Only 30% of industry players are not currently rolling out Account-Based Marketing (ABM) programs. The remaining 70% are laser-focused on delivering highly personalized and integrated pre- and post-sales experiences, sometimes without necessarily forging greater integration across compartmentalized departments—which is necessary to successfully launch and maintain ABM initiatives.
Now, many organizations are confronting the inevitable:
“ABM is usually marketing-led without sufficient buy-in from the sales and service organizations.”
Misalignment can be the biggest drain on any company’s account-based efforts. It is estimated that fractured marketing/sales/service operations cost businesses more than a trillion dollars per year. Poor company-wide alignment is, in many cases, the primary cause of stagnant (or, even more alarmingly, declining!) annual revenue growth; it also is a demotivating factor for sellers and may lead to ineffective prospecting.
It is true that ABM was an effective tactic for a while. But today, Account-Based Engagement (ABE) more effectively captures all the requirements and cross-functional integration needed to engage high-priority accounts in a hyper-personalized way.
The Path Towards Account-Based Engagement
ABE focuses primarily on breaking down functional silos, but it doesn’t stop there:
“ABE can be used to acquire new customers but is also frequently used to expand relationships with existing customers. Moreover, ABE can be deployed across the customer journey to drive more benefits, such as increased customer satisfaction, retention, advocacy, and, ultimately, growth in customer lifetime value.”
—Boston Consulting Group, Moving Beyond ABM to Account-Based Engagement
Laura Ramos, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, shares this vision and correctly senses the shortest path to ABE success: it all starts by developing account-specific programs that deepen relationships and increase wallet share with existing customers—all before diving into acquisition.
The move from ABM to ABE goes beyond enterprise-wide coordination. An integrated approach to customer engagement is also necessary for industry players to:
- Connect their value proposition to specific account pain points and enrich interaction
- Win new business or retain customers through targeted and hyper-personalized outreach
Building a Strong Account-Based Foundation
Industry players climbing up the ABE maturity curve are getting the basics right; they routinely gather timely, valid, and high-quality account-specific intelligence to grow sales through targeted engagement.
Data is particularly important for building a strong account-based foundation as it allows you to:
- Reach your highly-vetted accounts
- Orchestrate high-impact account engagement campaigns
- Scale your ABE capabilities and measure their impact
As enterprises effectively use account data to align coherently around customers, ABM will patently evolve into ABE and enable faster business growth.
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