With the staggering increase in channels and near-continuous bombardment from eager sellers, buyers have become decidedly more difficult to reach. That’s why every conversation I have with a client or prospect these days starts and ends with how to improve lead acquisition efforts (as I mentioned in a previous post).
Out of all the campaigns I have tracked over the years, programs built with ABM behind them have outperformed broader segment campaigns. So, as we wrap up another decade of marketing and look ahead to 2020, I believe B2B organizations should resolve to plan their lead acquisition strategies with an Account focus.
DemandGen’s CEO and idea aficionado David Lewis recently planted a stake in the ground around the best framework for ABM: the TEAM framework. Aligned very closely to the one our friends at Terminus developed, the TEAM framework focuses on four key areas: Targeting, Engagement, Activation, and Measurement.
One of our clients (an enterprise hardware technology company) recently used the TEAM framework to grow a specific part of their business within the Healthcare vertical:
So, how did an account-based approach ultimately help this client with lead acquisition? Let’s break that down a little:
- Focused resources on specific activities
- Deepened the Sales and Marketing teams’ insight into industry/account challenges and pain points related to the service they offered
- Reduced their average spend per account by 20% through specific intent-based tools, targeted advertising, and triggered direct efforts
- Developed more detailed profile of decision-making groups across the business
- Improved engagement and win rate
- Shifted focus much more easily to additional industries and accounts by following an established framework
This makes it sound easy — which it is not. The pivot to an account-based focus did not happen overnight, and there were a few growing pains as the organization made the shift to ABM:
- Shift from quantity of leads to quality of account contacts raised concerns
- Time to value was longer than anticipated
- Considerable short-term investment — in resources, time, and dollars
Fortunately, they stayed the course and it paid off.
Acquisition is — for most marketers — a numbers game. A shift to quality over quantity is a nice fridge magnet, but in practice — at least initially — a tough shift for many organizations.
I truly believe in an account-based approach — to me, it is a smarter approach to revenue growth through your sales, marketing, service, and partner channels.
I have found that many companies are tempted by the shift, but hesitant to break a tried-and-true model. In most cases, I recommend a pilot that uses a subset of the tactics with the framework as the foundation.
DemandGen has helped several clients add Account-Based Marketing to the mix. We can help you implement a successful ABM strategy, accelerate adoption among your key stakeholders, and achieve results. We’d love to hear what you want to accomplish and share how we can help. It all starts with a conversation.
Will Waugh is a consultant for DemandGen focused on helping clients with demand generation, lead management and leveraging marketing technology. He genuinely believes that data can change the world. Follow him on on Twitter. Other articles by Will Waugh: 7 Essential Marketing Technology Categories: How’s Your Stack Looking?