Building a website is easier than ever. It is the foundation of your digital strategy and is one of the most effective means of advertising your products.
What is it about your business that appeals to customers? You might think it’s the high-quality products you make. Another good guess would be the stellar services you provide.
In reality, it’s something else altogether: the unforgettable experiences you deliver.
Of course, measuring the effectiveness of your experiences can be difficult—especially when you’re collaborating with several internal teams, leveraging multiple tools, and engaging with prospects and customers across numerous channels.
But the success of your account-based marketing (ABM) strategy depends on it. For your ABM campaigns to truly thrive, you must be able to measure your efforts, analyze how they’re moving you toward your goals, and optimize your approach to boost results.
Here are a few helpful tips about gathering the insights you need to prove and improve the impact of your account-based experiences (ABX).
Success At Every Level
To ensure successful ABX, you can’t just measure your campaign’s success after deployment. You need to collect the right metrics at every stage of your campaign—and each stage demands different metrics for measuring success.
Whether you’re driving awareness using channels such as social and web personalization or developing leads with executive outreach and webinars, your ABM metrics should be tracked according to the type of marketing initiative.
Let’s take a look at what type of metrics are suited to each stage of the marketing funnel:
In the awareness stage, it’s likely too early to be measuring ROI-centric metrics. Instead, your focus should be on accounts’ engagement with your widespread marketing initiatives.
This includes identifying how many people are engaging with your social activity, what effect web personalization has on your website visitors, and what kind of impressions and click-through rates your ads are receiving.
Using these metrics, you can identify areas to optimize your engagement channels and highlight which accounts to guide down the marketing funnel.
During this stage, you’ll develop leads and accounts captured by your awareness initiatives, so it’s critical you measure account penetration metrics on how accounts are engaging and what’s driving them toward making a purchase.
You need to identify which prospects are opening emails and clicking on the links within them, which users keep returning to your website, and which accounts are repeatedly engaging with your webinars, blogs, and other content.
When you use these metrics to identify what’s working, you can adapt your ABM tactics to continue driving success across your channels.
At the final stage of your ABM campaign, you need to gather metrics that measure your overall success, including your campaign’s final ROI.
This involves metrics such as opportunities created and their value to your sales team, total revenue gained from new accounts, and a list of which marketing initiatives generated the most engagement over the course of your campaign.
With these account-level metrics identified, you can use the information to plan future campaigns, prove the success of your omnichannel ABM approach, and develop a strategy to retain the new customers you’ve secured.
Get Our Definitive Guide To ABM
Measuring success throughout your ABM campaign becomes simpler when you adopt a comprehensive ABM solution. With robust analytics and dashboards that give you full visibility of your omnichannel ABM strategy, you can drive greater engagement with your target accounts.
It seems that for decades, experts have been telling us to tear down the wall between sales and marketing. “Okay! We say yes! Love it! Let’s do that.” But how?
As the axiom goes: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.”
We all know new customers are important but retention is paramount to profitability. In fact, it costs more to acquire new customers than it does to upsell satisfied customers. So, why do customers leave?
Research shows that only one in 26 unhappy customers complain. And, a recent survey from Gartner revealed 81% of respondents said they expect to be competing mostly or completely on the basis of customer experience in less than two years.
Here are five ways a focus on customer experience can help you increase retention and perpetually improve SaaS revenues.
1. Communicate And Connect
With SaaS, it’s easy for a customer to walk away and subscribe to another provider, which makes consistent communication important. And, communication is a two-way street.
Many times customers don’t disclose their full business needs from the start. When they suddenly bring up new expectations to a provider, that can present difficulties. Other times, a sales or service person may miss a crucial point in terms of customer needs. Both of these scenarios can be the reason for churn.
While communication is key, it’s essential to take it a step further and connect with customers. The more personalized relationship you develop, the more indispensable your service becomes. Cooler heads prevail and resolving issues is actually a chance to further the bond. Your customer wants to feel they are listened to—make sure your team proves they do.
2. Onboard To Increase Success
The best time to establish a relationship and demonstrate you want a customer to succeed is the onboarding call. People buy from people, rarely from companies, so making it personal makes a difference. For instance, ensure the customer has the name and contact information of the rep assigned to them. A high level of commitment from the outset sets the tone for a long-term relationship.
Determine a new customer path including as many phases as you can that positively affect their success. As examples, onboarding can encompass various types of training—tutorials, videos, and hands-on proof of concepts (POCs). Consider virtual instructor-led training for simultaneously onboarding multiple users, especially when they’re in different locations.
As noted by Geraldo A. Dada, VP of product marketing and strategy at SolarWinds: “Product-centric customer education is a powerful tool to increase satisfaction and retention, as customers learn to get more value out of the products they buy from you.”
3. Understand Customer Success And “The Experience”
There’s a difference between customer service and customer success. Service is resolving an immediate inbound customer issue. Customer success is about using such “touches” to grow a relationship. With the often complex nature of SaaS, focusing on customer success is particularly effective for avoiding churn and generating opportunities.
In addition, successful teams regularly contact customers to determine how their product is used and which systems and procedures can be improved to faster achieve goals. Further, if your team uncovers a strategy that speeds workflow, consider writing the customer’s story and—if they’re amenable—name them. Send an email to your list with the tip and consider offering a webinar to show everybody how it’s done.
4. Ensure Resources Help, Not Hinder
How thorough are your FAQ pages? Do you update them? Are the “help” sections written for users or filled with unfamiliar technical jargon? When a customer is looking for help, they may already feel frustrated. To go to the trouble of trying to figure out a solution, only to be further confused, can push them over the edge.
Be sure resources are easily understood and regularly updated. Additionally, the minimum standard is to provide help in whatever way the customer wants: chat, phone, and email.
5. Act On Analytics
Some sophisticated solutions collect data on customer usage, made available via a dashboard. If you have this insight, put those analytics work.
With such visibility, you can better understand what piqued a customer’s interest, identify pain points, direct them to overlooked features, see if they’re stalled, or worse, not using a solution at all.
This will allow you to take action to ensure they experience full value and don’t have “buyer’s remorse.” It’ll also could offer more details on personas to strengthen future sales efforts.
The difference between happy customers and canceling customers is ensuring they appreciate the value of your solution. Merely assuming your customers are satisfied is a path to more cancellations. Maintain your customers’ loyalty by making sure your value is heard and seen clearly, loudly and often.
Automation Anywhere, a global leader in Robotic Process Automation (RPA), announced it was named a leader in NelsonHall’s inaugural NEAT evaluation of intelligent automation platforms. Automation Anywhere rated highly in the Leaders category in all five market segments, and in particular for its ability to enable business process owners to develop automations.
Marketing metrics aren’t one-size-fits-all.
For proof, look at how marketers track the effectiveness and ROI in traditional campaigns versus experiential efforts. Customers encounter a traditional campaign and react to it afterward, either through a purchase or detailed feedback.
Legacy software providers have been looking for ways to compete with the leading CRM cloud-based software provider, Salesforce.com, Inc. (CRM). One idea to slow down CRM’s rapid growth was to send all the data collected from their various products to a single location where additional analysis could be performed.
Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) and SAP AG (SAP) announced their joint participation in the Open Data Initiative this September. This collaboration comes as cloud-based software becomes more prevalent, which can make it harder to gain actionable insights from data when information is stored in various disparate systems.
Salesforce, a leading cloud business solutions company in the US, has partnered with Alibaba to bring its services to the Greater China region amid an increase in demand for cloud solutions as companies move towards digitizing their operations.
Salesforce Essentials now helps small businesses leverage conversations over social media, which means easy, managed customer engagement on Facebook Messenger, Instagram, YouTube, web chat, and more.
Social media services such as Facebook, Instagram, and to some extent YouTube have become compelling sales channels and popular contact points between businesses and customers. For small to midsize businesses (SMBs), the challenge is keeping up with the flurry of customer interactions on multiple social media platforms while integrating data into their customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
The digital revolution has raised customer expectations massively. People want much more than just a product—they crave a complete experience.
The success of your marketing campaign no longer depends on the number of leads you generate. It rests on your ability to maximize your customers’ experience.
That’s why forward-thinking marketers are prioritizing account-based marketing—determining together with sales which accounts to target, why they should be targeted, and when they should be targeted. In fact, 87% of companies report a higher return on investment when adding account-based marketing (ABM) to their engagement strategy than traditional lead-based only marketing initiatives.
A successful ABM strategy has people and experience at the center of it instead of random, individual interactions.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the first step of how to create epic account-based experiences (ABX) with the right account insights & profiling.
With the right data—and a platform powerful enough to use the data effectively—you can gain highly accurate account insights and effectively profile your targets to create hyper-personalized account-based experiences that your customers and prospects will enjoy.
The first and most important challenge to overcome when wanting to truly maximize your ABX is knowing who your ABX should be for. What data should you be gathering? And how can you make the most of it?
Leveraging account insights in the new age of data
We’ve come a long way from sales-based account selection. Previously, sales teams would create a target account list based on the sales data they had available in their CRM. The process was time-consuming, took the sales team away from selling, and relied heavily on gut instinct.
But since the digital revolution, marketers have gained access to huge pools of data that can be used to help sales create more accurate account lists. Using these three key data sources, you can have better insight into which accounts to target:
Fit data often includes firmographics that detail a company’s location, number of employees, size, and other basic details. While this information is useful for gaining a high-level view of whoyour ideal account is for targeting, it needs to be combined with other data types to become useful.
Intent data identifies accounts that are actively searching or engaging with content related to your service or products. Whether it’s from paid media advertising data sources or opt-in data cooperatives, intent data can help you prioritize WHEN you should focus on certain target accounts over others and what messages to include in your content.
Engagement data helps you take account targeting to the next level by adding a third layer of insights to help hyper-prioritize which accounts to allocate resources on immediately. By identifying which accounts have already engaged with your content in the past—whether by opening emails, reading blogs, or registering for an event—you can get greater insight into which accounts have an even higher propensity to turn into closed-won accounts as well as the best way to reach them.
Great experiences aren’t just created from one data type—they come from combining all three to help you select the right accounts to target. But with so much data at hand, how do you effectively manage it?
Ideal customer profiles and predictive target account lists
Assuming your account data is clean and accurate, having lots of it can be both a blessing and a curse. It can bless us with the ability to create robust ideal customer profiles (ICPs) that help us select accounts with confidence, but it can also curse us with the daunting burden of having to manually analyze it so that we can actually use it. This is where AI can step in and help us speed up the process in a scalable way. However, AI is only as powerful as the amount of data that it is trained on and the quality of that data. It can help us leverage ICPs to create predictive target accounts lists that support your ABM strategy.
For example, if your ABM strategy is to cross-sell existing customer accounts with a specific product, you first need to know which of your existing customer accounts are ideal to target. With AI-powered look-alike models and the three data sources mentioned above, you can upload a list of customers who recently purchased a specific cross-sell product along with even having a high deal velocity. The model will analyze all the fit data and engagement data, along with enriching intent data to learn common attributes and even weigh them differently based on unique importance to you and your business to create your ideal customer profile. Next, you’ll want the AI to use your ICP to scan your existing customer base to pick out the best-fit accounts to cross-sell.
Here are a few common examples of predictive target account lists:
Predictive best-fit lists: List of prioritized best-fit target accounts based on recent high-value, closed-won deals
Predictive quick-win list: List of prioritized best-fit open opportunities with accounts that have high propensity to close faster than others
Operationalizing your predictive target account lists
Once you have your predictive target account lists, it’s time to actually do something with them. Successful account-based marketers adopt marketing automation software that can operationalize their predictive target account lists.
With a best-in-class marketing automation platform, you can use AI to identify your ideal customer profile and match it to those in your account list. But identifying and prioritizing accounts is just the first step. The real magic of ABM comes when you put that data into practice by strategically discovering specific contacts within each target account
While most marketers initially think the next step is to start engaging with the accounts on their target account lists, the next steps inevitably become hydrating those accounts by discovering net-new contacts within those accounts through the art of contact discovery. Remember, account insights and profiling uses mass amounts of data to primarily help you identify what the “perfect account” is, but it doesn’t help you identify people within those accounts.
Paving a path to step two of creating epic ABX: Contact discovery
Gathering accurate account insights and profiling your ideal customers is only the beginning of your exciting quest to create epic ABX. In our next blog in the series, we’ll look at how to discover contacts in your existing target accounts—as well as net-new accounts—to ensure you’re targeting the right people.