Thursday, July 27, 2017

3 Ways to Integrate Account-Based Marketing Into Your Sales Practices

Now that you have discovered the benefits of using an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy to maximize your available marketing and sales resources by developing personalized campaigns for targeted accounts, it's time to focus on how you can further integrate ABM into your sales practices. Through the integration process with sales, you'll be able to develop a deeper understanding of each account in order to enhance how you personalize all marketing communications with those accounts going forward.

The result can be increased revenues and referrals from those accounts as their satisfaction with their experience rises.

Here are three ways that you can integrate ABM into your sales practices:

1. Technology

Available tools and platforms facilitate the integration process between ABM and your sales processes. This includes platforms that automate and update lead and contact information so everyone has the same current data on the accounts. Technology can also streamline marketing campaigns and provide a way to collaborate on the production of these campaigns. For example, this can include getting immediate feedback from sales on the visuals and content that marketing has developed, which is then shared across both teams.

Another area that technology can assist with in terms of integration would be the ability to deliver action-oriented insights from the data collected during the marketing and sales processes. The analytics can be divided and segmented into different metrics to understand the impact that certain ABM strategies had in assisting sales with lead generation as well as conversion.

This capability also includes customized reports on each account, drilling farther down to illustrate how the personalization efforts have impacted the results with that account. Having this information can serve as the map that both marketing and sales need to see how they can work together to improve the efforts that both make to winning new customers and keeping existing ones.

2. Training

Shortening the learning curve for your marketing and sales teams through training can speed up the integration process between ABM and your sales system. The introduction of the aforementioned new technology also precipitates the need for training. our teams need to understand how ABM works and what it can achieve for sales.

First, your teams need to understand how ABM works and what it can achieve for sales. This gives them the rationale they need to be willing to change habits and processes that they might have been using prior to this move to the ABM approach. Second, providing hands-on training of any new technology gives them the framework for what type of integration is possible that will save them time and reduce any redundancies across functions. It will also show them how the integration can produce more insights that will help them achieve better results.

The faster you can ramp up their understanding of what and how to integrate ABM and sales, the faster those results will come for the organization. Through their training, they may even realize other aspects of what they do that can be integrated to speed the personalization of marketing and sales for each account.

3. Communication and Collaboration

While technology and training can provide the pathway to integration between ABM and sales processes, it is up to the people within those functions to truly make it happen. To be successful requires communication and collaboration between those on both teams. This starts with regularly sharing what each team is doing in conjunction with each account to determine how they might combine efforts to improve the experience for that account.

This will also help to ensure that both marketing and sales are speaking the same language so the accounts don't become confused by interaction with both.

Scheduling meetings as well as checking in on a one-on-one basis helps everyone understand the latest information on that account and showcases the results of the integration efforts. Ideas and feedback can then be implemented based on the previous efforts to determine how to further integrate. Doing this in a stepwise fashion can ensure the integration process works and helps everyone on both teams get acclimated to the changes that result.

The sales staff can provide their insights to marketing about why and when an account wanted to buy, which enables marketing to more effectively plan their campaigns for specific times of the year based on that information. Making that information available through a collaborative platform furthers the integration of the processes that both teams enact, helping to get more results within less time and using fewer resources.

Continual Process

Integration doesn't happen overnight between sales and marketing, and it doesn't end at some point. Instead, consider integration as an ongoing evolution for your organization that will occur over time. Each step you take toward integrating ABM into your sales processes will incrementally change what your teams are doing and result in measurable performance improvements.

Be patient, thoughtful, and open to the integration process that requires technology, training, communication, and collaboration to optimize the benefits you'll get from doing so.

When asked, a third of marketing organizations say their biggest challenge is maintaining personalized and consistent interactions with their customers. Download the Argyle ABM Survey  for more insights. 

Argyle ABM Survey

Image credit: StockSnap

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