Sales and marketing get cozy with account-based marketing

My two dogs are growing more and more alike.

Strider, the 90 lb. black lab, craves people and loves to be front and centre. If he can’t lie down near you, he’ll sprawl across a well-travelled path in the house and groans if asked to move.

Goliath, the 30 lb. Ganaraskan is the opposite of his big brother. He is standoffish but vigorously rubs his ear against your leg at a time of his choosing and then loudly sneezes to express his delight.

After spending many years together and sharing the odd rawhide, this odd couple is merging together. Each dog has adopted the others’ idiosyncrasies. To my family’s bemusement, we now have a ear-rubbing, sneezing lab and a Ganaraskan that sprawls across major thoroughfares in our house.

ABM & Sales Alignment

The passage of time and the rise of account-based marketing (#ABM) is having a similar, but much less bizarre impact on large account sales and marketing.

For enterprise marketers to get an appreciation of field sales, it’s been often recommended that the #B2B marketer carry a bag (i.e. work in sales) or walk beside a bag (i.e. ride shotgun in sales).

The embrace of account-based marketing deepens marketing empathy for sales. To ‘sell’ an account-based initiative internally, the marketer engages in a complex sale, very similar to the role of their colleagues in sales:

  • Obtains executive buy-in
  • Sells to a large, cross-departmental buying team that includes sales, marketing and customer success
  • Works with lengthy timeframes for decisions requiring constant selling to stakeholders
  • Measures success with impact on revenue and deal velocity

The premise behind ABM is that heightened collaboration between sales and marketing is the antidote to the rising power of the buyer and the increasing size and complexity of buying teams. Sales and marketing together can create the insight that drives change and that leads buyers to favour their solution.

With ABM, sales and marketing plan together and communicate to buyers in a more collaborative and customer-centric approach.

As sales shares more insight with marketing on ideal prospects as they move along their buyer journey, marketing is in a better position to think like sales and enable sales success.

Having sales and marketing operating in close proximity deepens empathy, facilitates problem-solving and brings unified messaging to customers.

Account-based microsites can be co-created by sales and marketing to provide one-to-one, account-specific personalization to high potential accounts. This cross-departmental collaboration is required for successfully building and updating account-based microsites.

The Upshot

Take it from my dogs, cohabitation can yield surprising results.

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