Recently, Rohit Lal (name changed), the General Manager – Marketing Communications of a large Indian information management company got in touch with us. They wanted to embark on Account Based Marketing (ABM) and were seeking Niswey’s help in enabling it for them. We got on a call, and then exchanged several emails and had follow up calls to understand their goals, structure, marketing tech stack and so on.

What really impressed us was the foresight demonstrated by Rohit for his company. For a person largely dealing with marketing communications for the entire group, he had rightly come to the conclusion that for a specific division of the business, it made sense to take up ABM. He asked us to do a broad plan, which we did. And promptly invited us to Mumbai to present the plan to the CEO, and head of sales, and head of operations.

ABM? For those late to the Account Based Marketing party, ABM is the technology-fueled enabler of B2B selling that companies have done for decades: pursuing select accounts. ABM enables teams to specifically target and engage the right accounts and the right people in the accounts, and all this at scale.

ABM-ad

Niswey has been working in the ABM space for three years now, and most of that has been in the US and UK markets. So, when Rohit asked us to present, we were excited, to say the least.

We started the presentation and a few minutes into it, we figured that we were making little sense to the CEO or to his sales and ops heads. And when Rohit pushed his colleagues to comment on our plan, he drew a complete blank from one, and the other excused herself from the room ostensibly to answer her phone.

It was disappointing, and not just as a sales pitch for us. It was disappointing to see the disconnect between a marketer who could clearly see what needed to be done to achieve the goals the company had set it for itself, and the rest of the key team who didn’t share his point of view, or what was worse, his energy to achieve it.

Clear disconnect. Zero sales-marketing-operations alignment.

NOT A GOOD FIT. If you know a company like that, please let them know that they are not a good fit for ABM. Just because ABM has a ‘marketing’ bit in the name, do not believe that it’s a new initiative that marketing will handle on its own. ABM programs warrant sales and marketing to operate as one team. And if they are disconnected, the company is simply not ready for ABM.

Sales and marketing disconnect can easily be detected in growing companies. Sales teams are busy chasing targets, marketing teams are working non-stop on branding, events, content, social media, PPC, PR, etc. At some point, their goals become different. And they talk with each other less and less, maybe bumping into each other at quarterly reviews.

THE 1-QUESTION DIAGNOSIS. If as a CEO, you need to prove this to yourself, here’s a simple question to ask various people. Call the sales head and ask him/her what his/her goals are. Do the same with the marketing head. And with some people on the sales team as well as the marketing team. The answers you get will show you how closely aligned the teams are. More often than not, unfortunately, they are not aligned.

So, if you are wondering about embarking on ABM or worrying about the unhealthy sales pipeline, the solution doesn’t lie in increasing sales targets, doing more events, optimizing PPC ads, or creating better content. It lies, first and foremost, in getting the sales and marketing teams aligned and talking and working as one team. And the operations team, I might add.

The key here, though, is the intent to align. Many companies have misaligned teams, but only those teams with the true intent and commitment to align should go on the ABM path. But that’s not all, there are a few other factors that you need to get into place.

KEY FACTORS. How technologically mature is your company? Do you have a sales and CRM tool in place that your sales team uses in a disciplined manner? And are they savvy enough to adopt new tools that might get introduced into their daily work?

Do you have a marketing automation tool in place that helps your marketing team generate, track and nurture leads and accounts?

Are the sales and marketing tools well integrated, so there are no leaks in data or insights?

If you would like to learn more about this, we have discussed these factors and some others in the ABM Readiness Checklist.

DEAL MAKER. So, here’s the deal. ABM is a great program to venture into if you are into B2B. But not all companies are ready for it. Once companies start aligning their teams, have a savvy team that can work on well-integrated sales and marketing tools, they arrive at the baseline to kickstart ABM. The time to start? Now.

Disclaimer: This article has been produced on behalf of Niswey by Times Internet’s Brandwire team.





READ SOURCE

READ  BepiColombo spaceship ready to launch on its mission to Mercury

WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here