So last year I attended the B2B Marketing ABM Conference and one of the key themes that came out of nearly every session was ‘sales and marketing alignment’. I know. I was actually really surprised considering we’ve been talking about this for years!
I think most of us would say we’ve come on leaps and bounds from those days where sales and marketing don’t talk – we’ve probably all heard these before: “they [sales] don’t listen to me”; “I don’t need marketing support”; “it’s fluffy and a waste of time”.
So why do we need to keep talking about it then?
Actually, despite trying to be contentious to get your attention, this is actually a positive message and is critical to something else we’re all talking about: ABM.
In my last blog we explored data-driven marketing (DDM), and I gave an overview of the general role that account-based marketing (ABM) can play as a cog within that larger machine.
Today, I want to take a closer look at ABM in practice, and how it can truly unite Sales and Marketing. ‘Yes!’, I hear you cry!
But does ABM really bring unity?
It’s a question that CX platform provider Genesys posed while on their ABM journey with us, and although there still no silver bullet or finite rules, I do think we found some answers along the way.
Genesys’ main challenge was that, while their customer experience platform is rated #1 in the world by analysts, they struggled to get a foot in the door with new prospects and their organisations. They were missing real insight into the key decision makers which meant sales didn’t know who to really speak to, nor where to prioritise.
Right place, right time
Using the Nexus platform, from predictive analysis specialists Cyance, allowed us to find those active accounts and gain greater insight into where they were in their buying cycle, and how to engage with those accounts.
With the sales teams having a much better idea of who their targets were, they could work with their marketing counterparts to tailor the content to the task at hand. They were able to precisely align the content to the overarching plan, and we were better able to nurture the salespeople to help them become recognised for their expertise.
We found that this close collaboration reached across all touchpoints within Genesys. Getting all interested parties – including sales development, individual sales people and product teams – working together was instrumental to the campaign’s success.
But it always comes back to the customer, and what your offering means to them and their industry. The campaign was an opportunity to not only take it down to a vertical level, but drill down to specific accounts to create messaging about products aimed at specific customers.
Did Genesys’ ABM programme really align sales and marketing?
Yes. Without a doubt.
There’s an age-old issue of marketers handing leads over to the sales team, only for the sales team to complain that they aren’t good enough. But this ABM programme completely removed the blame culture.
With everybody singing from the same data sheet, they were in the game together and joined in one goal.
Still unsure of whether ABM has a place within your organisation’s marketing plan? Genesys had previously apportioned 0% of their budget to ABM – it now accounts for 30% of their total UK&I marketing budget and a double award-winning programme, including ‘Best Integration of Sales and Marketing’.
So, I say again …sick and tired of still hearing about sales and marketing alignment? I’m not.
Read the full Genesys Opportunity-Based Marketing case study to learn more.