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The recent trend toward Account Based Marketing, as laid out in Engagio’s well put together ABM guide entitled, “The Clear & Complete Guide to Account Based Marketing,” can teach us all the do’s and don’ts about putting together a demo for a strategic client. 

 

What is Account Based Marketing?

 

At its simplest, Account Based Marketing is focused marketing and sales efforts on a relatively small number of strategic accounts. This includes learning everything you can about these accounts:  

  • Who are the decision makers?  The influencers?  Any blockers?  
  • What are the various buying centers within the account?
  • What are their key initiatives for the year?   

Once you have this information, you can then use this knowledge to target very specific marketing content to the appropriate roles within each account’s buying center.    

 

Account Based Marketing and Your Demos

In the past, we’ve talked about how successful sales demos are focused more on the benefits your software can deliver rather than the features of your software.  This is a subtle but incredibly powerful difference when you are conveying the true value of your software to a potential customer. ABM takes this concept to an entirely different level.  With ABM, you are less focused on the generic benefits of your software, and instead you are hyper-focused on how your software can benefit your target accounts.  

In their ABM guide, Engagio quotes a study done by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA).

“The 3 most important factors in shortlisting and making a final decision on an enterprise sale” are:

Knowledge and understanding of my unique business issues

Knowledge and understanding of my industry

Fresh ideas to advance my business

Of course, this process can take months of research and is far beyond the purview of a single Sales Engineer.  As a Sales Engineer, even if your company is not currently practicing ABM, you can at least start to force the conversation with your sales representatives, and you can even opt to be a little choosier regarding which sales representatives get your attention. If one representative shows a true understanding of the concepts above, then you both will be in a much better position to design and create a killer software product demo.  And, of course, you are that much closer to closing that deal!    

Just imagine how incredibly well received your next software demo will be if instead of focusing on features, you directly address the unique business issues of your customer.  The Account Based Marketing approach strategically positions you to offer ideas that can directly advance the business of your targeted accounts.  It’s a win-win.