Account-based marketing is a powerful strategy in helping businesses increase the success of their sales and marketing strategies. ABM helps to align sales and marketing goals and allows marketing teams to more effectively. ABM enables businesses to create a more cohesive marketing message, define sales and marketing goals, identify and bring in higher-quality leads, and create targeted, custom content that truly benefits businesses.
How to use ABM to align your B2B sales and marketing strategy
Here are some best practices to align sales and marketing strategy.
1. Understanding buyer personas and the buying process
The buying process and buyer persona are the keys to understanding how to build and develop your sales and marketing processes. The research behind these two things helps to inform everything related to your marketing and sales processes including messaging, content, and campaigns. Both sales and marketing professionals should be involved in the research and development of both personas and processes and come to an agreement about what the most important characteristics and parts of each are.
2. Creating messaging built to convert
All of your content should have a purpose. The buying journey process and buyer personas are meant to help dictate that purpose. Maybe a buyer persona exploration reveals that your target audience is made up of 30-something entrepreneurs who spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. You can leverage that in your social media content strategy. If your B2B buyers’ process is longer, you know you’ll have to have to develop enough content to nurture potential buyers over the long haul through email, social media, presentations, and more. The in-depth customer understanding discovered in the first part of the alignment gives you the structure for everything else in the process.
3. Content audits
You already have content – from presentations and white papers to print ads and social media ads to blogs and testimonials. All companies are creating some kind of marketing content. One of the best ways to align sales and marketing is to do a content audit and make sure that all existing content and all future content plans are supporting the conversion messaging the group has decided on. Can presentations be customized to pitch to certain accounts? Can social media plans be tweaked with a more specific messaging that appeals to certain target businesses?
4. Developing service level agreements
Service level agreements, or SLAs, provide specific information with tangible goals and expected results for sales and marketing teams. Instead of just understand that a marketing plan needs to drive more leads and a sales team needs to convert them, an SLA gives specificity around this and helps teams understand if their work is successful by outlining things like “every month the marketing team will provide sales with 1000 leads and sales will reach out through email or phone campaigns in 24 hours.”
5. Feedback and optimization
Sales need to buy into everything marketing is doing. Sales depend on marketing for leads so sales need to let marketing know what is and isn’t working in terms of the execution of the agreed-upon strategy. Going back to the marketing plan with insight and feedback from sales helps to optimize the process and make it more effective. Having regular check-ins between the sales team and the sales enablement marketing team can help to create true alignment and progress towards goals.
According to MarketingProfs, companies that have highly align sales and marketing had 36% higher customer retention rates and achieved 38% higher sales. When considering these, and other, sales and marketing alignment statistics, it’s important to keep these best practices in mind while creating your B2B sales and marketing strategy.
Account-based marketing has the potential to greatly raise your revenue potential and create better overall client and customer relationships. Communication is the key to success and when sales and marketing teams work together to create valuable ABM goals and strategies, the whole business benefits.