At BAO, we’ve always been strong proponents of leveraging account intelligence to improve sales and marketing – long before the term Account-Based Marketing (ABM) was ever coined, in fact. Today, 92% of B2B companies surveyed by SiriusDecisions say ABM is “extremely important” or “very important” to their overall marketing efforts. There’s no doubt that ABM is a hot topic, and B2B tech companies of all sizes are diving into ABM to boost results.
The objective of ABM is straightforward: Select a specific list of prospect companies to target and then pursue each as a “market of one” with messaging and campaigns that are targeted specifically to that organization.
At BAO, we’ve been championing this approach for years for one simple reason: it works.
But, there is one key component without which ABM simply doesn’t work: account intelligence.
We’ve often talked about how basic segmentation criteria, while potentially helpful as first-pass filters, are imprecise and can cause you to waste time on accounts with little revenue potential or, perhaps worse, miss great sales opportunities because you weren’t looking for them in the right places. That’s the very reason we developed our Opportunity Identification (OppID) service. We knew that if our Clients had custom information about their target market, they’d be in a much better position to:
- Focus on the “right” accounts, and
- Go after those accounts with messaging and campaigns that are highly relevant to those organizations.
Selecting the Right ABM Targets
What makes an account “right”? You need to go beyond standard market qualifiers such as size or industry. What is their technology environment? What complementary and competitive solutions are installed? What budgeted initiatives are in progress? Where are their pains and challenges? You also want to identify when an account is “ripe.” Are there any trigger events – such as contracts coming up for renewal, or new leadership coming on board – that signal now is the right time to go after a particular account? This requires account-level insight that you simply can’t get from basic firmographics. Furthermore, the specific types of insight will vary depending on your particular solution and how it’s purchased and deployed.
Account-level intelligence does more than just help identify targets and opportunities – it informs how you talk to those companies. When you deliver messages on the topics and issues that your prospects care about, your content will be more effective. As a result, you can focus content development efforts based on where the market needs and opportunities are rather than just volume.
We wanted to understand how ABM is being planned and practiced today. We surveyed 289 B2B technology companies who are currently doing or planning ABM to understand how ABM is evolving, particularly in the areas of target selection and program scalability – and the role that account insights plays across the board. We found that only 12% of companies say they have all the account intelligence they need. This means a shocking 88% of companies doing ABM are missing the most important ingredient for success.
Get the trend report and learn about all the key findings from the survey, along with actionable insights.