What Is Conversational Account-Based Marketing ?

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Hey girl hey. How's it going? Tell me aaaaall the gossip. Now, do you want to buy this product and/or service? I'll tell you about what happened with Bob and Megan at the office Christmas Party...

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Decision makers have increasingly been searching for a conversational buying experience. The bog-standard, one-size-fits-all approach just doesn't work; buyers want a personalised, B2C-style experience every step on the way. 

So, that's where conversational Account-Based Marketing comes in. This technique instantly connects your sales team with a target account, as soon as they step foot on your website. It turns a fleeting visit into a full sales conversation. And it gets you on the good side of your most valuable prospects.

Let's delve a little deeper. All this is about identifying and proactively engaging with your target accounts, in real time, using highly tailored and personalised communications.

Why should you use conversational ABM? 

After you've put in the hard graft of selecting your target accounts, driving traffic to your site, and personalising the experience, there's no point giving up after this point.

So, conversational ABM makes sure your potential clients can get answers to their questions as soon as they need them, in their own time, at their own convenience. 

So, making sure your live-chats are laced with personalisation makes this so much more impactful. 

Basically if you combine ABM and conversational marketing, you get conversational ABM.

This means using ABM is only half the battle. 

To make sure you get those lucrative enterprise deals to close, you have to engage and follow-up with these accounts, until they're ready to move down the funnel. 

What are the benefits of conversational ABM?

87% of marketers say that ABM delivers a higher ROI than any other type of marketing. So, how do you add elements to help aid this success? 

Well, introducing conversational ABM into your campaigns means your prospects account owners will receive personalised greetings from step one. 

So, it might be a simple "Welcome back, Let me know if you have any questions you might have!" message. Or even mentioning the name of their company when interacting for the first time. This will make your prospect aware that you have considered them, and their company's needs, from the get-go. 

You could even name a few competitors, or other companies in the industry, that are using your product already.

Basically, all this is the equivalent of walking into a coffee shop and being recognised, greeted, and offered your usual.

But, on top of this, the barista lets you take your time, peruse the menu, and make a decision at your own pace. Double shot white chocolate mocha with peppermint, hold the ice, triple the cream. Perfect - would you like to add on a scone? Yes please and thank you. 

Compare this to walking into a Starbucks, being ignored, the barista gives you the same cup of black coffee everyone else is being served. 

But let's consider one of the most important elements of this process: the function of live chat.

What are the benefits of live chat?

Customers want to talk to people in real time. In fact, 90% of consumers would prefer to chat with businesses directly, in real-time. But only 45% of customers use live chat. So, the next step is introducing live chat more readily for ABM. 

Adding a live chat feature makes it easier for your clients to interact with your site, whilst providing an elevated sense of personalisation over your competitors. 

Conversational ABM can...provide a better CX

Like we've said before, B2B buyers want answers. They want to find the information they're looking for effortlessly and instantly. 76% of B2B buyers said that when they're researching a product or service, they would prefer to speak to a customer service specialist or sales person early on. Plus, the same survey found that the number one complaint from buyers was slow response times.

Conversational ABM can...move customers down the funnel

Though customers at the beginning of the funnel might not be ready to talk to a sales person or make a purchase yet, they may still have questions. 

So, giving the option of a relaxed, no-pressure live chat makes the customer feel as if they're in control. But really, this primes the customer with associating your brand with positive feelings, and also giving them the attention they need. 

All this also removes any friction. Live chat makes sure the customer is guided every step of the way, without being overbearing. The last thing you want to do is abandon your customer when they're unsure of what to do when they've clicked onto your personalised ABM ad. So, this is a vital step in making sure you're making specific and meaningful steps with specific and meaningful customers. 

Conversational ABM can...increase engagement

Site visitors who use web chat are 2.8X more likely to convert than those who don't. This is because live chat provides a better experience, and starts your customer down the sales funnel. They're getting instant gratification, instant engagement, and instant information. 

How do you implement conversational ABM? 

Right, there's a few steps you can take to implement this strategy:

  1. Identify your target account. First up, you need to align marketing and sales through the identification of target accounts. This might be through specific characteristics; location, revenue, industry. From this, you can start to build your tone, content, and language. 
  2. Identify and segment prospects. Next, you need to identify prospects  within the list. This might be based on a specific role, or variety of roles. But each approach will vary. So, you've got to segment further, based on position in the funnel, pain points, and intent. This is then allocated among Sales Development Representatives. 
  3. Building relationships. Clients trust individuals, not companies. So, make sure you set strict ownership boundaries as your SDRs develop relationships with their prospect, and avoid overlap in engagement. 
  4. Personalising ads. Next, it's time to think about your approach to each subject. Every individual has their own preferences, but it's not possible to personalise at this level. So, you can personalise based on prospect-specific pain points and values instead. So it might be CMO based, or CXO based. Think how far you can go with the personalisation, based on your resources.
  5. Keep sales and marketing ready and informed. Now the list is ready, and ads are running. The second a prospect appears on your website, the marketing and sales team need to be ready. So, you'll need to make sure everyone has all the information they need, and that CRM data, marketing automation data, and intent data is consolidated, organised, and accessible. 
  6. Keep up the personalisation. Right, now the prospect is well and truly engaged, you've got to remember - the personalisation doesn't stop here. The client should be landing on a relevant homepage at this point, so your CMS should be able to identify them when they land, and cater the web flow in a way that keeps everything personalised. 
  7. Live-chat. So this page might help, but it also might not be enough. If the client doesn't get the information they need, they'll bounce. So, conversational ABM and live chat makes sure they're contacted before this happens. This encourages marketers and SDRs to be proactive. References to their role, company, or pain points get the conversation going. Then, confirm a demo. 
  8. Interact with clients whenever and wherever. This technique requires constant and consistent interaction. To make this easier, you might implement AI or chatbots to keep everything running smooth. You might even move onto LinkedIn - this is where you can interact with your target's posts, and even make connection requests. 

How do you use AI in Conversational ABM?

Like we've mentioned above, it's important to be proactive at all points, and this isn't always feasible for your human team. 

So, instead of doing this manually, you can consider automating this. This way, you can converse with, and engage, all the leads in your pipeline without increasing team headcount, or being completely manual. 

Though ABM provides the data and insights to provide a great, personalised experience, it can't always be scaled up. 

Conversational AI, then, is good for delivering consistency and scale, alongside data-driven insights.