How ABM facilitates the alignment of marketing and sales - Blog about delivering Account Based Experiences | Bluebirde.io Blog

How ABM facilitates the alignment of marketing and sales

The secret sauce behind any successful business, regardless of industry, size or any other factor is understanding a customer’s needs. The two arms of any organization that are most closely related to this goal – Sales & Marketing – use their own approaches to ascertain the same.

As a result, the teams often end up identifying different priorities which are aligned with their own respective targets within the organization. This produces a false positive result whereby each team reports good numbers but there is often a mismatch in the quality of leads generated.

74% of organizations where marketing and sales aren’t aligned
A meagre 25 per cent have any plans for sales enablement

Adopting an Account-Based-Marketing approach helps align the sales & marketing teams from start to finish, helping them achieve that elusive balance between quality & numbers.

ABM, by design, aims to profile & understand the ideal customers right at the outset, and then develop the best ways of reaching out to bring them on board. This is most valuable to businesses that focus on B2B fulfilment & big ticket sales.

B2B buyers are under more pressure to make the right decisions in complex marketplaces.
@Robert_Roz

Here, let us have a look at how Account Based Marketing facilitates alignment of your sales & marketing teams:

  • Marketing and sales teams work towards the same strategic goal of landing and expanding accounts: As already stated, the ultimate success factor for any business is understanding and converting customers whose needs match their offering. Aligning the sales & marketing teams helps in gathering inputs from both towards defining a commonly agreed set of accounts that need to be nurtured.

  • Teams work closely together in identifying strategy, definition of metrics and KPIs, and in implementation: Sometimes the misalignment between sales & marketing is not in terms of the destination but the paths taken to arrive at it. One might lead the customer down a scenic beachside route, only for the customer to discover post hand-off that the destination is a hill-station with the ocean miles out of sight.
    An Account Based Marketing approach adopts close coordination on a mutually agreed strategy to successfully achieve the necessary KPIs.

  • Marketers for ABM programs operate with a sales mindset: With clear and commonly defined metrics & KPIs, all marketing communication directly or indirectly leads the customer towards the next step in the sales funnel.
    This clarity helps marketers design their language, calls to action, offerings etc in a well defined manner, which also reduces the burden on the salesperson’s pitch.

  • Marketers speak the same language as sales people: ABM helps in the creation of aligned terminology and processes. Marketers think in terms of accounts, decision makers, deal sizes, pipeline, etc. This gives both teams visibility & clarity on the erstwhile journey of a customer & the steps needed to guide them along to the next stage. The chances of misaligned expectations from the customer are also heavily reduced through the use of common terminology across teams when referring to a certain promise made by the organisation.
  • Marketing and sales teams work on leads throughout the customer journey: While there is predefined ownership of all actions across the ABM funnel, there is no distinct boundary or handover process involved.
    Each team is contributing to what is expected of it at every stage, thereby encouraging coordination and a better understanding of each other’s approach & goals.

  • ABM programs need marketers to work closely with salespeople to develop full-funnel content as aligned teams: The strength of any brand is developed through the creation of its image in accordance with marketing & sales goals, and its reinforcement through consistent messaging across
    • Targeting accounts
    • Engaging accounts
    • Penetrating accounts
  • Creating branded content in alignment with each other builds that crucial intangible factor of trust (can be made another internal article) which helps both the lead generation & lead development processes by achieving this consistency.


Organizational Buy-in

For any ABM Program to work, organizational buy-in is required. Not only does senior management need to approve the program, it also needs to bring on board sales & marketing teams on this journey towards better alignment. [This might result in an additional chunk of work at the beginning, but this is necessary & you must convince your employees of the need for this so that it pays off in the long run]

Results typically take between six months to a year to materialize on the performance dashboards, and therefore one must keep patience and trust the process so it is reflected across the organisation.

Conclusion:

In some ways, what has been shared above are beneficial side effects of a successful ABM program in which marketing and sales alignment is inevitable. This in no way reduces the contribution it has towards overcoming a major stumbling block that afflicts a majority of organisations. As the program progresses, regular meetings and feedback help in strengthening this alignment, bringing the organisation together as one.

Read more about all the benefits of an ABM process to understand how we can help take your business to those who matter most.

Reach out to us to learn how we can supercharge your sales by going after your dream accounts.

2 comments

  1. Blog | Bluebirde.io

    […] guide them along the revenue cycle till conversion. This not only saves time & effort, but also nurtures better alignment between sales and marketing – thereby providing clarity of communication which pinpoints the customer’s […]

  2. roshni

    this is a great article harshil. kudos! i totally agreed with your point that only when marketing & sales teams align, can we truly create experiences customized for your target accounts. wonderful article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *