In typical lead generation models, marketing and sales work collaboratively as a relay team. Marketing increases the number of leads being generated, nurtures them, and hands them off to sales.
But account-based marketing (ABM) transformed this process.
Account-Based Marketing connects inbound and outbound marketing with sales to create demand in target accounts. These coordinated ABM campaigns engage and convert target accounts at every stage of the purchase journey.
Depending on your starting point, one of your first tasks while conducting an ABM campaign will be to identify the “Accounts.” By its very nature, ABM makes the account and customer the key that guides all decisions.
It’s extremely important to engage accounts through the right channels and at the right time for the success of the ABM Campaign. For that, ABM strategy and Sales Enablement need to align and become an extension of the existing sales process.
Sales enablement is the essence of achieving the required engagement. With a combination of ABM and sales enablement, sales representatives become Social Sellers who are able to engage with targeted accounts and provide them with powerful and insightful content that aids in their decision journey.
Why is it important to tie ABM and Sales Enablement together in today’s B2B selling environment?
Today’s decision-makers are in control of the buying process. According to CEB, there is an average of 6.8 decision-makers that must sign off on a purchase. That means it is important to nurture various contacts across the business in order to connect with the right people.
Sales enablement helps businesses to scale their ABM strategy suitably and drive company growth. When accounts engage with your content, you are not only educating, but also establishing brand trust.
With the combination of ABM and Sales Enablement, companies can:
- Develop initial buyer interest
- Transform buyer interest into opportunities with account nurturing
- Accelerate sales pipeline when marketing campaigns influence stakeholders
How Sales Enablement and Account-Based Marketing Fit Together
Recent advances in technology have begun to disrupt the sales process and changed the way sales decisions are made. Sales reps need to know what steps to follow next in order to continue targeting the account and advancing the opportunity.
ABM strategy helps create sales activities by curating content hubs with relevant content for target account segments. By sending content hubs related to an account’s profile and engagement interest with Sales Enablement, sales reps can establish trust and increase the likelihood of conversion.
In ABM, account engagement reports describe an account’s digital body language for both unknown visitors and known visitors, After-sales reps recognize initial interest, and they
respond immediately with the relevant sales activity.
Having access to the right data for engagement is important for sales teams. It helps them to build a better picture of their accounts to nurture them from interest to sales opportunity more effectively than traditional lead nurturing by focusing on all stakeholders in target accounts.
In order to implement the right ABM strategy for your business, You need to ensure that ABM and sales teams must be aligned to have the insight needed to:
- Identify the accounts that are appropriate for ABM strategies
- Create engaging ABM content that will engage uniquely with each decision-maker within the company
- Engage and nurture at the right times, in the right ways, and through the right channels.
Using Sales Enablement To Engage Key Accounts
Effective sales enablement will help your sales team develop an account to trust and personalize engagement for stronger relationships.
Marketing and sales can effectively steer the purchase journey for their target accounts by working in coordination.
According to the Aberdeen survey, 75% of B2B customers prefer an ABM approach because of personalization. A sales enablement tool can support this activity by recommending the best content based on the sales situation, right in the CRM and email.
Sales enablement tools add value to ABM by offering engaging content and messaging based on the specific sales situation. This enables sales representatives to project themselves as trustworthy advisors and credible resources.
This value provides the accounts with the right content to build a business case, make an informed purchase decision, and feel confident that they made the right one.
With sales enablement, each team can work together, with shared goals and a built-in feedback loop as to what works and what doesn’t. Marketing can provide sales teams with new content, and research; sales can leverage marketing’s resources to deliver timely and relevant content to accounts.
This alignment of teams enables much more powerful execution as they have access to shared insight about account decision-makers.
- It allows sales reps to identify genuine, personalized messaging, and channels to engage with and curate the content accordingly.
- Helps marketing teams to develop account-bespoke strategies and content
Best Practices for Aligning Account-Based Marketing and Sales Enablement
Sales representatives often need direction in relationship management and guidance in balancing quality vs quantity of sales activities. This can be immensely helpful in identifying anonymous accounts hitting your site or engaging with content.
Below are a variety of ways that sales reps can use sales enablement to help execute and scale a successful ABS strategy within their business and add value to the sales process.
- Utilize technology to get sales reps involved
- Leverage advertising to get in front of targeted buyers
- Target messages for content and ads for the right level
Technology advancements have created a flood of data. Having accurate and right measuring in place is integral to gaining deeper insights into the sales strategy and guiding the sales process.
Aligning ABM and sales enablement generates more effective campaigns. Businesses can use data-driven decision-making to meaningfully nurture their strategy and continually improve.
Lastly, it is important to remember that, in an organization, each person has a different role in the purchase journey and every account decision-maker will have different challenges. So it is important that sales reps know who the audience is and how to best create the sales process for relevance and value.