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Do you want to know more about ABS: Account Based Selling and ABM: Account Based Marketing? If yes, this blog is written just for you!
Growth in revenue and overall business profitability is the end goal of every business organization. All the efforts and techniques employed by the business organization are directed towards that end goal. Account Based Marketing: ABM and Account Based Selling: ABS, are both required to achieve growth and profitability targets. But they are not substitutes for each other. Rather, they complement each other and work together to reach organizational goals.
Though marketers are aware of targeted campaigns and most of the people involved in sales have an idea about account based selling, there remain some doubts and confusion regarding the functioning of ABM and ABS across the entire organization. Let us understand the two concepts and their relation with each other and the organization.
Understanding the relationship between Account Based Marketing (ABM) and Account Based Selling (ABS) is important. But, before we proceed, it is important to understand both concepts individually.
Account Based Marketing is a marketing strategy focused on concentrating marketing resources on a set of the target account. This is done to encourage upselling and cross-selling through existing customer accounts. The strategy is based on the theory of utilizing limited resources on accounts that are most likely to give profit rather than spreading all over the market without any set target.
This strategy is rapidly gaining popularity among B2B businesses targeting larger accounts for better profitability ratios.
Account Based Marketing requires marketers to follow a certain pre-defined path to gain a high success rate. The steps include –
Account Based Selling is a laser-focused strategy that treats each account as a market. This strategy works with a company or account-level focus rather than focusing on single contacts or leads within the company. To implement this strategy, businesses identify a set of target accounts, and then the marketing and sales teams together offer targeted content to major stakeholders within the targeted companies (accounts). Traditionally, one salesperson used to focus on targeting a single contact within a company. Still, in Account Based Sales, an entire team works together to target multiple stakeholders within a company, thus multiplying the chances of conversion.
This multi-touch, multi-channel strategy is a coordinated effort by the entire company to pursue a targeted number of high-value accounts.
Like any other marketing and sales technique, ABS needs to have a blueprint of the steps required to achieve the target. The following steps can be the guiding path for the purpose.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) and Account Based Selling (ABS) are both important for a B2B business, but every marketer needs to understand the difference between the two.
ABM and ABS differ from each other based on their set target. Though the growth of revenue and profitability is the end goal for both, ABM does not directly focus on revenue generation. Account Based Marketing works towards revenue growth, but focuses on lead generation. On the other hand, ABS focuses intently on revenue generation.
As the target of ABM is to solidify leads, the main operation of the team is to work on data and manipulate the collected information to push the leads in the conversion funnel. All the activities of ABM are planned around moving the leads to the current client position. On the other hand, ABS has operations relating to converting the leads generated through ABM and satisfying existing clients thus reinforcing revenue generation.
ABM and ABS both need to set up proper communication with clients, but their communication varies significantly. While the communication of the ABM technique is focused on making prospective clients aware of their presence and how their service can help those clients. With already existing clients, the communication revolves around the target of cross-selling and upselling. On the other hand, the communication of ABS is more about maintaining communication with existing clients and making sure the client does not move out of the conversion funnel. The communication revolves around checking clients’ present and future needs and ensuring they are fulfilled.
As discussed above, Account Based Selling and Account Based Marketing are complementary rather than competing strategies. Account Based Marketing is focused on generating leads for sales, and Account Based Sales is focused on converting those leads into revenue for the company.
From the execution point of view, ABM is led by the marketing team of the company, whereas ABS is executed with the collaborative efforts of the marketing and sales team.
The ABM tactics are efforts to generate awareness and target a company. These efforts may sometimes be anonymous. ABM includes ads display, promotional emails, social media posts, landing pages, etc. This marketing strategy is essential and effective in cases where a business is trying to engage an account for the first time. ABM helps a business gauge the interest of select accounts. But, research reports show that it is effective enough to penetrate only 15-20% of the target account. This is where the ABS comes into the picture.
ABS gets the leads generated by ABM efforts and then works on converting the leads to revenue. As ABM pinpoints the interested leads, it becomes comparatively easy to catalyze the interest and grab actual sales opportunities. ABS includes the human touch in the marketing endeavor to get the prospective customers inclined towards making the actual purchase. For converting the leads to revenue, ABS employs many tricks and techniques. The multi-channel, multi-touch techniques of ABS may include techniques like –
Account Based Marketing and Account Based Selling can increase the success rate of any B2B business manifold. When they gel together, they create wonders by creating interest, building relationships, engaging, and creating consensus among different stakeholders.
The dual system of ABM and ABS creates a more productive marketing and sales team aligned toward a common goal. This collaboration between the two departments creates better customer engagement and ultimately leads to revenue growth. But, creating a strategy implementing both these techniques together can feel overwhelming if you or your team does not understand the tactics of balancing both approaches. Allow us to provide you with a brief overview of implementing ABM and ABS together to ensure a high conversion and revenue rate.
In the first stage, both the marketing and sales team must sit and brainstorm together. As these techniques require focusing your efforts and resources on just a few accounts, it is really important to pick those accounts carefully. For this, you will need to combine your efforts to create an ideal customer profile and then choose the ideal prespective to focus on.
Once you have a well-designed ideal customer profile and list of potential buyers ready with you, it is time to move to the second step. This is where the ABM team will initiate multi-level communication with the prospective account. But, communication should not be a ‘once in a while’ type of communication. It needs to be continuous and targeted. Further, the communication will not end when a lead becomes a customer; only the way and content of the communication will change. So, it is important not just to initiate but automate the communication and engagement process. Your blueprint needs to have plans for each stage of communication and engagement.
When ABM and ABS work together, the focus is on quality rather than quantity. It is not about how many accounts you target but how many potential accounts you identify and how many of them actually get converted. So, the key metrics for the result of these strategies differ from the traditional key metrics of sales and marketing. Here you need to measure important metrics like your reach and engagement. To identify and define your own key metrics indicators, you need to understand the concepts of ABM and ABS well.25
Account Based Marketing and Account Based Selling are both techniques that keep quality over quantity while targeting efforts and resources on marketing and sales of their B2B products and services. ABM targets account with a high probability of converting into leads without wasting resources on spreading marketing efforts over the entire market without any specific target. Similarly, the sales effort in the ABS system is put on leads identified as high-value and high conversion probability. Any B2B company can skyrocket its revenue generation and growth by applying the twin method of Account Based Marketing and Account Based Sales.
Rakhin has over 10 years of experience driving business development and client services. In his prior roles, he stayed close to customers to understand their requirements and help them achieve their business goals. He is passionate about customer success.
Published November 03, 2022, Updated November 03, 2022
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