Your marketing organization gathers leads from an assortment of sources and throws them over the wall to sales, which gripes about lead quality. Cold calling continues to be an important source of new leads, despite the fact that it’s notoriously inefficient. Sales and marketing don’t cooperate, creating suspicion and undermining effectiveness.
Sound familiar? It’s the way a lot of B2B companies operate. Generating new business is one of the toughest tasks sales and marketing groups confront, and the traditional techniques are typically slapdash. That’s why account-based marketing (ABM) is what some people are calling the next big thing in B2B marketing.
ABM focuses intensive marketing efforts around a small number of prospect companies. Marketing and sales teams work together to learn all they can about who the key influencers are within those organizations and to target messages to them over the long term that are personalized to their interests. ABM pays particular attention to existing customers on the assumption that generating repeat business is more efficient than finding new customers. Relationship building is fundamental to the discipline, as is the use of analytics, marketing automation and traffic analysis.
Last year Jon Miller (left) left Marketo, the marketing automation giant he co-founded in 2006, to launch Engagio, a company that builds tools for account-based marketing. In this interview he defines ABM, contrasts it with traditional marketing and offers guidance on how to get started with this more focused and efficient sales tactic.