Perhaps you’ve been feeling a little haunted lately. Maybe the ghost of a supposedly dead B2B account has visited you during strategy meetings or in the long hours of the night. Perhaps you even followed the tips in our earlier blog post on reviving stalled deals, but the account still has one foot in the grave.
We understand that situations like this can be discouraging, but we also know it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to give up on the opportunity just yet. Instead, we recommend making the play to wake the dead. If you’re familiar with Account-Based Marketing (ABM), you’ve probably heard of this strategy to reach out and reconnect with unresponsive accounts that you still hope to convert.
Keep in mind, though, that it is much better to aim this play at highly qualified prospects. When it comes to waking the dead, you can increase your effectiveness by up to 5x by targeting accounts rather than leads.
Here are five steps to take when attempting a resurrection:
1. Review past communications strategies.
Were the conversations engaging and relevant? If you missed the target in the past, you need to be aware of that and make doubly sure not to repeat the mistake. And if you can find an opening to talk with your contact about how you’re correcting that mistake, go for it!
2. Re-research the account.
You did your homework the first time with this account, so it might be tempting to assume the fit is still good. However, customers can change rapidly, especially if the market is agile and tech-focused.
Consult the company’s website as well as other news sources to find out whether the company recently hit any important milestones or roadblocks. Also, if you have new contacts, research them so that you understand all the key players.
3. Engage your existing champion.
If you had a good connection with your champion before the deal stalled, that same hero might be just the person to breathe life back into the opportunity. However, don’t limit yourself to your champion.
Direct mail can be a great way to engage the rest of your champion’s team. By sending packages that arrive on their desks with personalized messaging and branded items, you can initiate interaction and discussion. By starting a conversation among the group, you may be able to revitalize your champion’s fighting spirit.
4. Identify a new champion.
Keep in mind that generally 7 – 20 people are involved in the buying decision on high-value sales, which means your first champion won’t always be your last. It’s possible that after a period of inactivity, the person who championed your product or service might no longer the best person to do so.
You can and should try to rally a former champion back to your cause, but if that attempt ends in more silence, extend your reach to new connections. When you reach out, do your best to build on earlier discoveries — if you already found out valuable information, you can refer to it to help establish your history and credibility.
5. Take the tangible, direct mail approach.
This is where PFL can help you outshine the competition. Your champion might need a stronger rallying cry than digital outreach can accomplish. Although personalized mailing comes with a higher price tag than email, even low-cost items can make all the difference. Furthermore, marketers can put rules in place to automatically trigger an alert for reps to consider sending tactile mail.
For example, if the reason for the communication gap is budget, you can establish a rule that triggers the alert X weeks or months out when the customer will be planning next year’s budget. If the prospect asked you to try again in four months, you can set up a rule or reminder to send mail. When the timing is right, you can jump to the top of your account’s priority list by using relevant mail, raising a valuable account out of its early grave.
At PFL, we specialize in personalized branding, design, and fulfillment. Our passion for print and direct mail marketing has led us to become the pioneers for tactile marketing automation (TMA) to make it easy and simple for you to create an engaging brand experience for your customers.
Our TMA solutions allow you to create custom messaging with each send, and you’ll be able to track the package and automate notifications to sales reps to follow up in a timely manner upon delivery. With TMA, you can help to usher your customers through the funnel and speed up that purchase decision.
Here are just a few ways to wake the dead with tactile marketing:
Send a thoughtful gift
You haven’t heard from your key decision-maker in a while. He’s very interested in what you have to offer, but he’s been swamped with work and travel, and he also needs to make time for his two small children. Why not send him a children’s book about nurturing ideas? With it, include a personal note about how valuable it is to put good ideas into practice and how much you look forward to partnering together.
Send a high-tech incentive
An executive indicated that she’d like to meet with you to find out more, and she asked you to wait until a better time for her, but time has gone by and she isn’t responding. Now is a great time to send her an attractive box that promises a high-end item, such as a GoPro, along with a personalized note promising the real item in exchange for that meeting!
Send shareable treats
You have a champion, but that champion is struggling to get the stakeholders together to talk about how your solution will improve their business. In a situation like this, try sending your champion something that’s both sharable and branded! Your direct mail might include swag items or perhaps several packets of popcorn or candy with your logo on a sticker. By giving your champion a chance to share your branded goods, you’ll create opportune moments for important conversations.
For more examples of ABM and tips to make the most of your plays, check out PFL’s ABM Playbook.
So before you write “Rest in Peace” on your valuable accounts, follow these steps to wake the dead. And if you still feel haunted afterward, you should probably call the Ghostbusters because you might have some real spooks!