Trending This Week: The Future of ABM

To realize the promise of ABM, sales and marketing need to adopt a new mindset and approach. Here are three ways they can join forces.

March 17, 2017

  • door-to-the-future

Account based marketing (ABM) isn’t just a hot topic for marketers these days. It affects how many of us sell, which is why we recently wrote about three ways sales can be ABM’s secret weapon. Given the effectiveness of this insight-driven approach, it’s no surprise that ABM took center stage at the recently held Revenue Summit 2017. Here are three ABM-related takeaways from the event that can help you sell more effectively in the modern landscape.

Treat Prospects Like Customers

We’re selling in an era when buyers hold the reins and customer experience reigns supreme. So sales and marketing professionals need to roll out the red carpet from the start – even before prospects sign on the dotted line. One way to make prospective buyers feel special is to ease the path to purchase – which is often fraught with all kinds of complexity.

Keep the Entire Buying Committee in Mind

SiriusDecisions’ 2015 B-to-B Buying Study found that purchases of $500,000 and up typically involve five or more buying centers and six to 10 colleagues — sometimes more. In their Revenue Summit session, Terminus’ VP of Sales Tonni Bennett and Director of Marketing Ops Stephanie Kelly shared lessons learned from their ABM efforts:

  • SDRs set more meetings when they reach out to multiple account stakeholders
  • AEs achieve a higher win rate when they take a multi-threaded account approach

Clearly, a multi-threaded approach has been shown to boost results. The key is to identify and engage the right people in a relevant way at the right time.

Structure for Success

Many position ABM as a way to better align sales and marketing. But the reality is that you need to align marketing with sales to make ABM work. You also need to re-evaluate – and likely retool – your existing sales and marketing processes.

One suggestion from Revenue Summit: Assign business development reps (who report to marketing) to sit between sales and marketing. These reps should:

  • Own one-to-one relationships at target accounts
  • Engage through personalized outreach
  • Schedule meetings for sales reps

For more insights on combining the best of ABM and social selling, check out our eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Account-Based Marketing and Social Selling