Recently, a friend told me about riding a tandem bicycle with her husband in the mountains of France. The net of it was, she ended up injuring her knee in a non-cycling related accident on their trip, but, as an avid biker, he didn’t want to miss his opportunity to cycle over the famous roads of the French Alps. What he didn’t realize, however, was that not having her on the back of the tandem bike would change his cycling experience dramatically. Without the weight and power of a second rider, his bike was less predictable and more difficult to maneuver. Calculating climbs and curves was also quite a challenge without the consistency of his co-pilot onboard.
By now, you’re probably asking, “what in the world does cycling in France have to do with sales?”
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More than you might think.
You see, Account-based Marketing (ABM) is all the rage right now. And, it should be. It works. However, without the help of a solid sales enablement solution, ABM is a lot like that solo-piloted tandem bike—less predictable and harder to optimize.
In just a few short years, ABM has recast sales and marketing strategies, inspired new technology decisions, and provoked rapid tactical shifts in sales pipeline management. All good things! But there is room for improvement, even if things are going well. When paired with a structured, modern approach to sales enablement, ABM can take a content strategy and turn it into a measurable (and measured!) revenue-generating pipeline.
The two solutions are distinctly different, but work well hand-in-hand.
ABM has a lot going for it, and perhaps most importantly, it enables deeply individualized marketing communications that drive audiences to highly targeted content. Suddenly, delivering highly-focused messages based on account demographics and behavior is very possible.
Sales Enablement, too, brings a lot to the table. Proven to drive faster conversions and higher sales using the power of the right content at the right time, it helps companies consolidate all their sales materials—including sales training, product marketing, and third-party resources—in a single location. It also delivers quality analytics that enables real-time feedback from sales and clients, so marketing knows what works, and what doesn’t.
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When paired together, these two technologies can provide stellar results. For instance, InsideView uses an ABM solution and Highspot for sales enablement to target specific accounts. With these two solutions, InsideView sales and marketing can see across Leads, Contacts, Opportunities and Accounts, as well as demographics to know what content should be used when it matches certain criteria, and when there are similar ‘like’ Accounts through the pipeline. This is the ultimate in “better together” solution management—and it works extremely well for InsideView.
Sales & Marketing alignment
At the end of the day, today’s sales and marketing professionals are starting to understand the importance of working together towards a common goal. Like my friends on the tandem bike learned, it’s easier and more effective to work together than go at it solo. According to Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder & CMO at Terminus, “No longer are marketers required to create their own metrics or vanity measures. They are fully invested in making sure the sales team is successful. And the sales teams know marketing is focused on the accounts they care about.”
Nikki Nixon, Director of #FlipMyFunnel agrees, saying, “We’re seeing success when one person on the marketing team can be aligned and on point for sales and one person on the sales team can be aligned and responsible for marketing and the customer lifecycle. Importantly, this makes them accountable to each other because they share the same KPIs. We’re also seeing marketers invest in sales enablement tools because they’re driving more of the ABM process versus the sales team. There’s a shift happening there.”
What should you do?
Do you have ABM with no sales enablement, or sales enablement with no ABM? If so, it’s time to consider adding the counterpart for best results.
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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Shawnna Sumaoang. Shawnna is the Director of Marketing at Highspot. Her background is in strategic development and execution of marketing and communications programs in the technology industry. Shawnna’s current mission is to elevate the role of the sales enablement to a critical business function charged with driving radical improvement in sales effectiveness. Download this complimentary ebook—Content: Your Ticket to High-Performing ABM—and learn how to get started optimizing your sales cycle by empowering sales with the tools they need to succeed.