Top ABM Insights: Maximizing the Sales’ Role in ABM/ABX in 2021
It’s a misconception that account-based marketing (ABM) is just a marketing initiative. It’s not, and it’s also not about simply moving a marketing metric further down the sales funnel. Instead, it’s about leveraging a target organization’s entire list of relevant contacts and touchpoints through a unified content experience to get a revenue result.
To deliver an effective account-based experience (ABX), it’s vital for you to align all your “rock-face” or external-facing teams in executing it. These include the sales team, your marketing department, and your customer success (CS) representatives. After all, every interaction with a customer or prospect is a chance to deliver value. So, if you aren’t making the most of those opportunities, you’re leaving money on the table.
Here’s how you can maximize your sales team’s role in ABM/ABX and move the needle on important business outcomes.
Take a Customer-First Approach
When you implement an ABM strategy, you typically begin by identifying accounts you’d like to target, rather than the methods you’ll use to reach them. This practice overcomes many of the traditional barriers between Sales and Marketing because it bypasses the question of who has to do what. Focus on shared commonalities, and establish your ideal client profiles together.
From here, you can draw up a prospect list everyone agrees with and can buy into by determining your “best-fit” potential clients. Identify the decision-makers at each organization and use technology to target them with personalized messaging and content, using the best content formats for each stage of the buying cycle. These could include channels ranging from social media to news websites, industry publications, and more.
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Capitalize on Alignment
Get your teams to maximize their alignment by highlighting the value of working together and how it can drive sales. For example, your marketing crew can engage the decision-makers through content, but will need to lean on the sales team to follow up. Once Sales closes the deal, you’re dependent on CS to carry the torch and make sure the customer experience that gets delivered is the one that was promised.
This combination underscores the importance of a coordinated ABM strategy, in which each of the three teams plays a role in influencing engagement. By starting with alignment, they follow a natural progression to continue with a great ABM approach when they become a customer.
Leverage Client Relationships
With ABM, you’re targeting specific accounts. These either already have a sales rep working with them, if they’re prospects, or a CS rep working with them if they’re current customers. That means a relationship exists between you and the target company, which you can leverage to engage the account directly, share content and messages, or help with follow-ups.
Marketing can, and often does, do this independently, but having a relationship in place gives you an ideal opportunity to touch the prospect or customer directly. Maximize the role of your sales team in ABM by doubling down with marketing to share great content, extend your reach and influence the customer.
Run Renewal and Retention Campaigns
When your customer gets close to the renewal date, you want to be sure you’re going to keep them on board. For marketing to step in unannounced at that point with a retention campaign is going to look a little, well—off—to say the least. Instead, approach it through the lens of customer-focused ABM. Prepare for your next uplift or expansion opportunity with a target account prior to renewal time, but not only then. Also lean on CS and sales to help you identify the customers to target, inform the strategy and help to execute.
Use Technology to Drive Consistency
It’s pretty tricky to keep all these balls in the air without technology, but the right software tools can help you streamline the process. Manage the alignment between your client-facing departments, personalize your content marketing and structure your campaigns to make the most of time-sensitive message delivery across multiple media channels. This kind of balance allows you to give both customers and prospects a consistent experience from start to finish.
Your sales team plays a critical role in ABM, but getting the customer in the door is only the first step of the journey. After that, it takes cooperation and alignment between all parties involved with the customer to provide a solid ABX.
When all is said and done, alignment between sales, marketing, and customer success leads to more strategic action and better results. It’s really the key to winning with ABX.
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