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6 Most Common Mistakes in Account-Based Marketing

December 06, 2016 / Staff Writer

6 Most Common Mistakes in Account-Based Marketing

Learning from others mistakes can sometimes be the best and easiest way to get things done right, the first time. When stuck with a problem, finding someone who has had the same problem and looking into how they solved it may be the best place to start. This also goes for account-based marketing (ABM). Every organization that has practiced ABM has had their issues and problems along the way, but there seems to be a few common mistakes that come up more than others. Here are 6 of the most common challenges that arise when organizations implement ABM into their program and some assistance on how to resolve them.

1. Working in silos
Many companies approach ABM as something that is only the marketing team’s responsibility, and it is one of the most common mistakes! The truth is that ABM is something that both the marketing and sales team need to be on board with. It is equally important that both teams are a part of the ABM process and there is 100% collaboration between the teams. Sales and marketing need to come together to agree upon target accounts, what metrics need to be accounted for and what will determine success for both teams.

2. Sales and Marketing Coordination/Trust
Trust between sales and marketing is required for successful ABM. This can be a very difficult task and often times marketing and sales have different goals and look for different outcomes. This is why both teams need to have a shared goal and come up with a consistent and effective message. Trust can be hard to gain, and very easy to lose, so it’s important marketing and sales has a continuous and open dialogue, goals are aligned, promises are kept.

3. Targeting the wrong accounts
Rather than sellers giving marketing their priority accounts (which is where sellers believe the opportunity is), marketers and sellers need to analyze the data which has the best chance of success. Analyzing achievability and cooperation scoring, as well as the credibility of the data will give you a better pathway to the right accounts.

4. Data obsessed
Marketers can easily become obsessed with information. After all, it’s the data that gives you everything from preparation to prioritization, and it’s the data that takes you from planning and measurement to successful execution. But there is also issues with marketers becoming too reliant and analytical about the data. Sometimes, this even hinders execution. Learn when to stop with the data you have, when to gather more and when enough analysis is enough, and it’s time to start marketing.

5. Measuring what’s easy
It’s natural to turn to metrics that are easy to measure. Marketers are normally focused on impressions, CPMs and CTRs for analysis. Although these may help us understand how are campaigns are performing, they don’t help us see the broader picture--revenue. In order to see ABM’s potential, you’ll need to focus on metrics related to revenue like: Target Account Activity, Lift, Opportunities, Pipeline, Retention and Upsell, Closed Revenue, Available to Close, Win/ Loss Rates, ACV, and Funnel Velocity.

6. Learn from pilot and expand
The best organizations start with a pilot to incubate and test assumptions without pouring too many resources into an idea. Pilots are most successful when they are treated as a time-bound exercise with clear goals. Specifically, when it comes to testing new geos, don’t assume that a simple plug in formula will work. Often times, a new region comes with a ton of new challenges, including different languages, cultural differences, personalities, skills, and ways of doing business. Using a pilot to learn about each new market will only increase your potential for success.