Maybe it's not a huge secret but I see on a regular basis with my clients, (of those that have or are implementing Account Based Marketing) that the most successful are those who have a unified approach between Business Development and Marketing. In fact it is probably misleading to call it Account Based Marketing at all. It should really be called Account Based Sales and Marketing or ABSAM for short!
This ties very closely with research by LinkedIn and Edelman that looked at what made for the best thought leadership. They said that the best thought leadership had to be:
- Relevant and Applicable
- Industry Insights
- Delivered by a trusted source
These are all pretty obvious but was is interesting is that this is actually more of sales list than a marketing list and so it is almost impossible for a marketing team to implement without the input of the sales team or from anyone else who is client facing.
If the client facing team is involved in the ABSAM strategy (I'm actually using that acronym now!) then you can build into that strategy a real understanding of the client's issues, problems, what they are worried about and where they want educated. If you can do that then you can deliver a laser focussed ABSAM strategy that provides real value to your client.
For those who don't include the client facing team then there's going to be a lot of guess work and the whole plan will likely crumble apart.
The biggest misconception around ABM is that it’s something that marketing teams do for sales teams. What it really is, is the juncture at which the marketing function plugs into the key account and sales teams. A really strong, structured and facilitated ABM process delivers results which are exponentially better than if a KAT, marketing or sales team performed its own individual processes. ABM isn’t something that marketing organisations do for sales organisations; it’s something they do together.