How to become known for unforgettable outreach

Mini Mighty ABM

This article is part of the Mini Mighty ABM series where we ask top experts in ABM to share one actionable idea that you can use at work today. These tips are mini, but mighty. For more, visit ABM Revealed.

Five years ago, I was running an outbound marketing team almost entirely off of dashboards and looking back, it feels wrong. It was a sheer volume operation. If we just converted one percent of deals from one percent of leads, we’d only need, what, a quarter-million people to hit our number? I was surrounded by lots of smart people but those were the times and that was our logic.

Today with ABM, we live the inverse of that and it is so much more fun. We’ve gotten back to what marketing is really about: Creating something that people love, being a brand they want to associate with, and getting creative, clever, and silly in an effective, systematic way.

If I can recommend one thing, it’s to slow down and be more thoughtful. Enjoy your work. The conversion magic happens in the in-between moments when people are having fun.

Accidental ABM

At Sigstr, we launched our ABM program before we knew that’s what it was called. We lost a customer to a competitor and, reeling, our team vowed that the next buying cycle, we’d pull out all the stops to win them back. We personalized everything we could and so stumbled upon the core tenet of ABM: Treat people like humans.

It’s easier and simpler than most think. Everyone’s rushing a mile a minute these days and as evidence, my LinkedIn inbox is groaning with connection requests that are really just pitches. If you can’t prove to me that you care about me or my company, why should I care about yours? I, and millions of others ignore those requests.

It’s completely different when a sales rep follows you. This is a great first step for any account executive curious about ABM: Slow down and simply like something your prospect has posted on LinkedIn. Maybe share it. Join a LinkedIn group they’re in. You can create a warm introduction just by participating, the same way you would if you met in-person, and you start on trusted footing.

If this sounds slow and not very scalable, it isn’t, but don’t let that stop you. The most impactful things you can do don’t scale, like handwritten notes. Or sending someone a BarkBox because you noticed on Instagram that they’re a dog owner. But these things work. (So well, in fact, we’re on the verge of calling it dog-based marketing. You heard it here first.)

Highly scientific sketch depicting the inverse relationship between scale and personalization.

Our job as marketers is to be creative and to empower our sales team to be the same. One rep here at Sigstr learned that his prospect’s son was a huge fan of a band called the Afghan Whigs. He found a first-press vinyl on eBay, sent it with a personal note, and the note back read, “I’m not a big fan of ABM, but this worked. I’ll take the meeting. This is the best door opener I ever got.”

Good personalization is a lot more than just slapping a sticker on something. Our reps slow down to send real and meaningful gifts, and handwritten notes are free. It’s simple, accessible, rare, effective, and unforgettable all at once. And when those tactics start to close deals and everyone’s excited, then worry about how you’re going to scale ABM.

Bring back the fun

I breeze into work every day thrilled to jam with a bunch of amazing creative minds. We have the ability and freedom to test anything to see if it’ll work. The bigger the organization the harder that becomes and I’m not taking it for granted.

Creating an ABM program that focuses on humans has made all of our jobs more fun, and I think that passion shows up in our customer interactions. Our prospects often see ads online and then, the images they’re seeing show up in the physical mail along with a handwritten note. I’m not kidding, once a week, we get a picture on social media from a prospect saying, “These are the things that matter.” My team agrees.

My actionable takeaway:

Slow down and be more thoughtful. Enjoy your work. The conversion magic happens in the in-between moments when people are having fun.

Bonus tip: Start small. Personalization is as simple as a handwritten note.