Emily Andrews
Emily Andrews 9 December 2019

How Account-Based Marketing Grows Your B2B Tech Sales

Effective marketing in the tech industry is critical for a company to get noticed. Unlike other markets, the crowded world of technology is full of the brightest people with the best ideas. Even if you have the most innovative design on the planet, it won't matter much if it never gets noticed. Unfortunately, many tech companies struggle because of a marketing strategy that doesn't fit their profile. Long sales cycles and short client lists may be the culprits on why traditional marketing doesn't work in tech. The good news is that there is a proven and effective marketing solution for tech companies called ABM.

Are your B2B sales and marketing messages centered only on your products?
If they are, you're risking major disconnect from your clients. According to Gallup, B2B customer engagement sits at a measly 29%, while the remaining 71% feign indifference. Businesses are losing customers, not because of high prices or inferior products, but low consumer engagement.

Truth in numbers.

The math is pretty simple: customers have a problem, and they're looking for a solution. However, besides having almost no time, today's buyers also have a wealth of information on tap. Technology often leads to people buying things on their own without interacting with anyone from the brand.

Consider these statistics for a minute:

  • 89% of customers start their buying process with online research.
  • 80% of decision-makers like reading about a product in an article, rather than an ad.
  • 55% of B2B buyers go to social media to search for information.

As such, business to business (B2B) marketing needs to be neck-deep in the sales cycle to help drive revenue growth. Generating leads and getting new customers is also part of the strategy, but how can B2B companies do all this? By using all the marketing tools available, that's how.

Tools in a B2B tech marketer's kit.

B2B companies use several tools for lead generation, growing revenue, and attracting new customers.
Most used marketing methods for B2B companies:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
  • Social media channels, including LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Blogs.
  • Advertising.
  • Content Marketing.
  • Marketing Automation.
  • Strategic Partnerships.
  • Event Marketing.

However, there's one strategy that's more reliable at delivering customers, leads, and growth than any of these methods: ABM.

What is account-based marketing?

Account-based marketing or ABM, is a targeted approach to B2B marketing based on goals set for specific accounts. Also called key account marketing, think of ABM as a personalised, one-to-one approach instead of a blanket marketing policy.

One way of thinking about how traditional marketing differs from Account-Based Marketing is painting. If you want to cover a large area fast, you use a wide paint roller or pressurized sprayer. However, if you're going to target a particular spot with precision, you take your time and use a smaller paintbrush.

ABM is a longer and more complex tactic but pays off in spades. According to ITSMA, 87% of marketers say that ABM delivers better results than any other strategy. ABM is usually reserved for enterprise-level companies and those with a high likelihood of closing.

Account-based marketing can help teams by:
●     Engaging earlier in the sales process.
●     Only targeting high-value and accounts more likely to close the deal.
●     Aligning strategic marketing programs with strategies from sales and account management.
●      Maximising the return on investment (ROI) and value from marketing initiatives.

ABM raises the bar because it only targets one company (account) at a time. The strategy then focuses on the decision-makers within the organisation. ABM uses top-shelf sales and marketing tactics tailor-made for that client alone.

Despite its effectiveness, account-based marketing shouldn't be your only marketing solution. There's a saying about not putting all your marketing eggs in a basket, and the same rings true here. It would be best if you used ABM to supplement or complement your existing tech marketing efforts to get the most out of it.

How can you reach B2B decision-makers with account-based marketing?

Account-based marketing customises and prioritises decisions on whom to engage. Only the most promising potential leads will get the one-on-one approach, and B2B companies can focus on their coveted wish list. The main challenge is how to reach these critical decision-makers.

One way to reach B2B decision-makers is to get their attention, but not in a forced way. It would be best if you made them feel that your brand is part of their world, and has been for a long time. Your business has to be instantly recognisable to pull it off.

Another way is using marketing technology solutions to help identify the top people in your target organization. Boost your contact list by using other tools such as reverse email search and mail merging to identify the most promising contacts in your database. Besides, you can use other public records for marketing purposes. 

Before implementing ABM in your tech company.

If you're thinking of switching to an ABM strategy, your organisation must have at least three of the following:

  • A flexible marketing budget that could shoulder an ABM pilot program.
  • A group of current accounts that far exceeds others in revenue, importance, and value proposition.
  • A group of prospects whose potential exceeds others in revenue, importance, and value proposition.
  • A dedicated marketing team skilled at creating integrated campaigns.
  • A dedicated sales team that can commit to running an ABM program. One full-time sales team member will work.
  • Sales and marketing teams with aligned goals and open collaboration.
  • Existing CRM and marketing automation.

If you have three or more of the factors above, ABM would be beneficial to your tech company.

Five reasons why account-based marketing works for B2B businesses.

The numbers and statistics speak volumes about ABM: marketers love it, and it works as advertised.

Here are five reasons why ABM is right for B2B businesses:

  1. ABM promises more significant potential earnings compared to other strategies.
  2. ABM uses attribution reports to track the success of marketing campaigns. Attribution tells you where your working budget is going and how much you stand to earn at the end of the campaign. Account-based marketing only focuses on essential accounts, increasing the potential for more revenue.
  3. ABM targets companies, not buyer personas.
  4. Account-based marketing allows you to personalise campaigns that focus on specific people. You're marketing to all the relevant decision-makers within the organisation: VPs, IT, or whomever you want to talk to.
  5. Account-based marketing is efficient.

One of the essential benefits of account-based marketing is efficiency. ABM shortens the usually long sales cycle of lead generation, prospecting, and outreach. ABM generates more qualified leads because you'll be talking to people who already want to hear from you. You'll be spending less time and marketing resources on projects that have little to no business value.
ABM offers clear, concise, and relevant messages.

In marketing, relevancy is king. The more specific you can do your marketing, the more compelling it will be. The power of ABM lies in its ability to promote to particular companies.

A B2B marketer's time and budget aren't wasted on undesirable or unqualified prospects. ABM helps align the goals of your sales and marketing teams. Sales and marketing teams always seem to have some level of tension between them. Sales want more quality leads, while marketing wants more visibility. It's an ageless battle of chicken and egg. ABM naturally aligns the goals of these two departments, or else the whole campaign falls apart. Marketing knows precisely whom to focus on, and sales get the qualified leads they crave for.

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