The Importance of Aligning Sales & Marketing in Account Based Marketing

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Account Based Marketing helps you narrow your focus on your ideal clients.

But it will absolutely fail if you don’t align your sales & marketing efforts.

Tina Bean is one of the founders of KickFire and heads up sales and strategic partnerships there.  Kickfire began as web analytics tool and it now helps B2B companies meet their ideal clients with two sides of the business:

  1. A software as a service platform that identifies companies in the market to buy products or services
  2. A data as a service platform that operates off of the same set of intelligence that the SaaS of the business does as well.  

Tina and her team have recently found success with an Account Based Marketing approach supplemented with utilizing their own platform to identify key accounts.  Tina joined us for this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration to talk about sales & marketing alignment, an ideal ABM tech stack, and the best ABM KPIs for measuring success.

Sales & Marketing Alignment

An Account Based Marketing approach starts with the strategy of identifying key accounts.  This effort needs to be collaborative from the very beginning. Sales needs to define what a worthy account looks like so that marketing can begin their engagement campaigns.

The number one question that sales and marketing need to answer is: “Are people engaging with our content?”  This engagement can come in the form of website visits or consuming similar content across the web. Once sales and marketing can understand these different types of engagement, they can segment from there and begin to craft custom messaging.

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Regardless of how prospects enter onto a site, every action can be recorded and traced.  Spikes in engagement can indicate buying intent. It’s up to your marketing to create different messaging for prospects at various stages, and it’s up to your sales team to take that prospect through to a closed deal.

Content can be syndicated that speaks to different parts of the prospect’s journey, and sales & marketing have to both agree on what that messaging should look like.  In order to keep potential buyers interested the teams need to work together to convey a consistent value proposition.

In most cases, companies usually utilize buying committees when making these large purchase decisions, so each member of that buying committee should have a consistent experience whether they are dealing with your sales or marketing department. It’s a tandem process, a truly joint effort of sales and marketing to come up with an initial list of key accounts, bring that buyer through the journey, and then keep them as a customer.

ABM Tech Stack

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing your technology stack is to remember that your goal is to get eyes and ears on your website.  It’s vital to connect the dots and make sense of the multiple channels you are using in order to track engagement on your website.

In terms of giving tech stack advise, Tina believes this has to do with how large your company is and its ability to scale. Large companies can often deploy AI strategies based on algorithms that present predictive data.

This predictive data is used in real time to identify information on buyer intent and what type of companies are browsing your website.  This type of technology takes data and feeds it back into predictive modeling in order to produce lookalike information so you can expand your target of buyers to pursue.  From there, you can target these new personas with display, nurture, or content campaigns.

Smaller companies are less likely to have access to AI technology that allows them to produce complex lookalike campaigns.  They can still use marketing automation tools for inbound marketing, analytics tools to identify companies on their website, and simpler cases of data modeling.

Tina believes it’s vitally important to have the  same the data provider up and down your technology stack.  If you are using different sources, this can lead to inconsistencies of buyer personas and misattribution for lead scoring.

ABM KPI’s

Engagement is simply the key indicator of success with ABM.  Engagement can come through prospects interacting with a company’s website or through similar content consumption across the web. Companies can identify when prospects are engaging with their content, and that is a good place to begin to connect with them.

If a company can get their finger on the pulse of engagement in a prospect’s journey, they are well on their way to connecting with that that potential customer and closing a deal.

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This post is based on a podcast with Tina BeanTo hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

Posted October 10, 2018

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