Sales and Marketing Alignment (ugh!)
If we had a dollar for every time this phrase is thrown around the internet, we’d be very wealthy indeed. But WTH does this even mean?
Sales and marketing alignment is a fancy way of saying that your sales team actually syncs with your marketing team. For those of you who have worked in either of these departments, you know how big of a challenge that can be.
At the end of the day, both sales and marketing have the same goals (to bring in more business), they just don’t communicate about it with each other enough.
This is usually fine, except for ABM.
ABM is a unique marketing strategy in that it requires very tight sales and marketing alignment. While you can get away with sloppy alignment for an inbound strategy (let’s be honest, most businesses run perfectly fine without alignment), ABM just doesn’t work without sales and marketing alignment.
How ABM Solves This
Most marketers agree with the above, but hardly anyone ever talks about how to actually attain sales and marketing alignment. Without alignment, ego balancing, unclear responsibility assignments, and ownership disputes can become detrimental, hindering your ultimate goal—revenue generation.
A lot of teams neglect alignment because they’re so excited to map out their strategy and start executing. But this is exactly the problem. A lack of precision at the beginning leads to a lack of precision in the end.
So to save you the time (and actually get you to do the exercise) we’ve created an alignment template to help teams from structuring meetings to setting common goals and reviewing programs in an efficient way. As you run your ABM meetings, we recommend using these templates so that you can keep the discussion grounded around the main goals you’re trying to achieve.
Of course, if you’re working with an ABM specialist, they can help with the heavy lifting to make sure you stay on track.
Marketers need to step it up
Salespeople have been doing outbound far before it was coined account-based marketing, so ABM is really about the marketers joining the outbound game too. Specifically, marketers need to understand the buyer persona in much greater detail so that they can create targeted content to support each stage of the sales process. Building out a full journey map to reach your prospect across the web is what ABM is all about and, if done right, can lead to a very effective campaign.
Once you have the rough journey map, you should also come up with a clear roadmap, created by both teams working in tandem, to ensure everyone knows what needs to be done when and to preempt any misunderstandings. Ideally, this plan should include the cross-team campaigns you plan to launch throughout the entire account journey.
To get everyone involved, you need to have meetings. And to have (productive) meetings you need…
The ABM meeting checklist
Below you’ll find the ABM meeting checklist we created with the help of Econsultancy to identify everything you should cover in your ABM meeting. We recommend using the ABM meeting checklist to help divide up tasks between your ABM teams. As we mentioned earlier, this isn’t something that should be the sole responsibility of one person or one team.
Gathering the information above should take about a month or so and should be a team effort. Detailing your buyer personas, workflow changes, and desired outcomes helps get everyone’s input in one place and creates a much stronger strategy than going at it alone. In our own experience of running ABM campaigns, we’ve noticed that even small insights gained at the beginning stages of ABM can have huge returns later on.
If you’re serious about doing ABM right, but you’re not sure where to start, you can schedule a free demo with an ABM specialist who can answer your questions.
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