Rick Scearbo, Xtiva Chief Revenue Officer, Talks the Benefits of ABM

This is the last post in our ABM – Account Based Marketing and Wealth Management Firms series. We help our customers in the wealth and advisory space achieve more in their business with insights on growth and clients. Subscribe below to receive the latest posts as they are published.

As a part of Xtiva’s ABM series, we have interviewed our own Chief Revenue Officer, Rick Scearbo on tips for implementation and the future of ABM. Rick shares his insight of what wealth management firms can do to be successful with ABM and how to overcome challenges that may arise.

What goals do you think should drive a business to move their strategy from inbound marketing tactics or typical sales to account-based marketing?

We have experienced a lot of success with our inbound marketing strategies here at Xtiva, but believe that augmenting these programs with some account-based marketing tactics is often the way to go.

Here are a few reasons to consider implementing ABM into your Marketing strategy:

  • Research (and experience) has shown that personalized marketing strategies often result in better engagement with customers and prospects.
  • ABM focuses your resources on the accounts that have the highest likelihood of generating more revenue.
  • ABM consistently delivers a higher ROI over other types of marketing.
  • Successful ABM programs bring better alignment to your Sales & Marketing teams leading to greater success in growing your business.

How do you think wealth management businesses should determine what account based marketing tactics are right for them?

It’s difficult to say what’s right for someone else’s business. But, what I do recommend is that every organization follow a few key steps that should ensure the success of their account-based marketing programs.

  • Create your team
  • Define your goals
  • Identify your target accounts and key decision makers
  • Engage with decision-makers
  • Close the sale
  • Transform your customers into promoters of your business
  • Measure your results

When a firm invests in ABM, what key performance indicators (KPIs) should they be tracking and aiming for?

Account-based marketing metrics tend to be more focused on quality vs. quantity.  Your teams focus needs to expand beyond just identifying leads and move to a focus of engaging the right people at the right accounts at the right time.

The top metric types are:

  • Coverage – do you have enough of the right contacts in your database?
  • Awareness – do your prospects know who you are and what you do?
  • Engagement – are your prospects interacting with you?
  • Reach – are you connecting the right accounts?
  • Influence – which activities are have having the best results?

What have you seen is the biggest hurdle for businesses when implementing ABM, and how do you think they can overcome it?

Account-based marketing is hot right now but as with any new tool or strategy, ABM isn’t a sure thing; it always depends on your execution.

Some of the most common ABM hurdles (and how to overcome them) include:

  • Sales & marketing alignment is key to the success of your ABM programs.  Failing to align your teams will most certainly be a drag on your ability to successfully execute your strategies.
  • It’s all about the data.  If your data is unclean, then your ability to effectively personalize content for your customers and prospects is significantly reduced leading to lower ROI of your ABM programs.
  • Personalization of content is key.  Focusing on what matters most to specific people or companies is the core to running a successful ABM program.  Never just repurpose existing content.

Do you think ABM in the wealth management field is a new concept? How do you see it developing in the coming years?

No. While it may seem as though account-based marketing (ABM) is a new idea, many companies (including Wealth Managers) have been doing ABM in one form or another since the 1990s, albeit under a different name.

Many firms engaged in what was once called, targeted account marketing (TAM) where marketing teams would take lists of strategic accounts and would create account plans for as many of them as we could. The challenge was, they only had the bandwidth to create a limited number of them. There was just no way to scale it beyond that.

Fast forward to 2018 – it’s now considerably easier to scale your ABM efforts from say 25 to 2500 accounts. Today, new technologies are available to support every stage of your strategy leading to significantly increased scalability of your ABM programs which in turn is driving revenue for your company.

My expectation is that technology will continue to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of account-based marketing until a time that the next best thing in marketing is upon us.