If you’re selling and marketing on planet Earth, you’ve probably come across the term Account-Based Marketing (ABM). You may even have implemented it in your own business on certain target accounts. Today, we’re looking at how you could support your ABM strategy with Sales Enablement technology.
First, let’s just review what ABM actually means.
ABM is a marketing and selling strategy whereby you target specific, high-value companies and treat them as a market of one. This means rather than showering them and many others with generic content, you develop content that is tailored to their business and communicate with them on a more personal level. Targeted customers are more likely to engage with content that is personalized to them, which is why ABM is reportedly the marketing strategy that delivers the highest ROI.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, all this might sound familiar to you and that’s because we always recommend targeting the content to the customer. The ability to do that is one of the key benefits of using a Sales Enablement Platform. That’s why ABM and a Sales Enablement tool work so beautifully together.
And what is a Sales Enablement tool exactly? Well, Sales Enablement generally means different things to different people, but from a technology standpoint, a Sales Enablement Platform should provide a simple and efficient means for marketing to distribute content to salespeople, and for salespeople to deliver that content to their customers. Crucially, marketing have total control of the content, which means there is no danger of anything out-of-date or off-brand making its way into a sales conversation. Sales, meanwhile, can tailor the delivery of that content according to the meeting type, putting together multiple playlists that work perfectly for a 5 minute walk and talk, or a 30 minute presentation.
The benefits of ABM: Sales and marketing alignment
One of the reasons ABM is so successful is because it encourages marketers to think like salespeople – they’re driven towards bringing specific accounts to the table and turning them into high-value customers. This is a far more definite goal than ‘lead generation’ and requires marketing and sales to work closely together.
Tightly aligned sales and marketing teams benefit
from 36% higher customer retention rates
Companies that are yet to implement ABM but already have a Sales Enablement Platform may find that they benefit from a head start in this regard, since the existence of a Sales Enablement tool encourages a closer working relationship between the two departments. Sales is urged to play more of a role in content development – particularly in giving feedback on how the content is received by customers – and marketing is encouraged to develop more tailored content for each stage of the customer journey.
Better use of resources
Key to the ABM strategy is tailored content. Tailoring content to provide value to your prospective customers gives that content a much greater chance of success. Increased engagement means you’re making the most of your marketing people and in all likelihood achieving a higher return on investment.
Making content easily accessible gives
sales teams 31% more time to focus on selling
Sales Enablement technology makes it easy to store, access and distribute this tailored content and also tracks both sales and customer engagement. Having the content in one place familiar to your sales team helps to ensure they are making the most of it. Gone are the days of salespeople complaining they don’t use marketing-provided content because they don’t know where it is.
(By the way, if you're stuck for content ideas, we've recently written a white paper about the must-have collateral for a sales conversation. Check it out!)
Because ABM targets fewer customers and is more specific in its goals, it’s easier to track its success. You can review campaign outcomes and adjust future communications based on known, easily quantifiable metrics.
One of the benefits of a Sales Enablement Platform is its ability to track content use, including by user. If a piece of content isn’t performing as well as you had imagined, you can check that it is being used appropriately by the salesperson – for example, it is possible to see that it is being shown to the customer during a meeting, at what point in a content stream and for how long.
Salespeople also have the option to leave feedback on content that can be used in future content development or for marketing to make immediate changes that can be rolled out while the salesperson is still on the road.
Good strategy needs technical support
If you’re in the kind of sales where you are considering or are already using a Sales Enablement Platform, then you’re probably already operating an account-based sales strategy. You know that personalized selling is your best bet to push your customers through the pipeline.
The difference with ABM is that this strategy stretches back beyond sales into marketing. With this approach, a Sales Enablement Platform is even more important and will bring even greater benefits. As a technical solution, it operates at the intersection of sales and marketing and provides a workspace where plans can become actions.
Are you implementing ABM in your business? We’d love to hear your tips, just comment below!