Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is no longer the new kid in town. In fact, 74% of ABM users have been using the approach for three-plus years. Yes, ABM has gotten to be pretty popular—and for good reason. Account-Based Marketing helps organizations identify target accounts fitting their ICP and engage contacts with personalized outreach. No wonder ABM is popular with Marketers and Sellers.
A recent report from Renegade finds that Marketing and Sales teams are well aligned on ABM strategy. That’s the good news. The bad news is that there is a disconnect between the team when it comes to execution. Truth be told, getting from insights to execution is still tough.
Let’s take a look at some of the survey results as well as some practical tips for overcoming the issues in execution.
Highlights of Survey Results
The Renegade report finds that faith in Account Based-Marketing is high—with more than 80% of respondents saying they believe in ABM’s ability to convert more pipeline, help close more deals, and deliver intent data Sales can use. ABM users are confident in the technology’s potential in turning leads into customers and ensuring the customers are properly engaged.
But that’s not to say everything is peachy keen. Marketers are twice as likely as Salespeople (40% vs. 19%) to note a lack of cooperation between teams—which impedes the full effectiveness of ABM. On the other hand, Sales is more confident than Marketing that they are building awareness among targeted accounts (88% vs. 72%).
Honestly, many business professionals are unaware of how much personalization is actually happening. Less than half (41%) of Marketers believe their Salespeople personalize each touch; while only 23% of Salespeople think the same. This indicates an under-personalization problem, as well as issues due to siloed teams.
Even so, these misalignments are amendable. Overall, Marketing and Sales teams are in agreement that both sides of the house are working towards the same goal of revenue generation:
- 81% of Marketers and Sellers believe Sales is doing everything they can to close deals
- 76% of Salespeople believe that Marketing is doing all they can to enable Sales to close deals
- 77% of Salespeople believe Marketing drives qualified leads into the funnel, and 69% of marketers agree
So, what’s the issue? What’s preventing companies from using ABM to its maximum effectiveness? According to the report:
- 37% said insufficient experience
- 33% said insufficient staff
- 31% said an inability to personalize at scale
- 30% said lack of cooperation between Sales and Marketing
- 29% said lack of time to personalize touches
In short, respondents are confident in ABM’s value and each team’s contribution—but many of the problems arise from staffing, experience, and an inability to scale personalized outreach. As you can see, the problem with Account-Based Marketing isn’t the ABM platform itself or even the overall strategy. Instead, the challenge arises out of execution.
The Practical Solution to Better Execution? Conversational ABM
The problem around ABM execution isn’t a new sticking point. Instead, it’s something familiar to anyone working in Sales and Marketing. Namely, that effective, engaging outreach takes time. Time which overloaded Marketers and Salespeople simply do not have.
In order to deliver the most effective outreach, communications need to be personalized and persistent. In fact, 96% of those surveyed agree that personalized communications to prospects are more effective than non-personalized. Data provided by an ABM solution empowers employees to craft highly personalized messages and even share the most relevant resources with a specific contact.
But what ABM can’t do is scale the business professionals crafting these outgoing messages. Knowing that it can take up to 10-15 attempts to determine intent, it’s easy to understand the execution breakdown plaguing ABM. Most Sales Reps give up after 2 or 3 attempts. Pushing employees to up their outreach persistence isn’t enough either. With only so many hours in a day and excessive contact volume, SDRs will be forced to cherrypick some accounts over others.
This is where Conversational AI saves the day. Conversational AI solutions, like an AI Assistant, help alleviate overburdened revenue teams by automating personalized outreach. Rather than putting the onus on SDRs to persistently chase down contacts and prospects, AI Assistants act as virtual team members with near-unlimited capacity to persistently pursue contacts. At the moment intent is determined, the AI Assistant autonomously schedules a meeting between the prospect and your Sales team.
The alchemy between the proper combination of people, processes, and technologies is Conversational ABM. It’s all about aptly balancing the benefits of Account-Based Marketing, with the expertise of business professionals, and the scalability of an AI solution.
What does that look like in practice? Well, your Marketers and Sellers identify accounts (and contacts within those accounts) with your ABM solution. An SDR makes the first touch, hoping to engage the would-be customer on the other end. If the contact doesn’t respond, the SDR offloads outreach to an AI Assistant who persistently delivers personalized messages, motivating the contact to take action. If the contact shows interest and requests a Sales meeting, the AI Assistant passes the handraiser over to the Sales Rep.
Conversational ABM offers scalable execution, personalized engagement, and opportunity acceleration—all essential facets to getting the most value out of your ABM.
Interested in taking a deeper dive into ABM? Explore the full Renegade Report, The New Sales and Marketing Divide: It’s Not What You Think.