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Account based marketing: expectation vs. reality

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Sep 7, 2021 9:44:00 AM
Account-based marketing: Expectation vs. Reality

It is common, that in the eagerness to sell, we want to market and sell to customers who are not right for the business. Don't waste your time! In this blog, I want to introduce you to account based marketing or ABM (Account based marketing) this type of marketing offers your customer what they need at the right price, in a personalised and direct way.

Learn more about: what is account based marketing?

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a focused growth strategy in which the marketing and sales team collaborate to create personalised buying experiences for a set of mutually identified high-value accounts.

Index

  • Account based marketing B2B.
  • Sales and marketing around ABM strategy.
  • Expectation vs. reality.

Account based marketing B2B

This type of strategy allows you to align your marketing and sales teams from the ground up to promote long-term business growth, delight customers and increase revenue. Although we are currently seeing remarkable changes in the way we do business, ABM, as the latest trend, is here to stay to help us do B2B marketing. Although the concept is somewhat new, more and more organisations are adopting it to improve their sales and revenue with a goal-based approach.

Applying this strategy within our business and teams involves identifying and targeting a key set of an account and using personalised campaigns to generate new leads, i.e. making efforts for the team that makes buying decisions in a company directly, rather than a manager or owner. This reasoning is based on the assumption that buying decisions within B2B businesses are made by a group of people rather than a single individual. Thus, the key to ABM's success lies in targeting the central decision-making group.

Article you may be interested in: The key questions to ask yourself when considering your B2B strategy.

The secret is to target the right message to the right people in the prospective buyer's company. ABM makes this possible through the use of innovative technology such as Marketo, rather than resorting to conventional marketing techniques such as: SEO, public relations, mass marketing strategies that are applied to the mass audience, being targeted with generic messages.

Sales and marketing around an ABM strategy

Basically, success starts with clear communication between your sales reps and marketing consultants, and as part of the process, both groups execute their part of the strategy throughout the buyer's journey. Then, from the outset, the ultimate goal of the ABM strategy helps the marketing and sales team synchronise and discover the most appropriate target accounts and the best tactics to reach them.

Sales and marketing teams working as a cohesive account team is the fundamental secret to success. Without that alignment, your targets will have a poor experience as marketing and sales strategies are pitted against each other. Instead of opening opportunities together, reach out effectively to the key decision makers of the potential customer.

Related article: The deadly sins in sales management

Expectation vs. Reality

As I mentioned earlier, in most companies, it is a constant struggle to establish a close relationship between the sales team and marketing directly. However, it should be noted that marketing creates the sales opportunity. And while marketing success can be measured, usually in the form of marketing qualified leads (MQL), it does not guarantee sales. Instead, marketing creates sales opportunities. Unless the item or offer is e-commerce based, it requires, as in most cases of B2B products and services, the skills of trained sales professionals to close the deal.

Although the ABM strategy promises to improve the relationship between teams and focus on increasing sales in a direct and impactful way, I show you 3 realities of this new trend: 

  1. There are many definitions of ABM and many ways to approach it. 
  2. ABM will not solve your revenue problems in the short term. 
  3. It is not enough to set the right expectations at the beginning of the ABM programme. Remember, ABM is a journey, it takes time to participate and win business deals. 

So what makes ABM so different?

You may feel that what you are doing at the moment is quite similar to ABM. You may feel that your digital team is on the right track and you may be satisfied with all the high quality leads you are getting at the moment. However, ABM is the next level of B2B marketing!

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