What is account-based experience (ABX)?
What is account-based experience? Account-based experience (or ABX) is a new and innovative marketing strategy that relies on data and insights in order to carry out relevant, trusted marketing and sales actions in the business to business customer journey.
This customer-focused way of thinking is account-based and one that combines your ability to engage inbound marketing, coupled with the precision and targeting capability of account-based marketing. Read on if you’d like to find out more about how this can benefit your business.
How does ABX get you high-quality, qualified leads?
So, how can you use ABX to pick up new, high-quality qualified leads? Traditional general mapping tools are built around the individual buyer as they progress along your sales funnel before becoming a marketing qualified lead. However, as you know, in every business to business deal there are a number of parties involved, from the influencer, the decision maker, the end user, the CFO, and procurement department (to name a few).
Sales teams have always adopted an account-based approach, but with the rise of ABM, marketing teams have started to get involved with the process. The only trouble is, ABM focuses on identifying and engaging with potentially valuable accounts regardless of whether the timing is right – something that customers hate.
This is where ABX comes into play. Yes, it is about engaging with potential buyers and using the right message, but it is delivered in an authentic way, on terms that suit the customer. This is a fundamental re-thinking of an otherwise dated process.
ABX focuses on the customer at every single stage of the buying journey and by leveraging data and insights, understands precisely when and how to engage with each account without the risk of scaring them off or applying too much pressure, too soon.
ABX is an innovative way to improve customer experience (CX)
The key to driving revenue, retaining customers and ensuring the highest levels of satisfaction is by making a solid impression as they move throughout the buyer journey. Businesses who are willing to invest in creating these positive experiences can expect to grow their business 40% faster, improve their retention by 70%, and increase the overall customer lifetime value by 1.6x and over.
ABX takes the same principles that apply to quality CX – empathy, trust, and relevance – and applies them to the account-based methodology with a human touch.
Ultimately, the key principle of ABX is to recognise that our buyers are inundated with an abundance of information, and a scarcity of attention. This makes most other forms of interruption marketing both ineffective and unethical. Instead, you need to build trust with your potential customers by identifying the appropriate moments when they will genuinely be open for engagement and then orchestrate those ideal interactions across your sales and marketing teams and provide them with the information that they need at that exact moment.
The impacts of attention scarcity
In this digital age, the new generation has an even shorter attention span than previous generations. This is largely due to the overwhelming amount of information at their fingertips. As such, it’s important to catch their attention and engage with it wisely. Below are some of the impacts of attention scarcity:
Buyers are inundated with content:
Potential buyers are subject to a mass amount of information in the forms of blog, e-books, webinars, product reviews, video, emails, phone calls, text messages, and so much more. As such, companies are constantly fighting to get their buyer’s attention. The result is that most people fighting for their customer’s attention end up producing poor content and the customer gets a negative experience as a result.
Buyers are far harder to reach than ever before:
People don’t like being marketed to and don’t like feeling sold to. They let you know this by opting-out and avoiding any unwanted interruptions. In fact, many consumers will do whatever they can to try and avoid filling out forms and remain anonymous lest they be subject to unwanted sales calls and emails.
Buyers do their research before they proceed to sales:
Buyers like to do their research before they talk with a sales representative. Today, buyers are doing more and more third-party research which subsequently hides their behaviours from the more traditional methods of marketing automation scoring (e.g., website analytics).
Buyers are spending less time with suppliers and more time engaging with one another:
Research shows that buyers only spend 17% of the buying process meeting with potential vendors and this is shared across multiple competitors meaning that each one may only get around 5% interaction. In contrast, they spend at least 25% of the time meeting with and engaging other consumers in the buying process.
Overcoming these issues and refining the account journey
So, now that we have a deeper understanding of attention scarcity, what can be done to overcome it and secure the best possible qualified leads?
The fact is, the above points put B2B companies in a difficult situation. Yes, we want to respect our customers and avoid reaching out to them unnecessarily. However, this doesn’t change the fact that such prospective customers are conducting a lot of the buying journey on their own, anonymously – making it difficult for us to gauge their position.
In other words, if we are waiting for the prospect to fill out a contact form on our website then we may have waited too long. The prospect may have already learned too much, formed their own opinions, and likely already have a preferred vendor in mind (which likely isn’t you). Or worse than that, a competitor may already close a deal with them before you even get a chance to engage with them.
Fortunately, account-based experience resolves this issue altogether by aligning your go-to-market processes to the account journey. What this means is that using ABX enables you to see precisely where the account is in its decision making process and ultimately orchestrate the right experience every single step of the way. Here’s how it works:
Qualified: In the early stages of the journey you focus on building trust.
Aware: Next you move from emotion to logic.
Engaged: Reinforce the logical next steps with educational information that reinforces your brand-values.
MQA: If the account is showing signs of ‘being in the market’ it is the ideal time for sales teams to reach out in a relevant and helpful manner.
Opportunity: Once the customer is engaging with your sales team use case studies, reviews, and analytical reports validate their thinking and engage in a scalable way.
Customer: Now is the time to take that engagement further and deepen your relationship with the customer by offering high-end ‘how-to’ content and helping the account to see the additional benefits of engaging with your services.
Post-sale: You can then enhance the post-sale experience by identifying key-opportunities and engaging them with the right information at the right times.
Modern marketing solutions
In this ever-evolving digital age where competition to retain a prospective customer’s attention is rife, finding modern marketing solutions is an essentiality. ABX allows you to work with modern buyers on their own terms, anonymously, when they want to.
It is always based on trust and is designed to provide a far superior customer experience, whilst delivering better long-term results for your business and for the customer in question.
To learn more about our approach book a 15min discovery session.