Are any of your customers involved in corporate spinoffs? Sales and marketing people are always advised to keep an eye on potential mergers and acquisitions among their customers, but we don’t usually talk about spinoffs.
As marketers and sales pros, we find irresistible the promise that technology tools will make our jobs easier and help us win more business faster. Which is why so many of us are turning to companies that are focused on predictive analytics tools that support account-based marketing, and scaling all of the different aspects of the ABM process.
Congratulations! Your team scored its first sale with a valuable customer. Despite all the hard work, the journey has just begun. Now the focus shifts to how you are going to keep—and grow—the customer.
B2B sales and marketing typically involves a major financial investment in the product or service, as well as change management in areas like operations, governance, and processes. So there’s more at stake for the customer—and consequently for you. New relationships are fragile and require nurturing and maintenance.
But what’s the best approach? These seven tips will help your account team demonstrate to customers that they are in the best hands:
Account-based marketing (ABM) is getting a lot of buzz, and for good reason. Companies with sustained ABM initiatives are seeing positive and measureable results. As Marketing Land notes, “companies practicing ABM have better alignment with sales, often close bigger deals with target accounts, and increase pipeline velocity.” According to a 2015 survey by SiriusDecisions, 92 percent of companies recognize the value in ABM, calling it a B2B marketing must-have.
Sales and marketing leaders from companies across a variety of industries tell us that account-based-marketing (ABM) programs are essential to engaging and retaining their most important customers. Nearly all of our customers are either piloting ABM or have full-fledged programs up and running. But these programs are not without some serious executional challenges, which tend to fall into five categories.
Here are the top five reasons why account-based marketing fails.
You’ve worked hard to build strong relationships and trust within your most important accounts. The payoff for all this hard work? A stable of powerful “Champions” for your company, who fast track your sales of new products and services to their departments.
We all have them: accounts we’d love to penetrate more. Accounts that, no matter how hard we try, just never grow beyond a few sales here and there.
Why not? In many cases, the bigger deals elude you because you’re not selling to the people who hold the purse strings when it comes to multi-million dollar sales: we’re talking about the men and women of the C-suite.
In an article entitled Your Scarcest Resource, the Harvard Business Review makes the sensible case that "Time is money, but few organizations treat it that way."
According to one industry insider, "A lot of CDO (Chief Digital Officer)-type roles are borne out of frustration of CEOs who know they need to be doing something but don't have an executive they feel can drive that kind of change forward."
Ian Cox, a former Chief Information Officer (CIO) and author of Disrupt IT: A New Model for IT in the Digital Age says that clinging to an old-school approach to IT is helping pave the way for a new C-level executive -- the chief digital officer (CDO).
Those who sell to CIOs have long needed to assess where individual CIO customers sit on the continuum from Operational CIO (keeping the lights on) to Transformational CIO (Driving new business models and innovation). Pitching "bleeding edge" technologies to an operationally-focused CIO for example, may not be effective.