Every B2B marketer needs ABM – here’s why

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With its proven benefits, ABM is a no-brainer to drive success in enterprise B2B marketing  

The global market for ABM is projected to reach $1.6 billion by 2027. ABM’s focus on targeted strategies for specific accounts allows for a deeper customer relationship with key decision makers and influencers that fits well with B2B’s typically long sales cycle, which is why ABM is such a great fit to sell large and complex B2B solutions. Here are some of the ways an ABM approach can transform your B2B business:  

Higher ROI 

With personalized messaging and tailored approach, ABM fosters stronger engagement with key prospects leading to higher ROI and long-term revenue growth. Of B2B marketers surveyed, 84% said that ABM has the highest ROI of any type of marketing strategy or program [ITSMA & ABM], achieving double the ROI from ABM compared to other marketing investments. ABM also means greater revenue, according to Forrester, who found that on average, 91% of companies using ABM increase their deal sizes, with 25% of these reporting an increase of more than 50%.

Improved growth strategies  

In uncertain times, building a growth strategy using existing customers via ABM may be a good method to maximize success. Forrester recommends focusing on cross-sell and upsell to expand reach, as well as “cross-functional collaboration from portfolio marketing, sales, demand marketing, and customer marketing and include more customer-focused content and events.” 

Sales and marketing alignment  

To reach high value accounts, sales and marketing are united behind the same objectives. A study by Marketo found marketing generates 208% more revenue in companies that have aligned their sales and marketing teams. Sales will be working with fewer leads (which is the opposite to what they’re used to). This is because instead of receiving low quality MQLs, they are being given high quality leads that are sales ready. The upshot is that sales must be strategically aligned with marketing for ABM to work.  

How do they work together? As B2B buyers have a wealth of information available to them online, it’s the role of sales to help buyers make sense of what can be information overload – Gartner calls this process ‘sensemaking’. Marketing is reliant on sales working with them to provide a unified buyer experience (UBX), while sales needs marketing to present solutions that will appeal to the buyer on a rational and emotional level. ABM provides the mutually agreed goal that both teams can get behind.  

More efficient use of resources 

With ABM, marketing focuses its resources, energy and budget on marketing and selling to a select group of accounts, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach. Marketing and sales work together to drive quality engagements and nurture based on specific messages for select accounts, focusing their efforts where they are likely to have the most impact. This attention can result in higher customer engagement, better customer relationships, boosting retention and renewal rates. 

Want to learn more about how to go about setting your business up for ABM success? 

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 Greater client lifetime value  

ABM helps to better segment audiences and improve client engagement, forging deeper relationships that drive down acquisition costs and increase client lifetime value (LTV). This contrasts with traditional campaigns that rely on mass broadcasting with limited targeting and vanity metrics that may not be driving growth. Eighty percent of marketers say that ABM significantly improves customer lifetime values [TOPO/Gartner].  

Why B2B needs ABM 

Account-based marketing’s ability to cater to the complex dynamics of B2B marketing makes it a powerful and valuable strategy for B2B marketers. Building stronger relationships within accounts brings greater insights, maximizing resources to concentrate on those accounts that are most likely to convert.  

Don’t think that any old ABM strategy will cut it, however. Now is the time, says Forrester to take a good look at your ABM programs (after all, for 52% of companies, ABM is costing 6 to 15% of marketing budgets) and make sure they are being executed efficiently. “We recommend that organizations stop doing faux ABM and finally get it right,” they say. Support any existing ABM initiatives with minimal investment via an ABM center of excellence and establishing best practices.  

ABM is not a good fit for every B2B organization – ideally you should have a high-value, long sales cycle complex product or service sold into enterprise or mid-market and your organization should be able to handle a resource-heavy project, internally or outsourced. ABM is a long-term approach, and you’ll need to be prepared to wait for long-term success. An ABM team that spans marketing and sales teams and allows for true alignment will be the building block that your strategy is built upon. Get ABM right and the rewards are huge for your B2B.