Sales teams usually take the charge for driving revenues at their companies, and rarely does marketing ever get charged with being a profit driver. Instead, marketing is usually tasked with generating leads, building brand, and raising awareness under the guise that it compliments the sales process. Marketing’s supporting role is typically tasked with developing sales collateral, messaging, and the image that the prospect interacts with during this entire sales and customer relationship cycle.
As a result, sales teams tend to over function instead of being purely focused on closing deals. This system of constantly pumping out leads, meeting with prospects, and closing deals can result in sales plateaus and burn out. It’s all an unproductive use of the sales force’s time.
So naturally, when sales is pit against newer conventions (i.e. ABM) for pipelining deals and driving revenues, the sales force hands down would typically be seen as the clear winner. But is that truly the case or simply by default since sales has always been seen as having greater output and being instrumental in driving revenues?
Considering how technology has influenced the many approaches to business development and customer prospecting, if we had to pit sales reps vs Account Based Marketing (ABM), who would really generate more revenues?
Chances are, you’re thinking the answer is “my sales team” or “how in the world could ABM possibly top a well-oiled sales force?”
You’re not alone. Perhaps the question we should really be asking is, “how much more revenue can I generate if sales and marketing worked better together?”
This is where an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) approach can be a real accelerator to revenue growth.
How much more effectively can Sales close deals with an ABM approach?
Most sales teams are focused on the right accounts, but have a hard time pinpointing and influencing the right members of the buyer’s team, end users of the product/service, and influencers. Sales teams sometimes also struggle with gaining traction in moving the deal forward to a close, and thus, more deals are left unclosed than closed. That’s why sales reps usually have a formula for determining how many qualified leads and interactions it takes in order to produce X percent in closed deals.
Your sales team was never meant to run on a hamster wheel and over function. Repeat, chasing leads results in burnout.
What if there was a way to supercharge the sales team to have a much higher close rate?
ABM is a process that aligns sales and marketing teams, so that together, both functions are focused on the right accounts and account metrics for the long haul. The biggest differentiator is that ABM does the heavy lifting in influencing and building up the prospect through personalized, coordinated activities. By the time the prospect is handed off to sales, all that needs to be done is to close the deal.
In the early days, and in many cases still today, there is a mismatch between marketing and sales in terms of what constitutes a qualified “lead”, and the qualifiers are usually defined at the surface level (e.g. prospect fills out an inquiry form or responds to a call to action). In the B2B setting, salespeople don’t work leads (or at least they shouldn’t). Sales is meant to work deals and accounts! For example, a salesperson will say, “I closed this deal or this account, or I have X number of accounts on my book of business.” They don’t say, “I closed four leads, or I closed this person.” Granted, interactions happen with people, but accounts generate revenue.
While marketing teams talk about leads and metrics that are lead-driven, sales teams work accounts, and this difference often results in an unsettling friction between the two departments.
So how do we reconcile leads to accounts? ABM.
As ABM has grown in favor over the last decade, it has started shedding light on the ability and value of shared (account) metrics.
For a primer on ABM and how it works, check out What is Account-Based Marketing?
For more convincing on how an ABM approach could accelerate your sales pipeline, check out How ABM is the real driver of B2B business growth.