Sales Scoop: ABM Gives You Wings (with Sales & Marketing Alignment)

Welcome to the first installment of Sales Scoop, a monthly series that gives the amazing members of our Sales team a platform to share their perspectives and successes. Our goal is to provide a bit of inspiration to our peers in the larger sales and marketing communities. Now more than ever, sales and marketing alignment is imperative to an organization’s success.

We will be diving into topics important to sales teams, such as humanizing the selling process, outreach strategies with buying committees, and ways you can use Demandbase daily to power your selling. So get excited and make sure to check in each month!

ABM for Sales, because it takes two wings to fly.

For our first post, we want to set the stage of what Account-Based Marketing (ABM) looks like for sales teams. If your sales plays have been caged by the batch-and-blast marketing and reactive sales tactics of the past twenty-five years, ABM will let your performance take flight on the strength of strategic marketing and sales alignment.

ABM also promises to free prospects from the torrents of unwanted emails and still allow you to close more deals with in-market accounts. ABM is an intentional change of direction from conventional B2B. Granted, many find the change confusing at first. And if you’ve attended sales and marketing conferences, you’ve likely heard ABM discussions punctuated by the question, “Wait, what?”

To some, ABM means running continuous ads. To others, the automated shipments of boxed cookies, or VIP events throughout the year. And to the one-and-doners, ABM is little more than the act of performing any of those efforts just one time. Also, many people believe it’s something that only marketing does. But therein all of those misconceptions lies the problem.

ABM is so much more than a few isolated marketing tactics performed by the marketing team. It’s a marketing strategy that requires the alignment and collaboration of both the Sales and the Marketing units.

Despite its name, Account-Based Marketing isn’t only for marketers. Download our ABM for Sales Playbook, a how-to on becoming a world-class sales organization.

ABM responds to key challenges in B2B sales.

ABM is the straight-shot answer to many of the key challenges in B2B sales today. So what do you have to contend with? For starters, lead volume and quality are decreasing while buying cycles are growing longer. And the process of engaging buying committees is growing increasingly challenging as companies are adding more stakeholders to the mix. What’s more, conventional marketing programs require that you wait for leads to arrive at your door, often after they’ve already formed their purchase opinions, which is a recipe for failure. It’s like getting to the wedding after the cake’s been served. Basically, you missed the party.

Sales teams that align with marketing to practice ABM see more efficient sales cycles. Here’s how:
  1. You have an equal say in who to target and how.

    Sales works closely with Marketing to define targets, messaging, and cadence.

  2. Messaging is better and less frequent.

    By investing more attention in personalized messaging, you pack a more powerful punch.

  3. You have great intel on your target accounts.

    By the time you perform outreach, you’ve already hey conducted research and learned just about everything you should know about the account and your contacts.

  4. You reach buying committees earlier in the purchase process.

    With ABM, intent signals run deep. You can get alerted as soon as your target accounts enter the research stage.

  5. You strike while the iron is hot.

    ABM allows for prioritization at scale. So you can focus on one-to-one, one-to-few, and one-to-many marketing programs based on the account’s level of purchase engagement.

  6. Outreach stays relevant.

    With ABM, you know what outbound messages to use to open doors and build relationships.

  7. You learn what works and what doesn’t.

    With ABM, Sales and Marketing are tracking performance on an ongoing basis together and are analyzing it as part of a cross-functional discussion. This creates efficiencies end-to-end.

  8. You adapt.

    Marketing is a creative and iterative process, as much as it relies on data. ABM allows teams to course-correct on a dime, whether that means testing new subject lines, reconsidering your target accounts, or realizing marketing programs.

Far too little has been said about sales’ place in the ABM equation. When salespeople are fully engaged in ABM, it means more warm intros, more responses, more friendly demos, more marketing alignment, and more deals done before the competition even learns that the organization was even in the market to buy. When salespeople excel at ABM, everybody wins.

The bottom line is this: B2B buyers want more personalized, targeted, timely, and relevant conversations with sales professionals. ABM allows salespeople and marketers to offer just that.

Happy selling!

Content Marketing Manager, Demandbase

How is a company known but through its content? Whether it's in a blog, an eBook, or an email, every word we issue is of equal import. My goal is to drive forward content that equally inspires and informs while holding firm to the values and mission we live by at Demandbase.