Sales and marketing have always had a unique relationship within the ecosystem of a B2B business. Both roles are interdependent, but seldom collaborative. They almost operate like parallel train tracks – both propelling the train towards its end destination without ever intersecting. However, an increasingly popular marketing tactic, Account-based marketing, has presented sales representatives and marketers a golden opportunity for meaningful overlap.
Account-based marketing (ABM) focuses on targeting high-value accounts within a given market to maximize ROI. Sales and marketing must work together to not only identify key accounts, but also create personalized, targeted campaigns that feature messaging tailored to the exact needs and qualities of each account.
ABM is effective because of its dual functionality: it can be used for finding and acquiring new business, as well as upselling and cross-selling to existing customers. It’s such an effective strategy, in fact, that 97% of marketers reported achieving higher ROI with ABM than with any other marketing initiatives, according to Alterra Group.
The concept of ABM isn’t necessarily new – it’s just an easier strategy to implement now, thanks to advancements in data analytics, tracking, and personalization. As Adobe Cloud Experience explains, “In the past, it was difficult and expensive to scale ABM initiatives due to the high level of personalization it requires. With today’s new and improving technology, it’s now easier and more affordable to scale ABM to a variety of organizations.”
And really, what’s not to love about ABM? It requires fewer resources to execute, encourages a shorter sales cycle, and offers clear, measurable metrics on ROI (Optimizely). Best of all, it creates alignment between the sales and marketing departments within companies, which is statistically proven to increase revenue by as much as 208%.
The tenements of an ABM program are simple: target, engage, and measure. Draw from the expertise and connections of your sales team to locate high-value accounts, using key parameters like “high yield, product fit, quick wins, strategic importance, competitors, and territory” to evaluate their worth to your company (Adobe). Next, leverage your detailed knowledge of each account to craft highly-personalized, relevant messaging that can be delivered through strategic channels. This will prompt engagement, which you can then quantify and use as data to inform future campaigns.
There’s a reason that 8 out of 10 marketers say account-based marketing strategies outperform other marketing investments – its only objective is to close deals. So, if you’re looking to make a change in your marketing plan this fall and boost your ROI, consider strategizing smarter, not harder, with ABM.
Maddy Leddy is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Babcox Media, focusing on direct marketing, content creation, and social media. A Shaker Heights native, she received her B.A. in English from Boston College and her M.A. in English from the University of Oxford.