It is time to FORCE your sales and marketing teams to work together.
No, you don’t have to do anything illegal. What you really need is a system that requires both legs of your outreach to align or die. There is no other alternative in account based marketing (ABM), and this is why a growing number of companies are embracing it.
What is ABM?
ABM is a strategy that makes a company direct its marketing resources to targeted accounts rather than employing a wide net strategy. Marketing and sales are forced together under this strategy, because messages must be personalized at the account level. Both sides are also motivated to success because higher revenues can be achieved within this system in a relatively short time.
Why Use ABM?
The buying circles for most companies are growing as the Internet continues to proliferate across the globe. However, marketing teams are still getting pressure to grow revenues more directly. ABM is getting more attention because of this prressure and its proven ability to perform under it. Your highest value accounts should obviously receive the most attention from you, and ABM brings all resources to bear to squeeze them.
If marketing puts all of its talent into greasing the wheels for sales, then the sales team has more firepower going in for the close. When resources are consolidated, both sides also have the luxury of slowing down the process. When your sales team does not have the pressure of tomorrow’s quota, they can develop a better relationship with the prospect – one that will likely lead to greater sales and higher degrees of loyalty.
This comes at a time when buyers are adamant about personal service, low-pressure sales guidance and the perception of choice. No buyer worth his salt responds to old school hard sell techniques or marketing. The Internet has given the average person far too many choices to put up with that any more.
Who is ABM for?
Critics of ABM say that it is only truly effective for B2B companies. This makes sense on the surface – B2B is all about focusing on large accounts anyway. However, ABM can definitely be a win for B2C companies on a granular level. Why? The modern individual actually functions more like a big company when making long term buying decisions.
Sales teams have already begun utilizing an account based approach in the B2C world. In many cases, sales teams have been crying out to marketing to focus so that they can bring prospects a truly personalized presentation. Nurturing the major targets within a group tends to speed up the entire sales process. From there, word of mouth through social media can bring a company more customers than it could ever get on its own.
Customers also benefit from this kind of aligned service. The modern buyer is quite savvy. He can tell if he is being targeted personally or if the strategy a business is using is general. Once marketing brings its strategic research capabilities to match with effective sales tactics, the company advertising program becomes unstoppable.
How to Align Sales and Marketing?
Success with ABM starts with two way communication. Marketing should not be viewed as a promotion from front line sales, nor should marketing be able to dictate how the sales team closes. Sales should be open to new research from marketing, however. When the company has its big table meetings, make sure that both marketing and sales have a seat there.