June 30, 2021

How Account-Based Marketing Bridges the Marketing and Sales Divide


Alex Pavia is the RVP of Enterprise Sales for Demandbase, a targeting and personalization platform for B2B companies. When the relationship between sales and marketing becomes fragmented because of siloed information, Account-Based Marketing tech vendors like Demandbase want you to see how that divide can be bridged. Here’s what we learned from Alex at a recent Lunch and Learn.

What is Account-Based Marketing?

Simply put, ABM identifies the firms that matter most, allows a team to market exclusively to those firms, and measures the results of these efforts by firm. ABM tactics have been in high demand for companies of all sizes over the last few years.

A buyer’s journey is super complex. At some point in a customer’s research, they will raise their “digital hand” to you. A B2B client may search more anonymously. It is important for salespeople and marketers to know when and how firms are researching so that we can engage.

“Most B2B firms have an idea of a total addressable market, say 30,000-40,000 accounts, with only so many salespeople and marketing dollars to get to that market,” said Alex. “We can think of ABM as a tool to shrink that number and really get to that key market.”

What are the pillars of ABM?

ABM pillars


How does ABM narrow the sales and marketing divide?

A major challenge of sales and marketing is fragmented data silos. As teams work off of different sets of information, they both have an incomplete picture. ABM allows marketers to efficiently nurture relationships while providing salespeople with valuable account-level insights. In other words, ABM paints a full picture of the buyer’s journey for all teams’ awareness.

“As the buyer’s journey becomes even more anonymous and complex, ABM tools become more valuable,” said Alex. When the marketing team aligns more with sales through ABM techniques, we see a higher success rate in customer relationships. Gone are the days where salespeople end their customer relationships after developing new leads. Instead, salespeople are encouraged to work with the valuable data that marketers obtain through ABM.

How do you know when you’re doing ABM right?

Your ABM tool should be able to provide a single view of an account. Powered by AI, ABM platforms can take first-party known data and match it with secondary, unknown data. From there, in one comprehensive view, you should be able to segment and measure information from an account.

ABM’s predictive account analytics synthesize customers’ data to find prospects of high “Pipeline Percentage.” The higher the Pipeline Percentage, the more effort, marketing dollars and resources should go towards them. ABM tools identify the high Pipeline Percentage customers and lead them on AI-driven journeys.

Then, sales comes back into play. Salespeople receive account-level data from marketing teams to address those accounts that do not have a high pipeline percentage. Salespeople can consider continuing with them, retarget information, or strategize a new plan. In essence, ABM connects the marketing and sales cycles by pushing account-level data, derived by marketing efforts, directly to the sales team.

ABM tools like Demandbase’s increase communication between marketers and salespeople with quality information.

“We all need to know this, not just the marketers or the agencies working directly with the ABM platforms,” said Alex. “We all need to know how to talk about this and how everyone works with this.”

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