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Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is the fundamental approach for best-in-class B2B marketers that sell six digit offerings primarily through direct field sales reps.
More and more B2B marketing organizations are adopting account based marketing, in fact there has been a 20% increase in the number of account based marketing programs deployed. The primary driver behind the adoption of account-based marketing is that to be effective it requires alignment between sales and marketing. 40% of companies communicate that they are not tightly aligned with sales so the adoption of account-based marketing is expected to remain strong.
Account-Based Marketing Benefits
- Over 80% report an increase in target account engagement
- 70% state that there is better alignment between sales and marketing
- Over 65% communicate that more qualified prospects are generated
- Almost 60% said there is a greater understanding of program performance
- 55% experience more sales pipeline opportunities
Account-Based Marketing, at its core, is really marketing from a sales perspective. Instead of opportunistic marketing (sifting to leads to find and MQL) the approach is to develop a strategic sales plan that identifies specific companies, contacts within those companies and a marketing and sales action plan to get an at bat.
Account-Based Marketing efforts will fail if:
- The database of companies is not thoroughly researched
- Sales and marketing do not agree on the accounts
- The criteria used to select the accounts is not aligned with the value proposition, use case, differentiation, value drivers, content and programs
- The decision making process is not documented
- The specific business functions, the titles of individuals involved in the purchase process (and the keywords that may be found in their titles) are not agreed upon and documented
- An account intelligence brief is not created for each targeted account to form the baseline of how and who to establish as a potential beach head into the account
Many account-based marketing programs derail themselves by confusing account intelligence with a persona. A persona is useful but it is based on an individual and not a company—this is the way some B2B marketers think. Flip it. B2B marketers need to think like direct field sales reps and focus on the account first.
If your B2B marketing organization is struggling to correlate its impact on revenue or ACV, then account-based marketing may be a good option. Because ABM is focused on the strategic accounts (those that the sales reps are focused on) it is much easy to track these accounts in the sales funnel. And, if marketing is working with the sales team to build and execute integrated customer acquisition and expansion programs, the chances of establishing marketing’s correlation increases exponentially.
96% of B2B marketing’s leveraging Account-Based Marketing communicate that they have experienced a positive impact on marketing’s success – Demand Metric