Account based marketing (ABM) is a buzzword, plain and simple. It’s a hot, trending topic. But, ABM has been around a lot longer than you think. It just happened to go by other names: named account strategy, full funnel approach, target account selling, key account marketing, etc. Sales teams all over have been running these strategies for years, so why the sudden interest in this kind of approach now?
Because it works when done effectively. And by effectively, I mean it isn’t just sales owning this approach. It is a mix of marketing and sales working together to reach and seal the deal with those target companies that fit their personas.
Developing a strategy that produces results is reliant upon a few key factors. The success of an ABM strategy goes well beyond your company’s ability to define and then focus marketing efforts on the best-fit accounts. If your company isn’t dedicated to making ABM work, your cost per new account acquisition could go through the roof. And you could destroy your future sales potential with you best accounts.
Who is your target company? What characteristics do they have? Who are they influenced by? How do they consume information? There is a lot you need to know about your buyer. And once you actually understand them, it makes developing and implementing an ABM strategy worth your while.
4 must-haves for an account based marketing strategy that delivers results:
ABM relies heavily on content because it is about building relationships rather than increasing transactions. Companies with a more mature content engine – one that is aligned to the different stages within the buyers’ journey, addresses all the different needs and pain points of the members of that committee and then empowers the sales team to use the content – have a significantly easier time building relationships.
ABM is not a new strategy. Because of the higher costs, it used to be a practice that was used to sell to enterprise exclusively. But now, new technology and tools enable marketing organizations of all sizes to utilize ABM for smaller-sized clients. ABM tools have helped to enable sales and marketing alignment – by offering a common platform to work from – but more importantly they have created cost efficiencies for smaller-sized organizations to do ABM.
No longer is success measured by clicks and conversions. Success metrics for ABM must be consistent and complementary between marketing and sales and go beyond lead tracking. Instead, focus on metrics that measure coverage, awareness, engagement, program impact and influence. These metrics showcase the direct influence marketers have on the sales pipeline.
- Marketing and Sales Alignment:
None of this ABM stuff means a thing if you don’t have a coordinated effort between marketing and sales. Sure, the tools enable the two groups to collaborate, but if the culture and the leadership between the two groups do not value working together, your ABM strategy is doomed. Well-organized ABM programs enable marketers to work more closely with sales teams toward shared account objectives. Together, you can build deeper, more relevant relationships with executives in top tier accounts which generate the most revenue.
The power of ABM is that one size does NOT fit all. It’s a tailored strategy that maps to your business objectives and fluxes to your needs. While there are key components that are crucial for it to work, it doesn’t mean that each person will be following the same approach.
Want to learn more about how you can implement a strong account based marketing strategy in your business today? Join us for the first annual Growth Acceleration Summit on September 12-13th in Boston. It’s a full day dedicated to helping you learn, discuss and network with like-minded sales and marketing pros.