Ever since the emergence of marketing automation, there was always a desire to integrate sales, marketing, and customer success with a level of personalization.
With such attributes, marketers, sales reps, and even CSMs (Customer Success Managers) could directly interact with the potential customers in a manner that they resonate with.
To date, the problem has been those sales reps, marketers, and CSMs (Customer Success Managers) could not decipher the target audience and what they wanted.
Getting a proper understanding of each individual at such a micro level required truckloads of data and intelligence. And, till now, it was too technical to handle.
Till now, the industry has been obsessed with workflow automation, i.e., how to send more emails, make more calls, purchase more ads, track more website behavior, automate content, etc.
The last few years have been a drastic change in the adoption of automation tools. Undoubtedly, this workflow automation comes in handy, but it is helpful only when you target the right potential customers.
Account-based marketing is the first real step towards achieving the marketing automation dream. With the application of an account-based approach, companies can target specific accounts in a personalized manner which gets you more qualified prospects coming from inbound than ever before.
The account-based strategy aligns the sales, marketing, and customer success by having a constant strategic discussion between these functions to ascertain the right customer profile that will drive higher sales velocity. So, why has the account-based approach not been applied in each and every company? The answer is account-based intelligence is missing from it.
What is account-based intelligence?
Account-based intelligence or ABI is the coordination of sales, marketing, sales development, marketing strategy, and customer success teams to improve engagement, increase conversions, and drive the influence of a targeted set of accounts. The key focus is on increasing the revenue chain through marketing, sales, and customer success strategies.
Account-based intelligence is useful data that calculates a user’s behavior and activity and offers pointers and content on what to buy.
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Why is it important?
Account-based intelligence helps form the basis and foundation of an account-based strategy. This helps marketers, customer success agents, and salespeople receive more information about the company-
- Know which companies and people need to be contacted at target companies
- Discover when customers are ready to buy
- Inform sales representatives of what will work with potential customers
The concept of account-based everything (marketing, sales, and customer success)
The ultimate objective of account-based intelligence is to make sure that marketing and sales representatives ascertain high-value accounts and create personalized campaigns. This helps the account move down the pipeline. So, the marketing team knows whom to target and how the sales team can target them personally and enhance their conversion chances. The customer success team can then follow up, leading to better networking. This also helps you know which accounts have the highest acquisition costs and lifetime value. This led to the concept of account-based everything.
The account-based everything (ABE) framework is to help companies align and commit based on a go-to-market strategy keeping account intelligence at the core. It spread across the entire company- finance teams, engineering teams, product teams, technology department, and the sales team.
Account-based everything can lead to focused demand generation, increased sales results, and better customer service.
Use of account-based intelligence as your personal sales and marketing analyst
For sales and marketing teams, account-based intelligence is a blessing. There is better alignment among the teams and hence shorter sales cycles. Usually, the sales process slows down due to multiple stakeholders. This can be handled with account-based marketing since every stakeholder in the pipeline is nurtured simultaneously.
Reasons account-based intelligence compliments customer success
Customer success is defined as proactively expecting customer questions and challenges to find solutions. The intention is to ensure customer retention and reduce churn by ensuring clear communication and support.
Account-based intelligence and customer success are complementing processes. Account managers help with relationship building, and customer success managers are proactive.
Customer success managers predict issues that might happen and smooth things out. They look to solve problems at various points in the customer journey and optimize the customer experience to enhance and promote loyalty and retention. On the other hand, account managers react to issues as they happen and offer solutions for different managers.
Both account-based intelligence and customer success increase customer loyalty and build better relationships. It also stresses increasing customer lifetime value. The two focus on the customer, improving the process, and customizing outcomes.
Complimenting Tasks of Account-based marketers and customer success managers
- Listening to customer needs
- Preventing problems and analyzing customer behavior
- Calculating ROI
- Proposing solutions to ensure customers don’t face issues
- Mitigating customer churn with strategies
- Improving customer retention
- Boost sales processes
- Create strategic marketing plans
To get the results of customer success from an account-centric angle, you must-
- Identify the key players in your company and match them with the customer’s company
- Focus on customer onboarding, account renewals, usage, account expansion, and customer advocacy as your core goals.
- Understand the interactions, sequencing, and timing among all the stakeholders to produce a successful outcome
- View and manage account-based metrics that calculate customer coverage, engagement, and outcomes.
Top examples of how account-based intelligence can help with customer success include-
- Retention campaigns that highlight new features, stress on product strengths, and reach customers via multiple mediums
- Webinars can be made relevant and personalized for accounts.
- Web personalization through inbound marketing campaigns
- Social intelligence like Google Alerts to understand the company better and uncover more information
For marketers, salespeople, and CSMs (Customer Success Managers), the most critical aspect is to use multiple tools to achieve your objectives.
By using an account-based intelligence tool, you can simplify your sales, marketing, and customer success all at once. The reason is, everyone can see each and every single detail about existing clients and leads in a single place.27
This makes tracking activities like campaign performance, ROI retention, churn, and app usage easy.
Dattatraya Shetty is an IT Professional with 2 Decades of experience in areas of Product Development, Implementation & Service Delivery Management. As the Head of Implementations and SOC Compliance in Smartkarrot he is on a mission to provide relishing customer experience.
Published January 27, 2022, Updated March 02, 2023