How do you create an ABM strategy?

How do you create an ABM strategy? A seasoned B2B marketing executive explains at a whiteboard.

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategic approach that aligns sales and marketing teams to focus on high-value accounts, aiming to convert them into long-term clients. However, while many marketing and sales leaders have heard of ABM and claim to use an ABM marketing strategy, not everyone is entirely clear on what ABM looks like in practice or how to create an ABM strategy from scratch. 

What is ABM?

As discussed above, ABM stands for account-based marketing, which is designed to align sales and marketing teams to prioritize the most valuable potential accounts and nurture them into long-term client relationships. 

Key to ABM is prioritization. By targeting a select group of accounts with personalized content and messaging, ABM enables sales teams to nurture key relationships more effectively. This targeted method maximizes ROI, increases customer lifetime value, and fosters stronger collaboration between sales and marketing, resulting in a more efficient and impactful sales process.

What is an example of an ABM strategy?

In thinking about how to build an ABM strategy, many marketing and sales leaders want to refer to examples of successful strategies implemented by other companies. While it can be difficult to find real-life ABM strategy examples discussed publicly,  an example of an ABM strategy for a B2B software company targeting large enterprises in the healthcare industry would involve several steps:

  1. Marketing and sales teams collaborate to identify high-value healthcare enterprises that would benefit from the software solution.
  2. They create detailed profiles of the target accounts, including key decision-makers, pain points, and organizational structure.
  3. The teams develop personalized content addressing the specific needs and challenges faced by these healthcare enterprises, such as improving patient data management or streamlining operations.
  4. Customized email campaigns are sent to key stakeholders within the target accounts, sharing relevant case studies, whitepapers, and product information.
  5. Sales and marketing organize industry-specific webinars or workshops that address the unique challenges faced by these healthcare enterprises and demonstrate the value of the software solution.
  6. The teams use targeted ads and social media to raise brand awareness and engage with target accounts on multiple channels.
  7. Metrics such as engagement, lead generation, and account-level ROI are tracked and analyzed to refine the ABM strategy and continuously optimize the sales and marketing efforts.

How do you create a successful ABM strategy?

To create a successful ABM strategy, begin by aligning sales and marketing teams to define target accounts based on factors such as revenue potential, strategic fit, and industry. Next, develop a deep understanding of the selected accounts, including their needs, pain points, and decision-making process, to create personalized content and messaging. While there are many account-based marketing services offering to help organizations implement ABM, internal collaboration is key. Sales and marketing must work together and collaborate to develop shared insights into joint accounts.

Finally, outline a multi-channel engagement plan that incorporates tactics like email marketing, events, targeted ads, and social media to build relationships, drive engagement, and ultimately convert target accounts into long-term clients. It is in the development of this tactical engagement plan that external help can be most useful, and it may help to refer to an account-based marketing strategy template, as well as account-based marketing examples from industry leaders. However, keeping this a joint effort between marketing and sales ensures a seamless and effective ABM strategy that aligns marketing and sales to drive better results.

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