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From ABM to ABX. Generate Quality Leads Through Account-based Experience

In this era of digital transformation, it has become clear that people buy experiences, not products. Account-based marketing (ABM), a method traditionally focused on the accounts that will drive the most revenue, is picking up steam, and it’s proving to be an effective B2B marketing strategy to generate revenue and increase ROI

Indeed, a whopping 99% of marketers say ABM has a higher ROI than other marketing initiatives. Last year, more than one-third (35.9%) of marketers surveyed said that at least half of their marketing is account-based. In the next year, the majority of B2B marketers expect ABM (49%) to have the most significant impact on their business outcomes

However, marketers are still struggling to fully unlock the potential of ABM because their current approach creates random customer interactions and one-off campaigns. These initiatives bring in short-term results and lack in establishing long-lasting customer loyalty. Below, we’ll highlight some of the must-haves of an effective account-based approach.

Sales and Marketing coordination

B2B organizations face an increasingly complex buyer journey and sales cycle. To add to that, there are a number of different decision-makers within a single account team, which requires a shared sales and marketing strategy to effectively target the right people at the right time, every time.

The more traditional lead-based marketing approach on its own — without an account-based strategy — hasn’t delivered effectively for the modern B2B buyer. It often results in disconnected and conflicting customer experiences and wasted time and resources for sales and marketing teams. Sales and marketing teams that collaborate closer as one team have a better ROI on their efforts.

Organizations need to build a shared data infrastructure where all data sources are combined into one real-time customer engagement data source and is accessible for both sales and marketing. Otherwise, sales teams don’t know what marketing has done and where prospects are in their customer journey and marketing doesn’t have access to the engagements and interactions that an account has had with sales teams.

Related: What is Smarketing? (And Why It’s Important)

Make experience your business

Businesses can no longer compete based on product and price. Today, experience is the new brand currency. It’s also the new competitive differentiator. This concept applies to all forms of online and offline engagement, including ABM. It’s important that you put people and experience at the center of your account-based efforts and call them ABX, or account-based experiences. That’s because an account-based approach isn’t just about marketing — it requires collaborating with an ecosystem of teams across your organization to share the same responsibility and promise to customers and delivering cohesive experiences no matter how big or small or at what maturity level their teams are currently at. Customer experience is a shared responsibility across every team.

Build a single view of the customer

A single view of the customer is imperative for effective ABM. Sales and marketing teams need to collaborate to stitch together first, second and third-party data, including CRM, behavioral, transactional, financial, operational data, and more — to get a true end-to-end view of customers in real-time. Effective ABM requires a real-time living and breathing customer profile that is connected to all your online and offline channels, such as email, mobile, advertising, web, call centers, and direct mail. Once this happens, account-based experiences start to build off the previous one, ensuring the most relevant experience possible for buyers.

Related: More Than a Leads List: How Data Impacts ABM, According to Research

Use AI for ABM personalization

Once data infrastructure is in place, the right solution must include artificial intelligence in order to give companies three major advantages: personalization, accuracy, and efficiency. For example, during account selection, AI can help save weeks and months analyzing multiple data sources to help you develop an accurate, data-driven ideal customer profile. Also, knowing when a prospect is on your website, as well as what they are looking at in real-time can help identify which content buyers should see next, no matter where the customer decides to engage with your brand next. This AI-powered, personalized approach throughout the buyer’s journey keeps ABX as personalized and relevant as possible to close the deal more quickly, eventually turning engagement into increased sales and ROI.

Related: 4 Proven ABM Techniques to Maximize Lead Conversion

ABX is an ongoing strategy

There is a lot of misconception around what qualifies as a successful ABX strategy. One thing is for sure: It is not just a single point in time. Account-based experiences are ongoing conversations made up of influential touchpoints with key accounts that are personalized, coordinated, and continuous. It’s a focus on the lifetime value of a specific account that adds up to a larger, holistic, and longer-term customer relationship from awareness to advocacy and beyond

Conclusion

Remember, people buy experiences, not products, so it only makes sense to put people and experiences at the center of your ABM strategy across every touchpoint in concert with sales. With experience at the center of your ABM strategy, it’s proven to help B2B brands reach and influence their customers more effectively, and to help them experience what customers want. And it’s of value to all marketers, regardless of company size or marketing maturity.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Best and Inspiring Response to Grandma Becomes Viral

 Photo by Brian Solis – https://flic.kr/p/57fCHR

Interesting FB status posts are those that stir excitement about extreme emotions of joy, anger or disgust; indulgence on food, gadgets and travel; and achievements in life and career. All these would normally come from the “Millennials” also known as Generation Y (the generation born from the 1980’s to 2000’s). Millennials are able to easily start up a thread of discussion by simply posting a “comment” , clicking a “like” button, or “share” recently  taken or “throwback” photos on social media. Millennials are “yuppies” or young professionals that are most active members of social media and have easy access to the internet and resources like smartphones and gadgets.

And from whom the best, most commented post would come but the Facebook CEO himself – Mark Zuckerberg. It wasn’t just a discussion-deserved post but something that has marked a life’s lesson for many.

Recently, Mark posted on his Facebook account his plans of inventing an AI assistant for himself to do some househelp and even look after his month old baby girl on his behalf. The post got more than 24,000 responses and more than 20,000 likes. (Yahoo!).

When Being a Nerd is the Next HOT Topic

Out of the more or less 24,000 responses, one comment caught Mark’s attention. It was from a grandmother named Darlene Hackemer Loretto who said “ I keep telling my granddaughters to date the nerd in school, he may turn out to be a Mark Zuckerberg….” The FB founder then made a prompt response to Loretto ”Even better would be to encourage them to “be” the nerd in school so they can be the next successful inventor!”.

Mark Zuckerberg's Best and Inspiring Response to Grandma Becomes Viral

Photos from Huffingtonpost.com

Grandma’s advice was good but.. Mark NAILED it

We understand that grandmas, like any other doting elders in the family, would always hope and wish for the best for their grandchildren, just as how Loretto thought for her granddaughters. But what’s more inspiring  is when you hear these sensible thoughts and wise advice from the younger generation, from whom we wouldn’t normally expect. Just as what Mr. Zuckerberg has suggested to Loretto to encourage young women to strive for success themselves.

Related: Points to Ponder: Quotes from the Best Minds in B2B to Get you Through the Year

Mark’s response did not seem to be a mere comment to the thread of discussion, but has taken center stage at inspiring, educating and sharing wise knowledge to all. It’s a wisdom from someone who has intellectually matured through rich experience and achievement. It’s a lesson that every individual must learn and live with.

Lessons

Success is a self-earned achievement through hard work and optimism. It does not come while we sit or lie down in comfort and wait for it to show up. We should do things ourselves. Although we may seek and receive help from others, but not to expect others to solely do things for us.

Related: 7 Important Business Insights from Walt Disney, The Granddaddy of Animation

Mark Zuckerberg never expected that hard work on a college project “Facebook”, would take the biggest leap of fate for him and his colleagues, and become the most popular social networking site and a vital element in the life of netizens and mostly everyone else in the world today.

It took me even years before I hone myself to be resilient from failing plans and like Mark and Facebook, through dedication I have sustain a company in more than ten years.

Mark’s words clearly emphasized that success is not pure luck as marrying a nerd who becomes one great inventor and billionaire, but rather achieved through hard work, passion and optimism – conjoint together to build you up and take you to where you want to be.

Callbox Pays It Forward

Get to Know More Callbox. Check Out How Our Callbox Family Extends! 

 What lessons did you learn? What is your business inspiration and motivation these days? Share it on the comment box.

Callbox Ranks No. 1 for Best Lead Generation Service for 2016

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Read the full review by TopTenReviews here:

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7 Factors To Remember When Outsourcing B2B Appointment Setting

Before you decide to outsource your b2b appointment setting campaign to an appointment setting service provider, you have to take note of these 7 factors. Knowing these things about your BPO of choice is a must if you want your appointment setting campaign to be successful and ensure your ROI.

  • Efficient appointment setting quality controls – When setting appointments, not just any business lead will do. Good b2b appointment setting campaigns only contact high quality b2b sales leads which are already pre qualified from the initial lead generation process.
  • Source of the business list used for appointment setting – Bought lists can be used, but these tend to be sold to your competitors as well, which means your chances of finding qualified leads are slim. A good business list for appointment setting should be freshly sourced from organic searches.
  • Scheduling coordination between appointment setter and client – shared calendars such as Google’s are a good choice for coordinating sales and appointment setter schedules, but to ensure that every member of the appointment setting team and the client company is well-coordinated, CRM software that have scheduling tools are a better choice.
  • Script or content quality – just as expert b2b telemarketers use telemarketing scripts when cold calling b2b sales leads, good b2b appointment setters use scripts or content which have been tested before they are put into action on campaigns to make sure they deliver the desired results.
  • Pay for performance appointment setting or fixed rate – while both methods have positive and negative points, pay for performance appointment setting service providers can be quite unreliable. Fixed rate appointment setters offer more security for companies who want to outsource.
  • Reporting methods – knowing how a b2b appointment setting company reports about campaigns are important to make the most out of each campaign. To make reporting more specific to the data or information that a client wants to know, a CRM software containing all datas pertaining to the campaign that can be accessed by the client whenever and wherever he wants will make reporting completely hassle free.
  • Appointment setters previous campaign metrics – b2b appointment setting service providers should share feedback from previous client campaigns to allow prospective clients to gauge their ability to successfully set business appointments. The portfolio of the BPO firm should be easy to spot in their website, or they should be readily available should the potential client ask for it.

Content Marketing: How To Be Continuously Creative

Content marketing is the best way to describe online marketing. No matter what you channel you use on social media, you still use some form of content to get the attention of your business leads. A compelling, well-researched content is the best  material to use, but there is a significant problem when using this type of marketing. What is this challenge? The process of content creation itself. Being creative is the most challenging aspect of using this b2b lead generation strategy.

How can you keep your content creators writing quality content all the time, on time? Here are a few tips:

  • Use Google Alerts, Google Trends, and Google Reader – in their quest to provide the best possible experience for their users, Google has even provided the tools to help content creators to write valuable content for their readers.
  • Curate online content – when you’ve exhausted all your resources and still can’t find any inspiration, you can use the blogs of other people for inspiration. Take an idea from the blog posts of other people you follow and expound on it.
  • Ask for guest posts – everyone needs to take rest every once in a while, and content creators are no different. To keep your blog updated while you get some R&R, why not ask a few of your readers to post? Or maybe someone you know from a forum, or even your offline friends. There are even websites available where you can hire bloggers who guest post for free. By hiring someone to write while you’re away, you can be sure that business leads will still get the value that they keep coming back for from your site.
  • When all else fails—recycle! – There’s nothing wrong about dusting an old article or blog post and using it again. You can talk about how this article sparked the most debate amongst all your blog posts, or how this brought in the most number of conversions for your site. This may even encourage “lurker” business leads to comment about when they first read this article and how they felt then. Ah, nostalgia.

Content creation is an important aspect of online marketing. However, it should be noted that this alone won’t be enough to sustain your business with quality leads. Supplementing this channel with direct marketing will bring in more qualified business leads faster. Direct marketing channels such as email, telemarketing, trade shows and seminars are extremely helpful.