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ABM spinning its wheels?

Two things stand in the way of your ABM success

With all the ABM hype and jargon, it can be easy to get caught up in the bluster. ABM is big business after all – everyone’s at it in some form or another. Although most programmes achieve some level of success, according to the latest ITSMA¹ research, only a few see significant improvements across key success metrics such as revenue growth (1 in 5) or win rate (1 in 7).

Where and why is ABM falling short?

In our work with B2B tech clients, we repeatedly hear about the same issues. Poor account selection. Account plans that are missing an action plan. Unrealistic expectations. Lack of meaningful insights… the list goes on. The result is ABM programmes that spin their wheels, yet go nowhere. The effort has no impact and feels like a waste of time. And critically, the investment fails to make an impact on revenue or actual business growth.

What’s the answer? For us, there are two crucial elements that are often missing from ABM projects: the Burning Platform and Buyer Truths. The Burning Platform acts as the ignition point that gets your project off the ground. And Buyer Truths, well, they give you that all-important connection point with your audience. We believe when the two come together, that’s when the magic happens. Your ABM efforts drive meaningful action and campaigns resonate deeply.

The Game-Changer: A Burning Platform

The first stumbling block is often a lack of purpose. When we say “purpose”, we mean that that spark, that catalyst that sets out a path of action. Too often ABM campaigns don’t get off the ground, they stall, or they’re stop-start. All for the lack of purpose. Either the direction or goal isn’t clear, or it hasn’t been agreed on.

Imagine finding that sweet spot where what your business craves, what your account team is gunning for, and what your customers dream of, all intersect. It’s all about zeroing in on that big, bold goal—the Burning Platform. This isn’t just about setting objectives; it’s about creating a unifying mission that clarifies and simplifies the path forward for everyone involved.

As an ABM marketer, you’re in prime position to bring that group into alignment around a shared objective or an imperative task. Most of the time, Burning Platforms fall into 5 typical areas, (especially for the SaaS businesses we work with most):

  1. Increase adoption – drive more use of, or the full functionality of the solution
  2. Derail a competitor – foil a competitive attack 
  3. Dominate an RFP – create competitive advantage when it counts
  4. From vendor to strategic partner – help them see beyond transactional value  
  5. Expand – grow footprint in the organisation

How do we do it? Well, the work starts internally. It’s about getting the stakeholders together (not necessarily physically – we use Miro for a virtual workshop) to agree on what matters. The job to be done. Now, instead of “doing ABM”, you’re using ABM to do something very specific. From here, momentum follows.

The Insight Revolution: Buyer Truths

Once everyone is aligned, it’s time to look at who we’re intending to influence. Targeted ABM calls for precision messaging that resonates. You might have dusty old personas for some key decision makers, but often they’re not worth the paper they’re written on. The job is not to uncover a million insights about these people; more to understand who they are and what they believe: we call that Buyer Truths. 

Here’s how we get to the heart of who your buyers are and what makes them tick:

First, we listen to what the account teams know already. There’s no point in duplicating effort, finding out what they already know. Then we dig into our Atomic Insights Bank. That’s our repository of all the decision maker profiles, persona data points and insights we’ve accumulated across solution areas, job functions and industries. Access to this resource gives us salient insights that help define messaging and value propositions.

From there we establish a mental model for the people we’re talking to. A mental model helps us understand the way an individual not only behaves, but how they think and make decisions. This helps us to frame the value proposition in a way that’s meaningful and actionable to the individual members of the buying group.

Purposeful, insightful and effective

Bringing the Burning Platform and Buyer Truths into your ABM approach, you can expect an ABM programme that not only aligns with business strategy, but deeply resonates with your targets. No more stop-start programmes that lose stakeholder engagement along the way. And when you do get up and running, you know what messages to land, and how to deliver them most effectively. This powerful combination ensures your ABM is purposeful, insightful and most importantly, effective.

If you’re ready to inject some action and relevance into your ABM programme, why not get in touch?

 ¹2023 Global State of Account-Based Marketing, Momentum ITSMA

Photo by Aubrey Odom on Unsplash

Tired of struggling with ABM?
Stop spinning your wheels with ABM. Get the proven toolkit to maximise results and minimise headaches. (We’ll just ask for a few details.)
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Tired of struggling with ABM?
Stop spinning your wheels with ABM. Get the proven toolkit to maximise results and minimise headaches. (We’ll just ask for a few details.)
Download the eBook