I was initially surprised last week at the CEB Sales & Marketing Summit that there was so little discussion of ABM.  The term was rarely referenced on stage by CEB and Gartner analysts, nor was it referenced in slides or other materials.

But by the end of the week, the answer became clear.  Challenger is ABM.  And successful ABM is often (directly or indirectly) a manifestation of adopting the Challenger, customer-centric approach.

It’s also further reinforcement that we don’t need new acronyms to practice effective, successful and scalable sales and marketing strategy and execution.

The primary connection between Challenger and ABM is right at the heart of the Challenger model – teach, tailor and take control.

In ABM circles, we talk constantly about creating value for prospects up front.  To early their attention and engagement.  To teach them something so that they want to come back and learn more.

We also talk about customizing our pitch to the right prospects, based on their organizational need as well as the nature of their internal buying committee.

And when we do that well, when we teach and tailor successfully, we earn the right to take control of the conversation on the buyer’s behalf, based on their objectives in addition to ours as suppliers.  That relationship becomes mutually beneficial.

Peter Isaacson from Demandbase addressed this topic head-on in his breakout session last week with the subheadline of “Separated At Birth.”  His slides are worth checking out.