Account Based Marketing (ABM) has been one of the key sales and marketing tactics for B2B businesses for the last few years. It’s nothing new but it does have a fancy name now: basically targeting large accounts with personalized marketing. What’s different now are the tools now available to marketers, which allow us to fully realize key aspects of ABM: personalization, automation, leading to increased efficiency and increased sales.
What is ABM?
ABM is a strategic approach that marketers use to focus on defined clients – prospective accounts – through identification, engagement and nurturing. The ABM approach is the opposite of lead generation – the normal sales funnel is inverted so that instead of trying to develop as many leads as possible, we are just focusing on “named” leads – large, prospectively wonderful clients.
Define your goals
Like any marketing and sales program, it is vital that the goals are clearly defined. This includes:
- A well-defined strategy that includes clear communication between sales, marketing and customer support
- Content marketing plan personalized for each client segment
- Technology to support the efforts – a robust CRM and marketing automation system
- Sources of leads
- A program to follow up and adjust your efforts
A crucial element of account planning is setting up and customizing your CRM system as well as your marketing automation. This includes inputting all of the target account tiers into the CRM, automating content for each target customer, building workflows that are customized for each client, and setting up a full loop to ensure that sales and marketing are on the same page.
Planning your content around the buyer’s journey is how modern marketers are successful – through the simplified stages of awareness, consideration, decision and loyalty. In China the trick is to ensure that the content formats and channels make sense – how to use WeChat instead of email? Getting away from your website as the main channel and making sure that your formats and channels are up-to-date with the quickly changing market.
Combining WeChat with ABM
In the West, ABM systems fit wonderfully into marketing automation systems. In China, of course, WeChat proves to be a wonderful complication. As a basic element WeChat does not do enough. What we can do, however, is add technical elements into WeChat to make it fully functional – this means incorporating a CRM system into your WeChat account. On top of that you can add marketing automation elements into the system – so when your target client joins your WeChat account, you can feed them specific content personalized just for them. Add in chatbot functionality and now your WeChat is a supercharged channel.
Sales enablement tools and ABM
Sales enablement is another piece of the puzzle. When your sales team meets the client, are they rooting through their computer, trying to find a video or presentation deck, buried in their files? Or do they have a fully organized system and tools to pull up the right content, personalized for the meeting? Showpad is a tool that unifies marketing and sales so that the efforts of a proper ABM program are fulfilled by the sales team when they actually meet the client.
ABM is a wonderful approach, and it is possible in China – but the tools and channels have to be adjusted to be effective here. Looking to up your marketing and sales strategy in China? Talk to the experts at Brandigo.