The Handshake of Marketing and Sales gives birth to a concept named Account-Based Marketing. But before understanding the unification of any two concepts, it is essential to understand them individually.
So for starters, let’s look at what Marketing and Sales mean.
Back to basics
Marketing begins even before the Product comes into existence and continues even after the Product is sold. It includes actions like Market Research, Price Determination, STP (Segmentation-Targeting-Positioning), Distribution Channel Selection, Promotion, after-sales activities, etc.
Sales include actions that aim at closing the sale of a product and after-sales services like Installation, Repairs, etc. The exchange of a Product/Service between the buyer and seller for a monetary gain is called a Sale. The seller has the Product/Service to offer, and the buyer has money to offer in the exchange (or sale) process. Also, it is considered to be a part of Marketing.
Before moving on to the Handshake of Marketing and Sales, i.e., Account-Based Marketing, let us lay out some details about the need to unify Marketing and Sales.
Why should Marketing and Sales be unified?
Marketing’s goal is to create value for the customer and to achieve customer satisfaction. In addition to these goals, Revenue Generation is one of its goals. Therefore, revenue Generation is a goal that coincides with the individual goals of Marketing and Sales.
In the contemporary world, customer satisfaction and creating value for the customer are as crucial as Revenue Generation. It brings out the dire need for unification of Marketing and Sales or The Marketing-Sales Handshake.
The above-mentioned dire need led to the introduction of the concept Account-Based Marketing Playbooks.
An introduction to Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Playbook
ABM is a strategy that aligns the Marketing Function of a business with its Sales Function. Until a few years ago, companies and business people ignored these functions’ alignment.
After keen observation, the non-alignment turned out to be a deterrent in the growth of the businesses.
ABM focuses on a few target accounts instead of an extraneously large number of people. The picture below shows the difference between the Account-Based Marketing Playbook Approach and the Traditional Approach.
Benefits of Account-Based Marketing
- A Strategy enabling Personalization: The old marketing strategies included an umbrella message for a vast audience. This left almost zilch scope for personalization. But with the efficient account-based marketing playbooks available nowadays, marketers can use personalized messages for each account.
- Easier SWOT analysis: ABM contributes towards an easier and better SWOT analysis due to its measurable and precise nature. Determining the strengths and weaknesses more clearly helps the teams to form new & better strategies and follow up the existing ones.
- More Accountability: The nature of ABM is measurable and precise, as mentioned in the above point. It helps in improving the accountability of the various teams and departments in the business.
- Building strong customer relationships: The personalization factor and the opportunity provided to the teams to focus on the customers-account-wise result in long-term and strong customer relationships.
- Huge Contribution to business development: ABM reduces the quantity of bad quality customer leads and increases the number of useful customer leads because it focuses on selective and scrutinized target customers.
- Time-saving: ABM as an approach is very selective. So as the target audience is carefully determined (compared to marketing and appealing to a large chunk of the extraneous audience), the sales team saves a lot of time and energy.
- Doubled Efficiency: Double the forces, and you get double the overall efficiency. The Unification of the Marketing and Sales Departments results in this jump in the overall efficiency of the business.
- Improvement in Reputation: Through the above points, ADM helps improve existing customer relationships, build strong new ones, improve efficiency, etc. According to ITSMA and ABM Leadership Alliance Report, ABM has led to revenue and reputation improvement too. (Check the picture below)
Types of ABM
(Image Source- https://www.demandbase.com/resources/account-based-marketing-101/ )
Steps to use Account-Based Marketing Playbook
(Image Source- https://www.demandmetric.com/content/abm-strategy-playbook )
Now let’s understand the working of ABM Playbook by the above example of an ADM Playbook.
- Resource aligning: The first and foremost step is determining the resources. It lays the foundation for further steps. Therefore, at first, the business should assess its capabilities and compare them to the in-hand resources. After comparing, you should determine the Budget and ABM team.
- Selection of accounts: Account-Based Marketing Playbook is all about selecting meaningful and scrutinized accounts. So, this step involves determining the target customers, categorizing them by importance, and evaluating the accounts. The last step is deciding which product/service to be sold.
- Generation of Account Insights: After selecting accounts, the key stakeholders have to be identified, and their interests and personality traits have to be laid out. The target account stakeholders have to be understood in detail to have the authority to make the decisions.
- Creation of Plans: After the understanding of the target account stakeholders, the action has to begin. At this stage, the POA (Plan of Action) for each account has to be created with the help of an account-based marketing plan template.
- Checking Technical Support: After all the plans have been created, the ABM technology must be reviewed to ensure proper technical support for all the plans.
- Creation of Campaigns: Once all the essentials for smooth operations are ensured, the marketing team created the campaign plans in collaboration with the sales team.
- Measurement of Results: The last step is measuring results or the follow-up after executing all plans and campaigns.
Account-Based Marketing Platforms:
The ABM Platforms include software that can perform the Steps to use Account-Based Marketing Playbook like;
- identifying and selecting Target Accounts,
- understanding those accounts,
- measuring the performance through sales and marketing analytics, and
- undertaking the unification of sales and marketing for the business operations
Some of such platforms are:
- Engagio Account-Based Marketing
- Demandbase (Owner of Engagio Account-Based Marketing)
- 6Sense Account-Based Marketing
- Terminus Account-Based Marketing
If one had to form a To-Do List for strong Business Development and greater Business Efficiency, the alignment and unification of Marketing and Sales would be considered a must. The most suitable tool for this is an Account-Based Marketing Playbook.
It has helped many organizations grow and achieve higher goals by increasing efficiency and cost, and time-saving.
Now that you know about the Account-Based Marketing Playbook and how it unifies the sales and marketing teams, you can always reach out to websites such as Bizprospex to get the solution you need.
Author Bio: Murtaza is the Founder and CEO of Bizprospex that offers data appending services and email appending services. He runs a moderately successful web-based business helping B2B companies clean their CRM/Data/Lists.