When starting out on the ABM path to greater leads and customer engagement, you’re inevitably going to make a few small mistakes along the way. The good news however is that it’s relatively easy to spot and avoid the bigger mistakes, and to help in this endeavour we’ve listed five of the main pitfalls to avoid:
Pitfall #1: Don’t use ABM exclusively to land new logos.
Account-based marketing, when proactively focused on new accounts and winning those coveted marquee ‘new logos’, may seem like the fastest path to big rewards. In reality however this approach traverses unknown territory, and bypasses a whole category of key accounts that are easier to convert and often more lucrative: your existing customers.
Pitfall #2: Don’t assume that ABM is inherently complex, expensive, and too slow to yield tangible benefits.
There’s ‘previous’ when it comes to this assumption: ABM, as it was practiced years ago, demanded big marketing teams, big budgets, and lots of time. Today however, given modern technology, this view of ABM is only true if you want it to be – a perfect example of a self-fulfilling prophecy. That’s why we recommend starting small with the existing technology you already have, and only then scaling after success has been achieved.
Pitfall #3: Don’t get “loud and proud” about your team’s devotion to key accounts.
Personalisation works because every prospect and customer wants to believe they’re your number one priority. That’s why when you do achieve success it works to keep your celebration relatively muted. Otherwise it’s an easy for other customers to come to the conclusion that they don’t matter as much to you. Or put another way, work hard to ensure everybody gets to continually feel the love!
Pitfall #4: Don’t give sales the key to the ABM machine — then find yourself in the back seat.
Sounds like ABM success principle #2 turned inside out right? Not entirely: while ABM is totally dependent on creating alignment among sales, customer service, and marketing teams, it still takes an equal and concerted effort by all involved. In a SiriusDecisions study of B2B sales (of all buyer interactions at all stages of buying), 51% were marketing-led and 49% sales-led. In other words it’s vital to make sure that responsibility, accountability, and credit are shared among all three teams.
Pitfall #5: Don’t assume silver-bullet technology solutions will make your ABM programmes effective.
Evidence alone points to the fact that many marketing technology solutions are innovative, efficient, and highly effective problem-solving tools. However, there are still those that turn out to be dead weight investments bolted onto increasingly unwieldy marketing tech stacks. A useful way to assess a solution is to remember that, in essence, technology amplifies an existing process. If your process is good, the right technology will make it better. If your process is bad — technology is not going to save it.
75% of marketers say they currently use at least one type of marketing automation tools. Making automation tools accepted by most marketers
ABM, done well, can transform B2B companies from being product pushers to account champions. That ultimately is why why account-based marketing works. With the right strategy and the right technology in place, ABM can support all aspects of your strategy from brand awareness and demand generation, through to customer retention and expansion.
At the same time, it also inspires greater alignment and collaboration between all customer-facing teams. And because of this concerted focus on individual accounts, success measurements are simplified and based on the impact to your company’s overall objectives – rather than the achievements of siloed, disconnected teams.
Best of all, it puts your key customers front and centre, which is exactly where they should be.
How to drive profit from Account-Based Marketing
There’s a time for spray and pray marketing: For casting your net wide when sharing news in the expectation that a small percentage of recipients will have that ‘aha’ moment. But let’s face it, when the emphasis is on delivering immediate results (and timely opportunities), then the more targeted your activities the better.
Which is, of course, the central promise behind Account-Based Marketing (ABM). With it comes the ability to deliver more meaningful and relevant messages that are tailored to a precise audience. But then you already knew that. What you possibly don’t know so well are the key factors behind a successful ABM programme or the main pitfalls to avoid.
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