What Exactly is ABM and Why Do You Need It?

Higher revenue. Less time spent chasing down dead-end leads. Shorter sales cycles. These are just a few of the many benefits that Account Based Marketing (ABM) delivers. Today’s salespeople have tools and platforms to drive relationships to new heights using ABM. With this juicy collection of benefits, ABM should be a salesperson’s dream right now.

In spite of these advantages, less than 40% of surveyed businesses use ABM as a primary marketing strategy. Many sales and marketing teams still have no idea how ABM works and other organizations are unaware of the many benefits it delivers. Below is a look at the key steps involved with ABM and the top eight reasons why your organization needs ABM.

What is ABM and how does it work?

“Account based marketing is more targeted and personalized versus spray and pray, where you’re just trying to capture anyone in your net. You’re being very specific about who you want to talk with, and it’s a way for sales and marketing to align on the target.”

- Meagen Eisenberg, CMO, MongoDB

ABM is a sharply focused marketing strategy that involves identifying and tracking down hand-chosen accounts that align perfectly with your business objectives. Its unique approach involves collaboration between sales and marketing teams to zero in on top customers and prospects that are most likely to invest in your products.

The key distinguishing feature of ABM is its personalized approach. Rather than casting a wide net and hoping to catch a good lead, ABM uses a targeted approach to marketing and selling. Sales and marketing teams collaborate to identify accounts that are “ideal customers”. Then, customized campaigns are developed according to the customers’ preferred communication channels and buying cycles. Megan Golden of LinkedIn Marketing Solutions outlines seven key steps involved with ABM:

1) Make a list of valuable accounts

2) Identify the key players with each account

3) Develop targeted campaigns

4) Determine preferred communication channels

5) Develop a strategy

6) Launch your campaigns

7) Measure your results

Why does your organization need ABM?

1) You will enjoy an impressive ROI

“Four out of five B2B marketers believe that the ROI of ABM is higher than that of other marketing initiatives. Further, only 3% of B2B marketers found the ROI of account-based marketing to be lower than the ROI of broad-based marketing. On the other side, 44% of ABM practitioners said their ABM investment returns were much higher than returns with previous marketing approaches.”

- Jared Dodson, ABM Leader and Marketing Strategist at Lenati

As the owner or marketing director of a growing business, you are likely seeking solutions that are proven to yield a high ROI. Research shows that ABM produces a higher ROI than other marketing strategies, with nearly half of surveyed marketers reporting that investment returns are “much higher” than returns produced by other marketing strategies.

2) Your sales cycles will shorten

3) Your teams will engage more with key accounts

4) You will waste less time

  • Your salespeople will spend less time chasing after poor quality leads
  • Your sales representatives can convert and upsell more key contacts
  • With a tighter collection of accounts, you will spend less time measuring and tracking goals

5) Your sales-marketing alignment will improve

“To break down walls between sales and marketing, ABM is pretty close to a silver bullet in that it aligns programs’ dollars and focus behind the accounts that the sales team cares about…It’s most effective when deployed as part of a comprehensive set of targeting strategies.”

- Dave Karel, Head of B2B Marketing, LinkedIn Solutions

Sales-marketing alignment can bolster revenue by as much as 208%. Unfortunately, most organizations report a disconnect between sales and marketing teams. Shari Johnston, Principal of Digby, refers to ABM as “The Secret Sauce to Sales and Marketing Alignment”, noting that working together on key accounts helps to reduce finger-pointing between the two departments.

6) You will build trust among customers and prospects

7) Your team members will buy into ABM

“We were able to partner and deliver quick wins on our pilot programs with some of my top reps which built trust and proved out ABM’s ability to achieve an impressively high ROI. Given the success, we were able to quickly scale and extend ABM across the entire Enterprise sales team from technology, processes, tactics, and headcount resources. The Enterprise sales team is now sold on ABM.”

- Dan Lovette — VP Sales OpenDNS (now CIsco)

Employees are often reluctant to buy into the latest sales and marketing strategies that are introduced to them. But ABM’s ability to shorten sales cycles and deliver “quick wins” enables it to quickly earn the support and trust of sales and marketing professionals alike.

8) Customer satisfaction will be higher

The Bottom Line

This article first appeared on Jefflizik.com

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