Biggest ABM Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

by Paul Slack
  |  December 10, 2020  |  
December 10, 2020

ABM Mistakes

Heading into 2021, Account-Based Marketing will be a core strategy for B2B businesses. ABM is an incredibly powerful strategy that has the potential to deliver tremendous growth and awareness with high-value accounts, resulting in significant results for your business. However, as ABM increases in popularity, many marketing teams have succumbed to the same common mistakes in implementing their strategies. The two biggest ABM mistakes facing businesses are a lack of sales and marketing alignment and not getting executives involved.

Biggest ABM Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

ABM mistakes are costly for businesses, wasting resources and keeping them from realizing the full potential of their efforts. Unlock the full benefits of ABM by first learning how to identify these ABM mistakes in your own business and then how to avoid them. See the results you expect by putting an effective ABM strategy in place.

ABM Mistake #1 – Lack of Sales and Marketing Alignment

What separates top-performing marketers from other marketing teams? A lack of sales and marketing alignment. Top-performing marketers know that working collaboratively and having marketing and sales teams aligned are critical to a company’s bottom line.

Having sales and marketing teams misaligned has been an ongoing problem for many years in most companies, but with an ABM strategy, the misalignment becomes exacerbated. ABM fundamentally changes the traditional marketing funnel, focusing on a smaller number of targeted accounts rather than casting a wide net and trying to bring in as many leads as possible. Initially, this can cause sales teams to be wary, so it’s important to overcome this barrier by highlighting to sales teams how ABM can reduce the length of the sales cycle.

ABM relies on targeting key accounts and then using content to nurture prospects through the buyer’s journey, which makes account strategy a team effort right from the start. Keep the common goal at the focus: identifying target accounts, establishing desired outcomes, and determining how to most effectively market to them.

It’s critical to have both marketing and sales working together to jointly identify a list of target accounts. Each department will bring different insights to the table in determining this list, and it’s important for everyone to know who to talk to, what to say, and when to say it.

Once a strategy is determined, it takes ongoing communication to keep the collaboration going. Sales and marketing teams should integrate insights, sharing data related to customer behaviors, sales performance, and market research. ABM is a full-funnel activity, and it will be important to track and measure each aspect of the campaign.

This will help both teams align their key performance indicators (KPIs) as well as tie their metrics to revenue to better demonstrate return on investment (ROI). As part of a continued sales and marketing alignment, plan for regular meetings between the teams to check progress and address any challenges as they arise.

ABM Mistake #2 – Not Getting Executives Involved

While marketers can clearly see the great advantages of ABM, they still face a multitude of challenges trying to implement the new strategy, including getting buy-in from the C-Suite. Even though ABM has been shown to drive higher ROI than any other type of marketing, many executives need additional convincing.

Marketers can make a case for ABM and demonstrate that it’s worth the investment by:

  • identifying lost opportunities
  • developing a comprehensive plan
  • focusing on the bottom line
  • demonstrating sales and marketing alignment

Getting executives to buy into ABM is just the first step. The second step is employing executive-to-executive engagement as part of the ABM strategy. When executives are involved, they have a measurable impact on both the deal size and closing time.

ABM focuses on building relationships with a very specific and targeted set of accounts. Marketers can assign the responsibility for cultivating relationships with specific buyer personas at their target accounts, and executive-to-executive outreach is a particularly effective tactic. Assigning a C-level executive to reach out to their peers at the target account allows for engagement in a meaningful way, positioning your organization as a trusted advisor rather than merely a vendor. The outreach should be personal and real and use the executive’s time most effectively.

ABM is designed to deliver growth and awareness with high-value accounts, so it’s no surprise that it has become a core strategy for B2B businesses. Marketers can unlock all the opportunities ABM has to offer by avoiding the two biggest mistakes of a lack of sales and marketing alignment and not getting executives involved. At Vende Digital, we understand the challenges facing B2B marketers and why we are focused on growing your business. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to see if we’re a fit.

Key Takeaways

  • Heading into 2021, Account-Based Marketing will be a core strategy for B2B businesses.
  • ABM is an incredibly powerful strategy that has the potential to deliver tremendous growth and awareness with high-value accounts.
  • ABM focuses on building relationships with a very specific and targeted set of accounts.
  • The two biggest ABM mistakes facing businesses are a lack of sales and marketing alignment and not getting executives involved.

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