The world of B2B sales and marketing is massive, with an almost infinite number of companies conducting business worldwide.Account-based marketing (ABM) is a new way being used by B2B companies to expand, simplify, and enhance their marketing and sales activities by integrating them with the inbound or content strategy and focusing on specific target accounts. 

Although some buyers' journeys are straightforward, high-value customers may necessitate more work, tailored content, and marketing and sales engagement. As a result, when you acquire them as a client, they justify the additional resources by providing a better return on investment.

The most crucial aspect of a B2B account-based marketing approach is identifying the relevant accounts to target. The rest of the ABM strategy can be flawless, but without the appropriate targeting, the approach will fail to drive potential consumers through the sales funnel to a decision to purchase. A perfect fit for example would be a target prospect that exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Guarantees to establish credibility in a specific niche
  • Possibility of larger-than-usual transactions
  • Possibilities for cross-selling across subsidiaries or divisions, as well as
  • Purchasing processes that are lengthy or complicated

Start by determining the criteria that these organizations have since the list should contain businesses that are most inclined to purchase from you. Such qualities can indicate not just which companies will be the easiest to target based on current demand and compatibility, but also which organizations will be the most advantageous to market to, based on the long-term value your company's goods, solutions, and alliance can bring.

In this article we define the 3 essential steps to arrive at your perfect target customer list.

1. Create a client profile that is ideal for the ABM strategy

In certain respects, ABM and inbound/content strategies are an ideal fit. When you're employing an inbound marketing strategy, you've probably created a customer profile – semi-fictional, composite personas that represent your ideal customer based on research and information from real consumers. Your ICP is equivalent, but it is scaled up to the level of the organization.

ICPs feature firmographics – qualities that help bring together organizations like corporations, nonprofits, or other commercial entities into target markets, offering order and predictability to your assessment, just as customer personas do. Your ICP can be influenced by a variety of factors, including:

  • Industry 
  • Company structure
  • Business size 
  • Location
  • Budgets
  • Profitability
  • Adequate technology 

After you've created your ICP, you can use it to assess potential ABM accounts. You may start identifying your accounts after you have a good understanding of your ICP. There are numerous ways to accomplish so:

  • You can look in your CRM, locate any existing accounts which can be both existing customers, in process conversations or lost deals. We further look into identifying target customers in the next section. 
  • Go to a partner who is willing to identify and share the details of potential customers who match your ICP
  • Use tools like Oddup to filter and identify target customers directly from their platforms.

2. Identify ABM Target Accounts Using Existing Contacts

Starting with an audit of the connections you already have is a smart way to start discovering leads for any ABM sales and marketing efforts. It's only reasonable to assess the prospects that are currently in your marketing-to-sales funnel. 

Assess the possibility for up-selling, cross-selling, adding useful services, and similar transactions with other company subsidiaries or divisions based on previously executed transactions. Use list segmentation techniques to assess website interactivity and email open rates. 

There might be people linked to prospective high-value accounts among prospects that have previously connected and interacted with your content. Examine the number of people you follow on social media and identify big-deal connections and integrate them into your ABM tools. 

Trade exhibitions and industry gatherings are still ideal locations to meet people who may help you make valuable connections. Consider the contacts you've made as a result of conversations or interactions, whether they be in-person or virtual.

Consider any well-known brands or major players in that market that you might use to boost your credibility and make contact with people who work at such organizations. 

3. Arrange target accounts by tiers

The ABM tiered strategy entails successfully allocating your sales and marketing efforts based on the level personalization that you are willing to use which inturn is based on the revenue or any other criterias defined by your company in terms of value that can be derived from the particular customer. . As such any ABM methodology can be further divided into Strategic ABM, ABM Lite, and Programmatic ABM.

Strategic ABM/one-to-one method

The one-to-one strategy, also known as strategic ABM, is a hyper-focused technique in which sales and marketing build a tailored experience for a single account. Personalization should be a priority in one-to-one ABM efforts. When it comes to one-on-one ABM, the goal is to either initiate an interaction or influence an account's impression of your brand.

One-to-few method

ABM Lite, also known as the one-to-few strategy, is a targeted sales and marketing method in which the sales team builds tailored interactions for groups of clients who have comparable characteristics. One-to-few ABM is nevertheless a highly customized strategy, but they aren't always the highest-value accounts. 

Programmatic ABM/one-to-many method

Programmatic ABM, often referred to as the one-to-many strategy, is a less targeted kind of ABM in which marketers employ programmatic customization to tailor content at scale using pieces of information from the CRM. Usually, the fundamental purpose of programmatic ABM is to increase engagement. When an account has exhibited adequate interaction, it may be promoted to Tier 2 and benefit from a more tailored experience. Most of the engagement-generating activities utilised in programmatic ABM should also be included in ABM Lite and Strategic ABM.

Wrapping Up

While ABM requires a lot of time and effort, the results usually entails high value enterprise customers which makes the effort you put into it worthwhile.  e. The monitoring and reporting required for ABM success may assist you in making substantial changes to your overall marketing strategies. Over time, the information you gather can help you enhance your ICP standards further helping you fine tune your marketing strategy.