It's 2022, and the world of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is more evolved than ever.
Many organisations out there have pivoted to this powerful strategy. As per HubSpot, 70% of B2B marketers leveraged ABM in 2021 compared to 55% a year before.
Another IDG report found that 61% of B2B marketers considered account-based marketing an essential part of their overall strategy.
Despite all the data, the million-dollar question remains – what is it about ABM that's making sales and marketing teams adopt it?
Well, this article will talk about exactly that!
So, without further ado, here are five benefits of account-based marketing that you need to know about!
Benefit 1: Account-Based Marketing connects marketing efforts to revenue
Let's start with the most crucial thing for any business – Revenue!
As a part of the account-based marketing strategy, marketers align themselves with the sales team to understand their objectives.
For instance, the sales team might be looking to acquire new accounts in one industry. In this scenario, the sales and the marketing teams would agree upon a particular number of accounts and the decision-makers that need to be targeted.
The ABM approach adopted, be it 1: many or 1: few, would then be designed across those specific accounts with personalised messaging and relevant content. Once the new customer acquisition happens, its revenue can be attributed to the account-based marketing efforts.
This attribution is only possible because even before running the campaign, there is an agreement between sales and marketing on the list of target accounts. Consequently, by design, your ABM strategy and the corresponding marketing efforts directly tie back to the revenue. This means that you now "explicitly" know that your marketing team is working on an activity that would potentially lead to more business.
Benefit 2: If done right, ABM drives sales and marketing alignment
"Sales and marketing alignment can lead to a 32% increase in year-over-year (YoY) revenue growth" - Aberdeen Group
I talked about sales and marketing alignment in the previous section. For any account-based marketing strategy to succeed, both these teams need to be on the same page.
By "same page", I mean that they should agree on the target accounts, and they should agree on the decision-makers that need to be reached out to.
Marketing and sales alignment also means that there is consistency in the messaging. The customer experience across the entire sales process and the buyer's journey should be connected in a way that both the teams are addressing the same problems they can solve for a target account. For instance, your marketing campaigns should not be about delivering "lower costs" if your sales team has been pitching "speed to market" as a value proposition to a potential high-value customer.
While many organisations have figured out marketing and sales alignment, there are many more where these departments operate in silos. Adopting an account-based marketing strategy is an excellent way to force your marketing and sales efforts in the same direction. This is not to say that following an ABM strategy would align sales with marketing, but it opens a path to bring the two closer.
Remember, ABM campaigns, if done right, can create a powerful cooperation between your sales and marketing teams which eventually translates to revenue!
Benefit 3: Account-based marketing increases sales velocity
Sales velocity is an important metric followed by most companies in the industry. If you are not familiar with the term sales velocity, here's a definition from Terminus
"Velocity = (# of Opps x Avg. Deal $ x % Conversion Rate)/ Avg. Conversion Time [in days]"
"Let's say you get an average of 100 new opportunities a month with an average deal size of $10,000 at a 15% conversion rate (conversion = new customer). Your average sale takes 2 months (60 days) to close."
Believe it or not, ABM can improve every one of those parameters in the formula mentioned above.
ABM is a highly targeted marketing approach. You are going after extremely specific companies. It's not a spray-and-pray tactic.
It's an intelligent way of leveraging marketing resources where you target high-value accounts by creating custom content.
Because the number of accounts is fixed and the approach is very personalised, the marketing investments you make have a higher probability of increasing the conversion rate and shortening the sales cycle. The shorter your sales cycle, the better your sales velocity!
Benefit 4: Executives have better visibility of ROI
Gaining visibility on ROI is an extension of tying revenue to ABM efforts.
At any given time, the marketing team has a lot of investments in the form of marketing automation tools, CRMs, social media ad spends, event spends etc. Your ABM campaigns will leverage some or all these investments. Since there is transparency on the targeted accounts from the beginning, for every tool that is used in the ABM campaign, we can potentially calculate a rough ROI number. The ROI can also be calculated in "real-time", i.e. when an ABM campaign is completed.
Note, while there is enough data to say that ABM increases ROI in general, it is not what I am saying in this section. ABM increases the "visibility" of ROI. There could be a scenario where a poorly run campaign does not deliver the desired result. The benefit is that with ABM, you can take corrective action since you get extremely high visibility.
Benefit 5: You have more strategic conversations with existing and potential accounts
One of the ways to accelerate business growth is to position your brand as a thought leader in the market.
You don't want to remain a "vendor" for your accounts, existing or new! Instead, your marketing strategies should make you one of their "strategic partners".
A strategic partner means that you become an integral driver of their growth. It means that your key accounts look towards you when they are expanding geographically or implementing a billion-dollar transformation project involving multiple stakeholders.
The path to entering that sphere of trust is to deliver highly relevant and customised content. It's here that account-based marketing adds the maximum value. Yes, it allows you to close more deals faster, align sales and marketing etc., but one of its additional benefits comes from your organisation becoming a trusted, strategic partner. This happens because you publish content that delivers value to your targeted account.
The decision-makers exposed to your content get solutions to their organisational pain points. Your account-based marketing campaign and its content give them the ammunition to be successful at work. And nothing is more powerful than that!
That's all I have for you in this article on the benefits of account-based marketing.
While it is good to know about these benefits, they should act as motivational factors for you to pilot your ABM campaign.
This is the decade of account-based marketing! Organisations that can execute this strategy with discipline will create a competitive advantage for themselves. If you need assistance on your ABM journey, we would be more than happy to help. Feel free to contact us here!