Marketo released its Account Based Marketing (ABM) module as part of an increasing effort to better support business relationships. While the tool itself is an early version and shows a great deal of promise, there are some ways in which ABM is set to transform businesses that start using the platform. Marketo defines three distinct elements of its ABM solution:
- The ability to target and manage accounts and account lists.
- The ability to engage target accounts across channels.
- The ability to measure revenue impact on target accounts.
Marketo’s whitepaper on ABM provides the advantages of ABM to improve marketing ROI, drive attributed revenue, generate more conversions, generate qualified leads and align sales and marketing.
- 84% of marketers say ABM strategies outperform other marketing investments according to ITSMA
- 97% of marketers achieved higher ROI with ABM than with any other marekting initiatives according to the Alterra Group
- 92% of B2B marketers worldwide consider ABM extremely or very important to their overall marketing efforts according to Sirius Decisions
- 208% more revenue is generated by the marketing in companies that have aligned sales and marketing teams according to MarketingProfs
Centralizing Business Decisions
As marketing technology has advanced, and with it the skill and innovation of pioneering marketing technologists, the systems that people can design and implement successfully have become increasingly complex. The average lead/contact record has 100 or more fields, while the average implementation today can include 300-500 interlaced workflows.
Marketo’s ABM is a means for centralizing strategic account targeting decisions for all of the company’s marketing needs. ABM’s design is an evolutionary step forward for marketing tools which have traditionally provided excellent facilities for grouping and targeting within the tool but have often struggled to share that information with other tools.
Centralized strategic decision making will ensure that a company can maintain it’s internal alignment and that companies can quickly adapt to the changing marketplace.
The conflict between Sales and Marketing is as old as time itself. Marketing Automation gave rise to the promise of a resolution to this conflict with the introduction of the Chief Revenue Officer – The dream of an integrated and aligned Sales and Marketing team speaking a single language and working towards a single goal.
Sadly, this promise has been a hard one to deliver on in the marketing technology space. These companies understood the need to align and even developed exceptional tools for just that purpose, but too often tried to pull sales into alignment with marketing, They saw the funnel upside down.
The language of ABM is the language of Sales, communicated clearly to Marketing.
This shift in perspective promises to inspire greater collaboration towards shared, and mutually accepted goals. Marketo’s ABM aims to provide a shared dashboard, for shared measurement, of shared goals.
Understanding the Meta-Sales Process
The B2B buying cycle is a complex cycle often involving a number of stakeholders of different levels of importance to a company. The buying cycle can be long, and the pace is never consistent. Despite this, the classic model for Sales and Marketing to relate to a target company is based on the individual. Sometimes it may be based on multiple individuals, but it is rare to find people who are able to monitor all of the relationships with any given prospect.
If you’ve ever used Salesforce, you’re probably familiar with terms such as Decision Maker, Influencer, and Champion – All of these people play key roles in helping a prospect turn into a customer, but each has a different role and the level of importance differs from one to the next.
Moreover, not all of these individuals are identified in your system, and if you spend all of your time trying to influence the decision maker at a prospect company, you’ll quickly learn that they have very little spare time to be convinced.
The ABM approach aims to extend the conversation beyond just the primary point of contact, and even beyond merely communicating with the individuals you’ve identified. It aims to create a uniform language for strategic accounts and to communicate with anyone that can be identified as part of those accounts.
Further, the ABM approach will extend Sale’s area of focus, so that they can be notified of important activities related to less important contacts within a prospect account, providing them with an insight into the previously hidden dark-side of the buying process, along with the actionable insights to help leverage that insight.
Disclosure: Images provided by Marketo.