Smart growth tactics can bring account-based marketing to startups and small businesses – TechCrunch

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For many startups and SMEs, successfully implementing account-based marketing strategies can seem like a pipe dream. Startups that are still struggling to find a product-market fit wouldn’t dream of being able to identify and map their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) in a sufficiently clear manner. At the same time, small and medium-sized businesses often lack the resources to invest in sophisticated multi-point content marketing strategies.

Small businesses and startups usually don’t employ full-fledged marketing teams either, and their sales reps are strapped for time anyway. For them, account-based marketing (ABM) is something reserved for companies that employ corporate marketing teams and can handle large marketing budgets.

This couldn’t be further from the truth, and startups and SMEs can and should invest in ABM strategies. With a handful of smart growth tactics and smart tools, ABM strategies don’t need to break the bank to be successful.

Account-based approaches thrive when you change your mindset and focus on long-term investments and relationship building. One way to do this is to create a (sense of) community.

There are, however, a few distinguishing characteristics that your business should probably have before investing in ABM:

  • Above-average transactions or customer value make ABM much more interesting. If you are working with a long tail business model, this is probably not for you.
  • Companies with long sales cycles are also well suited to ABM strategies. The longer the sales cycle, the more important it is to respond to large accounts with personalized content and reach across multiple channels and multiple touchpoints.
  • Complex buying committees are also likely to be marketed in a hyper-personalized way. Spray and prayer marketing won’t do you any good here.
  • ABM strategies work best when sales, marketing, and service are perfectly aligned. Has your organization embraced the idea of ​​RevOps? Well, ABM could be the way to go.

In short, the points above sketch out what could be described as the top segment of B2B businesses. Startups and SMEs that conform to these characteristics would do well to consider the growth tactics we outline below.


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What is ABM? What about ABS? And what is this ABX business ?!

Before we move on to the how-to approaches and how-to tips for getting started with ABM, let’s take a look at some definitions to get a clearer idea of ​​what we’re talking about.

Account Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is a business strategy, sometimes also referred to as key account marketing, in which companies focus their marketing resources on specific targets (key accounts) in a market.

It’s like flipping a traditional inbound marketing funnel. Instead of generating leads, segmenting them, activating them and then selling them, ABM takes the opposite approach. You identify specific key accounts, build relationships with those targets, and then sell to your network.

It also means producing highly relevant and highly personalized marketing content for all types of decision makers at all stages of the customer journey.

Image credits: Not dumb

Account-Based Sales (ABS)

Account-based selling is a B2B sales model that takes a similar approach and focuses on selling to the same key accounts. Patience is the name of the game here. Instead of trying to schedule this demo as quickly as possible, your sales reps will invest in relationships.

This highly personalized and strategic process builds on the bespoke marketing content we mentioned. Aligning sales and marketing is essential for the successful execution of account-based sales strategies.

Your marketing and sales teams will benefit from the definition and reporting of shared objectives and even KPIs.

Account Based Experience (ABX)

Account-based revenue generation will work best when you have buy-in from across the business, not only from sales and marketing, but also from your customer success team. This helps provide your key accounts with a personalized experience during a holistic buying journey that continues after purchase.


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