We’ve written about why account-based marketing (ABM) is the best marketing strategy for B2B companies. It’s hard to argue with stats like the following from SiriusDecisions:

  • Organizations with an ABM strategy in place experienced 200% pipeline growth
  • Organizations using ABM also saw a 20% increase in deal size

What most marketers don’t realize is that ABM has the potential to impact every stage of your business, not just customer acquisition. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to stretch ABM beyond the typical sales funnel and hit those big performance numbers you’re after.

The most common benefit of ABM

First, let’s take care of the obvious. The most commonly used benefit of ABM is customer acquisition. ABM is great at closing B2B deals because it takes a highly targeted, highly personalized approach.

According to CEB, B2B sales now require 5.4 people to formally sign off on each purchase decision made. If you’re using a traditional lead gen approach, you might be working 1 or 2 leads within a company. But this will inevitably leave you with an uphill battle to reach all 5.4 people needed to close that deal.

This is where account-based marketing works best.

With ABM you’re not blasting your message out to hundreds of thousands of people hoping that the right person will see it. Instead, you’re targeting the exact people you know are in charge of driving the deal forward.

According to Demand Gen Report, 97% of practice leaders, marketers, and business development executives said that ABM offered a higher ROI than other marketing methods—with 38% calling it “much higher.”

Bottom line, using account-based marketing to acquire customers works.

But that shouldn’t be where you stop using ABM to drive your business forward.

Here’s how to make ABM work beyond the typical sales cycle.

Using ABM for onboarding

The next step after you’ve acquired a customer is onboarding. It’s a no-brainer that good onboarding leads to much better customer retention. But, did you know that according to Bain & Co., great customer success programs combined with key account management can increase profits up to 95%?

What most organizations don’t realize is that ABM can actually help drive this customer success.

So how can ABM help with onboarding?

It’s best to think of account-based marketing as personalized marketing. Because AdRoll ABM records all your marketing touches back into your CRM (Hubspot, Salesforce, Marketo, etc.) you can see who has interacted with your content at the contact level.

This is extremely powerful information that most people neglect to use.

Using this contact level information you can target the people who have recently become customers and make sure they’re onboarding correctly.

For example, at AdRoll one of the most crucial steps in our onboarding is to get our newly signed customers to place a tracking pixel on their website. This tracking pixel is very simple to install, but it’s the heart that allows AdRoll’s products to function.

If a new customer hasn’t placed the pixel, we can encourage them to do so through email, account manager outreach, and even online advertising.

Sending ads to someone who is already your customer may seem like a waste—until you think about how much you’ve already spent to acquire them. Most B2B companies spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to acquire their biggest customers. When you do the math, you realize that the cost of losing that customer is far greater than the cost of a few onboarding ads.

So, for this stage of the funnel:

Here’s the kind of content we send to onboard those customers:

Using ads like the ones above can improve your onboarding process, which in turn improves your conversion rates. If your company measures conversions simply by the number of deals closed but doesn’t measure how much those deals bring in over their lifespan, you’ll have a false sense achievement.

Once a deal closes it’s incredibly important to nurture that deal to grow that customer over time. In fact, according to Gartner Group, about 80% of a company’s future revenue growth will come from a modest and dependable 20% of their existing customers. Which is why using an ABM platform to help boost those numbers is a clear win-win.

Upselling your customers using ABM

So you have your customers onboarded and spending with you. After you’ve given them time to work with you and (hopefully) have a nice experience, the next step is to upsell them on your other product offerings.

According to PostFunnel, your current customers are 50% more likely to try a new product and spend 31% more on average than the typical new customer. Most companies take advantage of this by having their account managers do all the heavy lifting, which isn’t a bad strategy, but also puts the entire burden on the account management team.

A great way to reduce that burden is by getting marketing involved in the upsell process. Using ABM to upsell your current customers can be a great way to turn small deals into big ones and big deals into your top spenders.

Here’s what the upsell portion looks like for us at AdRoll:

We can use ABM to influence current customers by sending them performance playbooks and other product opt-in ads that show them the value of using multiple products within AdRoll. This not only saves the customer money, but it also provides additional revenue to AdRoll.

Another win-win.

Here are what some of those upsell ads might look like:

Showing the customer additional material on how to make the most of the platform is crucial to helping them understand the benefits they can get from upgrading. Using marketing to educate them helps set up a successful conversion for the account manager once they feel that the customer is a good fit for an upgrade.

Since the AdRoll ABM platform can record all this data at the contact level in your CRM, the account manager will also know whether the customer has seen and clicked on these upsell ads.

Giving our account managers this data has been incredibly powerful to help them know what exactly the customer is interested in.

Are they interested in attribution? Prospecting? Retargeting? Email Retargeting? Churn reduction?

Using an account-based marketing approach allows us to have a much clearer picture into the customer’s intent and allows us to get that 31% more spend that we mentioned earlier.

Takeaways and next steps

Using an account-based marketing approach can definitely help you win more customers, but it can also do much more than that. The main power of ABM is being able to see your customer and prospect data on the contact level and take actions to help accelerate them through the funnel.

Of course, if your ABM provider doesn’t provide you with contact level data (and not all ABM providers do) you’ll be limited in what you can execute. Before you sign an ABM contract, we recommend asking these 5 questions of your ABM provider.

If you’d like to learn more about how you should be measuring an account-based marketing program, we recommend reading this E-book we put together with the help of Engagio and Bizible. It goes over key metrics to measure before, during, and after you’ve run your first ABM campaigns.

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