— October 9, 2018
There are many reasons B2B revenue teams choose to shift their strategy upmarket. Focusing on larger accounts can produce increased average customer value (ACV), reduce dependency on individual evangelists (which can cause churn when those evangelists change roles), extend your referral network, and increase revenue predictability.
Challenges of Moving Upmarket
Selling into the enterprise poses well-known challenges, especially for revenue teams used to the quick, sub-45-day deal cycles and high-volume funnel metrics of an SMB-driven pipeline. These challenges include:
- Initial pipeline volatility (the very thing you’re trying to avoid) due to smaller initial pipeline with a high variance as large deals are won or lost.
- Lower close rates due to more stakeholders in the typical buying center and a more complex procurement process.
- Reduced funnel velocity due to increased buying center complexity.
So, when B2B companies decide to move upmarket, they are often faced with the very challenges that the strategy was meant to eliminate.
Luckily, there is an answer!
Account-based programs, and especially precision account-based advertising flows, are an ideal way to combat some of these upmarket pitfalls so your team can realize the benefits of larger deals, lower churn, and a more robust referral network.
If you are a marketing leader charged with supporting an enterprise deal cycle, here are three account-based tactics you can’t ignore.
1. Drive Awareness Among Known and Anonymous Buyers
In the enterprise funnel, marketing plays a critical role in engaging every stakeholder in a buying center, whether they are a known contact or not. Email is not the answer, especially for engaging upper-level stakeholders who rarely respond to cold outreach.
This is where account-based advertising can dramatically improve awareness in your target accounts. By targeting named accounts with display advertising, you can reach each buyer persona with the right message at every stage of the funnel.
At Terminus, we use our own ABM platform to drive awareness in target accounts with display advertising served to pre-engagement accounts (accounts who may not yet be aware of our brand), segmented by the core personas in our target buying centers.
Our unique targeting abilities let users target both known contacts in target accounts and people for whom you don’t have contact information. As a result, we’re able to deliver high-level benefits messaging that is hyper-targeted to each stakeholder at the high-priority accounts that your sales team is going after.
2. Accelerate Funnel Velocity with Stage-Based Messaging
Once an account enters the buying process, pipeline acceleration campaigns served across display networks, video ads, and LinkedIn can drive key decision-makers to action by delivering the right information — like a case study, industry report, or promotion — at the right time.
These may be designed to help your primary contact move the rest of the buying center to action, add urgency, educate buyers on use cases and success stories, or simply keep your brand top-of-mind with peripheral stakeholders (such as finance or operations) for whom your solution may be a lower priority.
3. Use Engagement Signals from Your Target Accounts to Reach Out When it Matters Most
Email is powerful, but decision-makers are flooded with inbound email every day. We all know the importance of personalization and speaking to a buyer’s pain points. Even more important, though, is timing.
You don’t want your reps flooding the inboxes of stakeholders at random intervals. Even when the emails they send are useful, they too often end up in inbox purgatory, mentally marked, “I’ll get to that eventually.”
As go-to-market teams, what we really want to achieve is email that presents a solution at the exact moment the prospect is trying to solve their problem. You don’t want to offer someone a steak dinner right after breakfast; you want to offer it to them at 6 p.m., when it occurs to them that they’re starving and their fridge is empty.
This is where account-based predictive insights — which we call Engagement Models — come into play. The idea is to define all of the very early indicators that members of a target account’s buying center are in-market for a solution like yours. These signals include:
- Web searches for related keywords
- Searches for competitor brand names
- Views of product-specific pages on your website
- Site visits from multiple members of the buying center happening in close temporal proximity
- Email opens or clicks from previous campaigns
Once you have defined what these high-intent activities are for your brand, our Engagement Spike feature automatically establishes a baseline of activity within your target accounts and notifies your sales team when the entire buying center of an account exhibits engagement that is significantly above the norm. This indicates that internal discussions are happening, or that buyers are moving to the next funnel stage.
This is the perfect time to connect, and by leveraging tracking across an entire account — as opposed to from individual and incomplete contacts — you can easily see this activity and deliver it to your sales team for action.