So, you have done all the work to set up your ABM process. You have figured out your ICP, personas, messaging and cadence, and someone has responded with interest! What do you do now? It is great that you have targeted, outreached, and messaged effectively to gain interest. Now you must do the hard work of guiding them through the customer journey toward a sale.
The tough part about ABM is that, when you do get an outbound lead, the sales cycle is much longer than when you get an inbound one. As a result, the leads that you get may be interested in your service. However, they may not need something right now, or they might need to get budget approval first, or they already have a competing solution—all of these things can lead to long decision-making processes.
You must adjust your expectations when talking with outbound prospects. Do not push them for a sale because they are not ready for one. In fact, it would be foolish to expect a quick sale from a cold outreach. Sure, they do happen, but those are the outliers. The outbound sales cycle is long, and you need to nurture your ABM prospects to be successful.
Here are two examples of scheduled ABM outreach efforts, one via email, the other via LinkedIn.
ABM outreach process via email:
ABM team will outreach to 50 new emails per day using Outreach.io. The campaign will be fully automated and have 8 steps:
- Day 1: new email
- Day 2: follow up
- Day 5: follow up
- Day 15: new email
- Day 18: follow up
- Day 21: follow up
- Day 28: new email
- Day 30: follow up
After this time, hand offs will occur as appropriate, examples being:
- Positive replies will be sent to the sales team.
- Clicks and opt-ins will be sent to HubSpot.
- Out-of-office emails and referral replies will be followed up on individually.
ABM outreach process via LinkedIn:
This ABM campaign would consist of 15–20 connection requests per day (the limit to prevent being flagged for spamming is about 100 per week). After 20 days, requests would be withdrawn, but resent 30 days later. The effort would require a three-touch follow up:
- 1st touch: 1 day later
- 2nd touch: 2 days later
- 3rd touch: 5 days later
In this case the hand-off process might be:
- Interested replies handed off to sales team.
- Referrals used for targeting/referral campaign.
- Connections used for opt-in/email nurture.
You may be thinking to yourself, “This sure seems like a lot of work.” Admittedly, it is the nature of the beast. However, it is proven to pay off. At some point, I met Joy Gendusa, founder of PostcardMania, a highly successful direct mail company. She knows her stuff… believe me: “It is a time-tested truth in marketing that regular, repeated mailings are the way to create big, predictable results. When you mail every 30 days for a year, you will cause a dramatic growth in your business.”
Be persistent! There is a lot of data that shows if you are persistent - if you do those four, five, six, seven emails or phone calls or voicemails - people will typically convert at some point along the customer journey.