If you’ve been doing B2B Marketing or Sales more than a year, you’re familiar with the “blame game.” It goes something like this. Revenue doesn’t meet Forecasts. The CEO asks the Head of Sales and the VP of Marketing what went wrong.
Marketing blames Sales. They say Sales didn’t follow up on the quality leads they were given. That Sales followed up once or twice and simply turned to cold calling.
Sales blames Marketing. Sales says the leads they received weren’t the customer profile they can close. Sales feels they wasted their time trolling through garbage leads. That by the time they found the quality leads, those leads turned stale, and were no longer interested.
This Marketing-Sales war got so divisive for Hubspot that in 2010 it had to implement a formal Service Level Agreement.
The real crux of the conflict, lies a little deeper than just good or bad leads. Sales and Marketing have traditionally been measured by different standards.
Traditional MetricsMARKETING SALES
Top of Mind LeadsQuotas
Brand AwarenessTitles, Names
Campaign MetricsClosing Deals
With different metrics and different KPIs come different compensation structures. When Marketing is given bonuses for delivering as many leads as possible, they’ll do that. Only lead quality is often a secondary concern. The opposite is true of Sales.
So what’s the solution to get Sales and Marketing to work together cohesively? The answer is Account Based Marketing.
ABM Repairs the Relationship in Sales & Marketing
In Account Based Marketing there’s no wasted resources on irrelevant prospects. From the get go, Sales and Marketing work together to identify potential client accounts. If Sales receives a poor quality lead, both Marketing and Sales receive blame. This synergistic cooperation leads to enhanced efficiency and better Sales Qualified Leads.
PeopleHR, working with a UK based ABM provider, felt this divide between Sales & Marketing.
Sales tended to concentrate on the most recent leads, and when they were unable to get to all the leads in a week, they would move on to the next week’s leads, leaving the remainder from the prior week untouched.
PeopleHR Marketing were delivering so many leads, Sales couldn’t follow up on them all. After implementing Account Based Marketing, Sales and Marketing worked together seamlessly. Sales followed up on the hottest prospects. Marketing nurtured the untouched leads until Sales was ready for them.
Alignment of Sales and Marketing isn’t the only reason to leverage ABM. There are additional benefits to implementing Account-Based Marketing.
Better ROI with Account Based Marketing
With better prospect targeting from your ABM solutions provider comes better ROI. Marketing budgets aren’t wasted on anonymous target prospects. Because Sales and Marketing are more efficient, they operate with less headcount and lower compensation expense.
One of our clients, Align Commerce, got to experience this first hand. After switching to an Account Based Marketing platform, their conversion rate increased 35%. Not only did their lead conversion rate increase, they also saw sales quadruple.
A survey done by the ITSMA in 2013 corroborates these returns on ABM. 84% of its respondents agreed that Account Based Marketing delivers a better ROI than all other methods of B2B Marketing. Even more convincing, a 2011 survey done by the Altera Group has this figure closer to 97%.
Account Based Marketing Works Faster
Traditional marketing practices have a long sale cycles. Working off a typical AIDA model, you blindly nurture your target prospects(good and bad) all the way down the funnel. With ABM’s predictive targeting technologies, your team focus all your time on high value prospects. No time is wasted on prospective accounts outside your target criteria list.
Deeper Account Penetration with ABM
Account Based Marketing solution providers have a lot of demographic data to pick from. This includes each person within an account as well as all employees of the company. Access to this data allows for more effective cross-sells, upsells and renewals.
Traditionally, a salesperson wanting to cross-sell a product line would need an introduction to another department head. Asking for this intro may compromise an existing client relationship. Or this cold intro may be unwelcome by the unknown department head.
With Account Based Marketing, the cross-sell target can be reached less intrusively by email, social channels or display networks. They can also be nurtured with demand generation. When the salesperson eventually contacts the cross-sell prospect, he can more effectively leverage the pre-existing client relationship.
Clear Path to Success
Most ABM solution providers allow you to integrate your Salesforce CRM into their platform. One reason Metadata does this is to isolate your most profitable customers. By distilling even a few of your big fish’s traits( vertical, revenue, location, backend technology, front end technology, competition, professional associations, etc…), you can create a prime list of high-profit look-a-like prospects for future campaigns. For example, if you find that e-commerce customers using a Magento platform in California deliver the most revenue, you can market to other companies in California using Magento.
You’re probably wondering, if Account Based Marketing has so many benefits, why all B2B companies aren’t jumping in feet first. Well, ABM technologies are new. And like any new technology, B2B businesses are cautious. Though, it’s not an exaggeration to say many of your competitors will adopt Account Based Marketing in the next year or two. That’s why Now is the perfect time to get started with Account Based Marketing. If you’re tired of playing the “blame game” or you’re having trouble with cross-sells, upsells, or renewals, give us a call. We’re happy to have an informal chat and show you the new way to do B2B growth.