The alignment of marketing and sales is a no-brainer. It leads to 67% higher conversion rates and 209% greater revenue.
While both teams work separately in terms of their functions, their end goal remains the same — greater revenues. This is why it’s crucial that marketing and sales teams function in tight alignment.
The same applies to account-based marketing (ABM) and sales enablement. In fact, it’s the foundation of both these strategies.
Let’s dig deeper.
What Is Account-Based Marketing?
In simple terms, it’s a focused approach where marketing and sales teams work together to target specific accounts with personalized messaging to engage and convert them into customers.
Instead of casting a wide net and finding singular leads from a particular organization, this approach aims to target the major stakeholders of high-value target organizations in a bid to push them towards conversion.
And this is what makes it so effective for businesses. In fact, only 5.8% of businesses haven’t implemented account-based marketing yet.
Image via Terminus
The sales funnel for ABM differs from the traditional marketing sales funnel, in that it starts with the identification of target accounts and ends with valuable lasting relationships.
Image via Drift
What Is Sales Enablement?
Sales enablement is a set of processes through which your sales team can become equipped with all the information that they need to convince your prospects to buy from you.
And this information is not limited to content.
It also includes sales-related tools and access to campaign details.
But here’s the thing — sales enablement isn’t owned by just the sales team. The marketing team owns it too.
How Do They Align?
Now onto the important part — why do account-based marketing and sales enablement need to go hand in hand? And how does that happen?
1. Marketing Engages, Sales Closes
The sales process, especially when it comes to B2B, is often quite lengthy. In fact, an average of 11 stakeholders are involved in a single B2B purchase. This number can even go up to 20.
The sales team alone can’t possibly reach all of these stakeholders at once. For effective results, marketing has to keep the accounts engaged throughout the sales process while the sales team guides them toward the bottom of the funnel. Add to that, each stakeholder has their own questions, concerns, and interests. So, it is important to tailor content and outreach to each stakeholder.
This includes reaching out to them on the channel of their choice and personalizing the messaging to the individual stakeholders.
2. Marketing Delivers Full-Funnel Data
Sales enablement involves equipping your sales team with the right information at the right time. After all, they deal with the account at various stages in the funnel.
But the all-important question here is — how do you identify what content will work for the sales team at a particular stage?
That’s where account-based marketing can help. Your marketing team can mine the funnel data to understand what the sales team can use at each stage to close the sale.
In addition to that, the funnel data helps the sales team in the following ways:
- Sales reps would know exactly what to say when armed with insights into their target’s thoughts and behaviors so they deliver valuable on-brand messaging.
- They’d be able to recommend content and messaging based on the individual buyer’s preferences and needs.
3. Sales Provides First-Hand Insights
Marketing data helps sales enablement, great.
But guess what?
The exact opposite is possible too. In fact, feedback from the sales team is crucial for account-based marketing.
The sales team has first-hand experience interacting with the key stakeholders of target accounts. Their experiences can help inform your marketing strategy to strengthen account-based marketing campaigns.
Using the insights from your sales team, you can curate your content and messaging so that it resonates better with your prospective customers.
In a nutshell, the feedback from the sales team completes the campaign optimization loop.
What’s more, the collaboration between the sales and marketing teams can also help you identify the most high-value accounts which need to be targeted to boost your ROI. It also aids in data-driven prospecting as you’d be better placed to identify relevant accounts for your campaigns.
ABM and Sales Enablement Best Practices
Now that you know how account-based marketing and sales enablement work together to improve your ROI, let’s take a look at some of the best practices related to them.
1. Continuous Communication
The ABM and sales enablement cycle only works when your sales and marketing teams maintain regular communication — you need to adopt the Smarketing approach.
It helps to schedule regular meetings between both teams so that they can exchange their insights.
Additionally, you could invest in a messaging platform through which individual members can communicate with each other.
The idea is to ensure that everything is coordinated.
Under no circumstance can you afford to have both teams sending conflicting content or messaging as that could instantly turn the buyer off and lead to campaign failure.
2. Invest In Technology
The sales team’s feedback relies on first-hand experience in dealing with the key stakeholders of a particular account.
However, marketing insights are typically based on data from account-based marketing campaigns.
Collecting this marketing-related data and deriving insights from it requires the use of specialized tech stack tools like 6sense and Terminus. So, make sure you invest in a powerful ABM platform to drive your campaigns.
3. Implement. Test. Optimize.
To get the most out of account-based marketing and sales enablement, you need to continuously test your campaigns and optimize them.
Using a mix of data from the marketing team and first-hand insights from the sales team, you can decide if your approach is working or not. Based on that, you can tweak it further. This process has to go on until you’re able to get your targets to convert.
Account-based marketing is incomplete without sales enablement. It works on the principle of continuous collaboration between the sales and marketing teams of your organization.
Both the teams share critical information related to the accounts in a bid to close the sale and drive greater ROI.
And that’s why, in the context of account-based marketing, it’s important to see both teams as two sides of the same coin.
Intrigued to learn more about how account-based marketing works? Here’s a detailed guide that delves into everything you need to know about it.