Remember, ABM is all about targeting your highest-value accounts with personalized engagement. To make the most of ABM, you need to start with a great list of potential target accounts. For that, you’ve got to head to your customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
With a 360-degree view of all of the accounts in your CRM, you can compare and contrast until you’ve put together a list of potential high-value accounts for your new ABM strategy. Be sure to focus on accounts from your top industry segments, and take note of any characteristics shared among the accounts you choose. Accounts with similar needs may benefit from similar ABM strategies further down the line.
Be sure to bring your sales team into the conversation when choosing which accounts to build a new ABM strategy around. Sales has the inside track on what top accounts really appreciate, and they can help your marketing team develop effective personas to target more high-value customers.
To encourage cross-team collaboration, set up a training initiative to get everyone on the same page where ABM is concerned. It will also help to ensure that your teams have an easy way to communicate quickly and efficiently — such as through a messaging platform like Slack
. The continued success of your ABM strategy will depend on close alignment between marketing and sales throughout the entire process.
Personalized experiences are the basis for everything in ABM. Use the data in your CRM and information from your sales team to craft content and experiences for every target account, based on their specific preferences.
AI and automation can help make personalization more efficient, analyzing data on the similarities and differences between your target accounts to suggest content and experiences that will appeal to each of them individually.
Once you’ve selected your target accounts and created personalized content for them, it’s time to engage them with your ABM strategy. With close alignment between marketing and sales, you can provide high-touch engagement to high-value accounts and nurture them toward renewals, upgrades, and expanded product and service offerings at relevant times.
Remember, ABM customer engagement is about continued, personalized connection — it’s very different from broad-based marketing or one-and-done campaigns. Make sure that both marketing and sales teams continue to collaborate on providing meaningful engagement to high-value accounts, no matter where they are in their customer journeys. ABM relationships don't end with just one closed sale.
As ABM revolves around a select few high-value customers, results are much easier to measure than with broader marketing efforts. Done correctly, ABM has yielded percentage increases of hundreds and thousands in terms of marketing ROI.
Keep an eye on your CRM as your ABM strategy continues, and be sure to collect and report important engagement, brand awareness, and lead quality metrics to prove marketing ROI. As you keep teams aligned and continue to engage top accounts throughout their customer lifecycles, explore how adding more AI and automation to the mix might help you save time and boost ROI.
The best ABM doesn’t stop with marketing and sales: It continues on through service. Keep your service teams aligned with what marketing and sales are doing with ABM, and give them access to all the data and content they need to provide seamlessly personalized service experiences long after each top account deal closes.
Giving all your teams a shared point of connection through a messaging platform like Slack is a great place to start, so marketing and sales teams can keep service updated on key account insights. You can also use AI and automation to augment your service teams’ ABM efforts, streamlining customer requests and allowing service teams to prioritize top accounts, if needed.
ABM has led to countless B2B marketing successes for companies in virtually every industry. Here are some of our favorite success stories. Could your company be next on the list?
A top cancer charity, Cure Cancer, attributed a 226% rise in donations via email channels and an 119% increase in website traffic to ABM-style emails that nurtured customer journeys with personalized content. With AI-powered insights about its top donors, the charity is adding increased personalization to its ABM fundraising efforts.
One of North America’s leading coupon advertisers, Valpak, led an ABM transformation
, updating old marketing and sales processes and aligning around a new focus on high-value account engagement. Among other unprecedented success metrics (including a 4 times open rate and a 100 times forward rate for automated emails), the company saw a 450% ROI on its personalized ABM campaigns.
Lyft, a global ride-sharing service, successfully used ABM strategies
to connect with top accounts on a more personal level. ABM has helped the company’s buying committees communicate better, enabled cross-team strategies for engaging buyers, and allowed the company to find accounts that fit its ideal customer profiles faster.
It’s often said (and we agree) that ABM is the future of B2B marketing. But what about the future of ABM?
As ABM is all about personalizing engagement with top accounts to maximize revenue, it stands to reason that future innovation in ABM will happen in two main categories: account identification and marketing personalization. But in both categories, the keys to innovation will be artificial intelligence and automation.
New machine learning and deep learning AI technologies will allow you to launch ABM initiatives faster and more confidently than before. These technologies will use the data in your CRM in new ways to analyze and identify new accounts based on their intent to engage with you. They will also be able to surface data that leads to increased levels of personalization, while adhering to the latest privacy legislation.
For example, Salesforce’s ABM feature Einstein Key Account Identification
helps identify candidates for ABM efforts
. It creates a scoring model based on previous opportunities and provides a tier ranking for individual accounts. It provides insights on account attributes and engagement metrics to help you focus your strategies.
Innovations in automation will also help B2B marketers scale their ABM programs in the future, as automation decreases the amount of effort needed to personalize engagement with key accounts. This will give B2B marketers more time to fine-tune their ABM strategies and make one-on-one moments with key customers count.
In the last two decades, we’ve left behind a world where ABM was a practical impossibility and entered a time when ABM has become one of the defining strategies in B2B marketing. What changed? One world: technology.
And technology never stops evolving. In the near future, we’ll see innovations that will help B2B marketers truly take ABM to the next level, enabling unprecedented engagement that will flow into new revenue streams and perhaps even transform the meaning of marketing itself. The 1-to-1, personalized future is just getting started.
To best prepare for the technology of tomorrow, it’s important to make sure your organization is updated with the technology of today. If you’re new to ABM, remember our first step from above: start with your CRM. With today’s powerful marketing technology, you can use customer data, automation, and artificial intelligence to launch the ABM program of your dreams — and your customers’ dreams, as well.