In account-based marketing, you know who you’re trying to reach.
It’s one of the perks of the approach: You cast a narrow net, instead of a wide one. You spend less time hunting for those who may be interested and more time converting those you know already are.
At the same time, ABM is not without its challenges — most notably this: Sure, you know the executives you’re trying to reach, but how do you get them to engage?
Building an effective executive engagement strategy is both art and science. In our work helping dozens of companies design effective executive engagement strategies, we’ve collected some best practices to take your ABM approach to the next level.
Do your homework.
When you’re targeting the C-suite, personas aren’t enough. You need to source real information on the companies you’re targeting and the executives you’re trying to reach. You’re looking for:
- Business priorities — Have you listened to the latest earnings calls? Do you know the company’s overarching focus areas? Do you know what they’ve tried in the past, and what hasn’t worked? All of this is vital information as you formulate a plan for executive engagement.
- Personal backgrounds — Do you know where your target executives have worked in the past? Do you know what strategies they’re partial to? Do you know their predictions for the industry as a whole? Do you know what they studied in college? All of that factors into how they approach their work and, as a result, should inform how you approach yours.
- Interests — Yes, it’s important to know the business, but it can be equally valuable to understand who your prospects are as people. What hobbies do they have? What languages do they speak? Where do they volunteer their time? These can all inform your approach to outreach, event planning and executive communications.
Analyze the data.
You’ve done your homework and collected all the information. Now, it’s time to analyze what you’ve got.
Among your prospects’ business priorities, where is the overlap? Among their interests, where are the common threads? Among their backgrounds, what can you learn that applies to the whole? Analyzing the data will help you design a strategy with the biggest probability of success.
Information and analysis will point you in the right direction, and then it’s up to you to think outside the box. Don’t give your prospects what they’ve come to expect from C-level sales and marketing teams. Look for ways you can delight, intrigue and add value.
We’ve seen ABM teams create intimate private chef experiences for their prospects via Zoom, host sporting events centered on cricket instead of golf and design communications strategies focused on solving problems first and making a sale second. When you show your prospects you think strategically and that you’ve prioritized their focus areas or interests, you stand the highest chance of success.