You’ve got a lot of unknown prospects that are probably a good fit for your complex B2B company and its products or services. But then there are the ones that are a great fit.
The potential rewards of landing such an account are worth the extra effort to engage them on a deeper level than your typical inbound tactics. Leveraging Account Based Marketing (ABM) is one of the best ways to do that. It’s a strategy that identifies and influences specific companies that are the best possible fit for your product or service and targets them with content that speaks directly to them, and works in combination with your existing inbound marketing strategy.
HubSpot users already have the Account Based Marketing tools they need at their fingertips if they have Marketing or Sales Pro — and some additional features if using HubSpot Enterprise. Here, we’ll share step-by-step tips for combining your sales and marketing efforts to identify, track, manage, and ultimately close deals for these target companies and contacts.
As an inbound marketer, you’ve already identified your buyer personas — fictional representations of your ideal customers. ABM builds on your inbound strategy and goes a step further to target specific, real-life companies and contacts who are an ideal fit.
But how do you identify them? To get started, your sales and marketing team needs to work closely together to create an assigned list of ideal prospects and enter them into your HubSpot Target Accounts.
This may be easier said than done; it’s tempting to include as many prospects as possible, but too many accounts will only water down your efforts. Chances are, only a handful will make the cut, and the fewer the number the more attention you can give each one. Establish some parameters for identifying these high touch, high value target accounts.
If you’re a complex B2B organization, your prospects likely have longer sales processes, are more relationship-based, and may even have several people involved in buying decisions. To narrow it down, start by asking qualifying questions:
What traits define our ideal customer profile (ICP), and where can we find more of them?
Which existing HubSpot contacts stand out from other prospects as the most ideal partners?
Are there open deals that you’d like to move more quickly down the sales funnel?
Which ideal prospects are familiar with your brand and already engaged through your inbound channels?
Who among your existing customers might be a candidate for an upsell or cross-sell, such as into a different division of the company or an additional piece of equipment?
HubSpot workflows can help you identify ABM target companies that visit your site, either manually or on the company record. When you include companies in your Target Accounts lists, HubSpot will even provide recommendations of others based on the attributes you’ve already identified. You’ll also need to determine how you define success and which metrics will be used to determine whether you’ve reached your goals.
Steps to Create an ABM Playbook
Once you’ve identified your target contacts, it’s time to strategize how you’re going to connect with them. Creating a separate ABM playbook for each contact will help pinpoint exactly how, when, and where your time and efforts should be spent. These plans can be similar but not identical.
Here are the basic steps for implementing your ABM strategy:
Step 1. Establish your campaign timelines and supporting messaging.
Step 2.Determine processes and protocols for handling leads, when and how to hand them off to sales, etc. Collaborate with each other so there are no dropped balls.
Step 3. Determine which offers will be most attractive to your Target Accounts list (blog posts, mailers, personalized landing pages, emails, BOFU offers, etc.).
Step 4. Identify channels where you want to reach your target audience (paid ads, blog, mail, email, sales outreach, etc.).
TIP: Use the Campaigns tool in HubSpot to group the offers and channels so you can track results over social media, emails, ads, landing pages, and other outreach channels.
Step 5. Create personalized campaigns to engage contacts from your Target Accounts lists who are part of the buying team or committee using the various strategies you’ve identified above. Some content may be repurposed with slight revisions to speak directly to your prospect while others may be entirely new.
Step 6.Nurture contacts based on page views and conversion rates, and form bonds with a few stakeholders who can serve as advocates within the organization.
Use sequences and workflows to engage and nurture contacts
Use workflows to identify contacts who have a role on the buying committee (you can also do this manually)
Use HubSpot’s personalization tokens to tailor messages and deliver personalized, relevant content to each persona
Use landing pages and ads that speak directly to the buying team or committee member pain points
Use automation features to perform followup tasks based on prospect behavior
Step 7. Measure your results by first determining your KPIs. Then track those KPIs using the HubSpot dashboard. Ask yourself, “What will we measure? Who will do the measuring and how? What is the definition of success?” Information might include a company score, open deals, pipeline totals, and more. Test, learn, and evaluate as you go.
Combining your existing inbound marketing strategy with Account Based Marketing tactics helps demonstrate that your company not only wants to build its sales pipeline, but that it wants to build relationships.
But one of the most important relationships that needs to be built first is right inside your own organization. Aligning your sales and marketing teams so that they work together to reach your mutual goals is the key to ABM success.
If you’re trying to strengthen the relationship between your marketing and sales departments, check out our Marketing & Sales Alignment guide below to help you get on the same page. In today’s competitive landscape, it can give you the competitive edge you need.
Posted by Mary Rockman Mary is responsible for providing support for inbound marketing campaigns, content distribution and data analytics to improve client results. She has a passion for creating excellent events, organizing details and asking insightful questions. She is also the Appleton HubSpot User Group leader and champion of Weidert Group's flagship annual event, Experience Inbound marketing & sales conference.