A question asked by many of our Moving Agent Clients is: What is ABM, or Account Based Marketing?. And, how can it help my Office/Commercial business?
Well the short answer to what is ABM is; ABM is just another buzzword to describe something leading agents and their sales organization have known for years. Office/Commercial accounts tend to be “long cycle” sales vs. COD work, which is typically “Short Cycle” sales or “need” based sales.
COD work tends to “find” your firm via Personal Referrals, Search Engines, Directories and, to some extent Social Media. Our latest thoughts on Social Media for Movers can be found here.
Office/Commercial work tends to be researched more by the purchaser, has multiple decision makers and often is a longer sales cycle from discovery to sales close. Search Engine Marketing is often used during the purchase process; however applying Account Based Marketing can give your firm a leg–up on closing these sought after accounts.
Here are a few tips we have learned working in the Moving Industry related to Office Commercial and ABM:
Audience Identification & Targeting – I am not going to waste your time discussing the value of Networking; good sales folks have been doing this for years via professional and local organizations. Instead think about expanding your prospect pool to other companies that you have not been able to penetrate via networking. Marketing lists in your territory can help identify companies and contacts for your ABM pursuit. Resources such as D&B Hoovers, Infogroup sell lists targeted by industry and market. Make sure you cross reference your COD moves to see where they work and are they a prospective Office/Commercial Account. If yes, ask for a meeting or a referral to the proper person in the organization.
One Person Decisions – Are the exception. One advantage to ABM is targeting and communicating with multiple stakeholders within a single company. Map your prospects’ organization…who is the financial decision maker, the operational decision maker, IT, facilities, etc. And speak to their unique needs through targeted communication. Tip: always send a cc copy to the head/main decision maker when communicating with decision influencers.
Lead Nurturing & Puchase Funnel – On average it takes several communications to move a company from ‘Suspect’ to ‘Prospect’ to ‘Purchaser’. In order to do this, you need to nurture the prospect through planned and valued communication. CRM and e-mail systems can be valuable tools to help in the process. Having an inventory of valuable content is vital – Case Studies, Testimonials and Cost Benefit Analyses should all be part of your communications toolbox. The CRM or e-mail platforms can help you time and track the delivery of these communications. Great sales people have been doing this for years, finding valuable information and sharing it with their networks. Lead Nurturing is the same idea is a more organized fashion. Here is a partial list of CRM and Marketing Automation/E-Mail Platforms we have used for client projects:
CRM – Salesforce, Zoho, SharpSpring, Pipedrive, HubSpot
Marketing Automation – Pardot, Eloqua, HubSpot, Marketo
E-Mail – Mail Chimp, Yes Mail, Constant Contact
Events Marketing – Holding a local Chamber of Commerce meeting or inviting in a guest speaker for a topic your prospects find valuable can be great ways to further nurture your network and activate relationships between your customer and your prospects. Our best customers market via events like “Client Summits” that bring in multiple subject mater experts to speak on a variety of topics of interest. Of course for every existing customer in the room (retention marketing) there are 2 or 3 invited prospects (new business selling).
In summary, Account Based Marketing is really nothing new. It is about better organizing the process steps that seasoned sales folks have been employing for years. The tools are helpful for organizing the sales pursuit, they can elevate the performance of “farmer” type sales folks where you supply the lead list. But In my experience nothing will out-perform a well-networked sales “hunter” who has a no fear and a ‘must do’ attitude.
Happy Hunting. If you need advice or are interested in learning more about our digital services. Contact us or call or text me (Gregg Stewart) on 203.451.6358.