98% of 3PLs believe they have successful relationships with their customers — and 90% of customers agree with that sentiment.
But good relationships don’t appear out of thin air, nor are they naturally formed once a customer signs a contract. In fact, strong relationships are built much earlier in the process.
3PL companies that want to be seen as trustworthy partners should be nurturing those relationships from the very beginning of their interactions with a buyer — and even before the buyer might know about your services (more on that later).
Account-based marketing is one of the best strategies to deliver an all-around winning experience for buyers and customers. ABM helps identify the best buyers for your business, create campaigns that win over those prospects, and land customers that will remain loyal to your company.
It accomplishes these goals by listening and responding to the needs of customers in ways that build trust and deliver a superior experience.
Let’s look at how ABM can help your 3PL business build strong relationships throughout the entire customer lifecycle.
How to Start Building a Strong Relationship with Prospects
Here are two facts about buyers today:
- They want a personalized buying experience.
- They want to remain anonymous for as long as possible.
Those two characteristics seem hard to reconcile. How can you deliver a personalized experience while your buyers are purposely trying to withhold their information?
Understanding Customer Needs
ABM helps you uncover the insights necessary to give your buyers that personalized experience, without running afoul of their desire for privacy.
There are a couple of types of key signals that can indicate when a prospect may be ready to buy:
Firmographics are data points that help categorize companies. If you have a well-defined Ideal Customer Profile, you can use firmographic filters to quickly identify potential customers.
In addition to identifying accounts to target by…
- Company size
- Location and
… you can also identify companies that show signs they are ready to spend, such as having:
- Landed large contracts
- Gone on a hiring spree
- Received an injection of capital
- Expiring contracts with your competitors
Intent data goes a step further than firmographics. It helps you find potential customers who are actively looking for solutions you offer. These are accounts likely to buy soon.
Most of this research is anonymous. Even when people visit your site, only about 3% will fill out a form.
People who are interested in 3PL services might not be raising their hands to start a conversation. They are, however, performing research you can capture to reveal their interest in 3PL services.
For instance, buyers are:
- Visiting your website and reading your content and about your services
- Searching the internet for topics related to 3PL services
- Comparing 3PL vendors on third-party review websites
ABM technology can match those buying signals to specific accounts — painting you a picture of which accounts are ready to buy and what’s driving their thinking.
These insights are critical for building a strong relationship with a prospect from day one. When you know the exact topics and services a buyer is interested in, you can tailor your outreach to them.
Suddenly, you’re able to deliver a personalized experience for your buyers without hounding them before they’re ready to talk. You can tailor your advertising, custom web pages, and emails to their actual interests instead of guessing.
How to Nurture a Relationship Through the Buying Journey
Once you’ve identified buyers that are in-market for 3PL services, ABM helps you nurture your relationship throughout the entire journey.
When you identify buyers early in their research process and understand their research activities, you know when they’re ready for different types of engagement.
For sellers that aren’t leveraging ABM technology, outreach is going to be asynchronous with a buyer’s needs. They might push for deeper engagement when the buyer just wants basic information about problems and common solutions. Or worse, they’ll wait too long to reach out, and they’ll lose the deal by forfeit.
But if you have intent data insights, you can deliver buyers the content and experiences they want at the exact time they want them.
How ABM Helps Keep Your Customers Happy
The benefits of ABM don’t stop once you’ve converted a prospect into a customer. As mentioned above, 3PL companies pride themselves on strong relationships with their customers, and an ABM strategy can help keep your existing accounts happy.
With the information you’re able to capture with your ABM technology, you can uncover when your customers:
- Explore new services or offerings on your websites
- Expand their business or open new locations
- Search for topics related to your competitors
All of this data gives your teams plenty of time to formulate strategies for your customers. Whether it’s…
- Creating a campaign to drive interest in an upsell
- Finding opportunities to expand into different departments or geographic locations, or
- Preventing a customer from churning
… you will have everything you need to delight your customers and keep them coming back.
Implementing an ABM strategy with the right technology gives you complete control over the entire buying process. You gain insights into when a buyer is in-market for solutions like yours and the topics and services they’re most interested in. Using that data, you can create campaigns that address a buyer’s needs — before and after they sign a contract.