What Do All Successful ABM Programs Have in Common?

Garrett Mann
Garrett Mann

Director, Content Marketing

abm successThere is no shortage of “best practices” based on theoretical ideals when it comes to ABM. But every organization has unique circumstances and needs and it has become increasingly clear that there is no “perfect” approach that applies universally.

With this in mind, TechTarget and Heinz Marketing conducted a survey of B2B sales and marketing professionals across a range of organization sizes, industries, roles and responsibilities to find out what actual ABM success really looks like. While no two ABM programs are identical, we found that there are important common elements among the successful programs – especially compared to those not meeting expectations.

What Do All Successful ABM Programs Have in Common?

Commitment and Dedication

Given the comprehensiveness with which it is often written about, ABM can seem overly complex and unapproachable for many companies. So is it a strategy that only the largest firms can succeed at? That is an emphatic No.

Account-based marketing success is less associated with company size or the percentage of budget, but more about the focus applied within the program itself. To make this clear, 64% of companies who exceed expectations with ABM are doing so while devoting less than 50% of their overall marketing budget to the initiative. And regardless of size, organizations that have a dedicated team devoted to ABM, and do not simply make ABM an additional part of people’s jobs, are far more likely to achieve breakthrough results.

Changing Tech Stacks and Processes to Support Continuous Improvement

The hallmark of success is to never rest on your laurels. Despite already reporting high satisfaction with their ABM results, more than 3 in 4 organizations that are exceeding expectations with ABM anticipate changing their tech stacks further going forward.

Successful companies are also making changes across sales and marketing structure and the way they operate to support ABM. 73% have reorganized or have hired new staff in marketing, sales or both to better support growth and more than 70% have specifically aligned their inside sales teams to target accounts. These adjustments are leading to huge strides in the area of communication and lead hand-off in particular.

Thinking Differently About Data and Reporting

Beyond the core tools and technology that organizations use to plan and execute their ABM programs, successful ABMers strive to understand more about the data flowing into and out of them. 9 in 10 report that ABM has affected the way they think about, collect, use and report data. These insights are being put to use to improve processes and inputs for scoring leads and to adopt scoring at the account level to better enable account prioritization.

Despite progress in this area, it is slow moving due to inherent obstacles with core reporting systems that were not originally designed to support ABM. The best companies are finding ways to succeed despite these obstacles.

New Uses of Core Channels

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Somewhat surprisingly, for sales and marketing teams of all sizes and ABM programs young and old, the core channels of emails, phone calls and events remain pre-eminent despite the shift to an account-based strategy. What is different is the way that those channels are being used by successful teams. Fueled by new insights and clearer strategies, companies are evolving the way they target prospects, create content and develop messaging for accounts.

Defining Success through Unified Sales and Marketing Objectives

Those who are succeeding with ABM have a more holistic approach to measurement shared inter-departmentally—one that covers more of the sales and marketing journey than in more conventional programs. Rather than looking one-dimensionally at closed deals, success is measured by total account revenue, number of opportunities created and account conversion rates.

Create your own roadmap for ABM Success

To get a much more in-depth look at the fundamental elements of ABM success to better benchmark and roadmap your account based marketing journey, download the full report here.

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