The old sales funnel is losing ground. Prospects are getting pounded with sales communication and attention is limited. Sales communications that are highly personalized are winning. Here is a look at account-based marketing (ABM) and the steps needed to begin.

What Is Account-based Marketing?

Well, you probably know full-funnel marketing starts by dividing the funnel into two parts: the upper funnel, where you reach your target audience, and the lower funnel, where you nurture your prospects. Traditional marketers focus on email to nurture, but new technologies help change the way this is done. Part of the reason this is necessary is that prospects spend 23 hours per week on email, social media, and texting.

Prospects are influenced by personal recommendations, social content, display and search advertisements and online reviews. Capitalizing upon this change is imperative but so is the need to flesh out a plan to achieve growth marketing.

Some primary elements of growth marketing include market definition, audience analysis, market, lead and demand generation, and sales enablement. To cover these elements strategically, a modern marketer should rely on key tools like public relations, website strategy, social media, advertising — both traditional and digital — inbound marketing, marketing automation, and sales collateral development.

A Deeper Look at the ABM Sales Model

Consider this: online display advertising is not only a top funnel strategy. It has been proven effective when used at every stage of the funnel. Display ads can increase search conversion. Both display and search ads can improve return on investment (ROI) with time.

On a similar note, content marketing is something you should use at every stage of the funnel. In the upper part of the funnel, LinkedIn-sponsored updates combined with leadership blog posts can establish a company brand as helpful, reputable and knowledgeable. For the lower part of the funnel, videos can work well with whitepapers to educate and engage potential prospects. Businesses can drive leads and sales with webinars or product-focused content.

How to Get Started with ABM

Half of executives admit their data-driven marketing efforts are lagging, and another 22 percent say they are non-existent. So, how do you get started with ABM?

Find your target accounts. Identify the key players involved (decision makers and influencers). Personalize your communication. Engage targets throughout the sales cycle, and then measure key performance indicators (KPIs) and make adjustments as you move forward.

Map marketing programs and content to your firm’s KPIs. If you map out your marketing program and your content compared to KPIs, you can confirm your success at each stage of the funnel.

For example, you can confirm your success metric for the awareness and investigation stage (otherwise known as the top of the funnel) with marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). You can confirm your success metric for the comparison stage (middle of the funnel) with sales-accepted leads. You can confirm your success metric for the consideration/purchase stages (or, the bottom of the funnel) with closed-won deals.

Engagement metrics are things like clicks, shares or likes. They give you insight into the content topics and formats that your marketing channel uses. To relate this to revenue, you need a scoring model.

Check the Pipeline

The simplest way to figure out the score of any campaign or asset is to evaluate the movement of your buyer through the pipeline. For example, the first touch might be a whitepaper, the second an email, the third a blog post, the fourth another blog post, the fifth a video and the sixth and final touch might be a webinar. So, to convert from a lead to MQL, it took six assets. That means that each asset earns 1/6 of a score.

Remember AMB sales metrics and analytics are vital for the success of your firm for several reasons. They allow you to track how your company is doing. You can measure your ROI, the growth of your firm, who you are reaching and what your following is. In the world of marketing, it’s not enough to say something is — or is not — working. You need to back up these beliefs with factual evidence. Marketing metrics and analytics allow you to do this. Not only do they allow you to track your success, but they also allow you to prove it.