Align Marketing and Sales for a Greater Agility in ABM Targeting
A vital foundation base while launching an ABM campaign is the alignment of the Marketing and Sales teams.
Before launching any ABM campaign, B2B marketers need to ensure the alignment with their sales counterparts. They need to work together to create solid target account lists, design the messaging templates for the campaigns, and develop KPIs and goals. The process of collaboration itself lends a more flexible and adaptive approach to the overall campaign.
Even though companies claim that they practice an “account based working model”, the strategies deployed by their marketing and sales teams may not actually complement each other. The Marketing team usually focuses on number of leads generated, tracking website traffic, social media engagements, email opens, and form submissions. On the other hand, the Sales team focuses on the accounts and forming strong relationships with the decision makers. Both teams have different sets of metrics and can tend to ignore each other if the metrics do not complement.
This means that to have an agile ABM model, you first need to move away from the traditional marketing approach. The focus needs to be on account first and then on the personas – thus flipping the sales funnel. Therefore, aligning the Marketing and Sales teams is crucial.
Consider the following three-step approach to align the Marketing and Sales team:
Planning is the foundation for a successful alignment. The Marketing and Sales teams must collaborate and devise a plan for being on the same platform. Primarily, both the teams should agree that the principal focus is the account, and leads comes next, and that every strategy employed should have an ultimate goal of boosting revenues. Moreover, there should be a mutual consent on the definitions of accounts and leads. A model customer profile can be created by fusing the ideal buyer’s profile (from marketing point of view) and ideal account profile (from sales point of view). This will also put in play the metrics of success measurement.
With a solid strategy in place, executing it becomes a matter of consistency and commitment. You need to develop Marketing and Sales playbooks that describe your ideal customer, methods of communicating value propositions, sales methodology, and resolving common issues.
- Addressing Issues
Obviously, there will be some issues concerning the new strategy. However, with suitable planning, monitoring, and execution, one can easily detect issues early on and resolve them before they turn into sloppy habits. Working as a singular entity will be a fresh experience and will help in addressing the issues more proactively rather than simply pointing fingers at each other.
Moreover, to be more successful with the approach, you cannot simply rely on the collaborative mindset. An overall commitment to change is needed on multiple fronts, including the structural change.
Agility in ABM campaigns usually calls for influencing new data sources. Successful ABM marketers have also discovered that by leveraging purchase intent data they can provide a new level of access to the active demands in the market.
Success of the ABM strategy is more likely with the unification of Marketing and Sales teams and taking up additional resources of data.