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Account-Based Marketing: Flipping the Sales Funnel on its Head

There’s an old notion that sales and marketing teams don’t play well together. However, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) proves the two divisions can be powerful when aligned on directives and strategies. 

Through ABM, both groups share responsibility for identifying, targeting, and growing the revenue of best-fit accounts.

Since B2B marketing usually takes a broad approach to lead generation, it can be near impossible to tell whether a new potential customer is a good fit for your organization. In most instances, the lead won’t make it through the sales funnel and will cost your team time and resources.

Instead of investing time into revamping your current funnel, ABM allows you to identify and target accounts with the biggest revenue potential quickly.

As the teams identify opportunities, marketers use technology to send personalized messages to decision-makers at these accounts on channels they are actively using. Following the communication, sales reps can begin contacting key account leaders for one-to-one conversations.

Where ABM Came From

In the 1990s, companies started to realize the need for more personalized marketing. While many organizations began implementing strategies focused on the one-to-one marketing approach, it wasn’t until 2004 that the strategy had an official name — Account-Based Marketing.

Since ITSMA coined the name Account-Based Marketing, the marketing strategy has developed into an effective way for companies to increase revenue and ROI. Many organizations today have dedicated teams to identify opportunities and create personalized journeys for high-potential accounts. 

How Does It Work?

An effective ABM strategy involves a multichannel approach and requires close alignment between sales, marketing, and customer service.

While there are dozens of ABM tools to assist your team, one of the most important aspects of ABM is account-based advertising (ABA). ABA uses digital targeting to reach specific companies that fit your organization’s ideal customer profile.

ABM can also integrate with your currenta CRM system or marketing automation tool. Having all the platforms communicate with each other allows you to reach contacts in your database and other key decision-makers at your target accounts quickly.

The platforms’ collaborative nature makes it possible to run multichannel campaigns by choosing the ads to show a target audience across mobile, social, display, and video. As a result, it’s easy to run A/B testing on creative in near real-time to see which message resonates the most with high-potential accounts.

Most ABM software allows marketing across personas, sales stages, campaigns, or statuses in a CRM, making it easy to engage with and nurture your target buyers wherever they are online.

Benefits of ABM

ABM is an excellent way to deliver personalized marketing to high-potential accounts. Here are a few of the main benefits you can expect when implementing Account-Based Marketing in your organization

Tightly Aligned Sales and Marketing Teams

One study showed that closely-aligned B2B companies grow revenue 19% faster. The first step requires your sales and marketing teams to identify and agree on key accounts to target. Above all, this reinforces the importance of the marketing team’s role in the sales process.

More Efficient Use of Marketing Budget

Event data can also provide additional opportunities for marketers to capitalize on tactics such as remarketing campaigns. 

Rather than qualify leads after they are acquired, it’s far more cost-effective to determine which accounts are best for your products or services first, and then spend your money reaching them (and only them) on the channels where they’re active.

The End of Cold Calling

Using ABM and ABA to reach target accounts sets your sales team up for more successful conversations with their buyers down the line. By the time your sales reps reach out to your target accounts, buyers will have already been exposed to your company’s messaging.

Better Customer Experience

Buyers want to explore solutions on their own terms and only receive meaningful and relevant communications from vendors. Account-based sales makes it easy to deliver on this need across the entire buyer’s journey.

How is ABM Implemented?

ABM uses the T.E.A.M. framework (Target, Engage, Activate, and Measure) to identify and target high-potential accounts. It’s a simple way for marketing, sales and customer success teams to think through how to plan, operate, and evaluate their go-to-market (GTM) campaigns. It also allows them to communicate their successes clearly across their entire organization.

A good ABM platform helps teams work better together to drive a winning GTM strategy and exceptional customer experiences. The best ones offer data, channels, and analytics all in one platform, so you can plan, execute and measure all in one location.

Working with EMI to Implement ABM in Your Organization

ABM can be a powerful way to increase account revenue and generate a positive ROI on marketing spend. Together with our team of experts, we will work with your marketers to understand how to effectively implement Account-Based Marketing.

Schedule a 30-minute information session or call us at 513-760-0560 to learn more about ABM.