Executives – The Time is Right for ABM

Companies have recognized that traditional inbound marketing programs (and even the marketing automation tools that support them) were designed primarily for a certain kind of deal – high velocity, short cycle, often lower value deals. For many organizations, this inbound strategy worked up to a point. However, ultimately teams end up realizing these deals are lower value, have higher churn rates, and don’t leave much room for expansion opportunity.

To drive growth, leading organizations are using focused on uncovering the best accounts for their business. They’re recognizing that their mindset and tactics must shift and more closely align with that of Sales and Customer Success. They’re being more strategic and thoughtful with the channels they use and the message that they send.

In other words, leading organization are using Account Based Marketing to fuel growth.

4 Reasons Executives Must Take a Closer Look at ABM, Now

There are too many compelling reasons to not take ABM seriously. As an executive at your company, these tie closely to the outcomes you’re responsible for.

Organizations implementing ABM are realizing the following benefits:

1 – Driving Growth

As a leader, driving growth is essential. According to a study by the CMO Council and Deloitte LLP, two-thirds of surveyed CMOs believe senior executives and company board directors have a high level of expectation for marketing to drive growth and create value for their companies. ABM is a powerful strategy that can help.

Driving growth means higher-quality deals, better retention and more expansion opportunities.

Higher quality deals
As a broad-based marketing strategy, demand generation may bring some quality accounts into your pipeline, but you will also bring in an equal number of accounts that may be too small, not the right fit, or in an industry that your products/services do not address well. Account Based Marketing is about marketing and selling to your ICP, which will ultimately attract better customer. Your Sales organization will appreciate the quality versus large volumes of MQLs that may never convert.

Improved customer retention
If you close deals that ultimately churn, it’s hurting your business in the long run. Yet, most Marketing teams think a lot more about acquisition. The State of the Conversation Report showed less than 30% of their marketing budget  is spent on customer retention or upsell/cross-sell activities. In fact, 42% of companies invest less than 10% of their marketing budgets in renewal and upsell/cross-sell efforts. With ABM, teams focus on a set of accounts that have a higher likelihood to see success using your product and remaining a loyal customer. Marketing should be involved in the messaging, programs, and initiatives post-sales to ensure long term success.

More expansion opportunities
For many organizations, expansion within current accounts is the way the company will grow. This is especially true when you’re selling into the enterprise. Ensure your Marketing organization is dedicating efforts and investment to the entire customer journey, not just the top-of-funnel acquisition. With ABM and the supporting technologies, it becomes easier to understand your key account and players so you can invest your time and energy in the right places.

2 – Delivering a Better Customer Experience and Owning the Journey

86% of Marketers say they will own the end-to-end customer experience by 2020, meaning that they will become responsible for the entire customer journey according to the Economist. The focus on accounts that ABM brings, teams inherently need to be more customer centric and understand customers needs at all stages of the journey.

When done correctly, ABM consistently delivers the personal and relevant experience that customers demand. So leaders have turned to what ultimately drives growth: creating value for the customer and using new technologies to transform the customer experience.

According to Harvard Business Review, “The most customer-centric companies are the ones outperforming their competitors and raising the bar on customer expectations.” ABM helps us all do this better.

3 – Supporting the Brand Promise

ABM allows you to establish and cultivate trust with your customers, thereby building a strong brand over time.

With the traditional demand generation approach where volume and velocity was emphasized, there was an increasing pressure to do more. The advent of sales automation tools enabled reps to blast prospects en masse. This results in a “scorched earth” scenario. When you send an a broad-based message you are not relevant to anyone and that can damage your brand.

However, if you take the time to utilize the core tenants of ABM, you can ensure all of your customer facing teams have the right information on accounts, can coordinate efforts, and scale personalized communications.

4- Supporting a Coordinated and Deeper Partnership with Sales

ABM tightly integrates your Sales and Marketing teams, and aligned teams drive value. How much value? According to SiriusDecisions, alignment drives 36% more business growth and 27% faster profit growth.

Account Based Marketing requires ongoing collaboration – not just a hand-off from marketing to sales. With ABM, Marketing and Sales need to work together regarding the accounts to pursue, key tactics and outreach, and even analysis on what is working or not. While not a new idea, it hasn’t always been easy to do – but luckily technology can help.

When your organization is selling complex deals to multiple decision makers at a high contract value, ABM is a no-brainer. There are too many reasons not to take advantage of this powerful strategy.

If you’re an executive and need to get the rest of the c-suite bought in, download our Executive Guide to ABM whitepaper or use our presentation on Selling ABM internally.

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Head of Growth at Engagio, the Account-Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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