Every organization has unique circumstances and needs that guide their ABM strategies. But, evidently, there is no “perfect” approach that applies universally to all firms.
While no two ABM programs are identical, there are a few critical common elements among all the successful ABM programs – especially compared to the unsuccessful ones.
What All Successful ABM Programs Have in Common
Surface insights to sales for better execution and implementation
One of the key ABM success factors lies in the tight alignment between the marketing and sales teams. All firms are aware of the importance of alignment, but outside of account targets and sharing goals, there is very little being done actually to drive that alignment around the customer. Being able to surface insights in a meaningful and timely manner is what drives ABM programs.
Intelligent targeting and segmenting
For B2B firms, segmentation and targeting have an added complexity regarding identifying accounts to target and understand all the decision-makers and influencers within a particular account. Because groups of people and not individuals drive most B2B buying decisions, B2B marketers need to have a deep understanding of company hierarchies and responsibilities, in addition to account-level information for driving a successful ABM strategy.
Building the right foundation
To establish a robust ABM program, firms have to start with developing a solid data foundation. The ‘master data’ foundation is built by helping third-party data to supplement in-house data, structuring it consistently and sensibly, and then linking it across systems, creating more accurate prospect and customer information.
Committing to the dedication
ABM can seem complicated and unapproachable for many firms. ABM’s success is less associated with company size or the percentage of the budget, and more about the focus applied to the program itself. To clarify, as reported by TechTarget, 64% of companies exceed expectations with ABM while devoting less than 50% of their overall marketing budget to this initiative. Regardless of size, organizations need to have a dedicated team for ABM, and not merely make ABM an additional part of people’s skillset and jobs.
Transforming Tech Stacks and Processes for Improvement
Despite reporting high satisfaction with their ABM results, organizations that are exceeding expectations with ABM anticipating their tech stacks, are charging forward.
Successful firms are making changes across sales and marketing structures, transforming the way they operate to support ABM. 73% of firms have reorganized and hired new staff in marketing, sales teams to better support growth, and over 70% have accurately aligned their inside sales teams to target accounts. Such adjustments are leading to considerable strides in the area of communication and lead hand-off in specific.
Thinking differently about reporting and data collection
The successful ABMers strive to comprehend more about the information flowing into and out of them. ABM affects the way firms think about, use, collect and report data. These insights are put to use to improve processes and inputs for generating leads, scoring at the account level enable account prioritization.
This area is slow-moving due to the inherent obstacles with core reporting systems that are not designed initially to support the functioning of ABM. Top firms are finding ways to succeed, regardless of these obstacles.
Innovative uses of core channels
Surprisingly, for marketing and sales teams of all sizes and ABM programs new and old, the core channels of phone calls, emails, and events remain pre-eminent despite the shift to an account-based strategy. Fueled by new insights and more explicit strategy, firms are evolving the way they target prospects, creating content, and develop messages for accounts.
Defining success through unified marketing and sales objectives
Firms with successful ABM implementation have a more holistic approach to inter-department information sharing—covering more of the sales and marketing journey than in older conventional programs. Rather than looking one-dimensionally at closed sales cycles, success should be measured by total account revenue generated, several opportunities created, and account conversion rates.
Account-Based Marketing strategies are accelerating go-to-market strategies delivering a coordinated and differentiated experience for targeted accounts. Innovative technologies are helping execute ABM strategies in ways that were earlier impossible. They are today, identifying the right solution essential to deliver sustainable results that focus efforts on the accounts that matter. This will help engage decision-makers from target accounts across channels to analyze and optimize account-based programs.