What’s one of the top concerns for companies in 2017? Lead generation.

Top of the funnel marketing efforts are no longer sufficient to support the sales objectives of most companies. Creating and expanding pipeline and winning more business requires marketers and sales development reps to dig deeper into the existing funnels, find holes, and create programs that will drive prospects through the sales process while attracting new customers.

In recent years, account based marketing has taken center stage. As the result of proper alignment between sales and marketing, ABM allows these two departments to unite their efforts in impacting the bottom line.

What is account based marketing?

Here’s how Marketo defined account based marketing:

“Account-based marketing (ABM) is an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales andmarketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each account.”

According to research from SiriusDecisions, over 90% of surveyed business owners believe that account based marketing is a critical ingredient to a sound marketing and sales strategy in the modern B2B buying landscape. The study also reveals that by 2016, approximately 60% of companies will have switched over to an account based marketing model.

The personalization that the new technique offers along with the ability to implement cutting-edge technologies is just too much to pass up for many companies, especially when dealing with B2B whales.

Common ABM mistakes

As effective as it is when done right, there is still a lot of room for mistakes when it comes to planning and running your account based marketing strategy. Here are three common pitfalls:

Not having a thoroughly curated account list

An effective account based marketing strategy begins with putting together a list of strategic target accounts. This begins with determining what types of accounts you should be targetting.

Here are three account categories that can help:

New business

No prior contact, little to no business transactions

Expansion from current clients

Also called “cross-selling” or, for software companies, “install base”. These are current clients whose business potential hasn’t been exhausted yet.

Churned clients

Lost customers who still have the potential to be future clients

Lack of communication between sales and marketing

The success of your account based marketing strategy relies on the alignment of sales and marketing. Without this, your abm strategy can’t win. Take the time to sit everyone together as one and reflect on the following points:

  • The main goals of your ABM efforts
  • The kind of accounts you want to target
  • The markers of success
  • The work required from both teams
  • The required content and efforts that need to be done to fuel this strategy

By discussing these points, there is clarity straight from the beginning of your efforts. It’s crucial that both teams unite and be transparent in setting expectations and objectives for your account based marketing strategy.

Not following through

Once your account based marketing strategy is put in place, it’s time to focus on execution. To do this, you must know what success looks like, as it happens.

Here are some things to keep in mind.

Set measurable plans

Ensuring that the tactics you choose to use can be measured and can be weighed against your goals.

Share the account list

Everyone should have access to the account list to ensure that there is no redundant effort.

Meet often

Meet both the sales and marketing teams often and discuss ABM challenges and achievements as one unit.

By setting these guiding thoughts, you avoid the mistake of working without direction.

These are three major and common mistakes a lot of companies make when they plan and implement account based marketing strategies. Hope the corresponding tips help!