Sudhir Kumar, marketing director of strategic and creative agency BPI ROK, advises the catering equipment industry on a fresh approach to sales and marketing and its benefits:
The B2B buying process has changed due to the power of digital content which means buyers are well informed and the number of stakeholders involved in purchase decisions has increased. This creates a challenge, so who do you reach out to?
Businesses still operate with marketing and sales teams working in silo, with zero collaboration or transparency. You need to step away from this approach and align the two together to target key accounts.
Enter Account Based Marketing (ABM). ABM in my eyes is ‘Zero Waste Marketing’, where sales and marketing work together to target key personnel in your key targeted accounts, rather than individuals. This allows for the overall focus being on having full visibility about your buyer needs and building with specific targeted accounts.
ABM allows you to engage with all influencers in the decision making process and aligns sales with marketing. You do your research first and identify the key accounts you want to go after. These accounts should be suitable in terms of offering and size.
Data is key. Dig deep and use various tools to find your key accounts and the contacts that are key to the decision making process. Start to create your content in various formats and tones to appeal to your targeted accounts and influencers.
Position yourself (sales), and brand as thought leaders, experts, the go-to people for real insight, advice within your industry. Get in front of your potential customers, use various channels, both off and online to get your message across and create brand awareness. Make sure your messaging and perception stays consistent across every channel, platform and touch-point used. Furthermore, keep things moving. Momentum is key and you want to use every opportunity to stay front of mind.
Through these roughly-outlined steps, you will hopefully start to capture leads. This is where sales and marketing need to align to work together. Once a lead has been captured it’s down to sales to nurture that lead and down to marketing to help support sales. Marketing needs to step in and engage with all the other influencers associated with the account through various channels.
ABM, if executed correctly, is an effective strategy that can help businesses create and sustain growth and profitability with both new and existing clients. Research from ITSMA (Information Technology Services Marketing Association) found that ABM delivers the highest ROI of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic. As it’s targeted, precise, personalised and accurate, this makes it easier to measure ROI.
Convenience is key and engaging with your targeted accounts on the correct channels by giving them relevant and valuable content is perfect. You need to understand which channels are relevant to your target audience, and focus on optimising your content for these identified channels.
With ABM you remove unqualified leads, which shortens the sales cycle and allows you to focus on the accounts most likely to purchase from you.
You can identify which accounts generated the most revenue and use this as a profile to target other accounts and fill up your ABM funnel.
ABM provides an excellent opportunity for your sales and marketing teams to focus on the same goals. The synergy created can help boost sales and grow your company