Guest Post by Sangram Vajre, Author #ABM, Co-Founder & CMO at Terminus, Founder #FlipMyFunnel, Inc Columnist
B2B marketing and sales professionals have spent entirely too much time talking about account-based marketing (ABM). Seriously, how many articles do I have to read that open with “account-based marketing is more than just a buzzword”?
But I’m guilty as well. In 2016, all I wrote about was ABM. Now in 2017, the conversation has moved from why you need ABM to how you do it
Everyone and their mother’s martech platform is claiming they can do account-based everything, something, or some other way of “connecting you with your best-fit prospects.”
If one more BDR or SDR reaches out to me to “learn how we can help you do ABM,” I’m just going to scream.
Are you over the hype? I know I am.
Quite frankly, I think the naysayers who say that ABM is all hype and the buzzword du jour may be onto something. I’ve worked at companies that do traditional lead generation marketing, and they worked just fine.
This post is for the skeptics who think ABM is just a buzzword. If you think ABM is not for you, here are the 10 reasons why you might be right.
- You don’t need ABM if you think sales and marketing don’t need to be tightly aligned.
If you are happy with marketing having different goals than sales and working independently, then no, you don’t need ABM. As a matter of fact, people who have common goals for taking an account-based approach but don’t have “smarketing” alignment will be miserable. Is your sales and marketing team on the same page, today? If they’re not and you like it that way, then you don’t need ABM.
- You don’t need ABM if you’re not targeting a specific audience.
Spray and pray tactics work for you. You want to email an entire database every time you host a webinar. Your marketing team will be happy and busy running all these big campaigns day in and day out. Trying to go back and determine your target audience then creating content focused on their needs is pointless. That sounds a lot of work, right?
- You don’t need ABM if you think content shouldn’t be personalized at a granular level.
You hear words like “hyper-targeted” and know it’s impossible to get that granular. Plus, doing content at such a segmented level means that you need to stop creating Game of Thrones themed content. You love producing those slick infographics that play off timely events and get tons of downloads. Marketing is supposed to be fun! All that research and development that goes into producing content should make a big splash instead of being super granular. Why create super-tailored content that’s so much more work and not nearly as fun?
- You don’t need ABM if you’re not focusing on high quality accounts.
Quantity matters more than quality because you have to fill the funnel for sales. If your team suddenly decided to focus on quality instead of quantity, you’d have to scrap those goals of 1000s of unqualified leads and work towards getting high-value accounts engaged. That means you need to go back to the drawing board as opposed to blasting out a generic email and getting hundreds of clicks.
- You don’t need ABM if your mission is to generate lots of leads.
If you are a demand gen marketer who likes to tout how many leads you generated from the your new e-book, webinar, or event, then ABM will be demoralizing for you. Taking an account-based approach with your marketing efforts eliminates a reason to care about number of leads because it’s about if that lead is from an account that fits the ideal customer profile (ICP). Getting that focused on an ICP will decrease the number of demos to your sales team, and they’ve gotta get those demos, right?
- You think marketing should look better than sales.
If your marketing organization thinks they are better than sales and you that’s how you want to run the show regardless of the revenue outcome, ABM will require you to take step back and look at the big picture. You will have to understand sales goals and more importantly appreciate their efforts which might mean letting go of your BIG marketing ego. Are you ready for that?
- You want to spread your budget across lots of channels.
Your buyers are everywhere across a bevy of digital channels, which means you have to take an omnichannel approach as well. Omnichannel marketing requires a big budget. You don’t need ABM if you’re spending money on Google Ads for the right keywords you’re targeting and sponsoring your posts on social media to increase the coverage. It’s the only way to generate awareness so everyone sees your ads…right?
- You want to measure ROI in terms of leads instead of revenue.
If you measure success each month, quarter, or year by leads, ABM will make you want to quit your job. The point of ABM is for marketing and sales to have the same goal, which is higher revenue. To get on board with that idea, you will need to drop the lead goal milestone and pick up the heavy hundred pound rock to roll that up the hill. How the heck is marketing supposed to tie its dollars back to revenue generated? That’s impossible. There’s no one named Icarus on the marketing team.
- You’re focused on demand generation and not sales velocity.
If you love your life revolving around the top of the traditional funnel metrics and sipping piña coladas at happy hour to celebrate the fact you met your lead gen goals, then ABM is not for you. For you to love ABM, you will have to love the idea of rolling up your sleeves with the sales team to figure out what it takes to turn opportunities into closed-won deals. That might mean doing incredibly hard things like planning a very small targeted dinner or a very personalized advertising campaigns. Who wants to get their hands dirty?
- You want to drive lots of traffic.
If you’re happy with traffic to your website regardless of lead quality or conversions, then ABM is definitely not for you. On the other hand, you if deeply care about the people that visit your website and want to give them an incredible experience that takes them on a journey from problem to solution, then ABM is the way to go. But come on — who wants to hold hands with their customers?
But the biggest waste of your time would be to buy this 300+ page book about ABM.
And if you really think ABM is a waste of your time, then you definitely don’t want to spend two days at Revenue Summit 2017 with Sales Hacker and #FlipMyFunnel. Especially not using the promo code TERMINUS for 20% off your ticket.
Still think ABM is a waste? Then tweet to me @SangramVajre and tell me why.