Technique 2 minutes, 33 second read Iain Masson, RVP UK & Nordics, Showpad
Cold outreach will no longer sit well with today’s informed buyers. As such, to navigate this, ABM (Account-Based Marketing) has once again become a key phrase on marketers’ lips.
When this buzzword first made its appearance in marketing circles a few years back, it was hailed for its potential to bring sales and marketing teams together. Fast forward to present day, however, and this infamous interdepartmental friction is still ongoing. Yet, an account-based customer approach does present the possibility for these departments to come together and an ABM strategy will only work if they collaborate.
Now, more than ever, both sales and marketing teams need to be targeting the same customers with the right content and messaging, for a personalised buyer experience that responds to customers’ new expectations.
The need to impress
In the new remote reality, it’s much harder for sales to surprise and delight customers, and ultimately, close the deal. But marketers can help sales do just this — the teams just need to be open to that collaboration.
Research shows that B2B buyers are more than halfway through the buying process before even talking to sales.
Marketers need to be laying the vital groundwork for sales to seamlessly pick up the mantel and convert the sale. Not to mention, with marketing spend increasingly being measured against sales growth, this is also in marketers’ interests.
Embrace smarter analytics
Data and analytics are vital for lining up efforts with sales — and to better understand specific customers’ wants and needs. Marketers need to measure the effectiveness of marketing content, analysing whether and how it is being used by sales, along with how and when buyers are engaging with it. All of this helps marketers to adapt strategies and content accordingly to ensure buyers receive the right message at the right time and most importantly, see demonstrated value as a result.
Remember it’s a two-way street
In addition to data, marketers also need to listen to feedback from sales teams themselves. From their direct conversations with customers, sellers have insights into unique pain points and problems customers are facing and the information and content they want. Communication channels need to be open and collaboration tools should be used to their full potential.
Again, technology plays a key role in ensuring that marketers can quickly implement these recommendations and share any changes with sales teams in real-time. If updates are not made quickly, opportunities may be missed, or worse, a customer may be put off by receiving irrelevant, or even the wrong, content or information.
Sales and marketing can be aligned once and for all to deliver a truly personalised and great customer experience. ABM is not about bringing in the most customers but bringing in the most relevant and valuable customers likely to convert into a sale. At a time when resources may still be stretched, marketers are under greater scrutiny and pressure for results, a united account-based approach with sales will help reach those lofty objectives.
In Part Two, Iain looks at how to embrace the full potential of ABM