Within the portfolio of demand generation, ABM has made itself a home amongst more traditional strategies with its power to personalize messaging, unite internal teams and utilize intent signals. Despite its proven success, research shows that marketers still struggle with aligning marketing and sales, developing target account personas and predicting which accounts are likely to act.
Marketing teams are relying on an ABM approach to strengthen the lead qualification process and eliminate some of the guesswork that surrounds an account’s intent. ABM opens the door for internal teams to combine individual funnels into one cohesive, highly accessible funnel that identifies where accounts are in their buying journey and their likelihood of action.
“I think marketers go wrong when they say, ‘I’ve got this lead/account funnel and sales has its own funnel,’ when you really should have one funnel that takes everything in,” said Jon Russo, CMO and Founder of B2B Fusion, in the report. “It takes some work to get there, but the benefit is that you get one source of truth and there’s no longer finger pointing; it’s all in one area.”
Given the heavy emphasis funnel consolidation places on internal communication, a major pain point indicated in Demand Gen Report’s 2021 State of ABM Report was a lack of alignment between marketing and sales. This circles back to generating accurate intent data that outlines an account’s likelihood of action and developing an understanding of each prospect’s specific needs. Once marketers can paint an accurate picture of what accounts are looking for, they can pass that information along to sales to initiate targeted conversations. Prospects don’t want a sales pitch; they want a presentation that addresses their issues, provides actionable solutions and outlines a compelling future.
Considering the amount of uncertainty in the world, it’s no surprise that companies are looking for reassurance through forward-facing content. However, content personalization efforts are falling short — the report indicated that organizations are struggling to personalize campaigns due to a variety of issues, including a lack of understanding about the specific account’s issues. To generate compelling personalized content, marketers should focus on what they want their reputation to be, how they’d like to build relationships and how much revenue they’d like to bring in when formulating custom content.
“What’s core to ABM is having a single thread of data that you’re pulling together across the whole funnel,” said Alex Southworth, VP of Marketing for Dun & Bradstreet, in the report. “This thread must be integrated and enriched to enable activation across all internal channels to drive specific objectives.”
Throughout the State of ABM Report, marketers will learn about personalizing ABM at scale, increasing engagement with key accounts, best practices, missteps and much more.