abm myths

What you don’t know about ABM can hurt you. It can hold you back from massive success. When you have a lot of ABM “experts” pushing product and hiding behind a false brand promise, it can be tough to determine fact from fiction.

That’s why in today’s vlog, I’m going to give you the straight scoop on what works—and what doesn’t—when it comes to ABM. Here are the 9 biggest ABM myths, busted.


Here are the top myths of ABM busted. All right, ready?

First one is “I need technology to do ABM.” Technology actually just supports the strategy. ABM is a strategy and always starts with strategy so once you have the strategy, you can then figure out which tools can help you actually implement that strategy. And just because you have ABM technology doesn’t actually mean you’re doing ABM either.

Second one is “All B2B companies should be doing ABM.” Not necessarily. If you have small deals, fast sales cycles, a single buyer or you’re pre-product market fit, ABM could actually be hurting you. Just because it’s the hot, sexy, new thing to do doesn’t mean you should be doing it.

The next myth here is “ABM is all about new logo acquisition.” So if you actually look at some true enterprise companies, most of their revenue actually comes from existing customers. A lot of us come from traditional Demand Gen and we are used to new logos and acquiring those net new names. It’s not necessarily the single focus any more. We should pay a lot of attention to post-sale opportunities as well.

The next one is “Getting started takes a lot of work.” Sure, it can seem daunting, right, so get to it. But, what if instead, we started by taking your top campaign, let’s segment that audience, let’s really hone in our message, figure out the right channel to deliver that message. And then, start to see some quick wins, and from there, build on our ABM. You can actually do that if you’re an individual contributor. You don’t need anyone’s permission to just do smarter, targeted sales and marketing. And then, once you can prove that out, then maybe you can actually start to roll ABM out more broadly.

The next myth here is “I need an ABM pilot first to prove it out.” No, again, not necessarily. See the previous point, one. Also second, I really don’t like this idea of a pilot because, a lot of times, we see that people, when they’re doing a pilot, it’s just kind of, they’re doing it half-assed. One of my mentors used to say, “there’s no such thing as half pregnant,” so let’s just birth that ABM child. That was a little weird, but let’s go with it.

Next, “I have to chose between Demand Gen and ABM.” It’s actually a spectrum. They play off one another extremely well. It’s like peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter and chocolate actually. I’m a chocolate guy myself. But they compliment each other well. If you are a real enterprise and you’re selling to the Fortune 100 or the Fortune 50, sure, yeah, you may be doing real heavy ABM, but if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, maybe doing a little more Demand Gen and less ABM. This is like your $20K deals. But most of us are going to be somewhere in the middle, so we need to find that right balance. I don’t think you, you shouldn’t, in fact, wipe away all the Demand Gen engine and funnels and metrics and all that stuff that you’ve worked so hard to build. Let’s layer ABM on top of that and use them in conjunction with each other.

Next is “Sending cool, creative, direct mail is doing ABM.” Sure, this is the fun, sexy, interesting thing that people love doing, but just because you’re sending direct mail, that doesn’t, again, mean you’re doing ABM. It can be a great part of your strategy, but I do see a lot of people, they take a picture of their direct mail, then they blast it out to everyone. Then they post it on social and then all they actually care about is getting likes and retweets of their post. If you’re doing direct mail to a segmented audience, and you’re delivering a relevant message, delivering a relevant experience, that’s ABM. It’s part of an integrated campaign, not direct mail just to do direct mail and say we’re doing ABM.

The next myth here is “Running targeted ads is doing ABM.” This is another one, it’s a great part of the overall strategy, but ads itself does not mean you’re doing ABM. It’s something that us marketers are used to doing and it’s the easy thing to do and say we’re doing ABN, but it must be part of your overall strategy. It’s actually a great tier three, air cover strategy as part of your overall ABM.

The last myth here is “ABM is just for marketers.” And so ABM is kind of a misnomer, right, Account Based Marketing, Marketing is in the term itself, but it’s for everyone at the entire company. If you want to close bigger deals, if you have more complex sales cycles, if you really are looking to go up market, everyone is involved in that. It’s your sales, your SDR, BDR team. It’s your customer success, account managers. It’s even your engineers really helping build a product for larger customers. So everyone is involved, your executives, everyone’s involved in ABM.

All right, so those are the top myths and hopefully I’ve busted those for you. Thanks, guys.