8 Ways Account-Based Marketers Can Establish Credibility Through Employees
Innovative B2B marketers know that decisions are rarely made by a single person. Account-based marketing is not about making the sale to one specific person, but a team of key decision-makers that, together, can sway the account towards being a customer. While you can send out dozens of newsletters and banner ads across the internet peddling the value of your product, we think there are at least 8 better ways to reach your target accounts—and they’re all free.
Think about who is already talking to these people you want to reach?
They can be a walking billboard for your company’s value propositions through their email signatures, calendar invites, and Zoom backgrounds.
8 More Ways to Telegraph Value Without Actually Talking About It
1. Case Study
An easy way to look like a super mind reader is to have employees include a QR code that links to a case study relevant to the industry or vertical you are targeting.
A great way to establish credibility is by sharing credentials. Maybe your company has been rated a great place to work, or your flagship software is rated highly on G2 Crowd. You can also use employee’s credentials, such as their school, degrees, years of experience in industry, or related certifications.
3. List Actual Benefits
For every industry you’re targeting, identify how you are solving problems for companies in those arenas.
4. Title-based Value Props
What value proposition would most resonate with a customer success person vs. a VP of sales or an engineer?
5. Corporate Social Responsibility
If you’re emailing with a group that are known for being charitable, ambiently highlight things your company is doing. For example, the bio line in your Zoom background might include, “We’re raising $8 million for the Cancer Research Foundation this year.”
Something as simple as having employees include their pronouns and name pronunciations in their emails, calendar invites, and Zoom backgrounds shows diversity and inclusion is a priority for your firm, which can really resonate with prospective buyers.
Having employees put their current location and the weather is the low-hanging fruit of both finding commonality and forging authenticity. If you want to go even more granular, have employees list the places they have been and auto-match those with the prospect. Now they have an immediate warm starting point for conversation.
8. Company Commonality
Imagine sticking an overlap of your company’s logo with the prospect company’s logo in every email, Calendar link, and Zoom meeting. Warmly is working on a ‘History of Partnership’ page that catalogs all the times your mutual companies have interacted including a log of meetings, and other shared similarities.
And here’s why it works:
Deloitte’s CMO Survey in February found that 57% of marketing budgets are now spent on digital marketing, a third of which is outsourced to external sources. That means a serious chunk of marketing budgets are not even under the company’s control. Meanwhile, your employees are reaching out to, working with, and building connections with the exact people you are trying to reach.
We believe there are three key ways to build trust with prospects and clients.
1. Establish Credibility
Establishing credibility with a prospect is about professionalism and showing a track record of success. In other words, you want to make the buyer feel confident about working with you. The irony is that pushing all that evidence of your professionalism and success can actually drive customers away. Nobody wants the hard-hard-sell in their inboxes or in their face. Instead of a banner ad touting your software’s high rating on G2 Crowd, recent industry award, or other value proposition, why not display that information ambiently in an email signature, Calendar invite, or in your employees’ Zoom backgrounds. You can even bucket those automatically by vertical, so that employees are always displaying the right content for their audience.
2. Forge Authenticity
Forging authenticity is about letting the other person know that you are a kindred spirit who really gets what they’re going through and are trying to help. That you’re a human being, not a sales machine. Employees are great resources for this aspect of connection-building. That’s because they are human beings, with real kids and emotions and problems. Being honest about what they are going through in their natural environment trumps any kind of forced authenticity. Next to all the information about how your product solves XYZ problem, employees can share a personal touch that shows this isn’t a sanitized marketing message.
3. Finding Commonality
Say the marketing team works really hard to get the sales team a first call with an account they’ve been chasing. One of the SDRs on the team is a big fan of Formula One, and so is the decision maker they’re trying to woo. Why not have that SDR use a Formula One themed background? You instantly build rapport and increase the chance that sale moves forward.
This works even with cold conversations. For example, maybe someone on your engineering team was asked to speak at a conference. They hosted a round table of generic leaders. In the calendar invite, it says “When I’m not working for Asana, the leading task management system, I love to play volleyball” because they know that one of the people attending from the other company loves volleyball and they’re trying to sell Asana to them. That leads them to build a relationship, and maybe the other engineering leader says, ‘Hey, I should connect you with our implementation team because I think you’re great.’
AB marketers are great at segmenting the value props that appeal most to each vertical and creating dynamic content around them. Optimizing the delivery of those messages is the next logical move. If your team can maximize their digital footprint while eliminating scattered delivery, they can maximize response rates and close more sales.
January 13, 2023