How to Plan Your Buyer’s Journey with ABM

b2b buyer journey mapping

Marketing strategies are evolving at a ridiculous pace. As a result, competition among businesses is tougher than it’s ever been! Years ago, companies focused on a quantity over quality strategy. You know, cast your net wide enough and you’ll close in on some pretty good deals. But digital transformation has changed the game, and Account-based Marketing (ABM) is winning so far.

Today, there are a lot of new channels popping up every now and then. There are always new strategies and new technology-based tools that help companies connect with their target customers on a level that wasn’t possible before. As a result, businesses are able to engage more with their target customer, but not necessarily close more deals.

While this is really good for customers who are on the lookout for information and options, companies are actually struggling to connect and land highly qualified clients. Here’s where ABM comes in.

It’s not a totally new concept. However, it is a lot more relevant today than it has ever been. Why? It’s because B2B businesses and marketers are realizing that a high-level personalized approach will pave the way for quality clients, highest possible ROI, sustainable revenue, and a solid pipeline.

The Focused ABM Approach

Unlike many other forms of marketing which concentrate on acquiring great numbers of customers, ABM prioritizes quality over quantity. Instead, ABM zeroes in on potential clients who have a higher chance of making the purchase.

But before you come up with the exact strategies, the first thing you need to do is to identify your target persona or basically the clients you would like to bring in. This isn’t anything complicated—it’s just defining your ideal customers so you can better plan how to deliver effective strategies to get the outcome you want.

When crafting your persona, don’t forget to take note of the following:

  • Revenue potential
  • Market reach and influence
  • Potential customer lifetime value

Aside from these, dig deeper into their needs and the possible reasons why they will be closing a deal with you. When you really understand these, that’s when you can craft a strategic plan on how to convert this selected audience into your highest-paying customers.

Personalized Account Outreach

This is what makes ABM different and successful in today’s time. You have to remember that the world is very much customer-driven. It’s no longer just about marketing your service or product and what it can do for them. ABM is all about diving deeper into why your target clients should choose you among other competitors who are all vying to close the deal.

Focusing on a client as if they are the only client in the pipeline means going deep and personal during the whole customer journey, from acquisition, conversion, to even retention. In B2B, closing a sale takes a longer time than say, eCommerce stores. There are a lot of decisions to be made, and more people involved in the decision-making process.

It’s basically treating your clients (present and potential) like royalty, and making sure that you are with them every step of the way to guide them into making the decisions that matter for you.

The whole idea of ABM is about being present in all touchpoints and all opportunities where decision making can happen. In short, you’re really taking a targeted and personal approach tailored to your target clients’ needs and behavior. That is how you make them feel special and taken care of—because you treat and interact with them like you really know what they want, the problems that they would like to solve, and more important, the personalized solutions that you can offer them to make their lives a lot better.

The ABM approach is to lay out a red carpet for each of the accounts that you are targeting, because each of them should be treated like royalty.  Know their needs, cater to their whims, and be at the right touchpoints at the right time. It can be a longer process, and it doesn’t stop at acquisition. You engage with them continuously and build relationships that can lead to new business opportunities.

This holds true especially for account-based marketing B2B. B2C brands have an easier time reaching individual buyers or consumers through social media or email marketing. Sometimes, all it takes is the right promo or message to entice one member of your demographic to click on your ad. But B2B clients spell a different challenge: these are business owners and executives who think of what’s best for their organization and their target market before saying ‘yes’ to a campaign. It will take the dive-deep approach of ABM to really find out their priorities, business goals, and other factors that can win them over to a business deal.

It’s really different from the traditional approach of getting a generic message across to large audiences who may or may not even fall under your target personas. This involves mapping out your entire customer journey and plotting the strategies to deliver at specific touchpoints.

Sales and Marketing Alignment

The strength and impact of ABM relies heavily on the alignment of your sales team and your marketing team. With your customer persona and customer journey all mapped out, the next thing you should focus on is keeping your strategies and funnel moving seamlessly.  This kind of unity is necessary especially as both teams, under the guidance of ABM, will have to speak the same language in reaching out to really top-tier clients like account-based marketing B2B.

Among the successful account-based marketing examples is the campaign launched by Payscale, a payroll software company that provides its employer-clients services and information about employee compensation packages. In targeting their premium clients, the sales team gave their marketing colleagues the correct information such as job titles of VIPs, and the marketing department in turn honed in on this market through relevant content pieces that engaged them and converted them into clients. A few months later, Payscale’s account traffic rose by 500%.

It’s als important to make sure that your sales strategy is aligned with your ABM strategy so all qualified leads and potential closed deals will not be wasted. The truth is, ABM was designed to keep pushing qualified leads to the sales team for closing. It doesn’t take away from the sales strategies, it actually enhances it!

To sum it all up, ABM brings in results by focusing on the strategies that will ensure a highly personalized customer experience for all. Implementing ABM effectively will see your business to greater heights and even greater lifetime value.  It all starts by going beyond treating your clients as VIPs (and that’s important)—but also regarding them as royalty, providing them the best of the best in terms of customer journey.