If your marketing strategy isn’t delivering the ROI you’d like, it’s time to think about account-based marketing for your technology business. This involves focusing your marketing and sales resources on a targeted set of accounts and delivering tailored strategic campaigns to each account.
More businesses than ever are realising the benefits of this method and successfully penetrating new, high-value accounts. This article describes the benefits of the approach and gives some advice to get you started.
Why choose account-based marketing?
If you’re wondering why this approach is more successful than traditional marketing strategy, these statistics should convince you:
- According to ITSMA, the leading source for insight, community, and hands-on help for B2B marketers, 84 percent of marketers running account-based marketing strategies say that this method outperforms all other marketing investment.
- According to Alterra Group, a pioneer in thought leadership marketing, 97 percent of marketers achieved a higher ROI with account-based marketing than with any other marketing initiatives.
- According to Sirius Decisions, a leading marketing decisions facilitator, 92% of worldwide B2B marketers consider account-based marketing important to their overall marketing efforts.
Choose your accounts
The first step in this process is to understand which accounts you want to work with. This will be relatively straightforward if you understand the technology business environment and your new competitive landscapes.
The accounts you choose should have the potential to deliver a high yield and should be the best fit for your products and services. You should be sure that your high-value targets have real potential for closure and strong return on investment. You should also understand which competitors are already targeting these accounts.
To choose the right accounts, you’ll need to understand your current marketing strategy and know what’s working as well as what’s not effective. Larato has published a guide to help you with this.
Understand your value
Once you’ve chosen your target accounts, you can develop and validate your value proposition for each of the new accounts, making these specific to your account’s decision makers to help you gain leverage.
A distinct value proposition will help you to stand out from your competitors in this new business environment. Your marketing strategy for each account will differentiate you from your competitors and enable you to penetrate your target market segments.
Choose your methods
The next step involves analysing the best methods to engage with your new target accounts and achieve leadership buy-in. If you know which competitors are talking to these accounts then you can assess their approach and make sure that your methods are superior.
A SWOT analysis relevant to the target account will help you to uncover any weaknesses that could hinder your access to the account and highlight any strengths that give you a specific advantage.
Focus your full marketing budget, resource and creativity on your specific accounts, and put clear measures in place so that you’re sure about the return on your marketing investment. This way you can be confident that your marketing budget is being used wisely.
Develop your salesforce
Once your marketing plans are in place, you need to align this activity with the actions of your sales teams. Sales people like what they’re comfortable with. They like to sell the products they know best to people they’re familiar with, using tools they’ve succeeded with before. If you’re targeting new accounts, you need to prepare your sales force for this and make sure they’re ready to join you on your journey towards growth. Your success relies on making sure sales skills are up-to-date and in line with the needs of your target accounts.
Your buyers will be around 70 percent of the way through your sales cycle before they engage with someone from your sales team, so your salesforce must be trained to interact appropriately with clients from each target acount. They must clearly understand the similarities and differences between each account and know what works for each. Depending on the size of your team and the nature of your target accounts, you might want to consider structuring teams to focus on specific targets.
By understanding your target accounts and developing a marketing strategy to target each one effectively, you can achieve long-term business benefits and position your company ahead of competitors. If you need some support getting started with an account-based marketing approach, Larato can help.