We had a hunch, but we didn’t have direct evidence. At Terminus, we’d been seeing a surge in interest in account-based marketing coming from Europe (leading us to recently open our London office) but our conversations were quite different from region to region. Different goals, different laws, and different go-to-market strategies piqued our interest so we commissioned a study to find out more. Over this past summer, we surveyed 500 go-to-market professionals in the UK, France, Germany, and the US to compare and contrast the nature of account-based programs in different countries.
The results were fascinating! While it seems European markets lag slightly in the adoption and sophistication of our North American peers, the appetite for and approaches to account-based marketing are huge. In fact, if the results bear out, fully 86% of all European B2B companies will be employing an account-based report in the near future. We encourage you to check out the entire report but for the tl;dr, keep on reading for the highlights.
What does ABM mean, really?
A pervasive challenge when exploring or implementing an account-based strategy is defining what, exactly, ABM means. Just as all companies bring a variety of products and solutions into different markets, so too do their go-to-market strategies vary. US survey respondents have a greater consensus as to what ABM means with the largest number agreeing that it boils down to aligning sales and marketing teams. Meanwhile, the UK is predominantly anchored on personalizing content and campaigns as the true meaning of ABM. Is any one definition of ABM more correct than the other? No, but seeing the divergence in meanings between regions is very illuminating.
A Healthy Appetite for ABM
Across all responses, we found that an average of 41% of companies have already implemented an account-based program. The US leads the pack slightly, with 47% indicating that they’ve implemented an ABM strategy while the UK lags behind the group, finding that only 27% of British respondents have implemented. The UK’s slower adoption is not for lack of want, however, as they’re the hungriest region with 55% of respondents indicating they would implement an ABM strategy in the near future. Across the board, only 4% of respondents had no interest in ABM whatsoever.
It’s About Bringing Sales and Marketing Together
Across all respondents, 92% of them agree that a fully aligned sales and marketing team is vital to activating a successful go-to-market strategy. However, there’s a nearly 50/50 split when asked whether sales and marketing alignment is a prerequisite for ABM success, or if it’s a byproduct of that strategy (we firmly believe it’s the former). While fully integrated teams were rare– especially in the UK– one very interesting trend emerged: It would seem that companies who lean on support from third-party consultants typically have the most integrated sales and marketing team. Could it be that third-parties are able to serve as revenue therapists for teams undergoing an account-based transformation?
The results of this study are truly fascinating. I encourage you to read through the report for finer results and insights– especially where we compare each region surveyed– to get a better picture of the state of ABM in Europe.