ABM: Why a Flipped Funnel Is the Future of B2B Marketing
A QUICK SUMMARY:
Prior to the webinar, we asked registrants how familiar they were with ABM. 83% of respondents said they were either not familiar or somewhat familiar.
The traditional marketing funnel is dead and ABM’s flipped funnel approach means that sales and marketing have to collaborate from the onset for a successful ABM program.
The four key components to an effective ABM strategy is: Identify, understand, engage and advocate.
ABM results can take 3-6 months to normalize. Before marketers lean on vanity metrics to measure success, look at the bigger picture and ask questions like: “Are you creating and deepening relationships?” or “Is the buyer’s journey improved?”
To access the webinar recording and slides click the link. Webinar registrants: your password was sent to the email you registered with. Want access to the report? Email Cori Sherman at email@example.com.
It’s no surprise that account-based marketing (ABM) strategies are becoming the new norm in B2B marketing conversations. ABM works, it aligns sales and marketing, and it truly flips the paradigm of the traditional marketing on its head.
That’s because, unlike classic marketing strategies that focus on lead-centric tactics and approaches, ABM is account-centric and harbors a strategy that allows your ABM team to focus on the accounts they know they should be winning.
This traditional marketing funnel does not represent today’s highly technical B2B sales journey. In fact, we think that the funnel should be completely inverted, beginning with identifying the right accounts for your organization, instead of allowing all of your inbound to trickle down your funnel.
Our webinar goes into more detail into how various tech stacks and services can enhance your ABM strategy. You can access that above.
The 4 Stages of ABM
The key to an effective ABM strategy begins at the onset, when marketing and sales team take an active role to collaborate and identify the best-fit accounts, not just any account. Typically, a good way to identify these best-fit accounts is simply thinking about who your best customers are. Depending on how many accounts are identified, and the expected investment per account, this will determine the scope of your ABM. ITSMA has identified three types of ABM: strategic, scale and programmatic.
Leveraging AI and technology to supplement your account list can be beneficial when it comes to a truly robust target-account list. These technologies could help your ABM team discover accounts similar to your list (Demandbase), understand which accounts have the intent to buy (Bombora) and even help with customer management (Salesforce).
Once your ABM team has identified which accounts to focus on, your team will need to gain information about the people in your target accounts, and then prioritize from there. This phase is imperative to your strategy because it allows you to understand the number of potential buyers in each account, if any of your accounts have real-time intent, or even understanding which accounts are actively searching on your website for your services. By prioritizing these accounts, you can decide which accounts you want to grow, which new accounts you want to acquire and even identify the account manager that’s ready to make a purchase.
In ABM, creating content should be very account-specific and mimics the phases of your audience’s buying journey. Each phase should have a different type of communication, that way, depending on which piece of content your potential customer engages with, your ABM team will know exactly where to pick up the conversation and eliminate the need to guess where your customer is on their journey.
Just as generals are infamous for preparing for their last war with previous tactics, we as marketers tend to shove old content through new channels. Each technology requires its own type of content. Marketers need to keep this in mind when they’re identifying their marketing mix for the right type of content, and then align your tech stack to best meets the needs of your account.
ABM doesn’t end once you’ve won the account. Marketers need to engage their target account across the entire buying journey. That’s because, at the end of the day, ABM is all about building relationships.
84% of B2B business begins as a referral, so if you’re engaging your customer along the entire journey, they’ll be happy with their experience of working with you and they’ll recommend you to their entire network.
ABM Tech Stack
Although a robust ABM tech stack is impactful to the efficiency of your ABM strategy, we believe that there are three minimum viable technologies you need:
Google Analytics package and the ability to do AdWords (or some sort of analytics data for your website).
ABM software that offers programmatic advertising and turns out zero-waste advertising and drives people to inbound (Demandbase).
A marketing automation tool that picks up those inbound leads and can take it to sales (HubSpot, Marketo).
We’ve only cracked the surface of ABM. If you’re interested in talking further about it, or want to learn even more, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.