Best practice in marketing for the last 10 years or so has been to focus on delivering a high volume of leads.
ABM has the potential to change this as it demands greater focus on delivering high-worth accounts. But as well as that, you’ll still have to deliver leads, of course.
Viewed superficially, ABM might appear to generate a smaller number of leads. But their value will be greater.
That immediately creates a tension between two outlooks which can be broadly described as quantity and quality.
The more customer organisations and/or vertical markets you attempt to target, the harder it becomes to create truly personalised communications. The reverse is true, too; if you are able to slow down and target fewer people, or organisations, it becomes easier and more practical to be very personalised. The trade-off for seeming to slow down is that you can circumvent early-stage lead qualification processes, which is why leads may seem fewer in number but will be of higher quality.
Personalisation is hugely important here. So too is an appreciation of the difference between selling to and marketing to, and understanding where engagement fits in.
ABM is in part a response to customers adopting a self-service mentality to purchasing, enabled by technology which allows them to research products, watch videos and demos without any intervention from a sales person. As the customer journey has become less clear cut, so the points of inflection and interaction – between prospect and brand, between sales and marketing teams, too – have become more complex.