What’s the next step after account-based marketing? Many think it’s an evolution to ABX.
The account-based marketing (ABM) strategy is maturing at many B2B and life science companies. According to a recent study, there is a strong correlation between mature ABM programs and greater success.1 Two-thirds of the ABM-experienced marketers said their programs are meeting or exceeding expectations.
Specifically, these practitioners outpaced novices in three key categories:
- Better aligned sales and marketing teams (70% versus 44%)
- Faster sales cycles (31% versus 24%)
- Stronger, more trustworthy relationships with accounts (48% versus 39%).
In addition, ABM content at mature programs has becoming more engaging. The survey found that experienced practitioners’ offerings included interactive content, influencer/advocate-related content, videos, and promotional item giveaways.
Once B2B and life science marketers establish viable ABM programs, the next step is the transition to what some strategists are calling “ABX” ─ a more holistic effort that leverages sales and customer experience teams. While ABM has focused on identifying and engaging valuable accounts, ABX employs data and insights to identify when and how to engage with accounts and what to offer them.
ABX does not replace account-based marketing, because the ABM competency is core to your strategy. Instead, it transitions ABM to a more comprehensive effort that aligns sales, customer success, and product marketing teams.
Research shows that multi-function collaboration and alignment are essential for better revenue growth. About 75% of these aligned companies said they are either meeting or exceeding their revenue goals. Plus, businesses with cooperating sales and marketing teams experienced 36% higher customer retention and are 67% more efficient at closing deals.2
Launching an ABM strategy is major effort that promises greater revenue growth and an improved customer experience. Marketing leaders must begin this journey by installing basic ABM principles such as identifying target accounts and buying decision makers, securing their contact information, and developing a content strategy. Migration to ABX should not be considered until a mature, functional ABM program is in place.
Implementing a sales/marketing alignment effort is a great way to begin the ABX journey. Marketing and sales must think like an ongoing, evolving team. While each member will have different roles and responsibilities, they will recognize that success will depend on collaborating as a unified group. In addition, the use of intent data will enhance marketing’s content strategy and alert sales when customer organizations indicate readiness to buy.
For copy of the study, email email@example.com.
1, 2 2022 State of ABM Benchmark Survey, DemandGen, October 2022.