Defining “lead”, we could say that is a potential customer in your target audience, interested in what you are selling. To obtain this lead – meaning you make them take the first step in your sales cycle – marketeers, see value in employing different marketing tactics, otherwise known as “lead generation marketing”.
Although simple as a definition, marketing and sales are on a constant big debate as to “what is a lead”. Marketers are praising the number of leads they have generated, while sales complain about the lead quality without cross-checking.
This eternal struggle usually drives to delaying follow-ups and lost sales opportunities while in the end, marketing is imputed for generating inferior quality leads.
Marketers high spend in time and money generating leads, but the majority of those leads lack sales appreciation.
The struggle is disastrous for any business since generating revenues and profits is the goal. The time has come, to reconsider to whom we are marketing and selling:
We are not marketing and selling to a lead, we are marketing and selling to an account.
The Cons of Lead-Generation Marketing
- It wastes resources, running after prospects that aren’t associated with any target account.
- It cannot relate individual opportunities with their peers across the account.
- It cannot outline the relationships between the decision-makers and the influencers within the account.
- It cannot trace the state or level of commitment of the entire account at any given time.
- It cannot coordinate or synchronize synergies to deliver consistent messages to the whole of the account buying team.
And here is where Account Based Marketing (ABM) comes in.
Sales talk about accounts, and they don’t talk about leads. Salespeople think about how they’re going to win accounts in the first place, then how they’re going to keep and grow those accounts. Sales always used an account-based approach. Now marketing is getting on board.
The benefits of Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Competence: ABM’s “zero waste” strategy, targets the whole of resources on the specific accounts your company decides that are the most prominent to drive revenue and profitability.
Big Deals: ABM deal sizes are higher. An ABM success can exceed many smaller deals sourced through traditional lead generation. And ABM deals can be more significant than average ‘key account’ marketing too: they’re more likely to have buy-in from a more comprehensive team; to lock out or constrain competitors and to reach higher into the account. When ABM makes a deal, it is Big.
Closing Rates: ABM increases the closing rates of your most resistant deals. Research shows that the systematic discipline of ABM significantly out-performs the more ad hoc or unaligned approaches of the past.
Acceleration: ABM deals move faster and get stuck less because they actively target all of the buying influencers and decision-makers.
Alignment: ABM tightly unites your sales and marketing teams. As above mentioned, it requires sales and marketing to focus on the same accounts with clear and pre-agreed standards. Sales highly value marketers who spend budget gaining traction in named accounts.
“I see ABM as a response to inbound marketing. Inbound is great, but you don’t have control over quantity and quality. You also can’t afford to wait until those named account targets happen to find your content and download something.”
Matt Heinz President of Heinz Marketing