- As account-based marketing (ABM) continues to evolve, leaders must have the foresight to adapt their programs
- B2B organizations must prioritize five key needs when adopting, operationalizing and optimizing ABM
- Focusing on these five priorities ensures not only successful results for the ABM program, but also success for ABM overall
The most recent benchmark data in the SiriusDecisions Command Center® shows that 93 percent of respondents consider account-based marketing (ABM) extremely important or very important to their overall organizational success. What started out as pilots in pockets of organizations has now been woven into the fabric of high-performing B2B organizations.
Over the last six months, we’ve spent considerable time interviewing clients, prospects and vendors about the future of ABM and the areas in which organizations need to excel to be seen as best in class. This approach has allowed our analyst team to pinpoint key areas of focus for additional research, which is leading to the innovation of new models, frameworks and tools to help clients optimize ABM. It gives us the opportunity to collect new data points in our Command Center to benchmark performance against. Ultimately, it ensures that the topics we cover and the work we do provide the best guidance and enable our clients’ ABM success today and in the future.
As a result of this work, on January 22, 2018, we released the next generation of our ABM research Service, which supports these five priorities that ABM leaders must focus on:
- ABM strategy, goals and alignment. The first priority, which is the cornerstone of success, focuses on establishing an ABM strategy and goals, and building alignment. ABM leaders need to set clear objectives, define the right scope and assign responsibilities for ABM – partnering with sales, leadership and others throughout the organization. They must also galvanize the organization around a new and different way forward with ABM.
- ABM infrastructure. The second priority focuses on ABM infrastructure. Command Center data shows that 60 percent of organizations plan to invest more or significantly more in ABM during the next 12 months – including investment in technology and data. ABM leaders need to identify, leverage and secure data and technology to operationalize and optimize all types of ABM, from a small number of accounts with one-to-one treatment to a larger number of grouped accounts. They must determine if they can use existing internal tools. Lastly, they need to explore new technology categories and/or service providers to build out an ABM roadmap and figure out how they can best evaluate the myriad solution providers in the marketplace.
- ABM program planning and execution. The third priority focuses on ABM program planning and execution. We help ABM leaders develop and execute insights-based, relevant, specific omni-channel engagement plans with large strategic accounts that are critical to their business, as well as engagement plans for groups of accounts assembled together on the basis of several similarities that are used for personalization. While the approach to planning and execution is more time-consuming with ABM, organizations make this commitment because ABM works. To that end, our Command Center data shows that 89 percent of respondents have increased their closed deal percentage by using ABM – one in four increased their closed deals by more than 50 percent for ABM accounts versus non-ABM accounts.
- ABM measurement. The fourth priority focuses on ABM measurement. When adopting an ABM approach, organizations must go beyond measuring leads. B2B organizations need to look at a host of short-, medium- and long-term metrics that enable them to diagnose problems with their ABM programs and course correct where necessary – and communicate the long-term impact ABM is having on business goals.
- ABM team design and skill development. Finally, the fifth priority focuses on people, teams and skills for ABM. Leaders must construct winning teams, program offices and/or centers of excellence that allow their people to succeed, and give them the skills to shift to and excel in these dynamic roles.
To learn about the five key priorities for ABM success in greater detail, join us in May at SiriusDecisions 2018 Summit in Las Vegas!