Owing to the rise in digital content, business enterprises are much better equipped with the required knowledge to make purchasing decisions – making it harder for potential vendors to sell their products and services. In such a challenging B2B marketing landscape, small businesses aiming for higher conversions must determine the exact position of their prospects in a buying cycle and then help their sales and marketing departments drive their marketing messages more effectively.Customer Relationship Management – vector illustrationWhat is Account Based Marketing (ABM)?Account Based Marketing (ABM) is a business-to-business (B2B) strategy which helps sales and marketing resources craft marketing messages to high-value customers in specific niches. ABM is applicable to B2B enterprises who must differentiate between good leads and bad leads in order to focus their resources better and more productively, and optimize their conversion rate.How is it different from traditional marketing funnel?In a traditional marketing funnel, B2B businesses would focus on acquiring a large number of prospective customers. However, by offering accurate data about customers at various buying cycles, ABM helps sales and marketing align their efforts and pursue leads based on their exact location in the buying cycle, thereby improving conversions.How Does it Work?Account Based Marketing (ABM) identifies high value prospects in a company who are researching products and services, and then articulates sales programs and marketing messages to meet their needs across an entire buying a cycle.According to a study by SiriusDecisions, while 92 percent of companies recognized the value of ABM, only 20 percent had full programs in place. However, 34 percent of businesses surveyed claimed ABM programs helped them become tightly aligned with their sales.Here’s what ABM actually does:Align sales and marketing teams.Mine data to identify named accounts of highest opportunityEstablish the influencers and key stakeholders among the named accounts.Craft marketing messages to address specific needs and challenges of the named accounts.Identify the most effective communication tools to target named accounts.Assess the effectiveness of the marketing and sales efforts and optimize them accordingly.Benefits of Account Based MarketingIn the past, a conventional approach to ABM strategy consisted of manual, tedious and time-intensive tasks of mining customers’ data. Today, ABM strategy combines marketing automation technology and customer relationship management (CRM) software to automate the entire process and optimize sales and marketing messages targeted at potential named accounts.According to Marketo, here are the five most compelling benefits of Account Based Marketing:Higher ROI: Owing to its sophisticated customer profiling mechanism, Account Based Marketing is said to deliver an exceptionally better return on investment (ROI) than other sales and marketing programs. As per the 2016 ITSMA Account-Based Marketing Survey, as many as 84% of companies engaged in ABM said they were seeing higher ROI.Reduce Resource Waste: ABM programs are designed to target influencers and key employees in a company, which helps your sales and marketing to concentrate their efforts on the key stakeholders of the prospective company for a better response. Hence, it saves you resources that would otherwise be wasted chasing unqualified leads.Personal and Optimized Messages: ABM allows you to personalize your message for the target named accounts, thereby ensuring active and positive engagement, leading to higher conversion. When your sales and marketing teams craft their message around the pressing needs of your prospects, you’re likely to elicit positive engagement, more often than not.Clear Goal Tracking and Easy Monitoring: Service providers can see how effectively money spent on marketing directly translates to sales and revenue. This helps vendors spend their money on messaging platforms having proven benefits for the specific named accounts. It also helps you monitor engagement and make necessary adjustments for performance optimization from time to time.Easy Sales Alignment: Vendors deploying ABM programs are able to achieve tight alignment between their sales and marketing efforts. In fact, with pre-qualified named accounts and close alignment between sales and marketing, the marketing team learns to act like sales representatives, focusing their efforts to bring the prospects to the table and improve revenue.Final ThoughtsWith more companies waking up to the proven benefits of Account Based Marketing, its adoption is poised to increase in the coming years. In a time when vendors are growing increasingly skeptical of traditional marketing tools in the face of unqualified leads and wasted marketing resources, ABM is gradually emerging as a savior of B2B marketers across the globe.What are your thoughts on Account Based Marketing programs? Please, let us know in the comments below.About Bento for BusinessBento for Business offers a new generation of technology-driven SMART employee expense cards for SMBs, nonprofits, organizations and associations in the form of a business prepaid MasterCard. 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