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The ABCs of ABM: What HR tech companies need to know about Account Based Marketing

By William Wickey, leads Content and Media Strategy, LeadGenius

William Wickey, leads Content and Media Strategy, LeadGenius

While everyone knows their ABCs, there is currently a growing buzz about ABM, or Account Based Marketing. To keep abreast of the latest trend, human resource tech firms considering this strategy stand to be well served by this efficient approach to improve their sales process.

What is Account Based Marketing?

ABM offers a holistic strategy that enables companies to engage with key decision makers. It is a business-to-business strategy designed to drive collaboration between marketing and sales teams, by focusing them on building individual client accounts together, as a way to drive revenue. The idea is to no longer have a massive, wide funnel, but rather to channel efforts efficiently and strategically.

“As with any strategy, a structured approach will garner the best results. It starts with quality data and analytics.”

Account Based Marketing is similar to what has traditionally been called enterprise sales. The primary difference is that an account based strategy can be used to target a company of any size. Instead of messaging only to decision makers within a company, sales and marketing work together to simultaneously target multiple decision makers, with different roles and responsibilities. The concept involves leveraging dynamics of group psychology to close an account.

Why HR Technology Marketers Need ABM

Account based tactics can be effective for lead generation in any industry, but for HR, it’s even more important. The marketplace is valued at more than $1 trillion annually, according to HRmarketer.com. But with so many players competing for that business, the hurdles to increase market share is fierce.

Account-based marketing make sense because it enables HR tech firms to connect individual buyers to what they’re already looking for. It is about knowing the individual cases within each organization, of how they will use your product.

How to get started

As with any strategy, a structured approach will garner the best results. It starts with quality data and analytics. Understanding prospect needs, gathering relevant contact information and knowing when and how to reach out to key players will go a long way to building fruitful relationships.

Understanding prospect needs

When HR tech firms target potential new customers it is critical to understand a prospect’s needs. In the field of HR, these needs can be wide ranging beyond the traditional HR basics of covering staffing, payroll and recruiting. They may also comprise employee benefits, health and wellness, and often training and workplace safety issues. Their days might include providing team management expertise, conducting background checks and managing HR information systems. In many cases they may offer guidance in employment law and compliance, or depending on the industry they are in, labor or union relations. At some organizations, even crisis communications and community relations might be grouped under HR.

Putting ABM to work

Once a prospect is identified, it is essential to pinpoint which individuals will be targeted, and what their roles are within the organization, whether they are the primary contact, an influencer, an evaluator, or something else. Next, it is important to compile all relevant contact information and job titles of the firm’s decision makers. A customer relationship management system can be very helpful in determining what if any information is missing.

Once that is completed, it is time to target the various decision makers within a firm, using group psychology dynamics to help close the deal. It is best to start with light touches, such as viewing LinkedIn profiles, and then follow up with four to eight short emails, appropriately spaced within the sales cycle.

Certain aspects of an ABM program can be automated, such as the email sequence. Once templates are developed for each buyer persona, an automated system can personalize and send out the emails at the predetermined intervals.

The bottom line

When ABM is done well, it helps contribute to larger deal sizes, faster deal cycles and better “win” rates.

As the industry grows increasingly competitive, HR tech firms have the advantage with ABM in their marketing and sales arsenal. The sooner they embrace the strategy, the quicker they’ll grow their bottom line and be A-Okay.

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