5 Ways To Increase The Quality Of Your ABM Opportunities

ABM is an area of B2B marketing that focuses on quality over quantity. However, have you conducted an ABM programme and feel like the quality of your opportunities are not strong enough? Likelihood is, you need to reassess your campaign, who you are targeting, and how you are going about it. Here are 5 ways in which you can increase the quality of your ABM opportunities.

Refine Your ICP

An ICP or Ideal Customer Profile defines the perfect customer for your product or service solution.  

Ensuring your ICP has been conducted accurately and thoroughly is an essential part of generating the right opportunities in your ABM campaign. By understanding your ideal customers, you can identify the exact customer profile that would benefit from your product or service, and therefore will generate the best ROI and value for your business.

If your opportunities so far aren’t the right fit, then maybe you need to tighten or broaden your ideal customer profile.

If your parameters are too vague, then your ICP is not distinct enough, meaning the characteristics of the leads you are generating could differ massively from prospect to prospect. As a result, you will be wasting resources and time on unqualified prospects that add no value to your ABM campaign.

If your ICP is too specific or narrow you will be culling a large percentage of the total market. The problem with this is that you may find yourself struggling to generate any leads at all. This is even more problematic when you consider that at any one time, only 5% of your target audience is ‘in market’ for your product or service.[1] 

This is why it is important to go back to basics and reevaluate the current parameters you have set in your ICP to ensure you can generate the right and highest quality opportunities for your ABM campaign.

Relook at Your Account List

Did you know that 38.5% of B2B marketers don’t calculate their Total Addressable Market (TAM) to identify opportunities and therefore struggle to accurately identify and segment their audience? As a result, 54% of them struggle to generate reach or scale from their Target Account Lists (TAL)[2].

As ABM thrives on marketing and sales efforts being aligned, having a restricted or weak TAL will impact the ability of your sales team to effectively pursue the accounts that will add the most value to your business.

You need to ensure that your TAL is well defined, this means taking time to identify the right accounts. By doing so, you can qualify your prospects more effectively, ensuring you are targeting the right leads with the right content, and the right time, for the best results.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you to relook at your TAL, according to ITSMA[3], target account deals are 2.3 times bigger than deals resulting from always-on channels. It’s time you re-looked at your TAL to ensure you are picking the right accounts for your ABM campaigns, to ensure all your time and resources are going towards generating high quality opportunities.

Nurture for Longer

B2B customers are rarely ready to buy when you first engage with them. What’s more, the average B2B sales cycle length is 7 months. As such, B2B and ABM marketers need to understand that every lead is not instantly ready for a sales call and until they do, the quality of their opportunities will not improve.

An effective lead nurturing strategy involves building a relationship and sharing relevant and engaging content with warm leads who aren’t yet ready to make a purchase decision. By nurturing your leads you are enhancing your relationship with your prospects over time, building loyalty and trust that increases their propensity to buy from you when they are ready.

Here are 3 key reasons why you need lead nurturing:

  • Shortens the sales cycle – The average sales cycle has increased by 22%, however, nurtured leads experience a 23% shorter sales cycle[4].
  • Decreases cost per lead – Lead nurturing generates 50% more sales leads at a 33% lower cost per lead[5].
  • Helps to increase lead conversion – Targeting users with content relevant to their position along the buying process yields 72% higher conversion rates[6].

Capitalising On ‘In-Market’ Accounts

As discussed previously, only 5% of your target audience are ‘in-market’ for your products or service at any one time.

By understanding when your target accounts and contacts are engaged and showing the right intent, you will be able to place your focus on converting these leads, preventing you from allocating the wrong resource and time to the 95% who aren’t ready for that sales call yet!

Engaged leads are the most likely to convert, therefore, you need to ensure you are employing the right tactics to capitalise and increase your number of quality opportunities. This starts by giving your sales team all the information they need to know in order to identify and convert these opportunities. This is because B2B buyer’s expectations have never been so high[7] :

  • 96% of buyers are likely to consider a brand if the sales team has a clear understanding of their business needs.
  • 93% are likely to consider a brand if sales provides personalised communication.
  • 77% of decision makers won’t engage with salespeople who don’t have insights or knowledge of their company.

Therefore, it is important to ensure that your sales team are aligned with your previous marketing communications and activity. As a result, they will have all the information they need to cultivate relationships and ultimately increase the effectiveness of their outreach and ability to generate more quality ABM opportunities.

Change Who You’re Speaking to

The steps we have discussed so far will go a long way to helping you understand where your quality opportunities are, how to serve them, and when to capitalise on them. However, what if you simply aren’t speaking to the right people?

When it comes to decision makers, marketers tend to default to the C-suite. Many moons ago, the C-suite were accessible, but in a time where the organisational structure of mid market and enterprise businesses is growing ever more complex, it’s time to consider looking at who has a strong influence on the decision making unit.

Now, I’m not saying it’s not important to target the C-Suite, but have you considered the VP, director, senior manager, and manager in the same department? These are the people who are actively involved in vetting and researching vendors to consider, and their status means the decision making unit holds their opinion in high regard. These are the ‘influencers’ and ‘champions’ that you need to leverage in order to persuade the C-suite that your product or service is the best solution for them. Especially since the C-suite ‘decision maker’ may just be the person ultimately signing the cheque.

Search filters on data platforms will help you to identify the various roles and information about the influencers you need to be talking to. As a result, you can begin to build relationships with all the people that matter and have sway in the account, maximising your outreach and the number of quality opportunities that you are generating through your ABM campaign.

To conclude, and to repeat where we started from, ABM is an area of B2B marketing that focuses on quality over quantity. The topics we have discussed above should help you step back, reassess your existing campaign, and make some improvements in order to start generating some quality ABM opportunities.

[1] https://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/b2b-institute/how-b2b-brands-grow

[2] https://www.inboxinsight.com/advanced-abm-lookalikes-uncover-the-priorities-within-your-icp/

[3] https://www.itsma.com/research/raising-the-game-with-abm-2018-abm-benchmark-study/

[4] https://www.ironpaper.com/webintel/articles/workflow-automation-benefits

[5] https://www.invespcro.com/blog/lead-nurturing/

[6] https://www.aimfirst.com/accelerator-blog/20-lead-nurturing-statistics-charts-for-2020

[7] https://www.demandbase.com/wp-content/uploads/Demandbase-eBook-ABM-for-Sales-Playbook.pdf

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