Research shows account-based marketing outperforms 87% of other marketing activities from an ROI standpoint. So if you’re a new startup looking to get as much out of a limited operating budget as possible, account selling could be the best strategy for your team. But if you want to leverage the potential of account-based marketing to become the next unicorn startup, you need the right strategy. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about implementing an account-based marketing team for startups.
Understanding account-based marketing for startups
Account-based marketing flips the traditional strategy on its head. Instead of starting with a wide funnel and gradually narrowing it, account-based marketing practitioners begin at the bottom of the funnel.
In other words, account-based marketing teams focus on finding and converting only the customers and potential customers that offer the highest ROI. They ignore lead opportunities at the top of the funnel to target these high-value accounts with more precise marketing and sales strategies.
Why account selling works for startups
Account-based marketing can work for any company. But it’s particularly effective for startups. That’s because it solves several common problems that new companies have to deal with when marketing their products.
Here’s a look at three reasons why account selling is perfect for startups.
Optimize how you use limited resources
Most startups lack the marketing resources of their more established competitors. That makes it challenging to keep up with the competition’s marketing spend, which puts your company behind.
Account-based marketing helps you get more out of a limited budget. You won’t have to worry about spending all of your reserves on top-of-the-funnel ads when you follow it. Instead, you can be laser-focused with your resources and spend them only on clients and potential clients who offer the best value.
Cut down on the amount of data analysis you have to do
Traditional inbound marketing strategies are only effective if you can analyze your performance over time and make adjustments. But that’s tough to do if you have a startup with limited budget for things like data analyses.
It’s another reason why account-based marketing could be a better fit for you. With this strategy, you don’t have to spend time and money sifting through countless leads to find a diamond in the rough. Instead, you can allocate that money and time to your absolute best opportunities.
No need to worry about hiring niche specialists
If you use a traditional inbound marketing strategy, you often need multiple niche employees who each specialize in a single part of that process. But that’s not the case when you use account-based marketing principles.
With this strategy, it’s preferable to have marketing and sales teams work as one. That means you can hire a few employees with a generalist skillset instead of many employees with a niche skill grouping. It’s another way that following an account selling strategy can help your startup get more out of its early-stage budget.
Becoming the next unicorn: Implementing an account-based marketing team for startups
So do you think account-based marketing is right for your startup? Here are six simple steps you can take to employ this strategy.
1. Get buy-in from your people
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your team is on board with the idea of transitioning to an account-based strategy. If they aren’t passionate about the idea, it’ll be tough to get what you need out of it. If you have any team members who are hesitant to adjust, tell them about the benefits of account-based marketing and how much more it will allow you to do with your budget.
2. Create your team
Next up is a team that will help you achieve your marketing goals. The best account-based marketing teams have someone in each of the following roles:
- Marketing manager
- Sales database administrator
- Sales developer
- Content manager
- Graphic designer
But if you don’t have the budget to hire someone for each of these roles, don’t sweat it. You can always add staff members to your team later as the funds become available.
3. Bring marketing and sales together
Perhaps the essential part of running an account-based marketing team is ensuring your marketing and sales teams are working closely with one another. There are several different ways to make sure this happens.
One of the most effective is leading shared meetings between the two teams every week. That way, members of each group get the chance to communicate with one another regularly and have an easy way to stay in touch as things change.
You should also give members of both teams access to the same tools. Using different tools will make it challenging for teams to stay in sync.
4. Set shared goals
Another important part of succeeding with account-based marketing is setting shared goals for your marketing and sales staff. The idea is that you want to ensure the two teams are working towards reaching the same destination. And the best way to do that is by using the same metrics to track their twin journeys.
5. Create strategies that will allow you to achieve those goals
Now that you’ve built your team and defined your goals, you’re ready to start dreaming up the specific strategies that will help you achieve those goals. The specific strategies you use will vary based on your target market and the product you sell.
But some ideas may include:
- Reaching decision-makers instead of gatekeepers
- Creating laser-targeted content and sharing it
- Establishing relationships with key customers on social media sites
- Using look-alike modeling to target new customers who share key characteristics with your most important existing ones
6. Check your progress over time and adjust as needed
To succeed with any marketing strategy over a long period, you need to make sure you’re continuously assessing your progress. The strategies that might have worked for you initially may no longer be as effective as time moves forward.
So be sure that you have a strategy in place you can use to assess your performance with account-based marketing reliably. Then, don’t hesitate to make changes when you see that a favored strategy no longer achieves the same results.
Can you use account-based marketing with other strategies?
It’s worth noting, account-based marketing doesn’t have to be the only strategy you use to reach out to customers. It can be effective to pair this idea with a more traditional marketing method, such as inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing targets the top end of the funnel, while account-based marketing targets the narrow bottom. So if you use both strategies, you’ll be appealing to customers and leads at both ends of the spectrum.
That said, your startup may or may not have the budget in place it needs to utilize these two types of marketing. If you can’t afford both, you may want to look into automation tools.
These tools can help you achieve a broader spectrum of marketing activities without increasing your budget dramatically. They can handle a lot of the tasks your staff would have to complete on their own otherwise, which could allow you to be more strategic about how you sell your products.
LeadLander makes it easier to unlock the full potential of account selling
Whatever the conversation is around building an account-based marketing team for startups, it requires consistent access to high-quality data if you want to make the smartest decisions about how to target customers.
That’s why you should consider checking out LeadLander. Our website visitor tracking software provides you with a wealth of information about your website visitors. You can use this to identify new leads easily, find out what content your highest value leads care most about, and gather the intel you need to create more effective pitches.
But we don’t want you to take our word for it. Instead, we’ve put together a risk-free 14-day trial of LeadLander, which you can sign up for today.