In Part 1 of 9 ABM Tactics That Don’t Involve Software, we discussed how to research and track your accounts using software you likely already have.
In Part 2, we’ll discuss how to use all of that research to cater to your accounts and create lasting relationships with your clients.
To review the first five steps were:
Let’s learn about the last four strategies.
Your prospects encounter a barrage of sales messages every day—we all do. ABM gives you the chance to stand out by creating a message that’s hyper-relevant and useful to them. Use what you’ve learned in your research up to this point to identify problems they’re facing and the needs they have. Then get to work creating content that addresses those problems.
Some of this may be content you can use more broadly in campaigns with similar audiences. If you sell email marketing software, you could create a report that uses your internal data to provide prospects with benchmarks specific to their industry and business size. That same report could then be used for other prospects in that same category.
But if you have an idea for truly valuable content that only applies to one account specifically, that could be more valuable. For example, if your product helps companies identify and work with influencers, you could perform an analysis of how your prospect’s internal thought leaders rate in influence compared to others in their industry. That would give them a taste of what your product can do, and may reveal a need they didn’t know they had.
Creating this kind of custom content takes time, so consider how much the prospect is potentially worth to you before making this level of an investment. If they look a lot like your most valuable customers and your product’s pricing means winning them is worth thousands to your company, the value of creating personalized content may exceed the cost.
Once you’ve done thorough research into your contact and created content you’re confident is valuable to them, initiate contact!
People are pretty good at recognizing when they’re seeing the same templated message that’s going out to a hundred other people — that method is for companies that haven’t done the research to get to know who they're talking to. Address something you know matters to them in your first message so it resonates more with them than a standard copy-and-paste job.
And use what you’ve learned in your research to figure out the best method for contacting them. A lot of the time that means email, but if they’re especially active on LinkedIn or Twitter, sending a message there could make more sense.
However the prospect responds (or not) to your first message provides new data about them and the effectiveness of your efforts. Don’t stop there. Keep using all the information you have — including monitoring their social feeds and taking note of any company news — to make sure all your messaging to them remains relevant.
Any time you get a response, update your strategy based on what you learn and where the prospect is in the buyer’s journey. Continue to create new personalized content as needed, based on the questions they ask and feedback they provide.
OK, that may sound like four steps, but they’re all closely related. Throughout this entire process, keep collecting and organizing information about the accounts you’re targeting. Every tactic you try produces new data about what they do and don’t respond to. As your store of information grows, continue using it to garner new insights about your target accounts. And put those insights to use every time you reach out to them.
Over time, if your ABM program yields big results and your budget grows, investing in ABM software may start to make sense. But not having it yet shouldn’t stop you from getting started. You can accomplish a lot with the resources you already have, as long as you have the will to start, the time to commit, and the research and marketing skills to pull it all together.