O2 is one of the stand-out brands in the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) crowded and competitive mobile network market. But excelling in the consumer market is no guarantee that your brand can crack the more complex B2B space. Changing the perceptions of potential customers demands a carefully-crafted, well-researched strategy along with insight, persuasion, and perseverance.
When O2 embarked on its ambitious journey into the B2B landscape a few years ago, the company knew that it had to change perceptions among three key audiences:
- Its internal stakeholders
- The sales teams
- B2B buyers and influencers
The approach was built on a passionate belief in the combined power of account-based marketing (ABM) and challenger selling. The heart of the ABM program would be well-researched, financially-quantified value propositions for the targeted organizations.
By the end of 2015 the company was ready to run a pilot of the One-to-One ABM program with a major utility organization where the company had a few pockets of engagement and was keen to expand its offerings. The well-argued, financially-credible calculations grabbed the attention of key executives and led to productive and at times challenging conversations.
This ITSMA Case Study charts the course of the successful O2 ABM program as it has expanded into other carefully-chosen key accounts and evolved to a more blended strategy. It highlights some of the key lessons O2 has learned, including:
- Ensuring sales and marketing speak with one voice
- The importance of raising the internal profile of the initiative
- Having the board back the ABM agenda
- Measuring success beyond ROI
- Being ruthless about account selection