Has Account-Based Marketing Missed a Bit?
Is it just me, or has the whole obsession with inbound marketing left you a little perplexed? We know that only 1% of leads result in a closed deal (Forrester), and Sales Leaders have been frustrated by the lack of quality lead generation for years.
So I was enheartened when I started to read about the uptake of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), if not a little smug. What I learned as a salesperson and taken forwards into sales leadership, is that having a targeted approach to account-based selling has always been a best practice. It not only increases your closure rate, but boosts sales velocity, maximizes deal size, and reduces customer churn. It has always been about creating and developing value and trust in the mind of the buyer. We might not have called it ABM. Instead, using terms like consultative or solution selling. But the process of going above and beyond the standard sales practices by concentrating on value-add always gave us as salespeople a competitive advantage.
When I read about the new evolution of ABM and its priority of getting Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success working together, I was overjoyed. That said, I recognized that it was missing two essential components: your product and back-office functions.
Why Your ABM and Product Teams Need to Collaborate
It’s all about driving revenue, right! And what drives your revenue? Your product.
That may have sounded pretty obvious, but product themselves often forgets this. Product guys and girls get a little obsessed with doing things right or innovating for the sake of innovation. Forgetting that the real objective is to sell the product they are developing.
I have seen this happen many times. A lot of effort is given to creating a feature or function that product believes is a must, yet in the eye of the customer, it has little or no value.
In sales, we talk about product stickiness. That is how difficult it is for your customers to remove your product. It is the secret ingredient that reduces customer churn. And if you are developing features that do not enhance your stickiness, then you are not optimizing your revenue potential.
How Back-Office Teams Impact Your ABM Strategy
Ok, I can see the perplexed look on your face. What do my back-office teams have to do with my revenue generation process or ABM?
It’s simple. Back office teams impact your sales-funnel processes. How many times have business term disagreements delayed your deal? Would a deal have closed for a more substantial amount, if only you had been able to offer deferred payments or financing?
At the time, these issues may seem trivial or annoying. But it is these little things that can force your deals to slip, and impact your revenue attainment. Time kills deals…. always!
Account-Based Marketing is all About Collaboration
So you can see that ABM is not just about getting Marketing, Sales, and perhaps Customer Success on the same page. It is about recognizing how the different functions within your organization impact your sales funnel. And ensuring that your business processes are optimized to reduce friction within it. This optimization is one of the foundations of what we call the revenue engine approach to sales. We are pleased that Marketing has started to get on board.
Chris Fletcher is one of the founders of Huerdo Inc. She is an International Master Coach, and previously was the general manager and SVP of sales for Europe, Middle East, and Africa at SAS Institute. In her current role, Chris is responsible for developing and leading The Revenue Engine Sales Method team that helps Huerdo’s clients get out of first gear.
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