Account-based marketing (ABM) is evolving and growing in popularity in the B2B world. Whether large or small, teams are more than willing to implement an ABM strategy to ensure increases in win rates and revenue. The use of advanced tools like an ABM platform has increased to match the ABM demand.
An ABM platform is a game-changing tool that helps you find, engage, and close best-fit accounts and drive higher revenue, enabling you to get the ABM results you want. While different elements make up an ABM platform and enable it to plan and execute successful ABM campaigns at scale, there’s nothing that can replace B2B data.
Let’s dive into how ABM platforms work and how data supports their functionality.
What is ABM?
ABM is a focused and targeted business marketing tactic. It involves the sales and marketing teams working in unison to mutually identify a set of high-value accounts and create personalized campaigns to engage and delight them. Each of these accounts is individually targeted with personalized messages.
80% of marketers say ABM improves customer lifetime values, while 86% say it improves win rates. Further, 87% of account-based marketers say ABM initiatives outperform other marketing investments.
ABM enables B2B companies to filter out less-valuable accounts early on and start concentrating their sales and marketing efforts on best-fit accounts. Furthermore, each mutually-identified set of high-value accounts is targeted as an individual market in ABM. All of this results in fewer wasted resources, greater customer loyalty, higher ROI, and faster deal closing.
The success of an ABM campaign is closely tied to the quality and usage of B2B data. Several aspects of ABM including personalization, sales and marketing alignment, and account coverage are powered by B2B data.
Marketers strongly agree that advanced data management (43%) and personalized content (56%) are keys to the success of ABM. Moreover, 43% of B2B marketers say unreliable data on who to target within accounts is an ABM challenge.
What is an ABM Platform?
An ABM platform is a powerful solution to create and execute an ABM program at scale and with precision targeting. Fueled by AI and proprietary B2B data, it equips sales and marketing teams with technologically-sophisticated features and capabilities to realize higher revenue growth through ABM. It does so by positively impacting the sales pipeline and marketing funnel while creating personalized account-based experiences.
ABM platforms can be easily integrated with popular CRMs, marketing automation platforms, and sales and marketing technologies. Some of their common features are:
- Account selection, profiling, and targeting
- Audience segmentation
- Account-based analytics and predictive analytics
- Account-based advertising
- Website personalization
- Sales intelligence and data-based insights
- Multichannel outreach orchestration
- Sales and marketing coordination
- Go-to-market activity measurement and attribution
Why You Need ABM Platforms
Here are four key reasons for B2B companies to use ABM platforms.
An ABM platform takes the difficulty out of identifying, understanding, prioritizing, and targeting the right audiences. It enables businesses to stay in front of ideal accounts or next best customers, even those outside of their database, with hyper-relevant messaging.
An ABM platform also allows businesses to create dynamic, strategic audience segments to deliver more effective targeting, content, and brand impression customized for them. Teams can leverage a modern ABM platform to take audience segmentation a step further by creating stage-based segments for each part of the buyer’s journey.
Segmentation helps businesses know where exactly target accounts are in their buyer’s journey and hit them with the right ABM messaging at every stage. The result will be increased deal closures as target accounts stay engaged and quickly move along their buyer’s journey.
An ABM platform engages accounts at the right time and where they are – whether at the office, home, or outside carrying their mobile device. An ABM platform helps your B2B brand achieve top of mind awareness with precision-targeted display ads. It delivers targeted ads to the right accounts almost across every digital channel they use – website, search engine, chat, email, social media, video, or general web browsing.
An ABM platform can be used as a single system to engage target accounts with personalized, consistent ad experiences across multiple channels. ABM platform providers usually have massive advertiser network capabilities that allow users to meet their audience almost anywhere across the web.
Besides buyer’s journey stage-based ABM campaigns, it allows you to set up and run one-to-one, persona-based, industry vertical-based, and intent-based campaigns. You can also use it to create campaigns targeting your competitor’s audience.
Measurement and attribution
An ABM platform offers deep account-based analytics, account visibility, full-funnel ABM revenue analytics, and pipeline impact insights. This helps B2B companies measure their ABM campaigns, ensure accurate revenue attribution, analyze how sales and marketing are impacting ABM, and create customizable reports.
You can produce multi-touch attribution reports using an ABM platform to know which touchpoint or channel contributed the most or least to drive conversions in your ABM campaigns. These reports will help you allocate more funds or resources to touchpoints or channels that are producing the most revenue and new business. With opportunity insights, an ABM platform enables you to analyze every sales and marketing touchpoint that resulted in conversion and how your new customers and opportunities moved along their buyer’s journey.
Additionally, an ABM platform provides campaign-specific reports to understand how your ABM programs perform against your goals and what type of messages and channels are driving campaign results. These reports also inform you how each target account is interacting with your campaign, besides giving you a holistic presentation of how different campaigns impact revenue.
One of the requisites for achieving ABM success is enabling your sales and marketing teams to work in lockstep with each other. With complete visibility into sales and marketing activities, your reps will be able to pursue the right accounts in perfect coordination, increasing the odds of generating more closed deals.
An ABM platform empowers sales and marketing teams to reach their common goal: generating more revenue. It combines your ABM, CRM, and marketing automation data to keep your sales and marketing teams aligned, right from the first brand interaction to deal closing to post-sales or customer success.
With an ABM platform, your sales reps can quickly close deals from the demand created by your marketers. Your sales and marketing reps will be reading from the same playbook as your ABM platform centralizes revenue, pipeline, and opportunity data as well as contact and account-level buyer, relationship, engagement, and activity insights.
Insights gained from an ABM platform allow your sales and marketing teams to mutually define account engagement and receive alerts when accounts perform activities valuable to your business. An ABM platform provides real-time insights into intent behaviors, online activities like website visits, meetings, email conversations, and historical activities of key personas and target accounts. These insights empower your sales team to know how target accounts are responding to your marketing efforts and take action right away.
How B2B Data Powers ABM Platforms
B2B data is a vital element that enables ABM platforms to function as they should. Here are important benefits ABM platforms provide to businesses on the back of B2B data.
B2B data, along with AI and machine learning, empowers an ABM platform to help users to identify accounts that are the best fit to their ideal customer profile (ICP). With intent, firmographic, and other data, an ABM platform lets B2B companies know which accounts are likely to become opportunities.
You can modify the ability of an ABM platform to determine how closely accounts fit your ICP. You can do this by defining the keyword sets, qualifications, opportunities, and account activities that best match your ICP.
Powered by behavior, intent, firmographic, technographic, relationship, and CRM data, an ABM platform makes it easy for businesses to identify, segment, and prioritize target accounts for ABM campaigns. This helps businesses to avoid wasting their ABM budget on the wrong people. Instead, they can direct their efforts to accounts that are ready to buy or demonstrate the highest propensity to buy.
Also, B2B data allows an ABM platform to help businesses run ABM campaigns tailored to their targeted audience segments. This includes microtargeting where ABM ads are exclusively focused on specific people within a target account or that belong to a particular category. For example, an ABM platform fueled with B2B data can help target people with a specific job title or function in a department.
Air coverage for sales and marketing
Backed by B2B data, an ABM platform can boost your sales and marketing efforts by strategically serving targeted ads to ABM-focused accounts ahead of your reps reaching them. These ads are based on real behaviors, buying intent signals, engagement, and other data. The ads are delivered across different channels where target accounts spend most of their time. Using such ads in parallel with your sales and marketing efforts can significantly improve your ABM results.
You can warm up sales conversations before they happen as the ads have already created brand recognition and familiarity. Once you load in your target accounts and contacts into your ABM platform, the system will target ads specifically at them. So, by the time your sales reps reach out to them via email, phone, or social media, they would already know who you are, what you offer, and how you can benefit them.
B2B data allows an ABM platform to provide customer-facing teams with actionable sales, marketing, and revenue insights to win and retain more business. With all communication history and sales and marketing activities of target accounts stored in one place, an ABM platform helps B2B companies personalize their ABM campaigns. It also helps them stay ready to deliver proactive personalization whenever required.
Thanks to B2B data and AI, an ABM platform enables businesses to offer personalized, consistent, and customized website experiences. Besides website visitor behavior data, demographics, psychographics, geo-location, and other types of data are leveraged to create a one-on-one, exclusive, and custom-made web experiences for target accounts.
ABM platform users can personalize any landing page on their website with the most relevant content and precision-targeted messaging for accounts based on buying stage, account name, industry, job role, company, etc. This results in higher online engagement, lead conversions, and paid spend optimization, all contributing to the success of ABM campaigns.
B2B data supports an ABM platform’s ability to create highly personalized campaigns. It does so by allowing ABM platform users to create hyper-relevant ads that tightly segment their target audience, tailor endless sub-segments, increase lead-to-account matching, and achieve higher advertising match rates.
Sales and marketing alignment
B2B data is one of the most critical components of an ABM platform that empowers it to promote sales and marketing alignment in ABM campaigns. An ABM platform gives insight into how accounts engage with your brand via email, ad, website, social media, and other channels. It then leverages the engagement data to create a list of prioritized accounts for sales. Prioritization helps shorten the sales cycle and close deals faster.
A data-driven ABM platform also gives sales teams a clear view of revenue or a target’s journey so they could pick up where marketers left off and see a deal to completion. Understanding how target accounts are responding to marketing efforts or which marketing touchpoints are driving engagement allows salespeople to become effective in closing deals. Furthermore, with demand data for target accounts based on their product-specific engagement salespeople can identify cross-selling or upselling opportunities.
Intent data takes the ABM game to the next level. With buying intent signals, an ABM platform identifies which accounts are actively researching your brand, showing high interest, or searching for your competitors. Your marketers can then target ads to these accounts when and where they want to hear from you. Furthermore, your sales team can prioritize and reach out to these accounts with the right messages when they are the most interested in you.
An ABM platform equipped with B2B data can provide businesses with key insights into specific accounts and a large picture of the pipeline impact from their ABM campaigns. It keeps sales and marketing teams on the same page and allows them to speak the same language right from the get-go through the end of an ABM campaign. It makes it possible for sales and marketing teams to see account or pipeline progression in a single view.
With B2B data, an ABM platform offers valuable insights into all digital interactions, engagement, human touchpoints, and other activities between a brand and target accounts and contacts. Intent, technographic, firmographic, and other data identify valuable accounts and enrich existing ones. Also, B2B data enables an ABM platform to automatically create contacts in your CRM based on engagement and interactions like meetings and emails.
Moreover, when target accounts visit your website or consume your content elsewhere on the web, an ABM platform can recognize them and serve them the right messages. With heat maps and spike reports, you can identify contacts and profiles within an account that are engaged with your brand. You can also use pipeline prediction scores to pick accounts that are most likely to buy.
Bad Data Wastes Your ABM Dollars
With annual database decay occurring at a whopping 60-70%, B2B companies can’t afford to take any chances with their data accuracy, hygiene, and enrichment. Data is at the core of any ABM strategy, and an ABM campaign is only as good as the quality of the data used.
Bad data is one of the top problems B2B companies face when reaching their target audience or ABM goals. It’s essential to identify and remove it as soon as possible.
88% of B2B marketers believe that data quality is important to executing an ABM strategy. Data hygiene should be at the top of the list of data management priorities for ABM platforms and campaigns. Maintaining data hygiene is not only about eliminating incorrect data, but it also involves data deduplication, accuracy validation, verification and re-verification, error monitoring, cleansing, appending, governance, and standardization.
Failing to maintain data hygiene results in:
- Flawed sales, marketing, revenue, account, and other ABM insights
- Poor ABM ROI and expensive data maintenance costs
- Low sales and marketing productivity and lack of team confidence
- Erroneous ad targeting, account segmentation, and personalization
- Lost opportunities to identify and convert high-value accounts
Inaccurate data wastes 546 hours of sales rep time annually, and 10-25% of B2B marketing database contacts contain critical errors. Further, the average cost of poor data quality on businesses amounts to up to $14.2 million annually. Without top-notch data hygiene, it’s nearly impossible for B2B companies to make the best use of ABM platforms and achieve their ABM goals.
Some of the best data hygiene maintenance practices are removing corrupted or useless data, finding and scrubbing structural database errors, consolidating duplicate data, identifying and filling missing information, and adding new data using standard protocols. Since all of these activities consume a lot of time, manpower, and other resources, it’s recommended to use professional data cleansing and hygiene services.
94% of businesses suspect that their customer and prospect data are inaccurate. Customer or prospect data keeps changing, and maintaining a consistent, accurate, and updated database is a challenge. It’s essential to regularly conduct data enrichment to ensure ABM platforms are at the top of their ROI.
Enriching CRM and marketing automation data significantly improves ABM platform performance and gives B2B companies a strong chance to exceed their ABM targets.
Data enrichment helps you with real-time updated information for target accounts and expand your knowledge about customers and prospects. An ABM platform having enriched data enables B2B companies to boost targeted sales and marketing, segment properly, personalize ABM messages and CTAs, and reduce data management costs.
In addition, enriched data in ABM platforms empowers businesses to foster meaningful relationships, enhance customer service, and maximize lead generation and nurturing.
B2B data is the engine that powers ABM platforms. It’s indispensable to have accurate, clean, and updated B2B data in your ABM platform.
Partnering with a full-service B2B data provider is one of the best ways to guarantee a continuous flow of error-free, enriched, validated, and verified data to ABM platforms. If you’re using an ABM platform, let a leading, end-to-end B2B contact and company data provider like SalesIntel handle your data needs.
SalesIntel has over 6.2 million human-verified contacts, more than 77 million machine-processed data points, and a comprehensive, all-inclusive B2B company database. They have the most direct dials in the industry and cover a range of data requirements, including account-based, intent, geographic, demographic, firmographic, technographic, and psychographic data. Further, they maintain 95% data accuracy and reverify their data every 90 days.
Want to know how SalesIntel can fuel your ABM platform or improve your ABM ROI? Schedule a free trial today.