Every time we onboard a new project we are asked to have the answer to one question: How soon can we expect to see results? As ABM strategy works best at accounts with long and complex sales cycles, soon can sometimes not be quick enough . However, you need to know how soon it will pay off for you and how quickly you can prove uplift. If you are uncertain about ABM and what it can do for you, have a quick look at your existing customers for a start.
Why should you focus on existing customers?
There is no single reason to why you should but really, what is surprising to see is that more marketers are not taking more advantage of this opportunity. Here just a few good reasons to consider it:
It is much easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. Talk to your sales reps. They tell you how much they’d rather do up-selling or cross-selling than cold selling. There must be a good reason for it! It is also easier for you to convince existing customers to test-try-and-buy a new solution than to take a complete stranger in the acquisition journey.
Not only this, but a big chunk of ABM’s success is about Marketing and Sales alignment. If you focus in cross selling and upselling, an ABM-led program will also bring organizational efficiencies: “All too often, the critical processes of cross-selling and upselling are left to chance in b-to-b organizations, which limits growth potential from current customers,” according SiriusDecision analysts Kerry Cunningham and Bob Peterson in their work titled, “The Science of Cross-Sell and Upsell.”
It’s also a lot more cost-effective. You do not start from scratch and already have good will to leverage from, which can lead to some quick wins. Think about the cost of acquisition of a new customer and your own sales cycle.
You have higher RoI. Repeat customers build on your efficiencies whereas new ones require a lot more of hand-handling. On your existing accounts, you already have relationships with, therefore they are more willing to listen and you can go faster with them.
Monitoring account activity on a regular basis is the best way to identify challenges ahead. Marketers are always aware of what clients are engaging with or if they start not to. In this context, account engagement is a very strong predictor of future sales performance on targeted accounts.
When you start on ABM, existing accounts is just the natural starting point. Here is where you find the low-hanging fruit.
Make sure you also update the KPIs to include Top and Mid of the funnel activities such as engagement and coverage. Track things like time do people from targeted accounts spend on our content; improved bounce rates or increased number of contacts in the targeted accounts. As you already have a basis to benchmark from, new KPIs can certainly document uplift value from the ABM program from day one.