Arguably the most important job for a B2B marketer is to deploy strategies that drive high-quality sales volume. Time and time again, account-based marketing (ABM) has proven its ability to do just that by deploying personalized campaigns to a clearly defined set of target accounts vs. broad-based enterprise targets or individual persons.
In fact, reports from eMarketer and IT Services Marketing Associates suggest that by concentrating Sales and Marketing resources on such specific accounts, the overwhelming majority of businesses that use ABM experience higher ROI and an increase in both closed deals and deal size.
The positive correlation between ABM and sales outcomes is impossible to ignore. However, many B2B marketers still struggle with ABM execution and measurement—difficulties amplified by increasing pressure to activate data in a privacy-centric way, across a multitude of channels and customer touchpoints.
Although there's no silver bullet for demystifying ABM, the following tips can provide clarity and actionable advice to unlock maximum ROI.
Collaborate With the 'Frenemy' to Build an Account List
Undoubtedly, an account list is the cornerstone of any ABM strategy. Without it, there are no accounts to target, and so the edge afforded by ABM is lost. But this methodology is not without its challenges, largely because it requires looking outside the marketing channel to align with Sales.
Though the misalignment between Sales and Marketing has long been extant in business, overcoming that culture clash is a critical step in ABM. Whereas Sales may have previously misunderstood marketing requests (or vice versa) and ignored leads, ABM allows both sides to come to the table to share revenue objectives, goals, and metrics.
To make that effort a success, marketing teams must first explain the value of a successful ABM program to their own sales teams and provide a clear overview of the goals of the program. Through cooperation, Sales can then help Marketing create the ideal customer profiles by identifying the accounts best suited for the solutions it's selling—be it by company size, vertical, or another category.
Take the first step (it's free).
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