Once upon a time, two teenagers fell in love. However, their respective families were enemies and forbade the two from seeing one another. As teenagers are wont to do, they disobeyed this order and then explained why it held no water in the first place. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Juliet says of Romeo, teaching generations of readers to come that it’s not the name that matters but what’s on the inside.
Did Shakespeare ever think his work would be used to talk about B2B selling techniques? Probably not. But his words reveal universal truths that can be applied across centuries and disciplines. This quote in particular resonates with the rapidly growing field of account based marketing. As with any new and emerging strategy, the particulars are still being defined and naming conventions are still up in the air.
Account based marketing. Account based selling. Account based selling development. All of these terms are used nearly interchangeably. They all attempt to put a name on something that Marketo defines as “a strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts and employs personalized campaigns.” And the expected results are all the same: improve sales and marketing alignment, better engagement with marketing and sales efforts, more closed deals, and bigger deal size.
SalesforLife and Engagio recently partnered to release the State of Account-Based Sales Development Report. The data within sheds light on how this tactic is currently being used and the success people are seeing. The report provides an important and detailed look at real world usage of ABM. To describe their choice of using the term account based sales development the authors say “we think Account Based Marketing is too limited a name, instead we use the term Account Based Sales Development.”
Their reasoning is fair and in the end what term you use comes down to personal preference. This report feels that account based sales development better represents the idea that every department within an organization is responsible and accountable for success. However, no matter what term you choose to use, always keep in mind that account based marketing is a holistic approach that incorporates many different tactics and strategies.
With that all in mind, let’s take a look at the biggest takeaways from the Saleslife and Engagio report.
The Top Three Outcomes of Account Based Marketing
Respondents to the survey were asked to rank the top three outcomes they have seen from implementing their ABM program. Three answers tied for the top choice:
- Increased revenue
- Increased pipeline
- Higher quality leads
These outcomes are exactly what account based marketing is designed to provide. In fact, those surveyed were also asked their top three reasons for using ABM. Those same three choices were once again the top answers. Organizations are implementing an account based marketing framework with lofty goals in mind. And the results they are seeing are perfectly aligned with their expectations. This particular point is a heartening one for believers in ABM; the theories and strategies are bearing fruit.
Don’t Test the Waters, Take the Full Plunge
Account based marketing is not something to be taken lightly. It’s not something that can be done with a half-hearted effort and be expected to produce results. ABM requires diligent planning, strategizing, shifting of resources, commitment, and high-level execution.
The State of Account-Based Sales Development found that those who fully participate in an account based marketing strategy are much more likely to have success than those that merely test a program. “The majority of companies with full ABSD program in place rated their satisfaction ‘extremely’ or ‘fairly’ higher by 54% than those who didn’t have formal ABSD programs in place,” the report says.
These results prove that account based marketing produces the best results with proper planning and resource allotment. It will take time to see the efforts pay off, but in the long run the due diligence performed upon initial implementation will pay for itself many times over. “Individuals who had their program in place for more than a year were significantly more satisfied,” the authors write.
This report is yet another piece of evidence that proves account based marketing works, and that it’s here to stay. No matter what term you choose to use when implementing your strategy, ensure that you give it the proper time and care that it deserves and you will be rewarded for your efforts.