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Posted March 21, 2017
Posted March 21, 2017
Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is now a staple in B2B marketing. Recent technology allows for massive pipeline growth, better customer engagement and of course, higher ROI. But there is nothing new about ABM, in fact, it is over 50 years old and has powerfully transformed into its current scalable form, offering extensive revenue growth. Thanks to marketing automation, fact-based analytics, CRM and personalization, execution of ABM marketing strategies is easier, no longer labor-intensive and measurable. ABM signals a more thoughtful strategic movement in 21st century marketing.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. – A. Schlesinger” quote=”Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. – Arthur M. Schlesinger”]
As with most big things that are constant in our lives, ABM comes with its own set of assumed stereotypes. It’s essential to debunk these so that CEO’s can make more informed choices about employing ABM strategies that will turn their organizations into efficient, revenue-generating machines.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth… JFK” quote=”The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. -John F. Kennedy”]
The following three pervasive Account-Based Marketing Myths seem to be plaguing the C-Level suite. They are the current roadblocks to all of the benefits companies could be reaping. But hopefully we can debunk the myths and clear a path for you to adopt ABM and increase your revenue.
The myth goes: “ABM is a duplication of the sales team’s efforts –it’s just another form of account planning!”
ABM cannot replace account planning because a key component of the system is building on existing good account planning to create actionable marketing and sales strategies. ABM successfully aligns sales and marketing teams to work closely together to determine their target accounts. There is enormous value in bringing sales and marketing teams together.
Sales is an integral part of account selection but there are more players in the mix these days. Marketing can and should take an increasingly larger role in uncovering new leads. ABM programs use an effective combination of quantitative and qualitative factors received from both marketing and sales. No matter what methodology you are employing, ABM integrates into those systems but never replaces them. Fact-based marketing and analytics assists your marketing and sales teams to make decisions together about which accounts to target for the best results
This myth says that ABM is just another marketing buzz word, latest tactic or vehicle and implies it is unnecessary and not essential to use.
ABM is not a tactic but a strategy. The ABM approach, unlike other “field” programs, sees its selling strategies into key accounts. It isn’t only a marketing tool but it has to be integrated with sales to be effectively executed. ABM is a key sales enabler. Marketers who use ABM optimally, have years of experience not only in delivering marketing vehicles but in devising programs that will meet strategic goals. ABM is not a product, it is a strategy and requires aligning the entire company with one vision.
ABM programs allow you to measure a company’s intentions quickly and with ease as they gather Intent Signals® generated by Big Data. These actionable insights are then delivered directly from the marketers to the sales team. Although sales decisions are taken by a diverse group of people across many channels in a company, you can pinpoint how each of these individuals have interacted with your offering to date and you can target each one individually, creating a relationship based on their interests.
This is, if you think about it, a valid concern. Why should marketing be tasked with generating leads? Won’t this create unnecessary traffic since they’ll be passing those leads on to the sales team in order to transform leads into conversions? And won’t it be the case that marketing will deliver a large quantity of leads but with the quality much to be desired?
B2B marketers might see that a lead is not yet “hot” but they can also see that there is nothing to show that it must be disqualified. Marketing can keep these leads in the pot to gather more information about their needs. They can observe how the lead responds to a lead nurturing email campaign for example. A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) can be followed up by the marketing person with an email or phone call to gauge their interest level. From this conversation you can ascertain whether they need further nurturance so you can gather more information about their needs. You will also be able to find out if they are ready to be handed over to your sales team. You have begun building a relationship with a very specific, targeted account.
These Account-Based Marketing myths reveal that many companies need to delve a little deeper into the benefits of ABM. An ABM strategy that includes fact-based Intent Signal Monitoring gives marketers the ability to deploy instant engagement, according to near real-time signals of interest. Ultimately having access to exceptional Intent Signal Data (ISD) will give you the competitive edge and B2B marketers using this ABM approach are seeing the benefits on their company’s ROI.
As early as 2013, ITSMA’s Budget and Trends Survey showed that marketers were already planning to double the amount they spent on ABM programs in the coming year. We have subsequently witnessed a continual rise in the number of ABM users who report a burgeoning pipeline and revenue growth. The biggest question remains: Why hasn’t everyone immediately embraced ABM?