Football season is in full swing, so let’s think of your B2B sales and marketing teams as one “smarketing” team and your account-based marketing (ABM) efforts as your playbook. You obviously want to win the game — or increase your ROI, in your company’s case. To do so, you must make sure that your whole team works together and puts forth their best effort for ABM.
Just like with recruiting in football, building your A-team is crucial to correctly execute account-based marketing. In order to do this, your sales and marketing teams must be aligned. For modern B2B organizations, it’s no longer sales against marketing, but a single team: “smarketing.” Our new “smarketing” team has a new common set of objectives:
- Target your ideal customers/accounts
- Engage the contacts in your target accounts on the channels where they are active
- Advance those accounts quickly through the buying process by creating velocity through content and activities
As with football, you want your whole team united to work together. Although offense and defense are completely separate and unique parts of the team, it is important that each player understands all aspects of the game and communicates with the other players and coaches about strategies, plays, and tactics.
The same thing goes for your company. Successful marketing to accounts starts with a conversation between marketing, sales, and other key stakeholders within your business. It’s exactly why we believe in the #FlipMyFunnel movement for account-based marketing.
These are the key roles in building your “A” team for account-based marketing:
- Business/sales development representative (BDR/SDR) – This individual is critical for the success of ABM. The sales development team must work in alignment with marketing on outbound and inbound efforts.
- Sales database administrator – A data guru who updates the contact and account information in your CRM
- Marketing operations/technology manager – Someone to manage your marketing automation system; they align the contacts with marketing activities based on their stage in the purchase decision.
- Content manager – This person works with marketing, sales, and customer success to supply collateral, activities, and digital media for every stage of the account’s journey.
- Account executive – The salesperson who will ultimately close the deal
- Sales leader – Team manager or director running the sales department
- Customer success manager – Client expert who will help turn your account into an advocate
- Executive stakeholders – The leadership at your organization. Depending on your size, the CMO, VP of Sales, and/or the CEO can have a stake in “smarketing.”
When a team wins the Super Bowl or a National Championship, it isn’t just the offense or the defense who gets the recognition (and the ring); it is the whole team. The future of B2B marketing is one team. Modern B2B organizations recognize that it’s no longer sales or marketing who will sell the dream; it’s sales and marketing: “smarketing.”
In order for your “smarketing” team to be successful, you must communicate, share goals, and play to your individual strengths. Just like you wouldn’t want to throw your best quarterback into the defensive end position right before game time (or really ever if you know what’s good for your team), you must focus on each department’s individual strengths, then combine them efficiently work together. Each team enables the other. Here’s how:
- Marketing engages targeted contacts on their terms, runs advertising campaigns, tailors personalized messaging, tracks engagement, and estimates ROI. Marketers built incredible demand generation campaigns, feeding inside sales. Using all these techniques, marketers can generate activity in the targeted accounts for sales.
- Sales can identify the maximum painpoints of their customers, then helps marketers create the content.
Want to learn more about the evolution of the “smarketing” team? Download Chapter 1 of Account-Based Marketing For Dummies now.