The world of B2B marketing is rapidly changing: we’re all flipping funnels and looking at customer experience in a whole new way.
We’ve moved from organizations where marketing sources leads at the top of the funnel and then hands off the proverbial baton to sales. Now we’ve lost the baton, and we’re running a three-legged race with our sales team. Let me explain.
You can barely read a marketing blog without coming across articles about Account-Based Marketing (ABM). ABM strategy goes against the inbound methodology and starts with a set of target accounts that sales and marketing agree are a good fit for the product. Aligning marketing and sales is just the beginning of the challenge.
Once the target account lists are established, sales and marketing work together to develop an outbound program to reach out to the buyers that fit your personas at each account. This is where any communication typically breaks down if your teams aren’t aligned. But before you abandon your target list or ABM strategy altogether, take a look at how well-aligned your sales and marketing teams are to see if a lack of communication might be the issue.
Help Sales Reps Find Information
Now that you’ve carefully crafted blogs, white papers, email copy, and other collateral all geared toward your target accounts, where do you keep them? How do they stay organized? You might be looking at upwards of 50 versions of various pieces; how do you expect your sales team to know what to use if you can’t find it yourself?
Marketing and sales teams frequently bump up against the limitations of their company intranets with the increase in content associated with ABM strategy. It might be time to look at software solutions designed to help share content with team members.
Know What’s Working
You can’t even begin to tackle the challenges of tracking the ROI of your ABM strategy if you can’t prove that sales is actually using your marketing content. Imagine having a centralized content hub that can be categorized by verticals or sales stages and tagged with your target accounts. Knowledge management and sales enablement tools both address this need and many even allow your sales team to access this information right from Salesforce.
Open Up Communication Around Your ABM Strategy
This may seem like the most obvious solution, but it’s crucial to set up regular meetings with your sales team to not only look at data from your programs but to review how prospects are reacting, and how deals are progressing. Don’t rely solely on your sales ops team to be your go-between or you may be missing critical information about why content isn’t being used.
As you’re setting up your ABM program for success, don’t forget the importance of putting tools and processes in place to stay aligned with your sales team. You’ll find it’s much easier to reach the finish line when you transform the clumsy three-legged race into a marathon that you run in tandem.