ABM Account Selection: How to Pick the Right Accounts

I'd like to make a statement here:

"Once a B2B marketer, always a B2B marketer"

Wondering why I think this way?

Well, one fine day, I went for coffee after work to get some fresh air and I overheard a conversation which was along the lines of stock broking

They were talking about the basics of stock broking and how one can trade efficiently and smartly by

  • choosing the right stocks
  • doing some background checks
  • offloading not-so-potential scripts

and various other things that flew over my head

For a moment though...

I thought that they were talking about Account Selection for Account Based Marketing with a different vocabulary


I gave it a deeper thought, I started drawing some parallels between Account Selection in Account Based Marketing and Stock Broking.

I was awestruck and it almost felt like both of them were the same entities in different uniforms.

Yes, ABM and Stock-broking are more similar than most marketers think.

Let me explain.

While the end goals differ, the process of account selection & nurturing shares striking parallels.

Both involve gathering information about the accounts or stocks, assessing their potential value, and making a decision about whether to pursue them.

Let me give you a closer look at these parallels and others too:

1. Identifying Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP):

Just like stock brokers research & analyze various companies before managing their accounts, marketers need to identify their ideal customer profile (ICP) for effective ABM.

Start by defining the characteristics of the accounts that align best with your product or service.

Understanding your existing audience is the secret to picking the right target audience.

Digging into your own customer base helps you understand which ones are the right accounts and right potential customers.

2. Deep Understanding of the Customer's Industry:

Successful stockbrokers possess a profound knowledge of the companies they invest into.

Likewise, us marketers must familiarize ourselves with their target accounts' industries to understand their unique needs & pain points.

Want to know how deep understanding helps your business and your ABM efforts?

Listen to what Dean McGuinness from xGrowth said on our very own ABM Voice Podcast

By demonstrating industry expertise, you will be able to better position your products or services as solutions that cater precisely to your target users (from target accounts).

3. Providing Excellent Service:

In both stock broking and ABM, exceptional service is vital for building trust and fostering strong relationships.

For stock brokers, providing personalized guidance and support to clients is essential for achieving their financial goals.

Similarly, as marketers, we must strive to provide value & address the specific needs of their accounts.

By offering top-notch service, we can solidify their position as reliable partners, increasing the probability of conversions.

I think...

I've written an entire Linkedin post on this. Read here

4. Nurturing Relationships with Accounts:

Take care of your accounts like you take care of your plants

Oh that reminds me of a blog on the same lines

If you know you know.Stock brokers maintain long standing relationships with their clients, continuously monitoring and adjusting their investment strategies.In ABM, the nurturing process is equally crucial.

  • Stay in touch with your accounts, provide them with relevant and valuable content regularly.
  • Tailor your communications to address their interests and challenges.
  • Engage consistently to keep your brand at the top-of-mind and encourage long-term loyalty.

Know how to build long term B2B relationships from Nick Bennet on our podcast.

5. Information Collection

In stock broking, you need to gather information about the stocks, such as their price, performance, and risk profile from a variety of sources, such as financial news websites, stock exchanges, and investment research firms.

In ABM, you need to gather information about the accounts, such as their size, industry, goals, and decision-making process.This information can be gathered from a variety of sources, such as public records, social media, and your own CRM system.

6. Assessing value of accounts:

Once you have gathered information about the accounts or stocks, you need to assess their potential value.In order determine if the accounts are a good fit for your products or services, considering factors such as their size, industry, and goals.Isn't this as good as determining if the stocks are a good investment for your goals?

7. Uff!! Decision Making:

Based on your assessment of value, you need to make a decision about whether to pursue the accounts or stocks.

In ABM, you may decide to focus your marketing efforts on the accounts that are most likely to be interested in your products or services.

In stock broking, you may decide to buy or sell the stocks that you believe are undervalued or overvalued.

8. Be Data Driven

These things do not work on fate and assumptions, which means you need to rely on data and insights to make decisions.In ABM, you use data to identify and prioritize accounts. These is called "intent data"Have a look at our Blog that talks exclusively about Intent data- what is it, Types, How to use and much more(Link)For example, to select an account or a stock to be worthy of investing your time, money and efforts in, we go through years of data, and hours of research and after that comes the moment when you finally put your money in.

9. Have a Well-Defined Strategy

Before you can begin the account selection process, you need to have a well-defined strategy and plan.This includes defining your goals, identifying your target audience, and developing a process for gathering and assessing information.I have seen marketers fall and lose truckloads of money like those stockbrokers who make it to the headlines.

All because of a lack of strategy in their account selection process.

10. It is Time Consuming

Relax and Breathe, Good things take time. !

It's not like you get to a set of accounts in an hour

Account selection is a complex and time-consuming process just like it is to create a list of trusted and potential stock profiles.

This is because it involves gathering and analyzing a lot of data.

However, the time and effort invested in account selection can be well worth it, as it can help you achieve your goals and close deals more effectively.

Consider it the foundation you are laying down for a large building

More Parallels:

Apart from the shared principles, there are some other parallels too between ABM and stock broking:

1. Research:

Both ABM and stock broking demand substantial research.

While marketers analyze target accounts, stock brokers delve into companies' financial performance.In both cases, research forms the foundation for informed decision-making.

2. Rewarding Endeavors:

Rewards come in different shapes and sizes.In ABM, increased sales and customer acquisition are the ultimate goals, while in stock broking, assisting clients and customers in achieving their financial objectives brings a sense of accomplishment.

3. The Challenge:

Both ABM and stock broking present challenges.ABM can be complex, especially when dealing with unfamiliar accounts, while stock broking faces market volatility.Overcoming these challenges requires expertise and adaptability.Implementing ABM for the 1st time?Listen to Jim Gilkey talk about it on this podcast.

4. Both can be Frustrating:

If you're a marketer you know what I meanAt times you'd just feel that why do all this tiresome work all day and weeks gaining nothing like those gloomy market days.There are times when you put a lot of effort into researching an account or stock, only to find that it is not a good fit for you.But, there's a converted prospect at the end of this dark tunnel.

So, keep up the spirit and keep going

5. Let's predict the future:

In ABM, you need to predict which accounts are most likely to be interested in your products or services just the way you predict which stocks are most likely to increase in value.A small disclaimer I'd like to give here:

Prefer making informed predictions and taking calculated risksLike I said earlier:

"I like to play safe. But at times I also enjoy the thrill of predictions"

6. Competition:

Remember, you're not the only one running for gold.There are a lot of businesses and investors vying for the attention of the same accounts and stocks or at least access to them.If you want to succeed, be creative and strategic.It's your turn to go and show that you're the Wolf of the Wall Street.

You know what?

One walk for coffee made this blog possible

You may have realized that we can draw valuable insights from stock broking to elevate our ABM campaigns.

By identifying the right account lists, understanding their industries, providing excellent service, and nurturing relationships, we can enhance our chances of success.

Remember, the lessons from stock broking can be a catalyst for growth and enjoyment in your marketing endeavours!

See you over coffee!

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