Reading Time: 10 Fun-Filled Minutes.
So you’ve heard about account-based marketing and you’re wondering how to get started?
Or you’ve already launched an ABM campaign and you want to take it to the next level?
In either case, we’ve got you covered. As the new year rolls into full swing, we want to make sure you’re equipped with the best information.
A number of industry sources have expressed their belief that account-based marketing will continue to grow in popularity. It’s also worth remembering that ABM is a relatively new B2B model, in the sense that it’s yet to fully enter the mainstream.
Do you need account-based marketing?
New tools, like our own free tracking platform, are quickly beginning to enter the marketplace. And a host of resources, from blogs to books to podcasts, are becoming available.
This is good news for you. There’s still time to get ahead of the curve, gaining that vital edge on your competition,while also taking advantage of all the online tools and information at your disposal.
In this roundup of the seven best ABM books, we’ve taken as wide a view possible. Alongside books that are specifically about ABM, we’ve also covered the topics of customer profiling, analytics, outreach and even automation.
1. Account-Based Marketing for Dummies by Sangram Vajre
If you’re just getting started, then this is the book we recommend you sit down with. It gives a solid overview of how to structure an account-based marketing campaign, from identifying accounts, to profiling, reaching out to targets and measuring your results.
We really liked the fact that there’s an emphasis on using data to drive decisions at all stages of the process. There’s also advice about picking the best online tools for streamlining and automating your efforts.
The author, Sangram Vajre, is one of the co-founders of Terminus, a leading ABM software provider, so he’s talking directly from experience.
2. A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing by Bev Burgess
A Practitioner’s Guide to Account-Based Marketing is similar in scope and structure to Account-Based Marketing for Dummies. It makes a nice companion book (it can be useful to get a slightly different take on the same ideas) and also offers information in some distinct areas.
There are lots of practical examples from big companies like Fujitsu and Microsoft. Time is also spent on advising marketers how they can develop a career in ABM. The authors are very explicit in their belief that ABM is going to shake up the marketing world and draw on a number of examples to support their points.
3. Predictable Prospecting by Marylou Taylor and Jeremey Donovan
Predictable Prospecting is a book about account-based marketing with a focus on identifying and profiling key accounts. It gives a full overview of the ABM process (even if it’s not as detailed as the two preceding books) but really shines when it comes to the prospecting phase.
We were impressed by the practical implementations of the book and the use of step-by-step instructions and specific examples. If you find your campaigns faltering at this stage, or you want to make sure your approach is watertight, then this is the book to read. The other added benefit is that it’s not too long!
4. Successful Key Account Management by Grant Stewart
What happens once you’ve netted those all-important accounts? “Key account management” is one of those widely-used but often misunderstood terms. Account management is a crucial part of the ABM process but it’s also one that is overlooked by many marketers. The results are missed opportunities for growth, referrals and continued revenue. We really like the structure and scope of Successful Key Account Management by Grant Stewart. The information is laid out as a week-long course, it’s easy to digest, and it fits in nicely with the other aspects of any ABM campaign. It covers everything from effectively profiling your current accounts, to pinpointing revenue opportunities and explains the difference between negotiating with existing vs. new customers.
5. Key Marketing Metrics (Multiple Authors)
Key Marketing Metrics is a mammoth of a book and it would be counterproductive to try and read it all. It is immensely useful, however, as a reference book for putting together your own marketing metric mix and delving deeper into some of the most important KPIs.
Without a clear understanding of what you’re tracking, it’s impossible to gauge the effectiveness of your ABM campaigns. Online tools make it easier than ever to track results at every stage of the process, but it’s vital that you know which metrics to pay attention to and understand them properly. This book has all the information that you could ever need.
6. Crucial Conversations (Multiple Authors)
The stage at which you open a dialogue with a potential account is one of the most crucial. A successful conversation with a prospect, whether it’s through email, on the phone or in person, can be the difference between netting a high-value account or losing it.
The book Crucial Conversations contains a number of insights you can bring to your outreach campaigns and sales conversations. We think it should be required reading for every marketer and salesperson. You’ll be surprised at how much it challenges your current approach to pursuing big accounts.
7. Think Outside the Inbox by David Cummings and Adam Blitzer
At Albacross, part of our unique proposition is that we can automate many laborious parts of the ABM process. This lets marketers better use their resources to hone in on the really important, human-powered parts of their campaign. We believe that automation is going to be one of the biggest disruptors of the marketing space in the years to come, and it’s already very much under way.
As an ABMer it’s vital that you understand when and how to automate key parts of your process. The authors are the founders of Pardot, one of the biggest marketing automation software companies in the world, and in their book they pay specific attention to email campaigns and analytics tracking.
It’s a great introduction to automation and ties in very nicely with other aspects of account-based marketing.
Bonus:The Challenger Customer (Multiple Authors)
The Challenger Customer is based on an interesting premise, one that should be of unique interest to account-based marketers. It focuses on what’s involved in persuading companies to open new accounts when multiple people are involved in the decision-making process.
The central argument is that within many companies, a relatively small number of people hold the purchase-making power. And that your strategies and approaches can be tailored to identify and talk to these people directly.
Now it’s time to get reading!
If there’s one thing we’ve learned at Albacross, it’s that no two companies are the same. We always strive to meet customers where they are and gain an understanding of their unique needs and goals.
In putting together this list, our hope is that we’ve been able to provide you with the resources you need to improve your campaign. For some that may mean delving deep into analytics, for others it will involve improving profiling processes.
In either case, it’s time to get reading! Or you could just download Blinkist…