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Three Ways to Maximize Your ABM Budget

Melody Selby
May 3, 2023 8 MIN Blog

During times of economic uncertainty, it’s important to maintain your campaign spending to drive ongoing engagement and continued program success. Even when times are hard, you need to accomplish two things: 

  1. Your brand needs to be visible and recognizable in the market.
  2. Information about your solution should be easily searchable and accessible to buyers.  

You can meet these objectives by having a persistent presence through a marketing content strategy that maintains brand visibility and market positioning. 

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a proven go-to-market strategy that focuses on the best-fit accounts, surrounds the entire buying committee and drives engagement by delivering personalized messaging and content that communicates your value. While ABM builds stronger customer relationships at all times, it is even more invaluable when marketers are increasingly asked to do more with less while maintaining brand visibility and market positioning. It’s the best way to work smarter, not harder, during economic turbulence. 

Marketers see a clearer path to success with ABM, delivering faster pipeline velocity, higher account conversion rates, and larger deal sizes. It enables you to get more out of your existing marketing budget by focusing your time, resources, and efforts only targeting accounts demonstrating the highest propensity to purchase. How can you and your team leverage ABM to create a strategic marketing plan that delivers the highest return? Ensure you get the most out of your program efforts with our three tips for maximizing your ABM budget.  

Keep Marketing and Sales Teams Aligned  

True sales and marketing alignment is key to the success of your ABM strategy. When marketing and sales are aligned, they can work together to identify the best-fit accounts, develop comprehensive KPIs, and create an effective strategy that speaks directly to target customer needs. Your sales team is on the front lines, having regular conversations you can convert into helpful insights for customer behavior, preferences, challenges, and values. Use those to fuel your outreach and personalize your campaigns. The goal is a cohesive, personalized customer experience through your content and sales interactions. Stronger sales and marketing team alignment helps ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

Look to sales insights to help you:  

  • Align ABM campaign messaging with account priorities to amplify campaign effectiveness and maximize account engagement.  
  • Identify common objections from prospects that marketers can address before reaching the sales pipeline, which proactively shrinks the sales cycle.  
  • Understand where and why pending deals get stuck or stall and how adjusting campaigns around specific funnel stages can push these prospective accounts past the line.  
  • Perceive gaps and areas of opportunities in campaign performance based on what the sales team says is working and what’s not.  

Sales and marketing alignment is key to executing an account-based strategy that drives revenue impact, increases customer satisfaction, and in turn, improves customer retention rates. Even faced with economic turbulence, support between sales and marketing becomes even more crucial to your bottom line. 

Once your sales and marketing teams understand the need to collaborate, it’s time to take steps to better align your data, resources, and goals. Consider these three steps:  

  1. Increase Communication: Good things happen when people start talking. Set regular meetings to discuss goals, create strategies, align on what prospects and customers need to invest, and plan the content and resources required to succeed. So many issues arise between sales and marketing due to simple misunderstandings of the other’s roles and activities. Keeping the lines of communication open between these teams will help eliminate confusion before it becomes a point of contention.
  2. Share Goals: It’s essential to establish standard metrics that track sales and marketing’s combined performance alongside individual achievements. This ensures that teams share the responsibility of meeting revenue goals and, more importantly, finding opportunities to improve processes as they work towards achieving them.
  3. Combine Data: Data is the backbone of any successful ABM campaign, and you can’t have a strong ABM campaign without incorporating both sales and marketing data. Aligning both teams’ data provides a fuller picture of your target accounts and their buyer’s journey. This allows you to deliver a better customer experience to increase brand trust and loyalty. 

Prioritize Upsell and Cross-Sell Opportunities  

When budgets get squeezed, companies often shift their attention from acquiring new customers to looking for ways to land and expand with current accounts. Leverage ABM to upsell and cross-sell opportunities with existing customers since it enables you to laser-focus on creating more personalized experiences for them beyond conversion.  Not only is upselling and cross-selling a more cost-effective way to generate more value, but it also helps maintain customer trust and build on the foundation you already have with them. Marketing Metrics finds it’s 50% easier to sell to existing customers than new prospects. These accounts are already fans of your company; why not drill down to ensure they remain loyal customers while exploring additional sources of value you can provide? 

Using ABM in upselling and cross-selling opportunities help you:  

  • Grow existing customer relationships and larger wallet allocation with personalized campaigns tailored to their needs and interests. ABM provides a level of personalization you can use to strengthen customer relationships and increase the odds of cross-sell and upsell opportunities.  
  • Focus marketing efforts for existing customers further down the funnel. Since these accounts already know and invest in your brand, you don’t have to waste resources on awareness campaigns and demand generation content and advertising. By engaging further into the funnel, you can accelerate time to close on cross-sell/upsell opportunities with precise and targeted content that speaks directly to the account.  
  • Understand common pain points, success stories, trends, and use cases when engaging with these existing customers. This shows your customers you’re listening to them and increases brand loyalty and trust.  

Existing customers are a valuable source of revenue through upsell and cross-sell activities, and ABM is a powerful strategy to help you do so with precision. You’ll maximize your budget by identifying their specific needs and tailoring your marketing efforts accordingly. 

Once you’re ready to prioritize upsell and cross-sell opportunities, consider these helpful tips: 

  1. Consider the timing and their needs: Get to know your customers and what’s occurring in their lifecycle. For example, you wouldn’t sell them a blog management platform when they just outsourced their blog management. Think of their current problems and the value your additional solution provides once they notice your services’ value, customers will ask for more. Encourage your sales team to share 6-month interval insights into the relationship. You can turn one sale into multiple purchases or a larger investment by being acquainted with your customers and their needs.
  2. Map out your customer journey: Think about how your solution helps a company solve a business problem and how it can help them grow. When do they start seeing the fruits of their investment? Try to map out these cross-sell/upsell opportunities based on the performance and outcomes your product gives them.
  3. Encourage your sales team to check-in with customers: Determine a time frame for your sales team to check-in with existing customers. Could be six months, for example. They can use this time to gauge their satisfaction with your solution and if they can expand. Have your sales team group their current accounts by timeframe or readiness to expand into more solutions. 

Establish clear KPIs, Expectations, and Objectives  

Establishing your expectations, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs) suitably can help sustain alignment throughout your ABM campaign’s progression and maximize your budget. It’s important to stay rooted in your strategy and tweak it when necessary. Don’t get short-sighted with metrics that don’t matter to your overall campaign success, like “sale or no sale.” This won’t help you understand what is working and what’s not so you can adjust. Instead, consider the outcome you want to see from your target accounts and how marketing contributed. We like to think of marketing metrics related to the pipeline through the lens of the 3 V’s: volume, value, and velocity 

Value helps you understand how big of an influence deal size your content has on buyers. If the deal is smaller, focus on communicating the value of investing more as part of your messaging.  

Volume tells you what level of attention your content gets by how many leads and opportunities are in your pipeline.  

And velocity helps you understand how effectively your content converts an account from an opportunity to a customer. B2B sales cycles can stretch for any length of time, you can tell if your content is a winner if accounts convert faster than previous campaigns.   

Establishing clear KPIs, expectations, and objectives help you:  

  • Know when it’s time to adjust your strategy for a stronger impact. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change it to reduce media and advertising budget waste.  
  • Inform future campaigns and your content strategy. If you want to launch a campaign that converts a Tier 2 customer to a Tier 1, don’t waste your resources giving this customer the wrong content.  
  • Report on what matters. Stronger reporting helps prove marketing’s contribution to the pipeline and revenue, allowing you to make a stronger case for an increase in budget or the argument that you were succeeding with what you had. 

Drive More Pipeline with Less 

While implementing ABM is an effective strategy for marketers to work smarter, not harder, at any time, it’s a critical approach in the face of an economic downturn. You can maximize your ABM budget by aligning marketing and sales teams, prioritizing upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and establishing clear KPIs, expectations, and objectives. By following these internal strategies, stay assured that you’re achieving your ABM goals and maximizing your ABM budget. With a solid ABM approach, your marketing team can build stronger relationships with target accounts through a persistent presence, convert more opportunities into deals, and drive dependable revenue for your company.