As with every other business, IT sales and ABM go hand in hand, and they have been for years already. The challenge always lies in figuring out how to continuously maximize your ABM approaches and strategies to increase your IT sales.
In this post, we are going to delve into the three types of account-based marketing and how it can help boost your IT sales, but before we go more in-depth, let’s take a closer look at what exactly ABM and IT sales are and what they do.
Account-based marketing (ABM), in layman’s terms, is to treat individual accounts as markets in their own rights. Because in B2B marketing, especially for high-value, high-consideration services and solutions, usually involves connecting with multiple stakeholders, influencers, and decision-makers. It’s important to view individual accounts as entities that are similar to complex and multi-dimensional markets for your marketers that are aiming to connect with clients and prospects effectively.
IT sales specifically focus on connecting customers with innovative tech products. It is all about identifying the customers who are able to benefit from a particular solution as well as showing them how that solution will be able to help them with their needs. Tech solutions provide you with hardware, software, and services such as big data and cloud computing. These services will all vary depending on the type of sales that you’re doing.
Optimizing IT Selling with ABM
Many IT companies have already adapted ABM into their sales strategies, but how can you further optimize your IT sales using ABM? In order to do that, we have to fully understand how ABM works and what you can do with it.
First off, here are four principles of ABM to take note of:
Client centricity and insight
This is an outside-in approach wherein you understand the clients and their organizations enough to creat propositions which will help them achieve their business objectives.
Partnership Between Sales and Marketing
Here, it recognizes that sales and marketing are equal partners who are collaborating on the same team. Only with sales and marketing working together will ABM achieve its full potential.
Focus on Reputation and Relationships
Of course, you want to keep a close look at the revenue, but it’s just as crucial to focus on your client’s lifetime value which requires you to go beyond mere lead generation and revenue goals in order to develop stronger and long-term relationships.
Tailored Programs and Campaigns
This principle is about using a combination of market insight, account insight, and individual buyer insight as well as personalized content to drive interest and engagement.
Once you’re familiar and deeply understand the four ABM principles, it’s time to understand the 3 types of ABM and determine which one will work best for your business.
This type aims at creating and executing highly-customized marketing plans for individual accounts. It is usually reserved for strategic accounts and executed on a one-to-one basis. The great thing about Strategic ABM is that account teams focus on building stronger relationships with the company’s most valued customers and prospects.
ABM Lite focuses on creating and executing lightly-customized programs for clusters of accounts that have similar issues and needs. This is a one-to-few model which is typically applied to groups of strategic and/second-tier named accounts, usually 5-10 accounts at a time. The collaboration with sales here is mainly focused on key decision points.
This last type leverages technology to tailor marketing campaigns for specific named accounts at a scale. Of all three types, this is the newest approach to ABM wherein marketing shifts the traditional focus from generating, nurturing, and tracking leads by the individual to account-based views. This approach should be aligned with the company’s sales coverage model. It is used to target specific segments such as horizontal or vertical markets that are selected from across an overall market.
Like an onion, there are more layers to ABM and so much more you can do with it. It is all about understanding the principles and understanding of which specific ABM type works best for your business.