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How to use ABM to upsell and cross-sell to existing customers

November 18, 2023 | Jimit Mehta

As a business owner or marketer, you know that acquiring new customers can be a costly and time-consuming process. But what about the customers you already have? These existing customers can be a valuable source of revenue through upselling and cross-selling, and account-based marketing (ABM) can be a powerful strategy to help you do so. In this article, we'll explore what ABM is and how you can use it to effectively upsell and cross-sell to your existing customers. You'll learn about the benefits of ABM, how to identify the right customers for upselling and cross-selling, and tactics you can use to increase the chances of success. By the end of this article, you'll have a clear understanding of how to use ABM to drive revenue and growth from your existing customer base.

Defining account-based marketing and its benefits

ABM is a targeted marketing strategy that focuses on specific, high-value accounts and tailors marketing efforts specifically to those accounts. The goal of ABM is to build relationships and create personalized experiences for key accounts that lead to increased revenue and customer loyalty.

There are several benefits to using an account-based marketing approach:

  1. Increased efficiency: By focusing on specific accounts, ABM allows marketers to be more targeted and efficient with their efforts, rather than trying to reach a broad audience.

  2. Improved ROI: Because ABM is targeted and personalized, it can often lead to higher conversion rates and a better return on investment.

  3. Stronger relationships: ABM helps build strong, personalized relationships with key accounts, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.

  4. Better alignment with sales: ABM helps align the efforts of the marketing and sales teams, as they are both working towards the same goal of generating revenue from specific accounts.

  5. Greater visibility: ABM helps create visibility for the company within key accounts, which can lead to increased opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

Overall, ABM is a powerful strategy for businesses that want to build relationships with key accounts and generate revenue from those accounts.

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Identifying key accounts and decision makers within those accounts

Identifying key accounts and decision makers within those accounts is a process that involves identifying the most important customers or clients for a business, as well as the individuals who have the authority to make decisions about their purchases or business relationships with the company. Key accounts are typically the largest and most valuable customers for a business, and they may represent a significant portion of the company's revenue.

To identify key accounts and decision makers within those accounts, a business might analyze its customer data to identify the customers who make the most purchases or generate the most revenue. The business may also consider other factors, such as the potential for future growth with the customer, the level of customer loyalty, and the complexity of the products or services that are being purchased.

Once key accounts have been identified, it is important for a business to identify the decision makers within those accounts. This may involve conducting research to determine who has the authority to make purchasing decisions, as well as identifying the individuals who may have influence over those decisions. This information can be used to tailor the business's sales and marketing efforts to effectively reach and engage these key decision makers.

Creating personalized and targeted campaigns for existing customers

Creating personalized and targeted campaigns for existing customers involves creating marketing efforts that are specifically tailored to the individual needs, preferences, and behaviors of your current customers. This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including segmenting your customer base based on shared characteristics, using customer data to create personalized messaging and offers, and utilizing marketing automation tools to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time.

Here are some specific steps you can take to create personalized and targeted campaigns for existing customers:

  1. Segment your customer base: Start by dividing your customer base into smaller groups based on shared characteristics, such as location, purchase history, and interests. This will allow you to create more targeted campaigns that are relevant to each group.

  2. Use customer data: Utilize the data you have on your customers, such as their purchase history, browsing behavior, and demographic information, to create personalized messaging and offers. For example, if a customer has recently purchased a new product from your company, you could send them an email offering complementary or related products.

  3. Utilize marketing automation: Marketing automation tools can help you deliver personalized and targeted campaigns to your customers automatically. For example, you can set up automated emails to go out to customers who have not made a purchase in a certain amount of time, or send personalized product recommendations based on their past purchases.

  4. Test and measure: As with any marketing campaign, it's important to track the results of your personalized and targeted campaigns so that you can see what's working and what's not. This will allow you to continually improve your campaigns and better meet the needs of your customers.

Leveraging customer data and insights to inform upsell and cross-sell strategies

Upselling and cross-selling are marketing strategies used to encourage customers to purchase additional or complementary products or services. Leveraging customer data and insights refers to the use of information about a customer's past purchases, preferences, and behaviors to inform these strategies.

For example, a company might use data about a customer's past purchases to identify opportunities for upselling, such as by recommending a higher-priced version of a product the customer has previously purchased. Alternatively, the company might use data about a customer's interests and preferences to recommend complementary products or services that the customer might be interested in, in order to cross-sell.

Using customer data and insights can help a company tailor its upsell and cross-sell strategies to individual customers, making them more relevant and likely to be successful. It can also help a company understand the types of products or services that are most likely to be of interest to its customers, allowing it to focus its marketing efforts more effectively.

Integrating account-based marketing with the overall sales and marketing strategy

ABM is a targeted marketing approach that focuses on specific, high-value accounts rather than targeting a larger, general audience. It involves creating personalized marketing campaigns for specific accounts and aligning sales and marketing efforts to address the needs and pain points of those accounts.

To integrate ABM with the overall sales and marketing strategy, it's important to first identify the specific accounts that you want to target. This may include current customers, prospective customers, or a mix of both. Once you've identified your target accounts, you can create customized marketing campaigns that are tailored to their specific needs and pain points.

To ensure that your ABM efforts are aligned with your overall sales and marketing strategy, it's important to involve both the sales and marketing teams in the planning and execution of ABM campaigns. This will allow you to leverage the expertise and insights of both teams to create targeted, personalized campaigns that are more likely to be effective.

It's also important to track the performance of your ABM efforts and adjust your strategy as needed. This can be done through the use of metrics such as engagement rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated from ABM campaigns. By regularly tracking and analyzing these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your ABM strategy over time.

Overall, integrating ABM with the overall sales and marketing strategy involves creating targeted, personalized campaigns for specific accounts, aligning sales and marketing efforts, and tracking and analyzing the performance of ABM campaigns to optimize your strategy.

Measuring and tracking the success of account-based marketing efforts

ABM is a targeted marketing strategy that focuses on a specific set of target accounts or prospects rather than targeting a broad audience. The success of ABM efforts can be measured and tracked through a variety of metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators). Some common metrics and KPIs for measuring the success of ABM efforts include:

  1. Pipeline generation: This refers to the number of leads or opportunities generated through the ABM campaign. This is an important metric to track because it indicates whether the ABM campaign is effectively reaching and engaging target accounts.

  2. Deal size: The size of deals closed as a result of the ABM campaign is an important indicator of success. Larger deals typically indicate that the campaign was successful in attracting and retaining high-value accounts.

  3. Customer acquisition cost: The cost of acquiring a new customer through the ABM campaign should be compared to the lifetime value of the customer. A low customer acquisition cost and high lifetime value indicate a successful ABM campaign.

  4. Customer retention: The retention rate of customers acquired through the ABM campaign is another important metric to track. High retention rates indicate that the campaign was successful in engaging and retaining target accounts.

  5. Engagement: The level of engagement of target accounts during the ABM campaign can be measured through metrics such as email open rates, click-through rates, and website traffic from target accounts. Higher engagement levels indicate that the campaign was successful in reaching and engaging target accounts.

It is important to track these metrics and KPIs over time to get a complete picture of the success of the ABM campaign. By regularly monitoring and analyzing these metrics, marketers can adjust their strategy and tactics to optimize their ABM efforts and achieve better results.

Best practices for implementing account-based marketing with existing customers

ABM is a strategy that involves targeting and personalizing marketing efforts to specific accounts or organizations rather than individual leads. ABM can be particularly effective when it comes to existing customers, as you already have a relationship with them and can tailor your marketing efforts based on their specific needs and preferences.

Here are some best practices for implementing ABM with existing customers:

  1. Identify your target accounts: Start by identifying the existing customers that are most valuable to your business. Consider factors such as their potential for upselling or cross-selling, the size of their organization, and their level of engagement with your company.

  2. Create personalized content: Once you have identified your target accounts, create personalized content that addresses their specific needs and challenges. This could include case studies, white papers, webinars, or other types of content that demonstrate the value of your products or services.

  3. Use multiple channels: To reach your target accounts effectively, use a variety of channels including email, social media, and direct mail. Consider using personalized URLs (PURLs) or landing pages to further personalize the experience for your target accounts.

  4. Engage with your target accounts: In addition to distributing personalized content, engage with your target accounts through events, webinars, or other types of in-person or virtual interactions. This will help you build stronger relationships with your existing customers and position your company as a trusted advisor.

  5. Measure and track your efforts: To determine the effectiveness of your ABM efforts, track key metrics such as website traffic, leads generated, and conversions. This will help you identify what is and is not working, and make any necessary adjustments to your strategy.

By following these best practices, you can effectively implement an ABM strategy with your existing customers and drive better results for your business.


ABM is a strategy that focuses on targeting specific accounts or companies with personalized marketing efforts. It can be an effective way to upsell and cross-sell to existing customers by identifying their specific needs and tailoring your marketing efforts accordingly.

To use ABM for upselling and cross-selling, start by segmenting your customer base and identifying the accounts that are most likely to be receptive to additional products or services. Then, create customized marketing campaigns that address the specific needs and pain points of these accounts. This could include targeted email campaigns, personalized landing pages, or customized marketing materials.

Another key aspect of ABM is collaboration and alignment between sales and marketing teams. Both teams should work together to identify the right accounts and create a coordinated approach to reaching out to them. This can help ensure that the right messages and offers are being delivered to the right accounts at the right time.

It's also important to track and measure the success of your ABM efforts. This can help you identify what's working and what's not, and make adjustments as needed.

Overall, ABM can be a powerful tool for upselling and cross-selling to existing customers. By targeting specific accounts with personalized marketing efforts and aligning sales and marketing teams, you can effectively identify and address the needs of your most valuable customers.

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