Account Based approach in B2B Marketing and Sales is a highly effective method.
Instead of focusing on individual leads, you switch your strategy towards decision makers on different levels within a single company. You deliver the right message, to the right people at the right time to ensure that the deal is won. It works best with large clients, expensive purchases and long sales cycles, but it requires a relatively large team and flexible budget.
You probably remember Alex, Anna and Marco from our story about misalignment of Business Development aka Sales and Marketing using examples from Market Republic. They are now working together and are always coordinated – so marketing efforts are aligned with sales needs. Meaning, all content used during account based outreach is adapted to the decision makers targeted through our outreach.
This was (and still is) a huge success and hopefully you understood why taking just one approach does no good to anyone, not to marketing and especially not to sales.
1. End The Blame Game Between Sales and Marketing
If you don’t get your Marketing and Sales teams to cooperate, you will have to deal with an endless blame game of who did the worse job and is, therefore, responsible for not closing. This is a dispute that doesn’t solve any problems but only expands the grudge between the departments.
Sales doesn’t like Marketing forwarding them random leads and wasting their time on prospects that are not converting. Marketing doesn’t like to hear they are not creative enough to reach the right prospects. So they end up blaming each other for bad results.
Like we mentioned, in ABS the funnel is flipped, which means Sales identifies the right companies and key people within them, and leaves it to Marketing to create suitable content and channels of distribution that will draw them closer to purchase.
That way, Sales knows exactly which companies are the most likely to become clients and Marketing can focus all of its creative efforts on that company.
And let us not forget about other departments, such as Customer Satisfaction, that can also benefit from this alignment.
2. Manage the time of your sales and marketing team effectively
When sales and marketing are not aligned – there is a lot of time, and subsequently money, wasted.
Marketing is never really going through the funnel, but instead spending endless time prospecting leads that are not always converting. And without input from sales, marketing tends to create content that is not highly targeted to suit the selected decision makers.
Sales, on the other hand, gets the role of a lead filter wasting their time on contacts that have no interest in buying anything you have to offer.
Just imagine how much time can be saved and used in a better way if marketing and sales are to cooperate effectively on a daily basis.
3. Complex B2B Purchasing Process Demands Developed Relationships
With up to 5-7 decision makers that are included in the average purchase, selling is complicated enough without you making it worse by misaligning Marketing and Sales.
Since Account Based Selling is all about developed relationships you have to make sure that all your fronts are covered and that all of decision makers (or at least most of them) are convinced.
If you allow you marketing or sales to maintain one-on-one random relationships, you’re losing the big picture and, probably, the chance to win over that account.
4. Monitoring Your Accounts and Your Team
Numerous ABS tools are available nowadays and more and more of them are launching every day.
They allow you to monitor your campaigns and accounts at all times. You know exactly where in the pipeline your potential customer is, what kind of approach or information he requires and when to jump in with an offer or right piece of content. You know exactly how to react to each response or doubt and can recognize behavioral patterns that will make even newbie’s sale a piece of cake.
The best thing is Sales and Marketing have the same insight into accounts’ data and can act accordingly without unnecessary meetings and boring daily or weekly updates.
5. Adjust Your Strategy Accordingly and Optimize
Thanks to the ABS tools, you can monitor your Sales and Marketing progress as well. See which accounts responded best and fastest and if there’s space to upsell or cross-sell.
You can even measure your web traffic, clicks and downloads (i.e. interest in your content), increased number of opportunities and sales as well as cost of sales and marketing.
Test your campaigns, emails, industries, content, messaging and anything else that will provide you with more data that you can use in the future to achieve even better results.
With this kind of transparent approach you will easily discern winners from losers.
6. Retrace Your Account Based Selling and Marketing Steps
Measuring can help you discover tactics that work, but it can also assist with those that don’t. The blame game is no longer a “he said – she said” child’s play, but a clear overview of the right and the wrong steps.
Did the sales chose the right account or did the marketing deliver the right message?
This should not be used to deepen the differences between Marketing and Sales, but instead to adjust the workflow of each one of them even better.
7. Sales and Marketing Are Using The Same Approach, So They Should Act Accordingly
There is honestly no reason for Marketing and Sales to be enemies if they are using the same approach. If both departments are sending emails, they can learn a lot from each other.
What were the best subject or opening lines? Which CTAs had the best click through rate?
Sales will approach prospects’ pain points through conversation and Marketing through content, both providing a solution at the end.
Account Based Selling and Marketing in Practice
We are writing this from our own perspective and Account Based Selling is something we always propose to our clients (providing that their target audience are Fortune 500 companies) who are looking for help with their lead generation.
Business Development aka Sales Department knows exactly what kind of companies they want to target. They know their size, revenue, problems, goals, etc. Only by sharing those very information with the Marketing department Sales will make sure that the content is delivering the right message.
That same content is later used, not only by Sales to push prospects a bit closer to making a purchase, but also by Marketing as well to try and find other similar companies that may have the same problems or aspirations.
Market Republic can help you with all of your marketing and sales B2B lead generation needs and deliver highly targeted hand picked sales lists with less than 2% bounce rate!