6 Tangible Benefits of Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

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February 11, 2024


6 Tangible Benefits of Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Learn about the tangible benefits of Account-Based Marketing (ABM). Align sales and marketing, personalize campaigns, shorten sales cycles, and build long-term customer relationships.

Posted on

January 4, 2024

Alan Zhao

Head of Marketing

6 Tangible Benefits of Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

It wasn’t all that long ago that account-based marketing was a fairly obscure approach practiced only by enterprise sales teams targeting whales at other equally large companies.

Today, account-based marketing (ABM) is a widely accepted practice and one that’s used not only by enterprise-level companies but also by mid-sized and small businesses alike.

The thing with ABM is that it's not exactly something you can just tip a toe in like you can with something like digital advertising or outbound email.

To be successful with account-based marketing, you need to go all in, which means you’ll need buy-in from every stakeholder on your leadership time.

And, naturally, they’ll all ask the same thing before signing off:

What are the benefits of account-based marketing?

That’s the exact question we are going to answer in this guide, diving deep into the six important and tangible benefits of running an ABM playbook:

1. Aligns sales and marketing toward a common goal 

The tension between sales and marketing teams is a thing of legend.

It's kind of weird when you think about it. Both teams are, in the end, working toward the goal of closing more customers.

There really shouldn’t be any turbulence here. 

But there often is, and that generally comes from a disconnection between the two teams that work in siloes and only on part of the problem.

The sales and marketing problem

Marketing works to attract new prospects to the company and capture leads. Sales then takes those leads and tries to convert them into customers.

And that’s where the issue emerges.

Sales blames marketing for poor quality leads. Marketing blames sales for not doing enough with the leads they’ve generated.

But with an account-based marketing approach, this divide disappears.

The ABM solution

In ABM, you choose the accounts you go after. There is no “lead generation” in the traditional sense, as you define from the get-go who your target audience is going to be.

Then, sales and marketing must collaborate to attract and close deals. There is no “marketing to sales handoff.”

In the early stages of an ABM playbook, marketing might run personalized digital ads, while sales executes outreach via email and LinkedIn. 

Further down the sales funnel, the sales team might be engaging in demos and presentations while marketing supplements with additional educational email content.

Members from each team work in parallel rather than in series, and they work together toward the same goal: closing target accounts.

In fact, the alignment between sales and marketing that ABM brings is so strong that some organizations forgo the distinction altogether and merge the two departments into one GTM (go-to market) team:

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2. Allows for a more focused use of resources 

One of the biggest problems with the traditional marketing model is that your use of resources is relatively unfocused.

Sure, you have a defined target audience and ICPs (ideal customer profiles) that you’re going after. But the truth is that beyond that, your “targeting” is incredibly broad.

Most of the people your ad campaigns, emails, and content marketing efforts get in front of aren’t in the market to buy right now, even if they fit your customer persona.

Worse, you don’t even know if you’re getting in front of the decision-maker.

Consider, for example, a prospect coming across a blog post you’ve written and then promoted on social media.

That prospect signs up for a sales demo—great news, a warm lead.

But after going through the whole presentation, your salesperson learns that they don’t actually have the authority to buy, and so the whole process needs to happen again with the decision-maker.

Account-based marketing flips this on its head.

Finding KDMs from day one

You know who the key decision makers (KDMs) are in a given organization because you’ve used a tool like Warmly or Demandbase to pull account-level data and build a list of multiple stakeholders that might be involved in the deal. 

Then, your ABM efforts (be they personalized marketing outreach via LinkedIn InMail or a series of ads via your marketing automation platform) go out to those prospects specifically.

All of this means that every dollar you spend on account-based marketing strategies is incredibly focused and spent only on the specific accounts that you want to start a conversation with.

3. Opens up a world of personalization 

One of the biggest benefits of ABM campaigns as a B2B marketing strategy is that you can run incredibly personalized campaigns.

We’re not talking about using the prospect’s name in your email campaigns here.

We’re talking:

  • Using advanced marketing tools to deliver personalized ads across multiple platforms
  • Target multiple stakeholders at the same time with a personalized and role-based email copy
  • Using unconventional tactics like direct mail and personalized gifting to attract attention

Here’s an extreme example to illustrate my point.

When software design firm Intridea targeted Ogilvy as a key account in their account-based marketing campaign, they went as far as uncovering the daily commute of the decision-maker at their soon-to-be new customer and ran a custom billboard on the side of the street.

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4. Creates a more customer-centric experience 

A well-executed ABM approach almost always leads to an enhanced customer experience when compared with a traditional marketing playbook.

In the traditional marketing approach, every customer sees the same marketing programs and tactics.

Sure, the content they see might be tailored to their current stage in the customer journey, but it's very rarely personalized to them specifically.

But an ABM experience is all about that specific customer and is customized to individual accounts.

As a prospect, all of the content you engage with is personalized to your company and even to you and your role. 

And when you speak to a member of the sales team, they aren’t giving you a blank slate templated pitch. They know who you are, and what success means for you in your role and at your company, and will deliver a tailored pitch that speaks exactly to those needs.

It also blends seamlessly with an omnichannel approach, where you’re targeting multiple stakeholders in the buying committee with the right messaging at the right time via the right channel.

That's critical because these days, there are more stakeholders than ever before, so the complexity of the deal has increased exponentially.

You need solutions that give you signals as to who’s hot and warm in the committee and when they are thinking about you to know when and how to engage.

This customer-centric approach ultimately leads to more effective campaigns that close faster. Speaking of which… 

5. Can lead to shorter sales cycles 

Many advocates of an ABM process claim that it has helped them achieve a shorter sales cycle.

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This is going to be true in many cases, though we should be careful to say that there are a number of different variables here.

The target audience you’re going after has a huge impact. 

Enterprise companies (who are more commonly the target of ABM campaigns) close slower than mid-sized organizations, as they often have large and elaborate buying committees.

Your sales process itself also has some cards to play here, as do the specific account-based marketing activities you choose to engage in.

On the whole, however, if you:

  1. Define your ideal customer profile correctly
  2. Build realistic account lists with accurate account data
  3. Supplement that with third-party buying intent data
  4. Execute well-timed and personalized ABM tactics that speak to ICP needs

You should see shorter sales cycles from ABM compared to what you would otherwise see from a non-account-based approach. 

6. Sets you up for long-term customer relationships 

Perhaps the most important of the six account-based marketing benefits discussed here is the fact that you’re building stronger relationships than you would be with a traditional motion.

In a traditional marketing model, a given prospect isn’t considered a customer until you actually close the deal. Up until then, they’re just a lead.

This inevitably frames all discussions up until contracting as sales conversations. 

An ABM motion, on the other hand, doesn’t really use the lead/customer division; they’re considered an account from the beginning.

And because all of your marketing and sales activities are personalized to that specific account, you’re essentially using that as the starting point of your relationship-building efforts.

This relationship is then transferred over to the customer success manager (or key accounts manager, depending on your chosen nomenclature). Their job is to nurture and grow the customer relationship rather than create it, which ultimately has a positive impact on customer retention rates.

This distinction is why many account-based marketing teams choose to take a land-and-expand approach.

The land and expand model

The idea with land-and-expand is that your initial sales efforts aren’t about closing the biggest deal possible. They’re just about getting a foot in the door.

You might sell your lowest-value product or most commonly used feature and narrow in on that to get a relationship established and a deal closed.

Then, your CSM looks for opportunities to upsell to a more robust plan or cross-sell additional features as the relationship flourishes, the trust your client has for you grows, and they begin to see value from using your product.

This is a fantastic tactic to add to your startup sales playbook, as it means you can get a door opened with just a single product or even an MVP and expand revenue from there.

Account-based orchestration: Moving beyond ABM 

Account-based marketing clearly offers a number of important benefits.

Most importantly, being a personalized approach, a successful ABM strategy ultimately leads to higher ROI and stronger customer relationships than a traditional marketing motion.

While we’re fans of ABM programs in general—as compared to a more traditional alternative—we also believe there’s a better way, one which we call account-based orchestration.

Account-based orchestration takes an ABM campaign to the next level and encompasses a more holistic approach that aligns both marketing and sales efforts. 

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It incorporates various technologies (many of which are ABM tools), data-driven insights, and a heavy dose of AI and automation to execute at scale without needing a huge team.

Read more: The Rise of Account-Based Orchestration in the Age of AI and Automation.

We built Warmly to help small and medium-sized organizations access account-based orchestration on an SME budget, combining the best of advanced AI and best-in-class data with well-timed human intervention.

With Warmly, you can:

What’s best about Warmly?

You can get started for free, right now, without speaking to a sales rep or getting thrown into a sales funnel. 

Get set up with Warmly today, and start seeing ROI in minutes.

Learn how Behavioral Signals tripled their enterprise sales pipeline in just one month using Warmly:

How Behavioral Signals sourced $7M in enterprise pipeline since using Warmly.