The short answer to question is of course “yes but…should Account-Based Marketing be just about high potential accounts?”; ABM is technically the right abbreviation for account-based marketing. But does “ABM” really cover what more and more marketers are looking for when they are launching more strategic and more focused account centric marketing campaigns?
- Focusing on the high potential accounts make sense from every business angle. This is probably why all research shows that ABM is fast approaching the top agenda for B2B marketers:
- Key Account Selling has been around forever in Sales teams. Hoever when talking to many CMOs , again and again, we hear the same challenges:
- Our pipeline is of low quality
- Our CRM data does not cover all relevant contacts
- We don’t get the same out of telemarketing as we used to
- We don’t have the reach inside the key accounts that we need to have.
As the figure below illustrates, Sales normally reaches out to and have strong relations with only a handful of decision-makers and influencers. This is why if you want to close big deals in large organisations, it is paramount to have a multichannel strategy to attempt to influence as many as possible.
- And this is a problem in several ways: traditional sales models do not take into account the complex buying structure of B2B enterprises where on average 20 – 40 people are involved in the decision-making process. Our recommendation is to focus both sales and marketing on the high potential accounts as in this example from a company targeting the hospital segment:
- It may look like a no-brainer; of course, one should allocate most resources to high potential accounts but how is it done? For us, the natural response is account based advertising using highly advanced IP targeting combined with smart choice of media to ensure relevance.
And this still leaves us with the question: IS ABM JUST ABOUT HIGH POTENTIAL ACCOUNTS?
- At the moment it looks like ABM is fast becoming an acronym for a new highly targeted and fast-growing B2B discipline.
- In our experience, alignment between Marketing and Sales is paramount and this is really best achieved when both pursue Revenue rather than Leads. In this sense, having Marketing money invested in the highest yielding accounts is a no-brainer. Therefore the focus on high-potential accounts, which is central to any ABM stragety.