Sales and marketing teams adopt ABS and ABM programs in order to be strategic.

They target their ideal customers and watch what they do on social media. They target those who are in-market, consuming content from them.

But then things change.

ABM programs are getting too tactical, which means they’re taking their eyes off the end goal.

How much are we expanding our LinkedIn networks? How many emails, Inmails and gifts have been sent out through Sendoso to target accounts? How many phone calls made with regards to those targets?

The push tactics we’ve been using are not working, so here’s why:

  • Sales and marketing teams are more aware of who they’re selling to, rather than just focusing on revenue growth.
  • A recent study shows that of the organizations engaging in ABM, less than one-third are seeing significant business improvement.
  • Many companies are committed to diversity, but need better sales and marketing strategies when they see that 60% of accounts don’t want to change.

You will learn how to focus more on your ABM strategy and get strategic about tier sales.

In this article, I will discuss how ABM was used to:

  • The company I worked for was looking to create a $2M win with an account they had been chasing unsuccessfully for more than five years.
  • I was able to convince my team that e-commerce is the way of the future.
  • Sephora is a company that’s been in the market for many years, and has had to change their buying behavior when it comes to products. They have also seen success from increasing margin growth by creating new products. In order for them to keep up with trends, they need more people who can go into C-suite positions.

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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀

ABM Example 1: How wins were created with accounts that were previously unresponsive to both tier sales and marketing

With account-based marketing platforms, many tier sales and marketing teams are now focusing their efforts on in-market accounts. However, the competition is also chasing after these 10% of open accounts that you want to target. This means there will be less available deals for your company because they already have pre-defined needs and prices in mind.

To get larger sizes, you have to create a vision that the 60% of people with their head in the sand want. Only 14% of content is communicated in such a way as to suggest good reason for change.

Schneider National had used the same messaging for five years, but Sygma was always looking at them from their competitor’s perspective. They didn’t see any gaps in what Schneider offered and they did not want to change because they saw themselves as if it were a tier sales pitch.

Schneider had the right connections, but they needed to make sure their content and messaging was tailored for firms like Sygma. They wanted to show them that Schneider’s TMS could provide a better service than what they were currently using.

Schneider needed to show how Sygma was being treated like the “middle child” by their service provider. They had a lot of gaps in performance and they wanted prospects to acknowledge these problems.

They needed to speak with these buyers in a way that was relevant for them, not just “at” them.

Schneider increased their relevance and this led to Sygma being a client for $2M–$6M depending on how long Schneider retains them as clients. Before, it was worth less than half of that.

Schneider used ABM to not only drive wins with their clients, but also for other companies like Milacron, Vizio and Treehouse Foods.

ABM Example 2: How an e-commerce firm used ABM to drive a buying consensus with a “stuck†manufacturer

The CEO of Proof Analytics talked about how ABM has a greater impact at the middle and bottom-of-the-funnel than it does on the top, as evidenced by analytics.

Most companies don’t think about how to use ABM in order to accelerate accounts towards revenue. Most of the content and campaigns they have are “self-interests” vs team interests, which is not helpful when you’re trying to drive a buying consensus across an organization.

The company learned that once they made the sale, marketing should not be handed off to tier sales. Instead, they used ABM (account based marketing) with a healthcare products firm in order to get conversations started for long-term care facilities.

Our client had two sides of their business to support: new purchases and rentals. The software that they were using, which was designed specifically to integrate with SAP’s ERP system, does not have the capability at this time for rental businesses.

The executive buying team at the healthcare product firm was not sure what to do with their rental business. They wanted an e-commerce platform that could accommodate both sides of the business, but they did not see any risks or costs associated with it.

Tier sales tried to have a conversation with the team, but they were constantly met by resistance from upper management. Marketing and tier sales worked together in order to come up with a consensus that was favorable for them.

The article was created to show how a company’s choice of platform would impact their employees.

  • Go-live time and performance
  • When the development costs are accounted for, there is still a profit margin.
  • Corporate IT would be focused on the e-commerce projects for six to 12 months, while other platforms are being developed.
  • Margins as other platforms do not enable customers to segment their purchases based on profitability nor allow them to choose the features and pricing of products.
  • With the go-live, IT operations may need to put manual processes in place because it’s not automatically synced with ERP.
  • When you have a tier sales team, it’s important to divide their time between re-orders and new business.
  • Distribution is a key component of service performance. Customers and ongoing revenue also play an important role in the success or failure of any company.

The healthcare products company needed to see how the decision would impact other departments and customers. Marketing and tier sales worked together so that they could come up with a plan for success, rather than take 5050 chance of not succeeding.

I read this article that helped me with my marketing and tier sales. It was about consensus building.

ABM Example 3: How ABM was used to create margin growth with Sephora

Even though many companies have a lot of revenue from existing customers, they still struggle with customer churn. It’s also tough to penetrate new business units or cross-sellingupselling.

Companies have to work together, and account teams need to focus on what they can do for the client. This way of thinking makes it easier for companies to grow.

Sephora couldn’t keep up with the needs of their customers, which led to delayed orders and waves.

They couldn’t keep up with the demand for products, especially during holiday season. They implemented automation to help them catch up but didn’t automate their fulfillment process.

We need to stop reacting and start proactively strategizing. A lot of consultants were reactive, instead of proactive.

Sephora would pay for man hours instead of paying attention to the strategic value and profitability. They also tried negotiating on how many resources were needed, which is a mistake.

The client was not involved in the go-to-market plan for new products or lines. They didn’t have content, stories, and messaging about how building for 30 software points is leading to missed details because they don’t see what’s happening with other pipelines, growth plans, customer needs which are driving requirements up front.

They couldn’t show the impact that it had on their company’s retail and e-commerce presence, because they wasted marketing dollars. It also slowed cash conversion cycles, missed customer shipments, and created out of stock conditions.

The IT department at Ulta couldn’t show Sephora why they needed to change their reactive approach, which was hurting customer loyalty and Amazon’s ability to make inroads with the high-end beauty market. They lacked messaging, content, and support for changing buying behaviors because there wasn’t enough time between new products coming out.

Once the client was able to shift their conversation with profiles, content, and messaging that were designed for why change or why evolve conversations specifically, they were able to change how clients perceived them. They became more than just technicians – they became strategic partners in planning.

They added more value by showing how changes would impact the warehouse, distribution and transportation for different scenarios. This made it easier to adapt without disruptions.

Time to rethink how you’re using ABM

ABM should be used not only for filling the funnel, but also to grow revenue.

You can use ABM to do the following:

  • When I first began hiring salespeople, I had a hard time getting them to talk to customers who didn’t want anything. Now that we’ve been doing this for awhile, it’s easier.
  • Use techniques to help “stuck” accounts make money.
  • Protect Tier sales 1 accounts
  • Change buying behavior
  • Create margin growth
  • Look for accounts with the most potential to grow

Now that you know about ABM, it’s time for your next step: learn how to apply this strategy to the upcoming opportunity.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. 😀
Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was written by Content at Scale, a solution that uses AI + a team of optimization specialists to publish hundreds of high quality, SEO optimized content straight to your blog. It’s the first and only solution that allows you to truly scale content marketing.