Key To Successful ABM: ABM Sales And Marketing Alignment Best Practices
ABM is the missing piece to enhancing the sales cycle and boosting profits for many companies.
Because of the huge overlap between the duties of your sales and marketing people, your brand can only survive by striving for successful ABM alignment.
Maximizing ABM alignment improves your team efficiency and helps you overcome challenges quickly. It’s the perfect way to harness the best out of your employees and keep them focused on the same objectives.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is sales and marketing alignment? And why is it important?
- How ABM alignment is changing interactions between sales and marketing teams?
- How to achieve alignment in your ABM strategy?
Let’s get to it.
What is ABM Sales and Marketing Alignment?
Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy in which sales and marketing teams target specific accounts by providing a personalized customer experience. It’s an efficient way for B2B companies to enhance their sales cycle while focusing on high-value accounts within their target market.
For your ABM strategy to work, sales and marketing need to be fully aligned and aim at the same objectives. It’s also crucial for this alignment to begin as early as possible so that both your sales and marketing teams are working at maximum efficiency.
What Are the Benefits of ABM Sales and Marketing Alignment?
If you’re already having some success with your current sales plan, you may find it difficult to understand what the fuss is all about.
Why is it so important to align the work of your marketing and sales teams?
Well, the numbers should speak for themselves…
ABM outperforms most of the alternative strategies you can use in this day and age. And when sales and marketing are perfectly aligned, companies are able to generate and close more leads while maintaining much higher customer retention rates.
Here are three reasons why you must make ABM sales and marketing alignment a top priority:
1. Increased Company Revenue
One of the biggest advantages of bridging organizational gaps between your sales and marketing teams is increased revenue.
Your marketing department’s work has a huge influence on the performance of your salespeople. The quality of the leads you generate has a huge influence on your sales development representatives (SDRs) performance.
On the other hand:
Including salespeople in your ABM strategy grants you valuable insights into your target clients’ needs and expectations.
As the two teams start to work together in synergy, the number of high-quality leads you generate will increase. You’ll nurture prospects more effectively and keep them engaged with your sales message. And eventually, you’ll close a lot more deals faster.
2. Better Customer Targeting
ABM sales and marketing alignment is one of the best ways to ensure that your internal teams aren’t wasting any time or resources. When the two departments work together, they’ll improve each other’s understanding of your target clients — which is crucial for constructing a strong, consistent message throughout the buyer’s journey.
3. Enhance Work Efficiency
Misalignment between salespeople and marketers can cost your company a lot, especially when there’s tension between two of the most important departments in your company. That can easily happen when your lead quality is suffering or when there are a lot of missed opportunities for closing sales.
Aligning ABM sales and marketing helps you ensure that everyone in your company is working towards achieving the same goal. Instead of blame, you’ll have a supportive work environment with clear, continuous communication between your employees to implement better solutions. All of that is going to magnify the success of your sales and marketing people while maximizing your business results.
How Is ABM Changing Sales and Marketing Interactions?
The traditional way prioritized attracting the largest number of leads possible at the top of the funnel. Then it played the numbers game hoping for the majority of those leads to convert — which rarely ever happens.
On the flip side:
The biggest difference you’ll notice once you adopt ABM is how your sales team will have fewer leads to work with. That’s how this strategy has revolutionized how sales and marketing teams handle and interact with potential leads.
“But wait, doesn’t having less leads mean that my SDRs will struggle to close deals?” you may wonder.
Not exactly… Because that’s where all magic of aligning marketing with sales happens.
Here’s the deal:
Your sales team will be working with highly-targeted leads that have also been well nurtured throughout the marketing journey. Therefore, although fewer leads are entering your sales funnel, your conversion rates will go through the roof — which ensures the highest results for your business.
1. Data is Crucial for Better Sales And Marketing Alignment
Your sales and marketing teams will rely more heavily on data to drive key decisions. They have to come up with unified goals and joint KPIs that accurately reflect the performance of each department and show how efficiently the two teams are working together.
Your sales and marketing people should monitor your company’s progress closely to identify weak points and implement the best possible solutions for each situation.
2. Content Is Key To Successful Marketing And Lead Generation
Creating informational content on a consistent basis is one of the most effective ways to establish your authority in any industry. Many prospective clients will come across your content via different channels and consume it. So that gives you a chance to reach more leads while promoting your brand.
And who’s responsible for all of that? It’s your marketing team…
As more prospective clients learn about your company and begin to trust it, the work of your sales team gets a whole lot easier. In fact, if your marketing team does a good job, most of the new accounts you target will already be qualified to have a conversation about the solutions you’re offering.
3. Internal Teams Need to Work Closely
Account-based marketing requires a lot of cross-team collaboration and instant communication to get you the results you desire. In fact, having your teams operate in silos is often the biggest obstacle standing in the way of your growth.
Your marketing people and SDRs have to work closely and realize that the company’s progress depends on each of them. They need to make vital decisions together and work out a detailed ABM strategy with clear KPIs to optimize for.
How Can Your Business Achieve Alignment Between ABM Marketing and Sales?
Enough with theoretical knowledge about ABM sales and marketing alignment — let’s get to the important part:
How do you achieve sales-marketing alignment to take your ABM strategy to the next level?
It all begins with your team’s understanding of the importance of this alignment and how it’s going to enhance your sales cycle. The only way to get both teams to collaborate at maximum efficiency is if you explain to them how and why things should be done this way.
This first step is crucial for improving cross-departmental workflow and ensuring that everyone in your company is working towards the same goal.
1. Implement a Coordinated Sales and Marketing Approach
Before your sales and marketing departments can collaborate, they need to develop a joint vision to work toward. Cultivating a successful partnership starts with both teams sitting down and coming up with a roadmap to help them focus on the same goals.
As your business objectives become clearer, your marketing and salespeople will have a better understanding of the importance of the other department’s work. From there, it all comes down to developing a final plan that capitalizes on filling the gaps in your previous strategies.
Having a coordinated approach is vital for ensuring that your marketing team is focused on generating and nurturing the right leads. And it also helps you guarantee that your salespeople are making the best out of every qualified lead.
2. Create Content That Attracts Targeted Leads
Content creation is one of the most vital duties for your marketing and sales teams to collaborate on.
“How are salespeople involved in content creation?” you might ask.
The thing is:
While marketing professionals are responsible for content creation, it’s essential to include your salespeople in the process. This way, you’ll be able to learn a lot about your target clients and understand their biggest challenges. Sales experts can also help you maintain a consistent message and identify which topics to prioritize when developing your content marketing plan.
Your content should be informational and targeted toward leads in different stages of the customer journey. This way, you’ll attract many new prospective clients while you push other interested leads down the funnel.
3. Collect Data to Track Your Sales and Marketing Teams’ Performance
There will be a lot of roadblocks standing in your way of achieving true alignment at first. That’s especially true if your sales and marketing teams have never worked together before.
Both departments can have a different understanding of the buyer’s journey and may therefore consider contrasting metrics to assess performance.
Track your efficiency by collecting data along the way, then introduce changes based on the initial metrics you set when developing your ABM strategy. This is an excellent way to boost your sales and marketing performance while improving your overall business results.
The most successful B2B organizations understand the importance of ABM marketing and how it can transform their companies.
To enhance your business results, you need to ensure that your sales and marketing departments’ efforts are well-aligned with a cohesive strategy that helps you fulfill the client’s needs. So, it’s crucial to sit both teams at the same table to discuss your shared goal, common strategies, and the targeted content you’ll create to generate and nurture new leads.