Account-Based Marketing- Steps to help you get started

When it comes to B2B SaaS businesses, when it comes to growing them, there's the old way and the new way of driving growth. The old way was to think about leads, that's more of a defensive position because you're trying to just get the leads to come in, and then you're kind of defending which ones are the right leads and which one you focus on which one you don't. And you know that there are good leads that are coming through. The new way to focus on accounts instead of leads. Accounts are more of an offensive play. With accounts, you're saying, here are the accounts we want, and you run an offensive play to go after those accounts because you know they're going to be great customers. This is where account-based marketing comes into play. Now while this idea has existed for a while, only now B2B SAAS companies are starting to embrace Account-based Marketing, and there's the right technology to support them in deploying ABM campaigns.

In this article, we're going to discuss an account-based marketing strategy to accelerate the growth of your SAAS business in five easy steps.

Let's discuss the five steps that apply to deploy this strategy and we're going to discuss a little bit about why this is so much more powerful than just waiting around and looking at your leads and hoping they're great, which is more of a defensive play. Whereas running an ABM strategy is more of an offensive play to drive growth. So based on the experience of building SaaS businesses and operating revenue technology-based businesses, we're going to dig into the five principles that you need to know.

Let's get into the five key steps that you need to follow for deploying an ABM strategy, step-by-step.

LOOKING AT YOUR CUSTOMER BASE

Within your customer base, even if it's small right now, what you want to do is find out the highest LTV customers. Who are the customers that have the highest LTV, they buy the most, they renew, and they don't complain a lot, and they're successful with your platform? These are essentially your best customers. And what you want to do is identify a list of them. Why? The reason for that is it's going to give you a clue into what segment of the market, what part of the market, what type of customers, what types of accounts you're already starting to see success with. Because what, instead of just saying here are all the people we want and hope meet us, you're starting to say here are the people who are already getting success with us, let's figure out a way to go get more of them


This is the best way to start an account-based marketing strategy because you're going off data. You are not just hoping and praying that these people will buy, you're seeing these people already buy, let's go find more of them and then go to them. This is principle number one of every successful ABM strategy figure out who are your best customers so that then you can start to go find more of them. Once you've done that, that's what you take, you take all that data, and feed it into building an ideal customer profile. An ideal customer profile is essentially a modified version of exactly who are the people that are most likely to buy your software, what are the characteristics that make them successful and makes them need your software right now, and lastly who they are specifically, so you can go after them, this is what an ICP codifies

HOW TO CREATE AN ICP

Once you've got the data on who are your best customers you want to codify that into an ICP, so you start to understand here the type of customers and accounts we are going to be successful with, based on the data that we have, even if it's small data in the early days. Once you've done that, you want to take that ICP and start to build out a target account list, the biggest thing here is what you're doing is instead of just hoping these people come, and staying in the abstract, you want to build out your dream 100 customers and do a list. You want to make a list of your dream 100 customers that are going to be wildly successful if they were to find out about your platform and come on. And this is all based on data, right? You know these types of customers are going to be successful and therefore based on that, you're going to build out a list of your dream 100 customers. You can also make sure you don't just think about it as an account, you want to think about these are the core accounts, and here are the core people, maybe it's the CEO or the CIO or the VP sales, whoever you're selling to, you want to flesh this out into a list of concrete people and a list of target accounts, that you believe should be a dream 100 and these are going to be your next 100 customers.

All right, so let me pause here for a second before I go into four and five, which is more about your go-to-market machine, these three steps, let me just pause here, these three steps are super powerful. If you do this, you'll switch from a defensive go-to-market machine to an authentic go-to-market machine. Cause, you're going to be very much purposeful, about who you are going after, who you want as customers, and how to go after them.

Also, if you want to dig more into this, building on an account-based marketing strategy, it's just one of the critical growth levers in growing your SAAS business. Once you have these three things, a couple of things will happen. You'll have a list of 100 customers that you really want to go after. You'll start to understand some key people you really want to target; you'll start to get a lot more focus on the type of customer the type of ideal customer that you want to go after. Based on this, based on these market insights what you want to do is build out your manifesto.

Let's walk you through what are the key things you need to incorporate into a manifesto and make it persuasive, effective so you can attract these people. So, what you'll want to do is craft a manifesto. This is about an eight-slide document, a PDF, that you can use as part of your Go-To-Market strategy to attract these people. But the key thing here, is you need something that uniquely speaks to them this group of 100 people that you've outlined that gets their attention, that communicates the value and the change you're trying to bring to their lives and gets them to act on saying you know what? We need a platform like that, so we can take advantage of this new opportunity. That's really what a manifesto is. And you want to do that work to create that and craft that message.

When you have a great manifesto your value proposition becomes easier, your messaging becomes easier, and you have a much clearer strategic narrative. So that's what the manifesto step is. You want to get all that messaging right? Once you've done that, then you want to take that manifesto and mobilize it through a Broadway show. A Broadway show is essentially the marketing and sales actions, and activities and motions you do every week. Now there are two ways to do this, you could just come up with a random set of things to do every day and every week, or you run a very conservative effort to promote your manifesto every week. That's one Broadway show that you promote every week and that's the final part about mobilizing your ABM strategy.

So, what ends up happening is by the time you have your dream 100, you will have a set of accounts. And what you're going to do every week is going target and reach out to these target accounts, and that's your Broadway show. How does a Broadway show come together? There are a few things you can be doing.

  • • First, you can connect via social, right? You can connect with the people in your dream 100.
  • • The other thing you can do is a week you can share a post, on this social network so that they see your content specifically tied to your manifesto. So, they can start to interact with you as a brand and learn more about what you're doing.
  • • What you can also do is do outbound DM or email, and you can strategically engage with these accounts using the messaging you define in your manifesto to connect with these accounts.
  • • The other thing you can do is as they are interacting with your manifesto, and your posts and going to your website, the other thing you can do is you can retarget them, this is what we call all-bound. When you retarget them, what ends up happening is they're going to see you everywhere, and you'll be able to retarget them because they were on your website they looked at your manifesto and it'll seem like you're on their social feeds, you're emailing them, and every website they go to has your ad, it's going to feel like your everywhere, and the universe is just telling these people that they need to buy this thing, and the messaging in the manifesto will help them understand why it's an important urgent, frequent problem that needs to solve now and they can if they just invest in your platform.
  • Now, the beauty of ABM is it doesn't just stick to digital, there are other things you can do, because you know these are high-value accounts or you probably dream 100, you can also send them a FedEx envelope. If you mail someone a FedEx envelope and they're a highly valued account, and you send them a copy of your manifesto, and then some other swag with your logo on it, they're going to open it 98% of the time because it's a FedEx envelope it's usually important, so you can do physical mail and email them, and mail them the manifesto and other goodies to get more awareness around your brand.

  • • And the last thing you can do is you can invite them to a webinar, or an event, or a dinner, to also engage them further

And so, when you follow these five steps and you figure out who your best customers are, you figure out your ICP, and you figure out your target accounts, your dream 100, and then you build out your manifesto, and then you run this Broadway show which surrounds this account wherever they go, everything starts to come together. And what you end up with is instead of just defending on the leads that are coming in, figuring out what's good, and trying to score them, you're saying, forget that we're going to go on the offense, we're going to go after a dream 100 clients in multiple ways using the very strategic messaging that we develop in our manifesto. And we do all these things everything comes together and drives to more growth, more customers, more revenues, and everything starts to come together on our terms. This is something that every SAAS business that's looking to grow more aggressively must adopt.

A lot of these things are core marketing principles, they're not specific to ABM, all ABM has done is just pull together the right things to say, this is what you need to be doing, and this is essentially how the whole thing comes together. When you do this, you will be able to drive growth on your terms and accelerate your path to that next stage of growth. So that's what an ABM strategy is, that's how you do account-based marketing, those are the five steps.