017/03/the-new-sales-imperative). That is about 7 people which is a “buying team” and not just one person who is one inbound lead. When multiple contacts at a target account are involved, effective selling requires focusing on the team and not just on one person who inbound since that one lead is just 1 of 7 people at your prospective customer who would be involved in the purchase decision.
Today, in 2020 and beyond, ABT is now the definitive critical factor that will help you drive your revenue by focusing on all key contacts (the decision makers and influencers) in your target accounts. Instead of trying to acquire customers from a large pool of leads, ABT starts by identifying the best possible customers (down to the actual companies) and chasing only those. Many professionals compare the two strategies to fishing. Inbound marketing is like casting a wide fishing net. But ABM is like fishing with a spear, focusing the best targets from the beginning.
In conventional demand generation, marketers use several tactics to reach the widest possible audience. Their hope is that there are at least a few good leads in the larger pool that will convert into customers. In essence, it looks something like this:
With the Account Based strategy, your resources are focused on a few prospects that promise more significant returns. By creating personalized, targeted messaging and content that will help attract and engage your target accounts, you can maximize conversions and help reduce wasted time and budget.
With the rise of personalization, marketers have recently adopted ABM for its ability to perform two key tasks at scale. In its “Executive Guide to ABM”, Engagio says that “According to a recent benchmark study by the ITSMA, 87% of companies reported that ABM delivers a higher ROI than any other type of marketing” (Source: Engagio)
According to a set of compiled statistics published by Triblio in “19 Galvanizing Account Based Marketing Statistics”:
- 85% of marketers said ABM provided significant benefits to retain and expand existing client relationships (Marketo)
- 97% of marketers achieved a higher ROI with ABM than any other activities (Alterra Group)
- 91% of those with an ABM program in place said they were “tightly” or “somewhat or moderately” aligned with sales (Sirius Decisions in eMarketer)
- B2B organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth (SiriusDecisions)
Key Benefits of ABT:
- Tighter alignment between Marketing & Sales leading to better performance across the entire funnel top to bottom
- More predictability in Pipeline Generation and with Opportunity inflow
- More alignment of the influencers at the prospective customer
- Higher % Win Rate on your opportunities
- Shorter sales cycle
- More sales
- Better CX (customer experience)
Account Based Sales Development (ABSD)
Once ABM starts working in the initial phase of ABT, the sales team will complement the effort with its ABSD prospecting. Engagio defines ABSD as follows – “Account Based Sales Development (ABSD), a pillar of Account Based Everything, is a coordinated strategy that combines personalized, multi-channel outbound activities in order to create high-value opportunities in new and existing customers.” (Source: Engagio)
TOPO Research says that “Account Based Sales Development is personalized to the account and person receiving the message.”
According to Engagio, ABSD is a huge step from the legacy telesales approach:
- Targeted – aimed at selected, named accounts, not huge, undifferentiated leads lists
- Personalized – based on relevant, crafted conversations instead of standard, one-size-fits-all scripts
- Multi-channel – maximizing reach by using all channels, not massive spamming campaigns
- Integrated – a coordinated effort supported by the entire organization, not another silo
- Strategic – with less emphasis on short-term calls-to-action such as demos and more on high-value engagements such as meetings to share insights or trends