Web Profits BlogContent MarketingAn Account-Based Marketing Cheat Sheet to Start Closing High-Ticket Sales

An Account-Based Marketing Cheat Sheet to Start Closing High-Ticket Sales

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If you’re still running email blast campaigns using the standard “Hey FNAME!” template to land clients, you might be living in a different century.

In which case, you should probably time-travel back to reality.

Sure, a drip email campaign might do the trick.

But why are you settling for abysmal conversion rates?

As marketers, we frequently fall into the trap of doing the same things and expecting different results.

With standard email and remarketing conversion rates being so low, why do we think we’ll become the exception to the rule and land a 90% conversion rate? (Trust me, I’m speaking from personal experience.)

Closing low-priced, transactional sales isn’t hard. Most online mediums can do the trick.

But closing big, high-ticket sales is another story entirely.

You know, the ones that can double your growth in a single month.

Those elusive fish aren’t easy to land with a simple lead magnet lure on Twitter.

A generic email campaign won’t even see the real decision makers sitting behind the curtain.

And trust me, they aren’t spending enough time on social media for you to put your budget into it.

So what do you do?

How do you land high-ticket sales and get your business in front of the big dogs?

By using these account-based marketing hacks.

What is account-based marketing?

Think of it this way:

You run a few social media campaigns to generate some brand buzz.

Next, you drive some new inbound traffic via those campaigns to your website.

Like a typical marketer, you run a few remarketing campaigns to bring lost conversions back.

You follow up with interested prospects and close a few deals.

In the end, your sales cycle keeps moving like this.

It’s a process of casting a wide net to capture as many prospects as possible.

But account-based marketing is the exact opposite.

It focuses on marketing to specific accounts as their own single market. Meaning you aren’t sending out big email blasts to thousands of people.

You’re tailoring the experience to individual accounts.

And on top of that, you’re doing the qualification beforehand.

Let me give you an example to see it in practice.

Optimizely recently shared their new homepage strategy with us at Unbounce’s Call To Action Conference.

They started creating nearly 30 homepage variants depending on each audience and target market they wanted to capture:

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They were tailoring the experience to fit small account groups rather than trying to reel in thousands of visits with the hopes of converting a few.

They quickly saw a 117% increase in sign-ups.

How?

Account-based marketing initiatives that focused on specific, small markets.

Let’s recap this.

Account-based marketing focuses on delivering specific, highly-specialized marketing messages to markets of one rather than a giant target market.

Account-based marketing is like spearfishing, whereas regular B2B marketing is tossing a net from behind the boat.

So, why should you use account-based marketing?

Why should you use it?

Account-based marketing can be the catalyst that your business needs to find growth.

Word of mouth marketing is fantastic, but it’s often not possible for smaller companies.

Unless you’re Coca-Cola, you can’t depend on it for sustained growth.

Inbound marketing is awesome. SEO can deliver huge results for the smallest of companies.

But it also takes months to establish and hours upon hours of work daily to manage.

And that only leaves one last method:

Outbound.

But typical outbound methods — TV, radio, etc. — aren’t what I’m talking about. Those are a thing of the past.

According to Marketo, 97% of people using ABM that were surveyed said that it had a much higher or somewhat higher ROI than other marketing initiatives.

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It’s not just marketers that benefit from account-based marketing either.

More and more consumers are itching for personalized offers.

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Meaning fewer and fewer people are receptive to traditional marketing tactics that seek to reach as many people as possible.

The standard strategy of casting a net to thousands of users and hoping to convert a small percent of them isn’t sufficient and shouldn’t be the norm.

Single account targeting is where the big-ticket clients are.

Treat them as their own market that’s actually personalized.

Here’s how you can use account-based marketing to close big deals.

Cheat sheet for closing high-ticket sales

Landing high-ticket sales isn’t easy. It’s a grind. But that grind is worth it when you land a client that doubles your yearly growth in a single month.

Here’s an easy to follow cheat sheet for bringing in the best leads with account-based marketing.

1. Prospect first on LinkedIn

Typical marketing tactics tell us to drive tons of traffic first, then weed out the unfit candidates.

To generate lots of site visits and convert 2 to 5% of them.

And don’t get me wrong – that works. You can build a business around that model.

But if you’re looking for the best of the best, it doesn’t. You virtually need to flip the script.

Meaning you need to start prospecting before driving traffic. Weeding out unfit candidates before they hit your site.

Doing this will narrow your target market and allow you to market with higher specificity.

Thankfully, LinkedIn actually gives us a tool to do this on our own:

LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator.

Using the Sales Navigator, you can search for a prospect by a multitude of factors like keywords, industries, job titles, and even seniority level.

Now, you can start to hunt the big-ticket accounts that your company can serve.

You can see which companies turn up in your results. Save them as a new account, and you’ve got instant access to employees, too.

Now that you’ve added a few accounts as targets, you can start to receive email updates from LinkedIn telling you how those prospects have engaged in the past few weeks:

Now, it’s time for you to start engaging with them. And I don’t mean sending creepy, sponsored InMail messages.

I mean actually engage with their content and on their company page.

The key to account-based marketing is building a real relationship.

Rather than sending email blast campaigns, you focus on that individual account and their needs.

Try sponsoring your latest content on LinkedIn directly to those target accounts to start building brand awareness and getting your company in front of key decision makers.

Once you’ve done that, you can even start to create matched audiences, similar to Facebook’s lookalike audiences.

This can help you scale the process of reaching desirable accounts that are often hard to reach.

Upload a list of accounts based on your Sales Navigator history, and you’ll be able to prospect dozens of new accounts ahead of time.

Remember that with account-based marketing you should be focusing on small markets and big clients that you can’t land without smaller targeting and increased focus.

You can’t create remarketing lists of 1,000 companies.

You need to localize your efforts on a small scale.

Find target clients and start engaging with them.

Sponsor your posts and get your content in front of their key decision makers.

Take that opportunity to build a real relationship with them.

That’s when you move in for the deal.

2. Create small market lists with Facebook’s custom audiences

Facebook has powerful custom audience features.

They’ve also got billions of monthly active users.

So chances are, those big accounts and companies will be on there.

Even CEOs and CMOs are on Facebook.

Heck, even dogs have their own Facebook profiles. Thanks, millennials.

This gives you a good opportunity to use Facebook’s interests and exclusions feature to target hyper-specific audiences.

The goal here is to qualify and disqualify as fast as you can before you bring in thousands of visits.

You want to create small lists that can help you identify top prospects and ones that you can’t afford to target.

Open up your Business Manager dashboard and click on the audiences section:

From here you can create a new saved audience, or even a lookalike audience if you already have a few big ticket clients that you want to emulate.

If you’ve got a large client that represents your ideal account-based goal, you can create a new lookalike audience by uploading an email list.

If you’re still prospecting, create a saved audience.

Start by entering the basic demographics that fit your ideal customer:

Next, it’s time for the real targeting options that can help you filter your results beforehand.

Instead of waiting to qualify prospects after they’ve moved down your funnel, you’re only targeting those that you know are a perfect fit.

Open the interests and exclusions section below your demographics.

Now it’s time to start adding specific interests, demographics, or behaviors that correlate to the ideal big-ticket account.

For example, you could include CEOs and Fortune 500 companies as a start.

But that’s still too generic. Not all of those companies need your services.

You need to hone in on your specific niche.

Now you’ve got a list of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies who have an interest in SEO.

But that’s still too wide of a net. You can’t expect to target a few million people and find success with account-based marketing.

It’s time to filter out any red flags that you typically see in your business.

For example, do you rarely close a deal with CMOs or sales teams? Filter them out:

The key here is to create lists that are as specific as can be.

Filter them through tons of different interests and exclusions to get the qualifying done before you bring them in, giving you a much better shot at aligning with their goals via highly targeted messaging.

3. Get creative if you want to build a relationship

Now that you’ve started building real relationships by qualifying accounts beforehand, you’ve got a big opportunity.

The door is open.

All you need to do is capitalize on the opportunity.

Account-based marketing thrives on the principle of marketing to a single account as your target market.

But once you’ve got a few pre-qualified leads and traffic coming to your site, it’s time to step up your game.

Social blasts and drip campaigns are easy. That’s why everyone and their mother does it.

And that’s why tons of people don’t even pay attention to it (see: banner blindness).

You need to market on a personalized level, delivering genuine content to each account in attempts to land them as a client.

So, how do you do it?

Well, you’ve got a few options.

One of the best ones is actually direct mail. 42% of people read direct mail pieces.

59% of people who receive direct mail report enjoying the experience and feeling more connected to that brand.

If that’s not enough to convince you, 56% of consumers check out a company website after opening their direct mail pieces.

Direct mail is an awesome way to connect with account-based leads on a personal, one-to-one level.

For example, check out how LavOnline used direct mail to appeal to small customer segments:

And the results speak for themselves:

They saw a 32% increase in account signups, a 15% increase in site traffic, and an 8% final conversion rate within just four weeks.

If you want to land high-ticket sales with account-based marketing, you need to treat markets as one.

Use creativity to stand out and build real relationships with your potential clients.

Conclusion

Have you ever seen this before?

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

As digital marketers, we get stuck in our old ways.

We’ve become the old folks that everybody loves to make fun of when they pull out their iPhone and can’t send a simple text.

We send drip campaigns and remarketing ads to drive sales.

And they work. To an extent.

But they don’t get your brand in front of high-ticket clients.

Big decision makers don’t want to read your “Hey $FNAME!” email.

They get thousands of those every single week.

And guess what they do with them?

DELETE.

But you need to land those big-ticket clients that can skyrocket your ROI.

Thankfully, account-based marketing is available and ready for us to use.

Try prospecting on LinkedIn and Facebook to qualify leads before they come to your site.

Once you’ve connected with potential leads, find creative ways to provide value and personalization on an account level.

C-Suite execs don’t sit on webinars. They don’t respond to cold emails.

So how you gonna get their attention instead?

Brad Smith

Brad Smith

Brad Smith is the founder of Codeless, a B2B content creation company. Frequent contributor to Kissmetrics, Unbounce, WordStream, AdEspresso, Search Engine Journal, and more.

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