How much time would your sales team save if they were focused on only the accounts that provided the highest revenue potential? If they’re connecting with ideal companies and contacts who are qualified and nurtured, they can create better buying experiences and see faster conversions.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is often coupled with inbound marketing in order to push targeted content towards specific buyers -- but there’s a third method that will supercharge your sales efforts and ensure you’re hitting the best accounts from all angles.
Strategic Outbound helps bridge the gap between sales and marketing teams by getting marketing content in front of buyers so that sales can spur target accounts to move forward in the buying cycle. It’s all about building an audience of the right decision makers at the right organizations, creating the infrastructure to track progress and automate outreach, and arming sales reps with purposeful sales enablement tools and messaging.
By implementing Strategic Outbound into your ABM approach, your sales team can build trusting relationships with potential buyers and dive into their needs and pain points. Then, your marketing team will have everything they need to create account-specific campaigns. Together, you can create organizational alignment, maximize your business’ relevance to the most valuable accounts, and deliver a consistent buying experience.
A powerful Strategic Outbound campaign will consist of the following elements:
Perhaps more than any other sales and marketing strategy, ABM requires in-depth, up-front research. Start by identifying your ideal client profile (ICP). Look at your current clients who bring in the most revenue, and identify their defining characteristics – industry, company size, annual revenue, etc.
Once you’ve established your vision of the ideal client, it’s time to find companies who fit the bill and their key stakeholders. At MarketLauncher, we use a combination of data resources and hands-on research to pinpoint organizations that jive with our client’s ICP. HubSpot’s CRM let’s you create workflows that filter incoming qualified leads based on your pre-set criteria and then tags them as ideal customers.
Focus on both quantitative and qualitative data to gather as much knowledge as possible about them.
- How do they make their buying decisions?
- How is their organizational structure set up?
- What needs and challenges emerge across their industry?
- What pain points do they have specifically?
- Has the company undergone any newsworthy changes?
- Are there any capability gaps you can fill?
Knowledge is power when it comes to ABM, and kicking off your strategy with a deep understanding of your target buyers lets you build a more personalized approach so you can get to the deeper conversations faster.
2. Data Insights
In a recent blog, we compared Strategic Outbound sales to farming a rice paddy because it’s a complex system that requires a strong foundation. That foundation, in our case, is HubSpot Sales Hub – our home base for gathering company and contact data, building pipelines, tracking progress, organizing content, and automating outreach.
The right CRM and sales enablement platform will unlock data insights on how your target accounts are reacting to calls, emails, and content – all to get you closer to identifying what your target buyers are really interested in and how your business can fill their needs. You can receive real-time alerts when a contact has viewed a piece of content so you can proactively follow up and get more personalized with each conversation.
HubSpot’s latest ABM tool holds all of your contact details across marketing and sales and supports you through the full lifecycle; from identifying good-fit target accounts to tracking key metrics across an account’s journey.
One well-known leader in learning platforms partnered with MarketLauncher to drive opportunities into their pipeline while their Sales Directors focused on a small group of top-priority accounts.
Our first step was to create awareness with initial outbound calling and emailing thought leadership content. 84% of the targeted companies reacted, and our team immediately followed up to develop the leads and gather intelligence to build account-based profiles for global brands like CarMax, Google, J Crew, Tesla and others.
Through consistent outreach, we ultimately booked 100+ sales meetings, and 27% of the client's target accounts became sales opportunities in the first year. The result was $2.4 million in net new revenue and 10 new logos added to their customer base within two years.
The goal of Account-Based Marketing is to have meaningful discussions with the right people so you can develop loyal customers, who in the long-run are your biggest brand advocates. Your messaging strategy should be tailor-made for each account on your target list -- starting with the research you gathered in step one.
Through each interaction with a contact, you are learning more about them and building trust. Use every conversation as an opportunity to find out their key triggers and what might move them towards a buying decision. As you gather more information about their pain points and see the content they are reacting to through your CRM, you can pivot your message with a relevant offering. This is where your marketing team can come in to provide the right assets to drive the conversation.
The beauty of this approach is that the intelligence you’re gathering from one target account may very well inform another, specifically when you’re working within the same industry. This is where HubSpot’s ABM software comes in handy again to give your marketing and sales teams a bird’s eye view of progress across all accounts for better collaboration.
Using Strategic Outbound to get closer to the right opportunities doesn’t just include lead generation tactics. If you’re looking to penetrate multiple buying centers within a few strategic accounts, you might need to invest in primary research that generates an assessment of an account’s experience with your company. By conducting interviews with high-level decision makers and influencers, you can collect critical market intel to better understand the opportunities that exist and the best way to position your offering to speak to the company’s key pain points.
A global consulting firm targeting the Aerospace & Defense industry reached out to MarketLauncher to gather insights on one specific target account. We built a list of the right decision makers at that company and positioned ourselves as a 3rd party research firm conducting interviews to better understand the following:
- Perception of our client and awareness of their offerings
- Quality assessment of the prior work done by our client
- Competitive landscape / possible barriers to entry
- Future work potential / possible areas of opportunity
- Likelihood of using our client for future needs
54% of the initial list were considered viable contacts and 31% accepted an interview. Nearly two-third of those interviewed indicated that they were familiar with the client, and 42% had a positive impression. We also gathered insights on what resources they were currently using, what factors they considered when choosing a consulting partner, and where they had capability gaps. In the end, 30% of respondents indicated an opportunity for future work and 24% agreed to schedule a meeting.
View the case study to see the results and verbatim comments.
By implementing these approaches with your sales and marketing team and establishing the right infrastructure, you can connect with the right accounts that are the best fit for your business and streamline your sales process to close better deals, faster.