Account Based Marketing: a new interpretation of the AIDA
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a relatively new B2B marketing and sales technique. A technique that supports the buyers journey of the various members of the DMU with your prospects in a targeted way. The buyer journey more or less corresponds to the familiar sales funnel, with the understanding that it is not your marketing and sales process that is central, but the needs of your prospect. It is no longer push, but pull.
Give substance to the buyers journey
Pull means that you no longer just send, but that you mainly listen and tailor your message accordingly. The AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is still there, and the following step, Service, remains intact. But you fill in the phases in a slightly different way, as the picture below shows.
Phase 1: lead generation
The first phase is ‘Attention’: how do you ensure that you come to the attention of companies from your target group? ‘Old’ instruments such as trade fairs and advertisements lend themselves to this, but also new ones such as content marketing and social targeting. Whichever instruments you choose, the core is always the same: you want to make it known to the companies in your chosen target group or cluster that you can help them solve their problem.
Phase 2: lead nurturing
The ‘Interest’ phase starts when a prospect responds to an expression. We also call this phase lead nurturing because you ‘coddle’ prospects by creating content that addresses the challenges they are struggling with. In our previous blog we explained how you can find out in which area the challenges of an organization lie.
Phase 3: face-to-face consultative selling
You were always used to transferring prospects to sales in the Desire phase. That remains the case, with the understanding that sales focuses on consultative selling. Of course, you make maximum use of everything you already know about this prospect. And that’s quite a lot now:
– You know the size of the company, the market and the most relevant developments in that market;
– You know which content has been read by which DMU members and therefore have an idea of the challenge of the solution that this company is looking.
– You know which sales arguments are important for which DMU member.
Sales is therefore well prepared and can immediately zoom in on the specific challenge that this company has.
Phase 4: write a winning offer or tender
In order to persuade the customer to take action, you must write a quotation or tender that responds to the customer’s pain, that clearly explains what possible implementation risks there are and how they are mitigated and that of course summarizes well what result this customer can expect from this solution.
Phase 5: Service
ABM does not stop once the deal is closed. In fact, Service is the starting point of an even more intensive relationship. First of all, you want customers to get the maximum value from the product or service they have purchased. Provide training, make online instructional videos and measure – if possible – how the customer uses a product or service. This way you can advise them to get more value from their investment. In addition, at this stage you can try to find out whether you can help customers with other challenges, so that you can cross- or upsell. And who knows, maybe a customer wants to be a reference customer and help you recruit new prospects.
Do you want to know how to set up such a process in practice? What software do you need and how do you capture and use data you collect about prospects? Then download the whitepaper Account Based Marketing: how do you go about it and what does it deliver?