Introducing the upside down funnel! It seems that lead-based marketing is a fish out of water and it’s just flopping around waiting to die. Okay, well… maybe it’s still good for some uses.

With 89.5% of B2B sales still completed by a person, Account-Based Marketing is quickly becoming the norm. More than 90% of marketers consider it a must-have in the world of B2B marketing in order to generate higher quality leads and to boost conversion rates. Account-based marketing is a great investment, especially for companies with smaller budgets.

First off, let’s understand what account based marketing is. Meagen Eisenberg, CMO at TripActions, said it well:

“Account-based marketing is more targeted and personalized versus spray and pray, where you’re just trying to capture anyone in your net. You’re being very specific about who you want to talk with, and it’s a way for sales and marketing to align on the target.”

So what is account-based marketing?

Assuming you know a thing or two about lead-based marketing you will know that it is like a funnel; it is an attempt to raise awareness for a problem, peak the interest of viewers, earn the consideration of a lead and eventually (read: hopefully) land a sale. While this can be beneficial for some campaigns it can take a long time and there’s a chance that it might not yield very bountiful or favourable results especially when, according to the B2B Technology Marketing Community, the biggest challenge for B2B marketers is “Generating high-quality leads.”

So, let’s dump all those leads out, flip that funnel upside down, and start the process of account-based marketing.

First we will identify our key target. Let’s use an example: say, Jane, VP of Client Relations at Company XYZ. Jane is the real deal, not just a fictional persona of the ideal customer. Jane is interested in a new piece software to help make things a bit easier at work. So after reading a whitepaper on the benefits of the software, she signs up for a webinar or a free trial to learn more. We can now use Jane’s information collected through the website to start our account lead and enter the upside down funnel. Expanding and finding other company contacts that might be associated with Jane based on job description, role, behaviour, and responsibilities become easier with tools like, Kitedesk, or even Linkedin. We will then reach out to the people that Jane works with by email, social media, or telephone.

Specific individuals will be targeted as opposed to a broad group of people.

We can reach out and engage with current users, influencers and decision makers within the account we have now created. With the help of content marketing and lead generation, directing personalized content with custom messaging will aid in targeting each person’s individual requirements rather than providing a broad, generic message to the entire group.

It’s like being invited to an exclusive party where you are the guest of honour rather than an open house. And who doesn’t love being the centre of attention? Okay, so maybe some don’t, but you get the idea.

Great, so why do you need it?

Account-based marketing generates the highest ROI of any marketing approach.

According to ITSMA,

“Almost 85% of marketers who measure ROI describe account-based marketing as delivering higher returns than any other marketing approach, with half of those marketers citing significantly higher returns.“

This can be especially beneficial for companies with limited budgets because the investment yields higher quality leads by eliminating unqualified buyers, which accounts for approximately 82% of website visitors (Demandbase). This results in shorter sales cycles, which saves time and money and allows you to better focus your content marketing efforts on those who are more likely to make a purchase.

This approach provides a more focused, analytical, and goal oriented campaign. By creating highly segmented and targeted campaigns with a more customized outreach it becomes much easier to analyze data and change your strategy as needed.

Implementing account-based marketing will result in a better aligned and more focused sales and marketing team, better customer experiences, shorter sales cycles, and of course, more revenue. Who doesn’t want all that?