To be, or not to be account-based.
In the profound words of The Wharton School’s Peter Fader, author of Customer Centricity: Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage,
“Every customer deserves the same respect, but not the same attention.”
Don’t agree? Maybe you feel all customers should be treated the same.
Well, think about all of those loyalty programs you’re a part of and how frequently you pop into your favorite barbecue joint or nail spa expecting to be rewarded for your loyal patronage. In fact, because you go so often, you might even feel a sense of “entitlement” to exclusive deals and expect a bit of preferential treatment.
Why is that? Because you view yourself as a high valued customer, and you are! Those customers who spend the most keep the lights on. Real talk.
In the B2B world, those high valued customers fall under the umbrella of an account. We’re not talking numbers, per se. You never want to relegate your customers down to being just numbers. People with needs, wants, and expectations make up those accounts. And like B2C loyalty customers, these accounts (your customers) also deserve an Amazon-like, personalized customer experience.
This is what an account-centric account-based marketing (ABM) strategy is all about.
How do you get there?
ON BEING ACCOUNT-BASED
Terminus founder, Sangram Vajre’s definition of account-based marketing is a focused approach to B2B marketing in which marketing and sales teams work together to target the best-fit accounts and turn them into customers. Works for me!
According to ITSMA, the share of total marketing budgets dedicated towards ABM have increased 73% in 2020.
Remember, at the center of all of the emerging technologies is the customer and their rising expectations. As a B2B marketer, you must place your accounts at the center and build your business around them.
ON BECOMING ACCOUNT-CENTRIC
Perhaps you think (as did I) that account centricity is synonymous with account-based. Not quite! Account-centric means coordinating engagement through unified data and technology. It aligns teams to a single view of target accounts, like this:
A holistic approach. An account-centric strategy includes sales data, intent data, service data, marketing data, and fit data all under one scope.
Account centricity motivates visibility, accountability, and coordinates engagement efforts across marketing, sales, and service teams. This creates long-term relationships with customers to drive sustainable growth. It also enables you to deliver a personalized customer experience.
If your company has already embraced the ABM path, perhaps we can help you take it to this next level.
For those of you who have yet to adapt or are contemplating how to do it, we can get you started in the right direction.
CHECK OUT THESE 3 WAYS TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT-CENTRIC ABM STRATEGY:
1. CLOSE THE EXECUTION AND ALIGNMENT GAPS
A house divided cannot stand. When companies have separate processes, data, and tools, it’s impossible to deliver a personalized 1:1 experience.
Silos are a silent killer of companies. An article in Forbes points out that many organizations struggle with their historical systems and structures not wanting to move away from them. Change is good and it’s necessary. Your entire organization must be empowered and equipped to move forward – together.
B2B revenue operations are often not built around the accounts. Buyers are being sold things they don’t need because it’s not a good fit for the company. If they do need the product(s), they may not be ready for the adoption due to budget, infrastructure, or other constraints, and/or differing sales and marketing goals.
Ultimately, misalignment undermines the confidence of the buyer sending a message that you really know who they are. The last thing you want to do is compromise your customers’ experience.
An ABM transformation in your company requires you to close the gaps to have a canonical account view. Having an integrated technology system in place can help you achieve this.
2. IDENTIFY KEY ACCOUNTS
Sort through the clams and find the pearls; those high valued customer accounts who deserve more of your attention-share. In order to deliver a more personalized customer experience, it requires narrowing your focus.
Overwhelming your sales reps to reach a near impossible quota isn’t effective or realistic. They’ll be faced with a pipeline bottleneck and that’s not progressive.
The goal is to engage with the right buyers. Here are a few factors to consider:
- Basic account data: Make use of firmographic data (i.e. company size, geography, industry) to assist with segmenting your accounts.
- Check your metrics: Examine your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) and annual recurring revenue (ARR). This is important for you to identify your highest paying customer accounts.
- Buying propensity: It is important to know why your customers choose you and why, and also the products they selected and their usage. This information can come through predictive analytics software or scoring software.
3. DELIVER A CONNECTED EXPERIENCE
It’s not all about individuals, leads, and contacts. That approach produces a disconnected experience, which also results in loss of trust and confidence from your customers.
The idea is to programmatically orchestrate every touch point within the customer account journey to create a connected experience across sales, service, and marketing at scale.
For your customers, this approach gives them the confidence that your company knows who they are, based on the relevant content you sent, their latest contact with the call center, or the email from sales addressing a pain point they have.
An account-centric ABM strategy delivers the connected customer experience that will deliver the right message, to the right buyer, at the right time, with the right action on one platform. Imagine what this will do for your win rate.
Paying more attention to your high valued customers, pays off for your company and the customers. To learn more on how to create an account-centric ABM strategy, click here.