When asked to explain ABM I often find myself gravitating towards one word: efficiency. Think of the last time you watched a professional athlete – zero wasted movement or effort.
Each motion rehearsed to be as efficient and effective as possible. Doesn’t it make sense that our marketing and sales efforts should be the same? Luckily for us, ABM can be efficiency at its finest and exactly what your team needs to drive opportunities to sales.
There are enough articles and reports published demonstrating ABM's ability to supercharge marketing and sales efforts. It makes sense that marketing teams want to adopt it. But just as any professional would say – you must master the fundamentals before you can be successful.
More importantly, your TEAM must master the fundamentals together.
Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
Before beginning any ABM efforts, it is imperative that your team is aligned, prepared, and understand their individual roles and responsibilities. I can’t tell you how many times a client has come to us saying that ABM isn’t working... low and behold they never organized or informed their team of the initiative. When there’s no buy-in the efficiency of ABM is lost.
ABM touches all departments, but at it’s core the necessary alignment of teams falls on marketing and sales. The primary team members necessary for ABM alignment include the following:
Marketing Operations Manager
The owner of the marketing automation platform must understand and be responsible for aligning records with accounts while also marketing to each appropriately based on their lifecycle stages.
Your SDR’s are the first line of communication with qualified target or prospective accounts. Ensuring that they understand where accounts are coming from and how to handle them means a smoother transition from marketing.
Account Sales Executives
AE’s are often responsible for closing deals with accounts. To do this efficiently they will work closely with the SDR’s and maintain knowledge of the efforts taken with their accounts.
ABM is all about providing individual attention to high profile accounts and elements of personalization to lower profile accounts. Content creators should curate content so that it can be personalized and quickly modified to accommodate unique needs of your accounts. In addition, new content likely needs to be created for both marketing and sales to provide coverage across the lifecycle.
Data Scientist/CRM Admin
ABM is useless with bad data. Your CRM admin is essential for maintaining cleanliness and implementing processes to ensure your account data is intact. Likewise, the data scientist is crucial for providing insights to your accounts. Is there enough coverage of the account? Which roles are engaging most?
Every company’s business process differs and there may be other roles that should be included or excluded, but alignment across your teams is a part of the fundamentals that CANNOT be skipped.
I'm not claiming gathering buy-in and creating alignment across teams is easy. It’s not. What sales wants may be completely different than marketing. Take the time to call out examples of similar companies who have seen success with ABM. Approach a conversation with sales from their perspective and frame the conversation around the increased deal sizes and velocity. Talk to marketing with the idea of reducing ad spend while maximizing results. Approach your team the same way you would approach a target account – cater your message to their needs.
When your team is aligned, you’ve created an environment for efficiency and that’s a big step towards success.
About the Author
Mitchell specializes in designing engagement strategies and solutions for high performance marketing teams. As a specialist on Elixiter's Engagement team, he works with clients on account-based marketing, web personalization, nurture/engagement and social marketing initiatives. He enjoys helping clients creatively innovate their marketing programs and prove success with meaningful analytics and reporting. When he's not in the office, Mitchell is likely hiking to a remote lake with his paddleboard or traveling to a far away country to surf and explore.More Content by Mitchell Schafhauser