Marketing and sales departments are notorious across most companies for their disconnect. Sales concentrates on closing deals and developing relationships with their clients, while marketing focuses on creating awareness and generating leads.
Despite their strain, marketing and sales need each other. And in today’s corporate and startup saturated world, sales needs marketing more than ever.
Why? Because most of the time the sales department is so focused on closing deals and growing their company’s roster of clients, an incredibly important necessity for the growth of the company. So there is little time and know how of how exactly to target specific messages into an account, build and maintain long-term campaigns and create spot on emotional messages that resonate with the right client. Long-term value isn’t usually delivered.
In the best interest of a company and its long-term sustainability, the divide between sales and marketing needs to be bridged by getting their goals to align. And the easiest and most successful way to do this is through account-based marketing, a method of marketing that consists of focusing marketing and sales efforts on a group of stakeholders within a company rather than an individual.
Account-based marketing (ABM), concentrates on various people within a company rather than expending energy into as many potential leads as possible. Essentially, you’re putting your energy where there is a better ROI.
How does the relationship between sales and marketing fit into ABM?
Using an ABM model allows the marketing team to provide their understanding of the target market, while sales provides the specific needs of their individual clients. This partnership inspires an atmosphere of co-created sales influenced marketing collateral and marketing inspired pitches.
How can marketing and sales teams begin to experiment with ABM? Simple.
1. Find your high-value accounts
Dig around your list of current clients and potential ones and determine which ones are going to ultimately give you a better ROI on your efforts. Focus on the players who primarily makes the decisions when it comes to partnering with and purchasing from other companies.
2. Figure out what makes them tick
After you’ve found your target clients, identify how, when and why they make decisions. Knowing their thought process will help you craft your sales and marketing efforts and anticipate their needs and potential questions.
3. Create custom content and collateral
This is the essence of ABM. At this stage marketing will create tailored collateral for the clients you have identified, while sales will communicate with them and identify their needs from the company. Here you will begin to hone in on your target.
4. Deliver that content across the best channels
Once your content has been created and their needs identified, decide which communication channel will deliver optimal results for you and your client. Maybe they respond better to email marketing, in-person sales pitches and demonstrations or maybe they need other client validation. Whatever it is, knowing which channel your clients respond to will expedite the process of closing the deal.
5. Test and measure after execution
As it goes with everything, be sure to evaluate the success of your ABM campaigns. Doing this will allow you to see where you faltered, where you succeeded and where you can improve on.
Adjusting and fine tuning are a definite in account-based marketing, but will ultimately help a company grow and generate higher ROIs. Practicing and experimenting with account-based marketing not only focuses a company’s time and energy into endeavors with higher ROI and hopefully receives that ROI, but also helps with the divide and aligns the goals of sales and marketing. And which company wouldn’t benefit from that?