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How can Salesforce help your Account-Based Marketing (ABM) initiatives?

What is Account-Based Marketing?

There was a time when marketers were obsessed with their blanket campaigns that were super-wide, and super-disconnected with the sales activities because at the core they were designed to attract anyone and everyone.

While the efforts of the marketing team were going in one direction, those of the sales team were going in the other direction. The result? Most of the marketing leads get rejected by the sales team and hence the term ‘Sales is from Mars and Marketing is from Venus.’ The relationship between sales and marketing is often too precarious.

Over the years, an alternative philosophy budded, which is slowly becoming the mantra of marketing today – Account-Based Marketing.

‘Account-Based Marketing’ term was first coined by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association, ITSMA, which claims it to deliver the highest return on investment (ROI) of any strategic B2B marketing approach.

Why Account-Based Marketing?

ABM is a strategic approach, a one-on-one approach, and is typically focused on those few enterprise-level companies with more than 1000 employees that have a high chance of adding to your bottom line.

It helps teams to engage earlier in the sales process, align marketing initiatives with sales strategies, and maximize ROI from marketing campaigns.

About 97% of Marketers said that ABM had higher ROI than other marketing channels. (Source: Alterra Group)

ABM is the hot trending topic today amongst B2B Marketers. 86% of them inquire about ABM, and 92% have a plan to start an ABM program. (Source: Salesforce)

On the contrary, only 19% of marketers have confidence in executing the ABM programs. So why is it that hard to make ABM real?

Why is Account-Based Marketing difficult?

For those new to Account-based marketing, the whole thing can seem monumentally complex, requiring a massive stack of technology before you can even get started. ABM has been around forever; it’s just that instead of fishing with nets we are catching with the spears. Then why do you think that ABM is challenging in today’s scenario?

One of the primary reasons is the buying cycle has been altered. According to the Harvard Business Review, the number of stakeholders involved in B2B purchases has increased from an average of 5.4 four years ago to 6.8 or more today. These stakeholders have varied roles, responsibilities, and even geographies.

On top of these existing challenges, your business data lives in siloes department-wise like sales, marketing, finance, etc. along with fragmented tools and processes. With large data being added year after year, a raft of stakeholders involved in each purchase, and an ever-expanding array of options, how do you know that you are reaching the right person with the right content and right offer.

If you are using Salesforce, most of your account data is already living in your CRM. And some of the account data will be fragmented in different tools. Now the job of your team is to learn syncing data between different systems and have a 360-degree view of your prospects.