One of the specific contexts in which an ABM approach is applied is pursuing major opportunities or deals. Ideally, these opportunities will be co-created with your customer as a natural extension of your existing relationship.
Deal-based marketing is most likely to happen where competitive tendering is required (such as in the public sector), or where you are competing with an incumbent supplier. Typically, it’s reserved for opportunities with your top customers, where the strength of your client relationship should mean you see these deals coming in advance, giving you plenty of time to build your understanding of the requirements and key stakeholders, and to prepare your case.
As an ABM-er, you can play a pivotal role in helping the bid team prepare a winning proposal. We have identified four key areas of focus for deal-based marketing.
1. Understanding the competitive landscape
Appreciating your competitors’ objectives, strengths and weaknesses (relative to your own business), and the angle they are likely to take in their own bid, will help you shape your own value proposition. When you know what you are up against, you can develop a pitch that draws on your relative strengths, minimises your weaknesses, and differentiates you from the competition.
2. Knowing your audience
A key role ABM-ers play in a deal situation is to provide the bid team with insights into the decision makers and influencers for the opportunity. There are different methods you can use to uncover client pain points, build a detailed picture of their objectives, and understand their opinion of your organisation. One popular approach is to run an audience workshop. Whatever approach you take, the information you glean will help you build a communications plan with clear objectives.
3. Shaping your win themes
You’ll be able to use your account and competitive insight to help the sales team develop ‘win themes’ and support the bid team with a high-impact communications plan. You’ll need a messaging hierarchy, where your overarching proposition for this deal is supported by the win themes that differentiate you and underline why you are the best choice for the customer.
4. Communicating through the bid
While the bid is likely to be long, structured and managed by procurement, an effective ABM-er will create assets that communicate the value proposition and win themes across the internal account team and into the customer throughout the process. Agility is key, so you’ll need to assess each communication activity for its effectiveness and adapt quickly.
You can read more about Deal-based Marketing in Account-Based Growth by Bev Burgess and Tim Shercliff which is available to buy from Kogan Page.
You can find more about ABM in the Resources section of the Inflexion Group website at www.inflexiongroup.com