The Latest from the ABM Experts
May 27, 2019
Why the Success of Your ABM Program Is Dependent on Your Organization’s Goals
Written by Sangram Vajre
This week’s episode is with Anamika Gupta. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out below.
I haven’t met anyone who’s been doing ABM for as long (and as well) as , Head of Account Based Marketing and Deal Based Marketing at Fujitsu Americas.
She’s been practicing ABM longer than anyone I’ve ever met, which means she knows it inside and out.
I invited Anamika onto the #FlipMyFunnel podcast to demystify what account-based marketing really is, especially in large organizations. She came on and shared her expertise on how ABM should truly be accomplished.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- What ABM really means
- Why and how you need to attach yourself to your organization’s goals
- How to measure ABM, in the long and short-term
What do you think ABM actually means?
Anamika: Account-based marketing is a long-term strategic approach. That requires marketing and sales to work as partners, not just work together, but actually work as partners to achieve one common goal.
Sales and marketing can’t have separate goals — there must be one common goal. And that goal could be opening doors, deepening engagement, whatever it is, it needs to be the same for sales and marketing.
Can you expand on this idea of one goal?
Anamika: So, I think my advice to our fellow marketers would be to learn what your organization’s main goal is. Because that organizational goal can be broken down into sales goals, right?
That goal is what your sales team is asked to go and achieve. And when you understand the organization’s goal, and how sales’ goal flows out of that, then you can attach yourself to it and you’ll have one common goal.
One of my mentors once said that an organization can only have five priorities. That’s it, just five. So, if you know those top five things that your organization is striving for, and you align yourself to either a couple or at least one of them, you will grow and you will make your organization grow.
How do you measure the success of ABM? Are there certain milestones people can watch for as they head towards closing the deal?
Anamika: So, ABM is all about spending time understanding the customer, right?
That’s why I always say that ABM is a marathon — it’s not a sprint. You must have some metrics focused on the long-term.
But organizations and sales teams, they get impatient. And it’s on us, marketing, to manage that and to show them the movement we are making through an ABM-defined approach.
So, how do you do that? Well, you need to have both long and short-term metrics.
Long-term metrics need to be plain and clear — influence your pipeline, and influence your booking. That’s what ABMers can be measured on. You can put any number of metrics around it, right?
That’s the long term. It doesn’t happen in two months.
And by the way, I’m using the term influence for a reason. ABM can influence. In my opinion, it doesn’t generate — it influences buying decisions by improving relationships, by opening the door, whatever it might be.
What about short-term metrics?
Anamika: Those should be linked to your tactics or the channel you’re utilizing to launch the campaigns to enhance the planned experience as part of the ABM approach. So, you can measure milestones along the way, but don’t forget that ABM is ultimately a marathon — it takes time to do well.
So, the big takeaway for me is the definition — that ABM is a long-term strategic approach. It’s sales and marketing working as partners, as one team, with one goal.
Second, find out what your organization’s goals are. It might be brand, it might be revenue, it might be pipeline velocity, and it might be expansion. Whatever it is, if you don’t know what the goal is, you’re going to be missing out. And when you figure out the goal, align yourself to it. Attach yourself to at least one or two of those top goals and you will find good things happening.
Finally, I love this idea of long-term and short-term metrics. And I’ve never heard anybody say it in that way, so thank you for that. And I love how you said to really figure out how to communicate the metrics in a way that your management will understand. Don’t just use marketing vanity metric language. Our job is to read the data and translate it to insights that can be understood. I love that.
Anamika: Find out what ABM really is. Understand your organization’s need. Take a cognizant step towards it, and say, “Can I take some time to understand what my organization’s goal is, and can I align my goals to it?” When you do that, you become equipped for success.