Today, more than ever, businesses are looking toward the relationship that they have with their customers. It is becoming clearer that the average consumer is more interested in the overall customer experience. The fact is, everyone claims to be “the best in the biz” with the “finest products” and “unparalleled services”; which is why consumers look for and hold onto businesses that not only talk a big game, but walk the walk as well.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at how the expectations that consumers have of organisations have evolved and what brands can do to meet those demands – more specifically, with a focus on account-based marketing (ABX); what is it and what steps can you take in order to ensure that your ABX strategy is optimised with expert precision.
Let’s start with the basics: What is ABM compared to ABX?
You will likely be familiar with account-based marketing already, (if not, check out our blog on What is ABX) and the way it focuses on valuable accounts to leverage stronger, more profitable customer relationships. ABX is an evolution of ABM with a focus on quality over quantity. (We’ve also got an explainer on What is ABM.)
While ABM tends to cater toward identifying and nurturing as many valuable accounts as possible, ABX goes after the highest quality accounts with an emphasis on total customer satisfaction – ideally resulting in the client doubling back to make more purchases and thus creating an endless loop of continued satisfaction and repeat business.
Why is Account-Based Experience So Valuable?
Is ABX really all that? What does it bring to the table? If any of the following sound appealing to you then stick around for our 6-step guide to optimising an ABX strategy that slaps:
- Align your sales and marketing efforts
- Unearth new customers using contemporary methods
- Increased the importance of your most valued accounts
- Create a stronger bond with your customers and deepen your understanding of them
- Provide a consistent user experience across the board
- Measure the return on your investments with greater accuracy
- Streamline and drive your sales cycles to greater heights
- Provide a truly positive and memorable brand experience
As you can see, account-based experience can bring great value to your business; now, how can you optimise yours for guaranteed success? Here’s everything you need to know…
Step 1 – Build a solid team
The first step is, of course, putting together a solid team who can handle your ABX requirements. Bear in mind that ABX is something that many organisations choose to outsource to third-party creative agencies who specialise in it. However, should you want to keep it in-house, you’ll need the following people on the job:
- An executive sponsor
- RevOps department
- Account executive leader
- Sales department leader
- Service leaders
- Support leader
Step 2 – Outline your goals
Once your ABX dream team has been assembled, you need to look at your strategies and outline your goals. Once they are aligned you can begin activating your strategy. Again, with account-based experience it’s all about quality, not quantity. Here are some of the things to focus on:
- Language: everyone must be on the same page with terminology.
- Alignment: structure alignment around transparency across departments.
- Expectations: make sure everyone understands the desired results and what is expected of them.
- Customer acquisition: everyone must have a firm grasp of your marketing funnel and the varying methods in which you handle customers throughout the user journey.
Step 3 – Choose the right account based marketing tech
Of course, the key to account-based experience is having the proper software in place. The ideal software choice will help with lead generation in your specific market, product / service type, and company size. Not only that, but it can help in a wide variety of other ways, namely providing a central location for all parties involved to monitor and manage your most valuable accounts.
This is arguably the most important step. If you are overwhelmed by this decision, it may be worth considering hiring a third-party creative agency and ABX specialist to help set up and manage your strategies. By doing so, you’ll be leveraging their existing software which will likely be integrated with your current IT systems seamlessly.
Once established, you’ll have unparalleled insights into your customers and as such, you’ll be able to approach and interact with them in ways that your competition couldn’t possibly dream of keeping up with.
Step 4 – Build your ideal ICP (ideal customer profile)
Before you can truly launch your ABX, you need to gain a thorough understanding of not only your total addressable market, but the ideal customer profile that you’ll be going after. You’ll need to think about:
- Company size
- Product fit
- Strategic importance
- Company revenue
- Their competitors
- What their goals are
- What kind of valuable digital experiences they can benefit from
Leverage lead scoring to determine which accounts must be prioritised based on:
- Their recent activity
- The nature of their activity
- Account engagement
With a thorough understanding of your ICP, you will be in a far better position to locate and nurture the key accounts that will bring your business the most value.
Step 5 – Content development
Next it’s all about producing a continuous stream of superior quality marketing content that has been designed to resonate with your ICP:
- Conduct outreach and research what types of content best resonates with your specific clients.
- Personalise your content and ensure that it is both strong and practically flawless in order to bypass the competition and resonate directly – use relevant language and appeal to challenges that customers are currently facing.
- Engage your customer using omni-channel content, with an emphasis on content evolution throughout each stage of the journey:
- Early/pre-purchase: blogs, eBooks, infographics and webinars, etc.
- Mid/growing interest: buying guides, ROI calculators, analyst reports, etc.
- Late/evaluation stage: pricing reports, demos, service/product info, third-party reviews, case studies, etc.
- By creating consistent, quality content you can increase your outreach, grow your customer base, and ultimately increase revenue.
Step 6 – Execute your great ABX strategy
With everything in place and a solid plan laid out before you it is time to execute your ABX strategies. Following that, you must periodically measure, evaluate, and optimise your account-based experience for future growth and continued success. In order to help you determine as to how well you are doing, consider the following indicators:
- There is increased involvement from target accounts
- Your content exposure is increasing
- There is a better response to more personalised content
- There are more meeting requests coming your way
- You notice an increase in revenue
- Your average sales cycle and deal size has bolstered
- Stakeholder growth
- Progression of customers through sales funnel
Then, identify what areas need improving and adjust your strategies accordingly. Bear in mind that this isn’t a process that you are likely to get right on the first attempt. It is built on trial and error and when you make a conscious effort to record and learn from your findings, you’ll be far better positioned to adapt.
Contact us for more information on quality account-based experience strategies
Are you feeling overwhelmed by it all? Do you feel as though ABX is something you’d like to implement but need specialist assistance? Whatever the case, get in touch with us today and we would be delighted to help you explore ABX and its potential further.