The Ultimate Guide to Account-Based Marketing for SaaS Companies

Account-Based Marketing for SaaS

You may have heard about the benefits of account-based marketing (ABM) in helping to increase customer acquisition, encourage loyalty, and drive long-term success. You might even be considering implementing ABM strategies for your own SaaS company.

But what exactly is ABM and how do you correctly integrate it into your existing sales and marketing plans?

In this definitive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about account-based marketing (ABM) in SaaS so that you can take advantage of its unique capabilities and make the most out of it for your business. Let’s begin.


What Is Account-Based Marketing (ABM)?


Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a highly effective and modernized approach to targeting specific accounts within a company.

It uses some of the most advanced marketing technologies and strategies in order to identify, target, and engage individual prospects that can benefit the most from the product or service being offered.

Account-based marketing leverages data-driven insights on customer behavior and preferences in order to personalize the sales process while offering an enhanced experience for consumer decision-makers.

Additionally, ABM offers companies valuable insights into their customer base and helps them create more tailored solutions to better meet the needs of their customers.

This powerful combination enables SaaS businesses to strategically form customized relationships with their prospective customers at scale, ultimately leading to higher lead conversions and ongoing sales success.


Traditional marketing vs. ABM


Traditional marketing relies on leveraging well-established tactics such as email outreach, cold calling, and some digital marketing to attract leads. It often involves mass outreach, which tends to overlook individual needs and preferences.

While this approach still works in certain situations, account-based marketing has quickly risen as an effective way to target very specific audiences.

Account based marketing takes a much more personalized approach by focusing on specific accounts. It emphasizes relationship building with key clients to encourage upsells, win back canceled accounts, and get positive referrals.

The result is a long-term strategy that helps you learn from and grow with your clients instead of simply trying to land them as quickly as possible.

With ABM strategies, SaaS companies analyze their audience’s behaviors, needs, and interests. By using this data, businesses can custom-tailor their marketing efforts to the ideal customer or client.

That being said, ABM requires more dedication and resources compared to traditional marketing; however, it has been found to provide higher ROI in the end.

Even though traditional tactics are still frequently used in many areas today, account-based marketing is fast becoming the go-to choice for businesses that want to flexibly reach their potential customers.


Benefits of Account-Based Marketing to SaaS


ABM is rapidly becoming one of the most effective ways for SaaS companies to increase revenue. It allows them to focus their efforts on high-value customers, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of their marketing investments. Here are some of the key benefits of ABM for SaaS companies:


1. Increased Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)


CLV is the total amount of revenue that a customer will generate over the course of their relationship with a company. By targeting key accounts and developing long-term relationships with them, companies can increase the amount of revenue that each customer generates. For example, by offering additional services or products to existing customers, companies can increase their CLV.


2. Improved Customer Retention Rates


Customer retention rate is the percentage of customers who remain loyal to a company over a period of time. Companies with high customer retention rates are more successful in the long run as they have a built-in base of loyal customers.

ABM can help to improve customer retention rates by fostering long-term relationships between companies and their key accounts. For example, by offering personalized experiences and products/services tailored to their customers’ needs, companies can increase customer loyalty.


3. Greater Efficiency and ROI


ABM is also more efficient and has a higher ROI than other marketing strategies. About 97% of marketers say so. This is because ABM allows you to focus your resources on a small number of high-value accounts rather than trying to reach a large, undefined market.

Additionally, because ABM is focused on developing long-term relationships, it can lead to increased sales and revenue over time, resulting in a higher ROI.


4. Increased Visibility and Brand Awareness


When you focus your marketing efforts on a small number of key accounts, you are more likely to get noticed by decision-makers within those organizations. This increased visibility can lead to greater brand awareness for your company, which can ultimately lead to more sales and revenue.


5. Improved Sales Pipeline Management


The sales pipeline is the process that companies use to track potential sales from initial contact to close. By focusing on key accounts and developing long-term relationships with them, you can better manage your sales pipelines and close more deals overall.


How to Get Started with Account-Based Marketing For SaaS? 


With its various benefits, ABM is quickly becoming the go-to strategy for increasing customer engagement and retention.

Hubspot reported that 7 out of 10 companies use ABM strategy. ABM’s highly targeted approach enables businesses to identify their most profitable customers and focus their activities accordingly.

Below are some tips on how to get started with account-based marketing for SaaS companies:


1. Build your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)


Your ideal customer profile is a detailed description of your target customer. This includes demographic information, job titles, and other characteristics that will help you narrow down your target audience to the most profitable customers.

You’ll need to tailor your campaigns and messages specifically to this audience segment in order to make sure that your ABM efforts are successful.

Start by first researching the target accounts you’re interested in and which of their traits make them worth pursuing. At a minimum, you should have an understanding of each company’s size, industry, location, and certain other demographic information.

Additionally, delve into their particular pain points and interests so that you can get an even better sense of who they are and what really motivates them.

Doing this research upfront will set you up for crafting more effective campaigns that appeal directly to the companies at which you’re aiming.


2. Contact the right people


There are now plenty of tools available that can help you automate the process of finding and contacting the right people within a company. Whether you’re looking to research key decision makers, identify trending technology topics they care about, or get insight into the ideal outreach strategy – using a specialized tool can make all the difference in executing winning ABM campaigns.

To find the right one for your business, consider factors like user-friendliness and cost, as well as customer reviews and feedback from colleagues or peers who have used similar software already.


3. Build a comprehensive list of accounts


Once you’ve narrowed down the accounts that you’re interested in, start building a comprehensive list of these key contacts and their associated companies. This will help ensure that your outreach efforts are as personal and tailored as possible.

While this may seem daunting, there are multiple ways to go about it. Doing thorough research through internal company resources as well as external sources can provide rich detail on potential customers and their industries.

Start by making a list of key players that have a high potential for growth, who fit into your usual demographic, and whose current goals and needs coincide with what you are offering. Then identify potential customers by researching market trends, attending industry events or webinars, and leveraging third-party data sources or other relevant marketing databases.

These activities should provide useful information to help you craft a detailed profile of each target account so you can customize messaging based on their individual interests and preferences.

Utilizing tools specifically designed for ABM campaigns that allow you to segment customers based on various criteria can help narrow the list down to ensure each account is a viable fit for your product or service.

Finally, double-check that all the contact information associated with each account is accurate before launching any ABM campaigns.


4. Create relevant content


Creating content that is tailored to the interests of your target accounts is key in driving engagement and conversions. Aim to create content that is helpful, informative, and relevant to the challenges they face.

Start by understanding your target accounts inside and out – industry, size, brand attributes, influencers, etc. Research these topics carefully to ensure that your content is tailored to the needs of the prospective customer.

Additionally, collaborate with key stakeholders who understand the voice of your product or services and use this knowledge to create compelling content.

Lastly, conduct evaluation analytics by regularly tracking the success of your ABM campaigns through metrics like click-through rate, conversions, engagement level, etc.


5. Connect with your target audience 


It’s important to establish a connection with each potential user through customized messaging that speaks to their needs and preferences. You can create personalized profiles for each of your potential users by understanding the context of their sector and researching the challenges they face.

By crafting the perfect message, you can increase engagement among your target audience and build meaningful relationships that will continue well into the future.

Additionally, once a relationship is established, you should make sure to communicate regularly through various channels so that your target audience continues to feel appreciated and valued by your company.


ABM messaging channels


To ensure the success of your account-based marketing campaigns, selecting the right messaging channels is key. Depending on the specific SaaS tool, options for account-based marketing messaging channels may include:


1. LinkedIn


LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for marketers in recent years as it allows them to identify and target key accounts with laser-like precision. LinkedIn arms marketers with the ability to pinpoint the exact people within organizations that meet specific criteria, as well as engage and nurture those relationships over time.

Furthermore, LinkedIn provides insights into individual contacts by giving users access to valuable data such as job titles, career paths, company affiliations, and more. All of these features, combined with LinkedIn’s powerful targeting capabilities and their vast reach of 875 million+ professionals, makes it a highly efficient account-based marketing powerhouse.


2. Email


Having an effective email strategy in place can help drive significant leads, conversions, and sales, as well as boost customer loyalty.

Email is also a cost-effective way to reach customers, with businesses able to use segmented lists to follow up on prospects who’ve interacted with your brand.

Additionally, marketers have the ability to customize emails to target particular users more effectively


3. Phone Calls


By making a direct connection, companies are able to discuss the specifics of their message, build relationships with those they are engaging and make sure their message is heard and understood.

Phone conversations also provide real-time feedback, enabling companies to quickly pivot to ensure their message is meeting its objectives. From follow up questions on a product offering to responding to objections and concerns, phone calls are a valuable tool for ABM messaging that should not be overlooked when crafting marketing campaigns.

With a detailed game plan and well-crafted scripts, phone calls present many opportunities for relationship-building and nurturing real-time conversations with potential customers.


4. Paid digital ads


Paid digital ads provide analytics and insights on how your target accounts respond to your messages, allowing you to refine your approach over time and increase the effectiveness of campaigns.

Additionally, paid digital ads also offer more personalized engagement, custom-built for each account you’re targeting—allowing you to tailor your messages based on the needs of those accounts.

Finally, thanks to its digital nature, paid ads are extremely fast and cost-effective—meaning that companies can quickly and efficiently deploy their ABM strategies to multiple accounts.


5. Referrals from your ABM-sourced customers


Word of mouth can be the most powerful form of marketing, and referrals from your ABM-sourced customers are an excellent way to drive your ABM messaging to new audiences. With these referral sources, you can target invitations for new customers to join in on conversations about placements for products, services, and other events.

This form of AMB messaging allows customers to hear from others first-hand that their experiences with your product or service has been positive and beneficial. Not only will this create more trust on a personal level but it gives you an organic opportunity to engage with potential customers and the opportunity to show them how they can potentially benefit from your product or service as well.

Here are a few tips on setting up a referral incentive:

  • Decide on the type of incentive: whether it’s free product samples, discounts, or cash rewards. Consider what best incentivizes customers in the long term.
  • Decide how you’ll track referrals so that everyone who refers others is properly compensated.
  • Ensure that your incentive program is compliant with related laws and regulations.
  • Offer a way for referred customers to contact you, such as through a form on your website or an email address.
  • Make sure to follow up promptly with referred customers and thank the people who referred them.
  • Finally, create a marketing strategy for letting existing clients know about this new system.


Account-Based Marketing Tactics


ABM works especially well with SaaS products, where customers often require a personalized experience and need education about the product in order to adopt it successfully. Here are some of the most effective account-based marketing tactics you can use to increase your ROI:


1. Interactive Demos


Showcasing your SaaS tool through an interactive demonstration helps increase engagement from customers and allows them to better visualize how they will benefit from your solution. It also helps create a more memorable impression of your brand by adding a personal touch.

Interactive demonstrations also provide an opportunity for buyers to get in-depth with the features they’re interested in and familiarize themselves with the capabilities of your tool. This gives you an ideal platform to introduce your SaaS tool and position your brand as a key partner in finding them the right solutions.

With interactive demos, you can use account-based marketing more effectively by directly engaging customers while helping them understand how they can benefit from their product or service.


2. Personalized gifting


Personalized gifting is an excellent way to spice up your account-based marketing strategy and make a strong impression on target clients. By taking the time to present each individual or company you are targeting with a thoughtful, well-made gift, you can cultivate valuable relationships that go above and beyond the follow-up emails and sales calls that usually accompany an ABM approach.

With the right personalized gifts chosen for each recipient, such as gourmet food baskets, quality art prints, custom bottles of wine or spirits, or any number of other items featuring your company logo or message, you can create a powerful connection that lasts long after the initial contact is concluded.


3. Multichannel Approach


To maximize ABM opportunities and results, it’s smart to employ a multichannel approach. Doing this requires identifying which channels your key target accounts use for communication, researching their content preferences, using analytics to gauge the effectiveness of individual strategies across multiple channels, and tailoring messages based on buyer personas while leveraging automation.


4. Renewal and retention campaigns


To ensure that your customers remain engaged with your product or service, you should consider creating a series of targeted campaigns aimed at increasing customer loyalty and encouraging further engagement.

These campaigns can include special discounts and promotions, personalized content for each user based on their preferences, and a consistent flow of communication to keep customers informed about product updates, new features, and more. According to research, 56% of marketers believe personalized content plays a key role in a successful ABM approach.

You may also consider using PPC campaigns, emails, retargeting ads, direct mailings, and personalized thank yous as part of your renewal and retention marketing campaign.


5. Webinars


Hosting webinars allows you to share your knowledge and content with hundreds of people at once in an engaging way that bypasses a lot of the difficult steps involved with successful ABM.

During these events, you can provide attendees with highly targeted information related to their specific needs or interests, which makes for much more successful campaigns. Plus, using webinars can generate valuable leads as well as open up opportunities for a deeper relationship with clients by exposing them in greater detail to what your business is all about.


6. Web personalization


To successfully utilize web personalization through account-based marketing, ensure you have sufficient customer data and understand the buyer’s journey. With integrated data analytics, you can identify customer trends including their preferred content, channels, and contact methods – all vital pieces of information in creating tailored content able to reach target customers more effectively.

Through leveraging collected insights, web personalization should be used to strengthen account relationships by delivering more personalized messages and featuring customer-centric language on landing pages that speak to specific segment needs. This helps reduce unnecessary noise in the communication loop that often results from using a one-size-fits-all approach.


7. Social intelligence


Social intelligence is the ability to collect, track and analyze information through data gathered from digital conversations. By analyzing the social media activity of your target accounts, you can easily identify their interests, preferences, and engagement levels with certain subjects and topics.

From there, you can tailor your ABM efforts in such a way that they are more personalized and relevant to your target audience. You’ll be able to view when followers interact with certain posts, how comments generate reactions, who frequents each page, and much other analytics – all great information for optimizing your ABM strategy.


Final Thoughts


Account-based marketing is an effective strategy for SaaS companies looking to increase customer acquisition and grow revenue quickly. By focusing your resources on fewer key accounts that are most likely to become paying customers, you can maximize your ROI while still delivering high-quality content tailored specifically for each individual account.

With account-based marketing, SaaS companies have the opportunity to build strong relationships with both current and prospective customers in order to better serve them in the long run.

The key to a successful ABM strategy is to utilize the right combination of tactics, such as web personalization, social intelligence, and webinars. With these seven tactics in your arsenal, you’re sure to find success with your ABM campaign!

For more tips on growing your SaaS, check out our blog.

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Ken Moo