How to align your sales and marketing functions

Internationally, more than 60% of companies plan to launch an ABM-based campaign in the next year and it’s been encouraging to see our own local research support this trend. One of the key reasons why more businesses are turning to ABM – particularly in the technology sector – is return on investment.

According to Forbes, 84% of B2B marketers believe that ABM generates greater ROI than other approaches.

One of the reasons for this higher ROI is the fact that sales and marketing need to align to achieve success. In fact, statistically, shifting to an Account Based Marketing programme enhances sales and marketing alignment by more than 37%.

Considering the fact that only 22% of organisations around the world believe that their sales and marketing teams work together, this is a significant improvement.

Here are five key business areas that sales and marketing alignment improves, and what this means for your technology business:

1. Reduce wasted time and resources. When sales and marketing work together, they can co-ordinate which clients they approach and how they approach them, avoiding redundancies. This saves time and resources, while increasing your chances of approaching the right customers, because sales and marketing are sharing their insights on who your high value customer accounts are. This is what ABM is all about: wasting less time spinning your wheels with the wrong opportunities and more time closing deals.

2. Have high-value conversations with the right customers. Once you’ve established who you should be speaking to, you can craft messaging that speaks directly to their needs and challenges. This is critical – with prospects inundated with thousands of marketing messages a day, it’s important for your messaging to stand out. The more personalized your campaign, the higher your chances of being heard.

3. Automate your digital marketing messages. Because marketing has a clearer idea of who they should be speaking to, digital marketing messages can be automated. The backbone of ABM (or any efficient, targeted marketing campaign) is technology. When you automate your marketing messages you not only achieve pipeline acceleration, but you’re able to measure your success ratios and which messages resonate with your audiences. Ultimately, you need to get the right messages to the right account prospects with the greatest ROI potential, and this can take some experimentation to successfully achieve.

4. Convert more leads. Lead generation is important, and it’s the metric that most companies focus on. The key to success though is qualified leads, rather than how many leads you push into your pipeline. When sales and marketing work together, you’re more effectively pre-qualifying leads. This not only reduces how many leads you target, but increases your chances of converting them, which is the only metric that matters at the end of the day. To achieve higher conversion rates, start with smaller conversions and track them: How many people fill out your forms? Who has downloaded your content? Who is engaging on your platforms and for how long? This is all valuable data that helps you to perfect your messaging and move deals through your pipeline.

5. Develop a deep understanding of who your ideal customers are. Marketing builds ideal buying personas. Sales is in-field with prospects every day. Combine this knowledge, build campaigns and then most importantly track them, and you will create an ever-growing picture of who your ideal prospect is: Who needs your solutions the most, who has the budget to pay for them and who will continue buying from you going forward? The best ABM strategy should answer all these questions over time

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