“Account based marketing” or “key account marketing” looks at marketing in a different way. Rather than simply targeting by industry, product or channel, ABM typically brings all these components together to target very specific organisations. Targeting becomes so specific that an individual prospect becomes a “market of one”.
ABM is generally used to win enterprise level accounts. As markets become increasingly commoditized ABM seeks to provide differentiation through value rather price. By demonstrating a deeper understanding of prospective customers ABM can breakthrough background noise and resonate directly with decision makers.
The thought processes of the account based marketer and the consultative telemarketing expert follow the same pattern. Primarily, choosing the right prospective customer to target is paramount. In a “market of one” a good deal of time is spent on understanding the organisation that one is targeting. The target customer must be the right size and shape.
The second stage is to identify the decision-making groups within the target organisation. One must identify the Directors and Managers who will potentially buy-in to the offering. But it’s not about a cursory understanding of the potential buyers. It’s about understanding their psyche and what makes them tick. It’s about knowing which buttons to press that will make them sit up and pay attention.
Consultative Telemarketing and ABM generally part ways in the process at the point of which tools to use. On the whole ABM will look at multiple marketing channels from advertising to direct mail. For the consultative telemarketing expert, the telephone is the weapon of choice.
Standard marketing is often thought of as “a numbers game”. One segments the market and then its all about using creative messages and having a sufficient budget. ABM and consultative telemarketing follow the exact opposite approach. It becomes about having a deep understanding of the needs of the prospective customer organisation and their decision-makers. Before making one call, a consultative telemarketing expert may have spent hours or days researching the right people to talk to. Yet the results can be astonishingly successful when performed correctly.
As an example, I recently utilised my consultative telemarketing skills for a client who had done well in the Toys & Games Industry. This client worked with a major global company and wanted more work in this sector. However, they did not want to work with a direct competitor to their key account. So choosing the right target company was very important. Then identifying the challenges faced by the target company had to be researched. Finally, the key decision-makers were identified and an elevator pitch created. Within minutes of making contact, the prospective customer was won over. I had correctly identified a gap in their marketing where they needed help and offered a perfect solution to the problem faced by their team.
A key account may be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds or maybe £millions. Unless one is simply hoping to be lucky it’s not a numbers game – it’s about using the right methodology and conducting the process with wit, charm and flair.
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