3 Data-Driven Strategies to Jump-Start ABM Success

October 08, 2021 | Blog, Resources

Originally Published By MarTech Series

 Even as more B2B companies prioritize account-based marketing (ABM) initiatives, the learning curve is steep. Newcomers haven’t matched the significant revenue gains that mature ABM practitioners achieve.

This revelation, from results of a new study conducted by MRP and Demand Metric, seems to indicate that companies should temper their expectations and extend their ROI timelines — but there is an alternative.

The research reveals that the mature ABM top performers have consistently developed a set of strategies that separate their operations from the rest of the pack. If they’re willing to adopt those proven best practices, companies can bypass years of uneven performance and trial and error.

While 84% of companies report favorable revenue impact from their ABM initiatives, and 52% of marketers value ABM as a top priority, only a few have cracked the code to achieve significant success, according to the survey.

That elite group of just 23% of respondents were more likely than other companies to have started their ABM programs more than 4 years ago, and were more likely to rate their initiatives as “mature,” meaning that they’ve completely implemented their ABM processes and plans.

These leaders consistently adopt a unified approach to people, processes, and technology for their ABM programs, orchestrating operations to deliver the most relevant information and ease the buying process.

ABM is a team sport

For ABM leaders, collaboration goes well beyond handing off leads to sales. Including more people in ABM planning and execution will increase the odds of ABM success, according to the study. For example, more than 3 in 10 ABM leaders in the survey reported that multiple teams collaborate to execute ABM across their organizations — far outpacing the survey average of 18%.

That teamwork starts with sales and marketing. Fully 90% of ABM top performers report close collaboration between marketing and sales, compared with 65% of those reporting unmeasured or negative impact. Leading organizations bring sales and marketing together to set overall strategy, as well as to identify and plan for targeting key accounts.

The number of roles ABM leaders include in their initiatives is 36% higher, averaging 5.6,  compared with 4.1 for those reporting unmeasured or negative ABM revenue impact. On-the-ground expertise is crucial; product managers, field marketers, and regional specialists can contribute a keen understanding of customers’ needs to ABM teams.

Data integration and visibility support a unified customer profile

Not only does the makeup of ABM teams stand out for marketing leaders, but those teams have more data from more sources to inform their activities, and they use that data more effectively than other companies, according to the report.

For starters, 80% of top performers use at least three systems to collect data for their ABM initiatives, boosting the potential for building a robust customer profile.  Leaders are twice as likely to add to that base of information with intent data and predictive analytics; 81% of top performers build this type of broad data set, compared with 40% of low performers

The interoperability of the data is just as important as the quantity for ABM leaders, 84% of whom say their tech stack is very or completely integrated — more than double the percentage (30%) of those with negative or unmeasured ABM impact.

That unified integration eases wide visibility into and coordination of how customers are being messaged by teams across the organization. More than 4 in 10 ABM leaders, 41%,  said they had full visibility into campaigns being sent by teams across the company, compared with 7% of those realizing unmeasured or negative ABM impact.

Messages are individualized to match needs, at scale

 Delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time is crucial, and ABM leaders use sophisticated data management processes to personalize messaging to a higher degree across more touchpoints, at scale and in real time.

Nearly half of top performers, 46%, said their ABM systems automatically adjusted content to match viewers’ stage of engagement within the customer lifecycle, compared with just 11% of those reporting negative or unmeasured ABM impact who had those capabilities. For example, companies can automate versioning of whitepaper downloads to display different title pages that appeal to different audiences

ABM leaders distribute this content using more touchpoints than other companies. Fully 84% of ABM leaders use three or more systems to deliver marketing messages, the survey found, compared with 66% of companies with negative or unmeasured ABM results.

If they empower diversified teams with robust integrated data, companies can bypass trial-and-error missteps that slow and minimize revenue impact. This unified approach accelerates ABM success by delivering exceptional customer experiences that win sales and loyalty.

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