You feel like you’re just fishing. The funnel is full, but there isn’t a single “real” lead in there. You’re filling the pipeline with a ton of prospects, but you know in your heart they are not a good fit. What a frustrating endeavor.
It’s human nature to take the path of least resistance. Fishing with a net is easy. You throw the net, sit back and wait for whatever gets caught in it. Fishing with spears takes real skill. Your aim has to be dead-on. Fish are fast. Fishing with spears takes a change in thought patterns, actions and attitudes. It takes courage and a lot of focused targeting.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is all about the targeting. Extreme targeting. Not simply casting about with no focus. Of course, the whole idea of ABM is to clearly define your ideal customers. To do that, you need to clarify your criteria, as it is specific to your industry, your company and your team members.
Now look at your prospect list and start eliminating all but those which fit your criteria. This “short list” should consume your time, attention and resources.
Set the Marketing Stage for Sales Success
In a recent article on ABM in MarTech Today, the following suggestions were made to help hone in on the best prospects, worthy of your time and efforts.
- 1. Understand your target accounts. Do a deep dive into each vertical and fully understand what they, specifically, should need.
- 2. Coordinate your teams to understand the specific vertical. Use the best talents of your colleagues to explore options and opportunities.
- 3. Be sure to include sales. It’s tempting to categorize this exercise as a marketing function, but if sales is expected to “seal the deal,” involve them early and fully.
- 4. Define the measurement parameters. Set individual and overall goals and make everyone knows their role and how it impacts the end result.
- 5. Use all the technology in your toolbelt. AI and automated systems can refine the entire process and help to sharpen your focus.
A straight line is the best route
Recently we became aware of a potential client that was positively perfect for our specific kind of targeted marketing approach. We did not have an email address so direct contact had to be through LinkedIn.
A personal request to connect was sent on the contact’s birthday, saying “let’s celebrate your special day by connecting.” It was accepted. Hurdle number one handled.
Then a perfect, hand-crafted message, revised and reworked several times, was sent. The response was quick and succinct. “Normally delete things like this, but was intrigued. Here’s my email address. Let’s talk.”
Turn the funnel upside down
So, if you find the exercise of pouring more and more potential clients into the funnel to be futile, be strategic, turn the sales funnel on its head and go for prospect quality instead of quantity. Spend the most time and effort on those prospects that are most likely to be receptive to your brand message and engage with you. Now you’re making the most of your time, expending productive energy and fishing with spears, not nets.