Strategies to Overcome Key Challenges to ABM


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Obstacles frequently appear during ABM program development or at the launch of marketing campaigns. A distinctive ABM strategy can help to overcome these challenges.

Account-based marketing (ABM) has become a successful strategy today. It is imperative for companies looking to engage in highly targeted and personalized interactions with high-value accounts. It aids businesses in delivering tailored content and experiences for higher lead conversion.

Concentrating on specific target accounts results in stronger relationships and higher conversion rates. Additionally, ABM improves coordination between a company’s sales, marketing, and customer service teams.

ABM has many advantages but can be difficult to implement as a B2B marketing strategy.

It faces obstacles that, while similar to those endangering the success of other business strategies, may need a more distinctive tactic.

Marketers need a distinctive approach regarding team collaboration, budgeting, resource allocation, scalability, and tool selection.

Common ABM challenges and how to address them

ABM problems frequently appear during program development or at the launch of marketing campaigns.

Businesses must identify these typical ABM issues early on and act to address them.

Challenge: Inadequate targeting

This refers to the inability to find and choose the right accounts to target with ABM campaigns. When targeting is ineffective, marketing efforts may focus on accounts that do not fit the ideal customer profile (ICP). The other scenario could be that marketing may not reach the intended audience.

Think about a startup that sells project management tools. The startup runs campaigns directed at all companies in the technology sector to reach a wide audience.

However, their campaigns do not produce the desired results due to poor targeting. As a result, they experienced low response rates and resource wastage.

Overcoming this challenge: 

  • Use advanced data analytics and segmentation techniques.
  • Conduct extensive market research: It will create a detailed ICP that outlines the target account’s characteristics, needs, and pain points.
  • Use predictive modeling: It improves the precision of target account selection. Use intent data and account scoring methodologies.

Challenge: Absence of executive support 

This issue develops when executives don’t comprehend how ABM aligns with the company’s business goals. This results in a lack of resources, investment, and organizational commitment.

Overcoming This Challenge: 

  • Provide executives with a clear focus on the company’s overall market strategy. Then, the benefits and effects of implementing ABM will be clear. Data-driven insights, industry benchmarks, and success stories will support the strategy.
  • Create a persuasive business case demonstrating how implementing ABM supports organizational goals, boosts revenue, and improves long-term customer relationships.
  • Regularly update teams on key metrics and show the value created by ABM initiatives as the implementation progresses.

Challenge: Measuring the incorrect metrics

Businesses frequently place their attention on metrics that don’t offer useful insights. This can be a costly error for startups that only keep track of website traffic or social media engagement.

These metrics might not accurately reflect how well their account-based marketing (ABM) strategies work. They will also not show if they bring in new business and increase revenue.

Evaluating metrics that provide actionable insights will help to enhance the success of their ABM marketing initiatives. Having these clear metrics is crucial for businesses.

Overcoming this challenge:

  • Focus on metrics like account conversion rates, revenue influence, or pipeline contribution. These can offer a more precise evaluation of how implementing ABM will affect revenue generation.
  • Ensure the metrics employed to gauge the success of ABM campaigns are directly related to the company’s overarching goals.
  • Use software with sophisticated marketing automation features and strong attribution capabilities, such as Marketo Engage, HubSpot, or Pardot.

Challenge: Lack of sales and marketing alignment

ABM campaigns frequently encounter difficulties due to insufficient coordination between the marketing and sales teams.

If they work in silos, ineffective collaboration and infrequent communication between these teams can lead to conflicting messages. This will create misguided initiatives and missed opportunities to attract potential customers.

These teams need to work in alignment to ensure that they make the most of every opportunity that comes their way.

Overcoming this Challenge:

  • Promote cross-functional collaboration: Coordinate joint planning meetings between the marketing and sales teams. They must agree on ABM objectives, target account selection, and messaging strategies.
  • Create a unified ABM strategy: To coordinate marketing and sales efforts, specify shared key performance indicators. This includes revenue-influenced or account conversion rates. It should specify the obligations of each team.
  • Use customer relationship management systems: Throughout the ABM journey, use integrated platforms. It will improve data sharing, streamline communication, and ensure a consistent view of target accounts.

Challenge: Insufficient Data and Insights

Lack of access to accurate and through data about their target accounts is a significant barrier. Businesses must work to overcome it when implementing personalized and targeted marketing strategies.

Customizing messaging can be a tough task without a thorough understanding of the buyer’s firmographic and behavioral traits.

The possible outcomes of this issue are low response rates and lost chances for growth. The problem is exacerbated when marketers use dated or sparse data sources. This shortfall makes it even more difficult for them to connect with their target audience.

Overcoming this Challenge:

  • Use intent data: Utilize firmographic, technographic, and intent data to enrich your existing data using tools and services for data enrichment.
  • Gain access to external data sources: Work with partners and trade associations. This can add more layers of knowledge to help you better understand your target accounts.

Challenge: Non-aligned Content

Content that isn’t properly aligned can make ABM marketing efforts less effective. The following are some instances of misaligned content and how customers might view it:

  • Incoherent communication
  1. To coordinate content creation efforts, marketing and sales teams must work together. Buyers might find the messaging contradictory and confusing when there is a lack of alignment.
  2. This may occur due to inconsistency in messaging between the two teams. Because of this inconsistency, customers will find it difficult to comprehend the product’s value. The net result will be decreased sales.
  3. Teams must, therefore, collaborate to ensure that their messaging is consistent and emphasizes the product’s main selling points.
  • Irrelevant content
  1. Relevance may also be lacking in content if it is not in line with the needs and preferences of the target audience.
  2. The marketing team may put out content talking about particular pain points. However, the buyers might not find the information useful or applicable.
  • Confusing customer path

Without content alignment, the buyer’s journey may split up and become complicated. The sales team may fail to offer the necessary assistance during the evaluation and decision-making stages.

The marketing materials, on the other hand, may only focus on raising awareness and educating consumers. This haphazard strategy may make customers feel abandoned or unsupported.

Overcoming this Challenge:

  1. Encourage close team communication: Plan sessions between the marketing and sales teams. This guarantees that both teams share the messaging, objectives, and target account requirements. They will be able to produce coherent content that is pertinent.
  2. Create buyer personas: You can invest in comprehending your target accounts with personas and conducting customer interviews. This research reveals the preferences and problems with your audience’s content. It might improve their consistency in producing content that appeals to consumers.
  3. Create a central content repository: Make sure it is simple and can be shared between departments. This facilitates collaboration and unity in the creation of content. While interacting with target accounts, marketing and sales teams can access and use pertinent content.

Challenge: Difficulty of Measurement

For startups, accurately assessing the ROI and impact of ABM campaigns is challenging. Startups struggle to understand the efficacy of their ABM efforts without a reliable measurement framework.

Making data-driven decisions and defending their investments will be challenging for them.

Overcoming this Challenge:

  1. Use machine learning algorithms: It will automate the attribution process and obtain precise insights into the revenue impact of ABM activities. Utilize past data, customer behavior trends, and predictive modeling to gain insightful knowledge.
  2. Embrace emerging technologies: It includes Blockchain to create a transparent and unchangeable record of marketing activities and revenue attribution. Create a reliable system for monitoring and confirming ABM campaigns’ effectiveness using tools like Blockchain.
  3. Investigate novel techniques: Record and examine offline engagement, such as integrating Internet of Things (IoT) sensors or RFID tags. Gain a thorough understanding of account engagement. Attribute revenue across online and offline channels by integrating these technologies into CRM systems.

Challenge: Making a hasty exit

Like other campaigns, ABM needs time to produce quantifiable results. Prematurely abandoning projects due to impatience is a common problem. If marketers don’t give relationships and strategies enough time to grow, they might immediately conclude that ABM is ineffective.

Overcoming this Challenge:

  1. Recognize that ABM is a long-term strategy requiring consistent effort, ongoing improvement, and iterative development. Be aware that results might not show up right away.
  2. Utilize data insights to guide changes: This will help maximize efforts. Based on performance data, identify effective strategies and tactics.
  3. Develop a long-term success mindset: Teams can do it by taking lessons from previous campaigns and incorporating them into upcoming iterations.

Also Read: How AI Can Streamline Account-Based Marketing

Bonus Tips to Boost Your ABM Strategy

Most marketing strategies employ the “shotgun approach,” which entails launching a campaign and crossing your fingers, hoping to hit the right target.

When it comes to ABM, being a sniper is the best course of action. Imagine carefully selecting your target, waiting patiently for the right opportunity, and firing that shot accurately.

The sniper strategy can be adopted in the following ways:

  1. Know Your Target: Become intimately familiar with your ideal clients. Recognize their concerns, phobias, aspirations, etc. Your ability to create tailored content and select the best distribution methods for them will be aided by this knowledge.
  2. Aim for Precision: Deliver your tailored content only to your target accounts rather than broadcasting generic messages to a large audience. Your efforts will be extremely targeted in this manner, maximizing the impact and engagement.
  3. Hit the Bullseye: Invest time in data analysis and insight gathering. To improve your strategy for subsequent campaigns, learn from your successes and failures. You’ll hit the bullseye more frequently if you continually improve your aim.

Embrace the ABX (Account-Based Experience) as the Base for ABM

For ABM to succeed, operations, customer success, and sales must all be on the same page.

Achieving this objective at any scale is impossible without process and technology alignment. It’s important to have a revenue technology platform. This must integrate with your marketing automation platform, CRM, and web personalization tools.

This single source provides the entire sales team with a unified view of meaningful activity and its place in the buyer’s journey. It lays out the next steps that will be taken to advance leads down the funnel.

Swapnil Mishra
Swapnil Mishra
Swapnil Mishra is a global news correspondent at OnDot media, with over six years of experience in the field. Specializing in technology journalism encompassing enterprise tech, marketig automation, and marketing technologies, Swapnil has established herself as a trusted voice in the industry. Having collaborated with various media outlets, she has honed her skills in content strategy, executive leadership, business strategy, industry insights, best practices, and thought leadership. As a journalism graduate, Swapnil possesses a keen eye for editorial detail and a mastery of language, enabling her to deliver compelling and informative news stories. She has a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex technical concepts into easy-to-understand language.


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