Marketing leaders pursuing ABM activities need to recognize that the potential purchaser they’re trying to engage is not one individual, but the business itself.
This can be a bit tricky when it comes to aligning sales and marketing teams with ABM, because sales reps traditionally work on developing individual leads with whom they can build rapport and look to close deals with.
This means that B2B marketing and sales leaders must first identify and agree on target accounts, and the focus can’t be on generating as many leads as possible, but on delivering a smaller number of sales qualified leads that are more likely to close deals.
With the right B2B marketing strategy, ABM can be highly successful in delivering pipeline revenue. But it can also be a laborious process. The aforementioned split between sales and marketing approaches can mean long, lost hours agreeing on the right companies to target, and a subsequent difficulty in engaging the right decision makers within that small number of potential accounts.
In cases like this, budget can often end up being allocated to channels higher up in the funnel. This is necessary to drive brand awareness and give your salespeople a platform from which to pitch, but it’s harder to see a clear pipeline from ‘target account engaged’ to ‘purchase made’.
There is a way round these obstacles though, and a marketing strategy that can boost your ABM to deliver results and roll out the red carpet for sales teams.
Combining the power of ABM and virtual events
By applying a virtual event stream of content to your ABM strategy, you can develop much deeper engagements with your target accounts and, in the process, cut straight through to the decision makers that matter to those accounts. Even more importantly, engaging at digital summits will enable you to identify the businesses that have a genuine, present need for your solution.
Live, in-person conferences have long been a fantastic way to deliver content marketing to an ideal target audience. With the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the return of live events looks some way off. But virtual events, curated and delivered with the right expertise, can offer the same immersion and engagement as live events, and even have a broader potential audience, not limited by geography or venue capacity.
These summits are typically attended by senior decision makers on the lookout for idea exchange and propositions that can add tangible value to their organizations. As a host or sponsor of a virtual event, you’ll know ahead of time what they’re looking for, meaning you can deliver tailored messaging and highly-relevant insights for their sector from your speakers, positioning your organization as a specialist thought leader within their space.
Furthermore, the audience profiles generated from virtual events clearly have the edge on live ones. They can include rich, detailed information that your sales team can use to develop a highly targeted follow up strategy. This will empower them to accelerate deals with your most valuable potential customers.
As both marketing and sales leaders, we can’t ask for much more than that. However, you’re going to need to get your event strategy spot on in order to attract the right audience, engage them sufficiently and collect the appropriate data to pass on to your sales reps.
By partnering with an established virtual events provider, you can ensure you don’t miss out on the benefits of online events.
The right partner can help you capture the following account-based information:
- Your prospect’s project name
- Project focus area
- Project description & challenges
- Estimated project timeline
- Current stage for this project
- Estimated timeframe for completion
- Total project investment
- Focus priorities
Leveraging event profiling for better ABM
That’s a treasure trove of information that will massively enhance the success of your account based marketing activities and deliver truly sales qualified leads. Knowing these things going into your virtual summit and the sales follow-up will give you everything you need to drive conversions and generate massive ROI on your B2B marketing activities.
A virtual event partner can facilitate the gathering of this information and help develop a follow up strategy to identify, target and close deals with high level decision makers.
There are figures to back up the efficacy of a virtual event stream within ABM, too. According to a Gartner Benchmark Study, Feb 2020, hosted events are 2.3x more likely to have a conversion rate of more than 40%, as compared with your more traditional sales pitches, product demonstrations or company presentations.
This is another area that virtual events providers can assist with. Established providers come with established audiences, as well as networks of qualified speakers and hosts from across the entire spectrum of industries. So, as well as reaping the rich data insight of virtual events, you can connect your audience with expert speakers and establish your organization as a thought leader, generating deeper and ongoing engagement.
It’s a win-win.
You could spend hours researching, identifying and agreeing on the right accounts to target and even more time struggling to engage the right people to move towards a deal. Or you could accelerate your account based marketing by integrating targeted virtual events into your strategy, establishing pipeline revenue and bringing sales and marketing teams into closer alignment.
These are tough times anyway, so you don’t want to make your work harder than it already is, and you definitely don’t want to be wasting time and resources on a scattergun approach to ABM. Luckily, with virtual events, you don’t have to.