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This Is Why Most B2B Companies Fail at ABM

Account Based Marketing is something everyone does these days, but not everyone seems to be successful with it. That's why it's all the more frustrating when your B2B competitors seem to be doing ABM effortlessly and getting results. We've identified six factors that often lead to ABM failure.

1. Too Little Understanding of Customers

If you don't know your customer, you can't address them properly in the ABM campaign. Therefore, the first step is always to develop a true and deep understanding of the customer. You can't leave this step out or the campaign is bound to fail.

Customer Centricity Is Everything

A basic rule, but one that is particularly important in ABM: The customer is at the center of all your activities.

Imagine the ideal customer

  • What does his profile look like?

  • What are his needs?

  • What challenges does he have to deal with?

Only when you keep this in mind can you develop an effective ABM campaign.

Here it is also crucial to concentrate on the right customers and not to lose focus. Who actually offers us the highest potential and where is the most worthwhile investment? If we think about the customers, we can immediately see where we are just wasting our time with the campaign.

Learn how to create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) in this article

To better understand your customers, you should consider data from all departments. That's why alignment is so important, which we'll discuss below.

2. Too Little Personalized & Relevant

Prospects are identified, but they just won't convert? That's probably because the level of personalization in your content is too low. You need to personally engage a lead to get them to buy your company's products. If you send out random content, you shouldn't expect success. B2B buyers in particular are simply too demanding for that.

Basically, the more precise the content is tailored to the prospect, the more likely you are to boost the conversion rate

There are various promising strategies for this. Content can be tailored to specific industries or individual decision-makers in the company. Within the framework of a customer journey, buyers can be steered in a targeted manner on the way to the desired conversion.

Good content is always relevant for the addressee

It is better to prepare moderately for the prospective customer a topic that is highly topical for him, than to write an excellent content on a topic that has long been ticked off for the addressee

If you take this into account, your ABM strategy can do a lot for lead nurturing and conversion increase.

3. No Alignment Between Marketing & Sales

Sales and marketing pull together to make the ABM campaign a resounding success. Is it the same in your company? It's always amazing how poor the alignment is between different departments when it comes to Account Based Marketing. Everyone has something important to contribute and everyone provides data that is indispensable for ABM success.

Data Silos as a Great Danger

The data silo problem is well known in companies in many contexts and is particularly dangerous for account-based marketing. The best thing to do here is to work together to find promising accounts and figure out where the biggest sales are waiting. You should align teams around a common goal as early as possible.

Also make sure that the information flow works. All departments involved should share their available data with each other. Especially the data that relates to the analysis of customer behavior is important. Each department conducts its own research, but the findings must also be integrated afterwards.

When it comes to defining your target accounts and the customer journey, collaboration is especially important. Only if all departments contribute, we get a complete overview of the customer journey. This makes it easier to create the personalized content that is so important.

4. Not Enough Test Runs & Data Based

It would be naïve to believe that the relaunched ABM strategy will work immediately. Only in very few cases does it work. Rather, intensive testing is required, which many companies are happy to do without - after all, it is time-consuming, expensive and ties up capacities

The initially ingeniously conceived strategy for ABM often turns out to be an initial proposal that needs refinement. This is why test runs are so important

Because we can only learn through trial and error. Even if the work with the ABM campaign has already begun, the testing and tracking must not end for a long time. Both continue and accompany the campaign. Go ahead and implement your strategy as planned and then see in detail how the target audience reacts. After that, adjustments and optimizations are possible.

Every test provides valuable data that we can use to improve strategy and increase our conversion rates. It's generally a mistake to neglect a data-driven approach. If you don't have meaningful data, you can't make sensible decisions. Testing and collecting data is therefore the name of the game. If you take this to heart from the start, you'll lead your newly launched ABM campaign to success much faster.

5. Too Little Commitment from C-Level

Is senior management really engaged in the ABM campaign? If you don't have buy in from the C-Level, the foundation for failure has already been laid

It has been shown that with sufficient support from senior management, deals can be closed faster and on a different scale

ABM strategies are therefore even more successful when the top management is involved. But this is precisely what often doesn't work in practice.

One mistake is to sell your account-based marketing ideas to senior management in the same way you sell them to managers. While managers are primarily interested in what someone is doing, what the advantages are and whether business cases exist for it and only then the question of sufficient trust arises, it is exactly the opposite at the C-level

  1. First, you need to gain the trust of senior management. This works best with best practice examples, benchmarks and corresponding statistics.

  2. Then you show how other companies may already be successfully implementing your idea and thus arouse their interest

  3. Only then do you have to explain what the concrete advantages are and how you envision the implementation

If you succeed in involving the C-level, a lot has been gained for the campaign.

6. Expect Results Overnight

"My ABM campaign is perfect and tomorrow I will present the first positive results". If you seriously approach ABM with such expectations, you can only fail. Because these campaigns need time and patient development

It is unrealistic to assume a significant increase in conversion rate within one or two weeks. Successes in account-based marketing show up in the long term and are sustainable

The Right Expectations are Crucial

B2B buyers in particular are very demanding and think twice before taking action. We tend to observe fewer impulse buyers here. Most of the time, a long product research precedes a decision. Focus your efforts on identifying prospects and reaching them on all relevant channels with personalized offers. The successes will eventually come by themselves.

If you don't give yourself enough time and lose your nerve, you change your campaigns too quickly and don't let ABM work. This leads to the fact that the desired successes can not occur at all. Even a reduction in the number of leads is unproblematic, as long as the quality is right and higher than with conventional marketing.

Conclusion: ABM is Demanding, but if Implemented Correctly, It Promises Great Success

There are a few pitfalls lurking on the road to a successful ABM campaign, including departments not coordinating enough, customer analysis being too superficial, and not giving the campaign enough time. By keeping these issues in mind, you won't have to repeat the mistakes that so many B2B companies have made before you. We hope that we were able to make a contribution with this article.