So you’ve identified, expanded, and engaged - now you’re ready for the payoff of your Account Based Marketing strategy. The final phase of ABM is to turn accounts into advocates. These are customers who will go on to speak positively about your business to their network, essentially doing most of your marketing work for you.
So how do you convert these new clients into brand champions?
The process for creating enthusiastic advocates for your business will be an ongoing activity, but it can be broken down into four steps:
- Land and expand
- Cross-selling and upselling
In the adoption stage, your accounts will have (hopefully) started to use your product or service, turning from target accounts into clients. Congratulations on getting to this stage - but your job doesn’t end here! You want your new client to have a great experience with your business, so it’s essential at this stage to offer any support they may need to build confidence, such as training, follow-ups and tutorial content.
Land and Expand
The next step is to ‘land and expand’ - now that you have this brand spanking new client, you want to think about which other departments within the organisation you could work with, and ask for introductions accordingly. Thanks to the information you’ll have found in the ‘Expand’ stage of ABM, as well as your personal experience with the account, you’ll already know something about the organisation’s processes, practices and personality. This will support your ongoing working relationship in a great many ways, not least in being able to identify precisely where you are best placed to help them..and sell them more of your products and services.
Cross-selling and Upselling
Cross-selling and upselling provide opportunities for you to further strengthen your partnership by going beyond your strategy’s original scope. In this stage, you should identify additional challenges your new client might have and which your products and services are perfectly placed to solve. For example, while you originally targeted executives in the account, you’ve learned that your product or service also fulfils a need of the account’s HR department - this would be a fantastic opportunity to cross-sell! You can also upsell by offering the account an upgraded version of your product or a more comprehensive version of your service for a premium as their business expands.
Once you have proved your worth with the initial piece of work, it will be far easier to make the case for an increasingly in-depth working relationship. Not only will this stage generate more revenue for you, but it will also strengthen the account’s relationship with your product or service, getting them one step closer to advocacy. Remember the Pareto principle - 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your clients!
In the final stage of the ABM customer journey, your customers will have built a strong enough relationship with your business that they’ll be promoting your product and singing your praises to their networks. Customer advocacy is possibly the best kind of marketing because of how compelling it is. Consumers trust word-of-mouth over any other type of marketing because it’s authentic, personalised and it feels unsolicited. Especially in the hyper-connected world of social media, fostering positive WOM can be a significant boost to your business, and customer advocates will make this a million times easier.
ABM is an ongoing cycle: building and maintaining relationships requires you to repeatedly delight and surprise your clients so they continue finding value in your business. Overachieve on your targets, meet deadlines early, offer discounted or free upgrades - anything that provides added value in your clients’ eyes will guarantee they’ll advocate for your business, bringing you new business from their networks. This is the ultimate indicator of a successful ABM strategy, allowing you to increase your scope and start the cycle again!
For help with your ABM project, contact us today to organise a call with one of our Directors.