Account-based marketing (ABM) has emerged as a highly effective strategy for businesses wanting to achieve highly personalized and targeted engagements with high value accounts. By focusing on specific target accounts, businesses can deliver tailored content and experiences, resulting in stronger relationships and higher conversion rates. ABM also promotes alignment between a company’s sales, marketing, and customer service teams.
With all the advantages ATM can offer many challenges in implementing this B2B marketing strategy. Although similar to the challenges that threaten the success of other business strategies, ABM obstacles may require a more unique approach.
Common ABM Challenges and Ways to Solve Them
ABM challenges can typically arise during the program development process or when launching marketing campaigns. Companies should recognize these common ABM challenges early and often and take appropriate steps to resolve them.
1. Setting unifying goals for marketing and sales teams
The success of ABM depends on close collaboration and alignment between sales and marketing teams. Unified goals include jointly defining target account criteria, developing personalized outreach strategies, and coordinating efforts throughout the customer journey. Marketing and sales teams often have different goals. As a result, achieving full alignment can be difficult, especially when corporate culture favors departmental silos.
It is therefore important to establish common goals through regular communication and joint planning sessions. And make sure the end result benefits both teams when new customers are gained and revenue increases. Shared dashboards or CRM systems can facilitate smooth exchanges of information.
2. Budget allocation for ABM initiatives
ABM often requires a dedicated budget for personalized campaigns, account research, technology investments, and data analysis. Allocating the necessary resources can be a challenge for businesses, especially when there is competition for marketing budgets between various initiatives. Convince stakeholders of the long-term benefits of ABM and demonstrating its potential return on investment are necessary to secure adequate funding and require a strong business case.
Align ABM initiatives with the organization’s goals and objectives. With the organization’s support, consider reallocating budgets from less effective marketing channels to fund ABM efforts. Explore cost-effective ABM strategies, such as initially focusing on a subset of high-potential target accounts or using existing tools.
3. Implement the right tools and technologies
ABM capabilities built into many popular CRM and marketing automation tools allow teams to build and execute programs, but they can be limited and require exploring specific tools dedicated to ABM . ABM platforms often need to integrate with existing marketing and sales systems, data management platforms, and other software, which can create complexity, require data mapping, and potentially disrupt existing workflows.
Before implement ABM tools and technologies, companies should conduct a thorough assessment of the software’s integration capabilities with existing systems and evaluate the overall cost of adding new tools. Collaborate with IT teams and choose technologies that can be seamlessly integrated or have compatible APIs to ensure smooth flow of data and minimal disruption to workflows.
4. Consistent measurement and reporting of results
ABM may require a change in measurement and reporting practices. Traditional marketing measures may not align with ABM goals, so new metrics and attribution models need to be defined to accurately measure success. ABM also relies heavily on accurate and comprehensive data about target accounts and their engagement. Collecting, integrating and analyzing the required data can be complex, particularly if organizations do not have the necessary infrastructure, data management practices or access to data sources. quality. Insufficient data can hamper the effectiveness of ABM campaigns and personalized account experiences.
Align account-level metrics with ABM goals and define them in terms of account commitment, pipeline speed and revenue influenced. Implement analysis tools and reporting systems that track and measure the impact of ABM initiatives. Also establish clear attribution models to accurately tie revenue and success to ABM efforts, which can, in turn, help justify a larger budget in the future.
5. Scalable ABM Strategies
Scaling ABM across more target accounts can be difficult. Personalization efforts and tailored experiences become more complex as the number of accounts increases. To scale ABM strategies, create a comprehensive plan that addresses all target account needs and necessary internal resources.
When evaluating technology, organizations should consider the role automation can play in streamlining the process and ensuring scalability without compromising the quality of personalized engagements. Marketing automation platforms integrated with ABM technologies enable automated execution and distribution of personalized content and marketing campaigns. Marketing and sales teams can also use the software for dynamic content generation and personalization techniques based on account-level insights. Also implement workflows and triggers for timely and relevant interactions.
6. Resource allocation
Successful ABM implementation often requires dedicated resources, including skilled personnel, technology platforms, and data analysis capabilities. Allocating the necessary budget and resources can be difficult, especially if organizations need to invest in new tools, hire or train staff, or establish partnerships to support ABM initiatives.
Allocate dedicated resources once a strong business case is established to proceed with ABM initiatives. Consider hiring or training staff with ABM expertise, explore partnerships or outsourcing options to supplement internal resources, and evaluate technologies needed to support the implementation and reporting of ABM programs.
7. Connection with key decision makers of target accounts
Once target accounts are identified and all content is created for a highly personalized ABM program, identify the right decision-makers and connect with them. Many businesses often have many people involved in the purchasing process, but key purchasing decisions usually fall to a single person or group.
To successfully identify key purchasing decision makers within target accounts, research their companies and their purchasing process. It is essential to identify the specific contacts associated with the purchasing decision cell. Explore social media platforms to better understand them and observe their interests and preferences through their online presence. This type of insight will help businesses deliver exceptional experiences and build stronger relationships with target accounts.
Editor’s note: TechTarget offers ABM and project intelligence data, tools and services.