6 Takeaways from the Optimizing ABM Impact Event

As a member of the ABM Leadership Alliance, Sigstr was proud to be present at last week’s Optimzing ABM Impact event held in partnership with ITSMA. Over 300 people registered to join us in San Francisco to learn how the best of the best are overcoming real-world ABM challenges. The day also consisted of industry best practices and some amazing cocktails afterwards.

If you weren’t in San Francisco or you missed the invite, don’t sweat it. Here were my six big takeaways from this event.

Relationships matter

Us B2B marketers say it dozens of times every day: “account.” But how often are our sales and marketing teams talking in depth about “individuals” in an account. You might be running an account-based program, but unless you’re focusing on the real human beings in those accounts, you’re probably not going to experience as much success. The good news is that this isn’t news – ITSMA found that marketers are seriously investing in building and sustaining relationships. Budgets have increased by 65% for better engagement and advocacy.

ABM impact

Remember: you’re marketing to an account, but it’s a human that’s buying. And on that note…

ABM focus and ROI are positively correlated

ITSMA found that a company’s top 20 accounts are responsible for 50% of new revenue. That’s not an accident. It’s a function of the attention, focus, and love you put into nurturing that campaign. In addition to explaining the value you provide and gaining the trust of those accounts. It would be wonderful if all your accounts were treated like top accounts, but there are only so many hours in the day. That’s why it’s so crucial for companies to get systematic about identifying what constitutes a top account. Hint: it’s probably a combination of account “fit” and potential revenue.

ABM impact

Sales and marketing alignment is everything

At this point, the strongest thing that sales and marketing are aligned on is that they need alignment. But beyond that, it’s up to every member of the sales and marketing teams to own and display their commitment to alignment.

As Jessica Fewless from Demandbase eloquently stated:

Sales and marketing alignment looks different at every company – Chris Souza from Leanplum shares his top five tactics that will work for any company.

Making custom content scalable is tough

Take it from us – we spend literally all day every day building solutions to make custom tailored, precisely targeted content scalable – and it isn’t easy. The biggest single challenge for ABM is developing campaign assets that are mass customizable, followed by personalizing marketing content to key personas in accounts. This is such a tough challenge to overcome that Sigstr is teaming up with Uberflip and Terminus on an upcoming webinar to discuss exactly that.

ABM impact

It’s okay to rethink territories

If you’ve really committed to an ABM program, you’ve already made a number of decisions that make you a little nervous. Maybe even outright queasy (more on that shortly).  So if you’re in for a penny on ABX, you’re in for a pound and you should take the time to rethink how non-marketing disciplines could or should shift. One thing I really appreciated was hearing how Sigstr customer, Snowflake, assigns territories. Each account executive gets 100 accounts and, boom, that’s their territory. From there, Daniel Day, Director of ABM at Snowflake, says that everything his marketing team does is to help support and coordinate their AE’s with those accounts. And clearly it’s working for them – Snowflake has achieved unicorn status.

You’re not alone…AMB’in ain’t easy

As Rob Leavitt succinctly put it, “ABM is not for the faint of heart.”

B2B marketers are just now coming off a 15-year talk track about how we need to optimize for inbound. And now we’re all supposed to suddenly accept that inbound isn’t a priority? That’s a tough pill to swallow to be sure. But once it’s down, that pill makes you feel amazing (this is a vitamin reference, I swear). When you’ve committed to a coordinated account-based approach where your display ads are seeing off-the-charts performance because they were timed perfectly with your direct mail send and your sales dev reps are making warm connections with perfectly suited content, it’s absolutely blissful marketing. (Hey… new acronym!)

See you In Vegas?

The ABM Leadership Alliance is going to be gathering at the SiriusDecisions Summit in Las Vegas this May for a blowout event. Follow the ABM Leadership Alliance and/or Sigstr on Twitter and you’ll be sure to get an invite.

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