How does the idea of pitching your sales speech only to the best-fit customer accounts sound to you? What if you could only reach out to high-value clients without wasting time or casting a wide net to attract unqualified prospects?
As per the research by Ruler Analytics, generating high-quality leads is the biggest challenge for over 37% of marketers. The research also states that over 30% face difficulty in reaching the right audience, while it’s hard for 25% to understand the lead quality. Also, as reported by the MarketingProfs, 60% of B2B marketers believe that lead generation challenges cost them wasted time & resources, and 59% say they missed revenue opportunities.
The solution, however, is using the most renowned SaaS Marketing Strategy: Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Just like how the sun shines every morning, the ABM strategy will help your B2B SaaS business shine on the horizon. But what does ABM mean for B2B SaaS?
Account-based marketing has become a key for B2B businesses to expand their network of clients beyond traditional means. It can be defined as a growth-focused strategy to tailor the experiences of high-value clients with high precision & personalization content types.
Here, the marketing and sales aspects of your B2B require effective collaboration, coordination, and timely execution. If not done so in order, you could end up doing ineffective work with no recollection of why things happened the way they did.
An ABM strategy is distinct from the rest of the sales and marketing strategies. It begins by identifying the ideal prospects, connecting and expanding your reach, and nurturing them to lead through engagement and advocacy stages.
Here’s how it compares with traditional marketing:
Growing effective leads and conversions from ABM needs a comprehensive look as it encompasses elements of both inbound and outbound marketing.
While launching a shrewd ABM marketing campaign is necessary, it’s a daunting task for many. However, you don’t need to start from scratch and scrape everything else. ABM can work alongside your existing marketing efforts and even drive more demand, sales, and revenue for your B2B SaaS.
Wondering how? Well, let’s get to the 7-step ABM implementation checklist:
The first and foremost step is to identify ideal business profiles that are most likely interested in buying your SaaS products.
In ABM, you don’t cast a wide net but spearfish only those businesses with high interest and inclination toward your product. Identifying such clients requires qualitative and quantitative methods to collect insights and information.
When properly outreached with a tailored B2B content strategy, these clients can unlock massive revenue potential. However, you’ll have to do some legwork to define what ideal customer profiles look like & identify their key characteristics. Let’s see how you can do it:
The first step of building a profile is to interview actual customers instead of basing them on assumptions. For the same, you can prepare surveys and feedback forms and ask your existing client base to fill them out as accurately as possible.
Now compile this data to identify and uncover key characteristics of ideal organizations to target. Defining key client characteristics is foundational for building profiles and implementing ABM to target the right accounts.
Doing so will give access to clients who are easy to onboard, can bring massive revenue, or see value in your SaaS products. Further, you can utilize the information from your surveys to refine your addressable market.
Developing and preparing a comprehensive list of target accounts is a real struggle for many SaaS marketing teams. This is specifically challenging when your SaaS product can meet the needs of a broad category of businesses belonging to different industry verticals.
It requires the use of multiple channels to come up with a list of perfect match target accounts with the potential to convert. Let’s see how you can build a list of target accounts:
While this is an extremely time-consuming process and requires extensive research on the public and private databases, it’s key to building the most accurate and up-to-date list. But the question is, how can you find the most accurate details about your potential clients?
Suppose you are a SaaS HRMS company selling your product to IT and other business domains with streamlined HR processes. The question is, how can you find accurate information on your target market?
The answer is by using sales platforms like,
Since these are public and private platforms, you need to identify the potential clients and manually extract their information to prepare your own list. While it can take time to build a high-precision list, the efforts will be paid off.
The Growfusely way of building a target account list first starts with building SaaS buyer personas. The fundamentals of building SaaS buyer personas remain the same as regular personas, but what makes them distinct is they revolve around the core B2B stakeholders like:
Develop your SaaS personas based on the wants and needs of your everyday users, managers, and decision-makers. This helps you filter your generic list prepared using several sales platforms to a high-precision one to meet the needs of your target market.
Is it enough to build a list and create profiles of best-fit organizations for your SaaS product? The key lesson for SaaS companies to learn here is that organizations are run by individuals and decision-makers. So, when you make a list of ideal clients, also create a list of decision-makers from those organizations.
Moreover, define their key characteristics, personality traits, and decisions they’ve made that helped the organization grow. Here are some more critical questions that need to be answered:
Getting your hands on such information will ease your work and aid you in connecting with the right people who are aware of the organization’s internal problems. However, in many cases, they might not even be aware of the problems or don’t actively look for solutions.
Thus, the onus here lies on you to educate them, elaborate on their pain points, agitate, and press until it hurts. Once the pain reaches a level that the company can’t withstand, show them the solution and benefits it’ll provide them. This can be achieved with the help of forming a solid B2B SaaS Content Strategy.
Since you’ll begin the process of connecting with the right people in target organizations, you’ll need value-adding content to effectively communicate with them. Content marketing — a form of inbound marketing — helps you create buzz and make waves for your B2B SaaS.
When combined with the ABM, it becomes the strongest dynamic force to be reckoned with. Inbound content marketing allows you to organically provide the right information to the right people at the right time.
Since you’ll be adorned with precise information about your target audience, you can create tailored content like;
These content types will help you target different customer journey stages, from awareness to consideration, conversion, and evangelism. Creating tailored content for each customer journey stage will leave a greater impact and influence the success of your account-based marketing.
There are multiple avenues at your disposal that help you connect with the decision-makers from the ideal organization. But to keep it simple, you must focus on and utilize ABM channels like LinkedIn, Emails, and Phone.
LinkedIn is one of the most authentic channels for sending personalized messages. The best part about it is that you reach out as a person and not as a bot. It’s like your resume with your photo and all the background information which humanizes your message.
Going beyond LinkedIn, you can also reap the benefits of cold email marketing. Emails are automatable, easy to use, and don’t put much burden on your pockets. Cold calling can also sometimes turn out an effective channel as it’s more personalized and allows you to talk to your prospects directly about their fears and dreams.
Regardless of the channel you select for reaching out, you must make it worth their while by offering something in return. You are more likely to get a response from your target accounts if you value each conversation you have with them.
Let’s suppose you have reached out to the right account through the right outreach channel, and many have shown interest. But what do you do after that? How can you lead your prospects from the top of the funnel to the bottom? Let’s get to know how:
Since you have effectively gained the attention of your ABM targets, now comes the hard work to lead your prospects to conversion. This would mean becoming a resourceful authority figure for your industry to understand and educate your prospects about what SaaS products to look for.
Being resourceful also requires you to evaluate your client’s situation and their need for the solution. This also means being truthful when your SaaS isn’t a good fit for them. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s better if you can onboard clients that understand and value your product and stay for longer than those who may not find it as valuable and churn.
Further, not being forceful with clients that don’t find your SaaS product useful would build credibility for your business. It helps them rely on you and even refer your brand to their network and community people who may find it useful.
Now, what about the clients that are the best fit but haven’t shown interest or responded to your messages? Well, what you can do here is run retargeting campaigns that remind them of the pain points and how they can solve them.
Rightly positioned and created retargeting ads can help you take your high-value clients down the funnel with good chances of generating action.
Another way to guide and nurture your clients is through email campaigns. Out of all the accounts you reached out to, many won’t show immediate interest but want to get to know your brand in detail. So, here you can provide the necessary resources as discussed earlier or lead magnets in exchange for their emails.
Offer and allow them to enroll in your automated email sequence that helps them understand the resources better and leads them down the funnel. The thing with email nurturing is it takes time, but once it’s set up correctly, it’ll offer phenomenal ROI.
Cultivating the relationship with your ABM prospects is not going to be a cakewalk. It requires dedication, empathy, and constant refinements in your strategy based on your customer journey stages ranging from awareness to purchase and retention.
While it’s tough for many to map a customer’s journey, it’s not that difficult if you think logically. A great place to start mapping would be your existing customers, as they were once in the prospect’s shoes. They were going through the same pain and were looking for a solution that led them to your SaaS product.
Mapping their journey is crucial as it helps you understand and visualize how your customers feel and experience. Each customer has gone through different issues along their buyer’s journey, which aids you in identifying and reducing friction. Doing so further helps you bridge the gap between your ABM sales, marketing, and operations.
Note down each of your interactions with customers to scrutinize and get conducive insights to transform them into a journey map. Different clients will have different stories and views on their journey that help you see their perspective and build a strong, robust customer journey map.
There’s no better time to start a SaaS referral program than now to get the word out to potential prospects from your existing customers. If your existing customers are happy with the SaaS product, they will want to share this positive experience with others.
And what if they get some benefits in return for doing so? It’s a win-win for both you and your customers as they get incentives to bring new customers in.
To turn this into reality, you want to focus on improving the quality and quantity of your brand evangelist and make them part of your referral community as soon as they join in. Apart from other SaaS metrics & KPIs, optimize your Net Promoter Score to identify the most loyal brand advocates.
Put constant effort into engaging with them at an appropriate time and offer a reward or incentive when their referral turns into your long-term customer. Doing so will help you keep your existing customer base and add new ones at just a fraction of the cost.
If executed shrewdly, account-based marketing can expedite your B2B SaaS growth. Here, I have given an exact roadmap that aligns your sales and marketing teams to execute an effective B2B SaaS ABM marketing.
Since you’ll only target the high-value and potential prospects that are a great fit for your SaaS product, you can save time and money to get qualified and committed leads. As mentioned earlier, personalized content is key to executing ABM successfully and accelerating your growth further. Specializing in producing top-quality SaaS content, the Growfusely team can help you achieve the desired growth in ABM through SaaS content marketing. But are you ready to take your ABM and SaaS content marketing to the next level?