Keith Fowler

Account-Based Marketing – What’s Next?

I realised something recently. Most of us are practising Account Based Marketing (AMB) even if we don’t realise we’re doing it. That’s because a lot of the ABM method is common sense. If you want to make sales, you should focus your limited resources on a smaller number of prospects who you’ve qualified well.

The stats back the efficacy of ABM. For instance, an Alterra Group survey showed that 97% of respondents boosted their B2B performance when they started using ABM strategies. Ever since Stephen Heiman and Robert Miller published their hugely successful book, Strategic Selling, in 1988, B2B sales teams have turned to ABM methods to boost sales.

But we’re a long way from 1988. What has changed? And what’s next for Account Based Marketing? Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing things up. Is your business harnessing the power of AI?

Artificial Intelligence is Shaking Things Up

Traditionally, the marketing and sales teams used their industry connections and killer instincts to identify the best prospects. Today, Artificial Intelligence can help with this process. It can provide an extra layer of information to help qualify leads and ultimately, to close them. Best of all, AI can help to bridge the gap between these two teams and improve marketing ROI.

Your marketing team can infuse your existing ABM strategies with AI technology, allowing them to scale their efforts while still delivering highly targeted messaging. The tech converts all of the data and insight into a one-on-one experience, making it easier than ever to start conversations and close the sale.

In addition to closing sales with your identified prospects, AI can also help you find juicy prospects who don’t fit your typical profile. As marketing legend Jim Sterne says, “AI can discover which elements or attributes in a subject matter domain are the most predictive. Even with a great deal of noisy data and a large variety of data types, it can identify the most revealing characteristics, figuring out which to heed to and which to ignore.”

Account Based Marketing – Managing Expectations

While you might be hopeful and excited about the potential for AI and other technology to bridge all of the gaps between sales and marketing, it’s still important to manage expectations. The human element is still essential, and no machine will ever replace an experienced marketing team and a savvy sales professional.

Indeed, it is a talented and tuned in management team that can help to align these aspects of your business. Your team is only as strong as its leader. A good leader will encourage people to work with the AI to identify opportunities and follow through on them. With AI, the data is there, but you need strong people to decipher it, action it, and get results.

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