Conversational ABM: How to Automate Account Based Marketing

Written by Ilan Kasan

Co-founder and CEO at Exceed.ai.

Let’s say you wanted to catch a huge shark. 

You know the pole-pond fishing tactics that work on small fishes won’t work this time. So you opt for a better strategy. 

First, you find the shark’s deep shallow ocean hideout, study its behavior closely, and know when to make the right move. 

Next, you’ll develop an execution plan that follows the shark’s trail until you pin it down, right?

Good.

Now replace that huge shark with the large accounts your team is trying to close. In the same way, account based marketing (ABM) is a proven strategy that works.

However, using ABM tactics to attract the right personas, say, decision-makers at high-value accounts, is only half the battle. 

To close enterprise deals, you must follow-up and engage those accounts until they’re ready to move to the phase of the funnel. And usually, you need Sales Development Reps (SDR) to perform these manual follow-ups.

Now, imagine conversing and engaging all leads in your pipeline without increasing SDR headcount or sifting through stressful manual processes.  

This is where conversational marketing meets ABM.

Blend those two, and you’ll automagically follow-up, engage, and qualify your largest value accounts. 

And spiced up with artificial intelligence (AI), this combination signals you when leads are sales-ready or the right time to involve a real human. 

This all-inclusive approach is called AI-Powered Conversational Account Based Marketing.

Exceed makes this new approach to ABM a breeze; thereby, helping sales and marketing executives hit higher sales goals:

 

19.5% Avg. quota increase per sales dev rep  

“Exceed is helping us to amplify our pipeline and scale our customer experience, ensuring that every lead is getting a touch. With Exceed we’ve managed to hit 109% of our sales goals.”

John Dering

Sr. Director, ABM and Marketing Technology, DemandBase

 

What is AI-Powered Conversational Account Based Marketing?

Say you wake up in the morning and find five new meetings booked from your company’s ABM campaigns without any human involvement. 

You’ll be excited, right?

Now, imagine one of those meetings was by the CEO of an account your team targeted for over seven months. 

Let’s call this CEO Ryan. 

Excitedly, you look at the automated lead-nurturing conversation that convinced Ryan to book a meeting and found this:

What you saw above is AI-Powered Conversational ABM in real life. 

It automates and scales authentic (human-like) conversations with every lead acquired through ABM. And it achieves this without human help via an artificial intelligence capability built with natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning

With this technology in your ABM tech stack, you can achieve next-level, hands-off automation that creates lead-nurturing magic.

It’s what I mean by saying you can automagically nurture, qualify, and get meetings booked with leads in your pipeline.

Unlike manual lead follow-up and qualification by SDRs, AI-powered conversational ABM never gets tired and has other advantages:

  • It works round the clock.

  • It never stops reaching out to leads in your pipeline unless they’re not qualified, or they opt-out of the conversation. 

  • It won’t allow a single lead fall through the cracks because, on autopilot, it intuitively nurtures leads forever.

These advantages give you the benefit of increased productivity by eliminating repetitive tasks across your entire team: 

35% Avg. increase in rep productivity

“Exceed allows us to increase productivity by 35% by focusing on closing deals instead of wasting time on repetitive tasks and chasing unqualified leads – a must-have tool for any sales team!”

Yoav Shetrit

Sales Team Manager, Monday.com

Learn how Exceed can help your team automate pipeline conversations, book meetings, and eliminate repetitive tasks. Request your demo.

 

Why Your ABM Workflow Needs AI-Powered Conversational Marketing 

AI-Powered Conversational Marketing can help your organization realize more revenue from ABM campaigns.

But don’t take my word for it.

According to Aumcore, companies already using conversational marketing to automate lead management see a 10% revenue increase in just 6-9 months.

However, research shows 4-7 months is the average duration it takes to close enterprise deals typically targeted by ABM campaigns.

So ask yourself…

If it takes that long to move leads into the closed-won tab, how can I deliver personalized experiences while nurturing them all along?

AI-Powered Conversational Marketing in your ABM workflow is the answer to that question.

On autopilot, it will:

  • Identify your target accounts’ key decision-makers.

  • Follow-up promptly with personalized engagement to understand their needs.

  • Qualify & tag conversations as leads engage and go down your pipeline.

  • And when a lead is sales-ready or wants to talk, the AI introduces and books a meeting with the right person in your company.

There are other reasons why AI-Powered Conversations is a must-have in your ABM workflow. The one I’ll like to touch on is that because it’s automated, it ensures instant connection with leads.

And several studies have shown speed really matters in closing deals.

For instance, if you wait just 5 minutes before responding to leads, you risk a 10X drop in connection rate, according to LeadResponseManagement.

On the other hand, InsideSales’ study found that following up leads 5 minutes after initial contact makes you 9x more likely to convert them.

AI-powered Conversational ABM shines in this area.

It guarantees instant connection (and qualification) of leads acquired through your ABM campaigns.

Exceed instantly follows-up on a pricing inquiry and asks qualifying questions:

The lead engages like they would to a human (and qualifies themselves):

 Parrish Offer

How AI-Powered Conversational Account Based Marketing Facilitates Closing Larger Deals 

Several studies show more and more companies adopting ABM.

For instance, over 56% of B2B marketers in a study by LinkedIn said they used ABM in their business strategy. And more than 80% of those respondents planned to increase ABM spends the following year.

As you’d imagine, more organizations now use ABM because it helps to close bigger deal sizes.

Research by TOPO confirms this.

It revealed companies increased average contract value by 171% ($195,294 vs. $71,941) just by implementing account based marketing.

No doubt, these numbers are impressive. And they’re also inviting.

But don’t let them obscure a critical fact: Closing high-value accounts with ABM is no linear process – it takes time. And most times, ABM campaigns only succeed in capturing leads into the top of your funnel.

The real work is in nurturing prospects for long periods, qualifying and engaging them at the right time, and being resourceful to build trust.

These extra, essential activities work better by automating meaningful conversations with prospects across the entire customer journey.

AI-Powered Conversational ABM handles this at scale and for less.

Below are some ways it automates connection to nurture, qualify, and engage enterprise leads to facilitate and close deals.

Ultimately, it helps you to eliminate leaky funnels.

When a lead is out of office → the AI follows up when they’re back in the office

Our research shows that responding 2-3 days after leads are back in the office increased response rates by 50%.

With AI-Powered Conversational ABM, you don’t have to worry about a lead missing your message because they’re out of office.

It automates the next follow-up message when they’re back (without any human involvement).

The initial outreach from Exceed:

Out of office reply from lead:

Automated and intuitive follow-up from Exceed one day after lead comes back to the office:

When the lead isn’t ready to engage → the AI follows-up and asks for a good time (on its own)

In the name of being ethical, some SDRs give up on dormant leads if they don’t engage after sending 5-7 nurturing emails.

However, depending on the deal size (and other external factors outside your control), it may take longer for some leads to engage.

So you need AI-Powered Conversational ABM to automate intuitive, human-like follow-ups until a lead engages (even if it takes forever).

Exceed follows up the 6th time to handover a lead to a real sales rep (it copies the rep, David, in the follow-up):

The lead didn’t respond, so Exceed sends a second handover follow on the 7th outreach:

By the 8th automated outreach, the lead finally engage and states when they’re available for a chat:

When a lead shows interest → the AI automates the entire process of booking a meeting

I’ve seen situations where a prospect shows interest in a product, books a meeting, but doesn’t show up.

No-shows can bring an abrupt end to a promising sales cycle you’ve worked hard on – sometimes because a lead forgot they booked a meeting.

AI-Powered Conversational ABM ensures you don’t leave anything to chance. It automates the entire process of booking a meeting when a lead shows interest.

And it also sends out reminders (on its own), ensuring leads don’t forget they booked an appointment with you.

In this example, after qualifying the lead, Exceed shows available times to book a meeting with a real sales rep, David:

Exceed schedules the meeting between David and the lead (and further engages the lead, all automated):

Exceed automates a reminder to the lead, so they don’t forget to show-up: 

Conclusion: Achieve Better Team Alignment with AI-powered Conversational ABM

You’ve seen how AI-powered Conversational ABM automates intuitive lead nurturing and engagement in human-like ways.

Doing so, it eliminates the stress that comes with repetitive, manual follow-up processes for staff on your sales team.

And by freeing your sales team, they can collaborate better with the marketing department. This collaboration helps to ensure they’re not among the 76% of marketers who forget about sales enablement when creating ABM campaign content.

Ultimately, alignment between both teams increases.

This alignment allows them to focus on more essential tasks like optimizing creative strategy, planning, and having real sales conversations.

But while they align and focus on those essential activities, you still need to engage and nurture leads in your pipeline to close deals.

Automated conversations in your ABM workflow handles this hard and tiring work.

It ensures that, even without manual processes or more SDRs, your company continuously engage and nurture target accounts twice as fast – the case with happy organizations using Exceed:

See how Exceed can help your team automate authentic pipeline conversations and get more qualified leads while reducing costs.

 

79% Reduction in the cost of acquisition

“The ability to nurture and engage leads twice as fast at a fraction of the cost is a game-changer, resulting in 3X sales qualified leads and 79% reduction in the cost of acquisition.”

Sol Flamberg

Director of Sales Operations, Cbord Horizon

See how Exceed can help your team automate authentic pipeline conversations and get more qualified leads while reducing costs.

Request your demo today.

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