Skip to main content

What are the benefits of the ABM approach? 

A 2023 survey by Sales Insights Lab found that 61% of sales reps believe selling is more difficult now than it was ten years ago. Sales teams now have to work doubly hard to close a deal. 

The challenge? Well, according to HubSpot's 2024 State of Sales Report: 

  • Lack of sales and marketing alignment. 
  • Longer deal cycles.
  • Getting in direct contact with decision-makers.
  • Lack of high-quality leads.
  • Standing out from the competition. 

These challenges strongly highlight the growing importance of account-based marketing (ABM) and why you should adopt the ABM approach.

8 ABM Benefits that Drive Sustainable B2B Growth

Sustainable growth in B2B means prioritizing customer acquisition and retention. You can achieve this with the benefits you get from using the right type of ABM strategy. I’ve outlined eight of these benefits below:

ABM Benefit #1: Accelerates Your Sales Cycles 

The B2B sales cycle can be quite lengthy. According to a poll by Belkins, the average B2B sales cycle length is 30–60 days. 

But this is actually a positive estimate. In typical scenarios, it can take at least four months to close a deal for many B2B companies. This happens for a variety of reasons: 

  • The number of stakeholders involved. 
  • Company and product complexity.
  • Key decision-makers revisit their decisions based on new information, triggering a reassessment of purchase decisions. 
  • Evolving buyer behaviors.

ABM helps mitigate the effects of the variables I outlined above. According to Gitnux, sales cycles involving ABM are 40% shorter and most companies that use ABM have sales cycles shorter than 90 days. 

ABM enables shorter sales cycles by:

  • Zeroing in on the most qualified leads, which in turn makes it easier to move them along the sales funnel quicker. 
  • Communicating product offers and benefits in a streamlined way based on where customers are in the buyer’s journey. The better buyers understand product applications and benefits, the quicker they convert. 
  • Anticipating potential objections and effectively addressing those concerns enables those identified in your target account marketing approach to move through the sales funnel much more quickly. 
  • Focusing less on direct selling and more on building stronger relationships. This inspires trust and quickens key stakeholders’ decision-making.

You can also lessen pipeline anxiety for your sales and marketing teams by quickening your sales cycle. Your sales team can close more sales in less time, resulting in increased return on investment (ROI). 

ABM Benefit #2: Improves Your Resource Utilization 

With traditional marketing, B2B companies target a broad range of prospects.  A few of these prospects convert, while many do not. This spray-and-pray approach to marketing consumes significant resources, and companies have no way of recouping the resources spent on prospects who end up not converting. 

The ABM approach is far more precise with targeting and engagement. It ensures companies only pursue prospects with a higher chance of converting and directs resources accordingly throughout the buyer journey. 

ABM does this by:

  • Using intent data and other insights gleaned through account-based marketing analytics to target only the most promising and qualified leads. This reduces the chances of committing resources to reach buyers whose needs don’t align with your company’s solution. 
  • Ensuring that your company puts resources into producing only content that is relevant to your target audience.  
  • Recognizing and utilizing available cross-sell/upsell opportunities. This reduces the need to put resources into awareness campaigns and advertising.

These initiatives help optimize the whole marketing and sales process, maximizing the chances of success for every resource allocated. 

Stay Up-to-date On All Things Marketing & Leadership.

Stay Up-to-date On All Things Marketing & Leadership.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive our newsletter, and occasional emails related to The CMO. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more details, please review our Privacy Policy. We're protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

ABM Benefit #3: Personalizes Your Marketing Programs 

ABM helps you personalize your marketing efforts, and this makes a great deal of difference result-wise. A prospect is more likely to convert when messaging and engagements are tailored to speak to their specific context, needs, and pain points. 

But don’t just take it from me. 

On a webinar by Exclaimer, Justin Keller, Vice President of Revenue Marketing at Drift, said: “We put our humans out front and center as part of our ABM strategy.”

“For example, when people from target accounts arrive at a landing page, the platform recognizes them and delivers the content that’s been tailored for that account, including serving up a video featuring the salesperson who’s responsible for that account, speaking directly by name to the target customer.” 

The result of this personalized approach? 50% conversion rate from target account to opportunity.

Dan Cafiero, Senior Program Manager at Seagate Technology, also spoke of how they’ve benefited from personalized video advertising. Using Demandbase’s video ad feature, Dan found that 44% of his target accounts completed the videos served up.

But how does ABM drive personalization? 

ABM does it by: 

  • Driving the development of the ideal customer profile through an in-depth understanding of a potential buyer’s needs, challenges, industry of operation, and potential opportunities.  
  • Determining the best approach to engage existing key accounts and create marketing campaigns through the analysis of customer data.  
  • Aligning messaging and content to customer needs and pain points.  

Combined, these built-in ABM protocols make your prospects feel your company deeply understands them and their needs. 

This significantly improves key metrics related to lead generation, customer acquisition, customer experience, customer retention, and revenue growth. 

ABM Benefit #4: Focuses Your Approach to Customer Targeting 

For B2B organizations, ABM emphasizes customer targeting. It empowers businesses to target the right high-value accounts in the right way, at the right time, and in the right place.

For this, ABM employs effective tactics such as: 

  • Using data to identify the most qualified leads, increases the chances of success. 
  • Segmenting existing accounts to identify patterns and shared characteristics. This is then used to create parallel audiences to target and acquire. 
  • Identifying decision-makers associated with target accounts through research. Before engaging, the ABM approach considers specific details such as job title, tenure, level of influence, and experience with the seller’s category. 
  • Using a scoring system that considers intent, ICP, engagement readiness, and engagement history to prioritize target accounts.

All these help refine targeting, increasing the chances of acquiring new customers. 

Take Treasure Data, for example. The company wanted to target thousands of qualified accounts with highly personalized ads. With an ABM strategy, they were able to monitor these accounts for certain sales triggers, automate sales alerts, and execute aligned sales and marketing activities to win them. This led to Treasure Data’s ads performing 4X better than the industry average.

ABM Benefit #5: Improves Your Customer and Target Account Relationships

In the world of B2B selling, relationships are everything. Even as an individual, think of the establishments you frequently patronized over the years. To inspire loyalty and maintain a long-term relationship, they must have demonstrated a keen understanding of your needs through their products and services. 

That’s what ABM does for B2B companies: help nurture and build relationships with existing customers and target accounts. But how? 

ABM helps nurture and improve relationships by:

  • Demonstrating a deep level of understanding of customer context, needs, and challenges in sales and marketing outreach. 
  • Delivering hyper-personalized engagement and customized experiences throughout the buyer journey. 
  • Building trust and connections with account decision-makers based on shared understanding, benefits, values, and expectations.  
  • Providing account support through trusted and competent account managers. These account managers act as direct contacts and trusted advisors, making customers feel more like valued partners instead of random buyers or leads.   
  • Using CRM to collect data and carry out relationship mapping to identify openings, address unmet needs, and enhance the value proposition. 
  • Prioritizing longevity and incentives to sustain it. Incentives can range from meaningful rewards and thank-you notes to workshops and marketing webinars to help solve specific customer problems. 

Overall, strong customer relationships fuel loyalty and sustainable business growth. Loyal customers tend to become product advocates, referring your solution to other executives. 

In fact, 86% of B2B purchasing decisions are based on word-of-mouth from peers. And referrals close faster and have a higher lifetime value, with 37% more likely to stay than other customers. 

ABM Benefit #6: Aligns Your Marketing and Sales Teams

Marketing and sales alignment is one of the most compelling arguments for the implementation of an ABM program. 

When marketing and sales align, their initiatives become synchronized, allowing them to collaborate toward common goals. 

In the words of Danilo Nikolich, Vice President of Sales at RollWorks, your marketing team provides air cover and targeted programs as you (the sales team) are going outbound to target accounts.

ABM aligns sales and marketing by: 

  • Establishing shared goals and KPIs that allow sales and marketing to unify their ABM efforts in identifying, engaging, and converting specific accounts. 
  • Encouraging the sharing of valuable information that helps both teams qualify and prioritize prospects. 
  • Facilitating a collaborative approach to creating a content strategy so that the right content reaches the right customers at the right place. 
  • Ensuring a holistic view of performance for shared accountability. 

This collaboration between sales and marketing makes a huge difference for B2B companies. Companies with strong sales and marketing alignment are 67% better at closing deals and achieve 20% annual revenue growth on average. 

ABM Benefit #7: Improves Chances of Hitting ROI Targets 

Revenue is the lifeblood of any business.

The way ABM approaches selling and customer engagement increases the chances of hitting your ROI targets. 

ABM is precise, narrow in scope, and plays a long game. It targets high-value accounts with personalized and persuasive messaging. This approach helps your company stand out. Decision makers feel understood and are more likely to convert and refer their peers. 

With ABM: 

  • 79% of active adopters have been successfully generating ROI. 
  • 87% of companies say that it delivers higher ROI than all other types of marketing. 
  • 54% of companies with a full program report a positive ROI —up to 3X returns —from their efforts.

Moreover, ABM affords companies a great deal of visibility. They get to see exactly what they’re getting back from their investment on each account. This gives them the flexibility to adjust their budgets and determine which accounts deserve more resources and effort.

ABM Benefit #8: Improves Your Understanding of Your Target Market

Precise targeting and personalization are core aspects of any ABM program. And for that to be effective, ABM requires companies to research and analyze their target market, collecting data such as: 

  • Industry and market trends
  • Pain points, needs, and challenges.
  • Goals, aspirations, preferences, and motivations.
  • Buyer behaviors.  
  • Company size, structure, and revenue.  

The more insights companies have into their target market, the better their understanding of it is. 

This understanding enables them to create content and curate personalized experiences to address their target market's pain points and needs. ABM personalization can lead to a 20% increase in user engagement and a 1.4x revenue growth.

3 ABM Best Practices to Guarantee You Get the Benefits of Your ABM Campaign 

Your ABM program must be implemented well to yield the desired result. Here are 3 best practices to guide your implementation. 

Start Small with a Tight Focus on Your Ideal Customer

Without a comprehensive understanding of your ICP, it’s difficult to bring the right amount of precision and personalization required for ABM to be successful. Hence the need to start small, focusing closely on defining your ideal customer profile. 

“The first thing people need to focus on is their ICP,” says Kristina Jaramillo, President at Personal ABM, on the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. “But it has to go beyond their traditional approach of company size, industry, and annual revenue.” 

Kristina also recommends considering the different journeys your ideal customer profiles can go through. She identifies four: 

  1. Accounts Showing Intent: These are accounts that have made searches around your solutions and have engaged with you. You can use the one-to-few approach to move them through the funnel. 
  2. Accounts That Have Shown Intent But Stopped Engaging: These accounts probably stopped engaging because it wasn’t an immediate priority or they didn’t understand your value proposition.
  3. Accounts that do not show any intent: These are accounts you need to persuade by showing them gaps you could fill for them. 
  4. Existing accounts: These are accounts with the potential for expansion or at risk of leaving. 

Ultimately, knowing your ideal customer helps you know how to prioritize and tailor your approach to moving individual accounts down the funnel. 

Get Internal Stakeholder Buy-in 

The alignment of internal stakeholders is crucial to the success of your ABM program. 

“Proper ABM is a corporate strategy. If you haven’t done ABM before, it’s one hell of an ask to go to the C-suite and ask them to basically change the way they run their business,” Jenna Chambers, VP of Partnerships & Sales at Terminus, tells Marketing in B2B Technology Podcast

So, how do you get internal stakeholders to commit to an ABM program? 

To internal stakeholders who have no prior knowledge of ABM, it sounds like something that concerns just the marketing department. Jenna suggests bringing customer success into the conversation.

If you can get your stakeholders to see it as building on all the work you’ve done with customer experiences and unifying that into an account-based everything approach, then each stakeholder will start to see the role they have to play and the potential business value. 

When this happens, you have a good chance of taking the entire organization on an ABM journey. 

Invest in the Right ABM Tool Stack

To truly extract maximum value from your ABM program, you need to invest in the right tools.

But how do you build a tool stack that’s right for your ABM program? 

First, focus on getting the foundation right.  

Precise targeting and personalization are at the center of any ABM program, so you’ll certainly need to invest in a CRM. A CRM gives you a unified visual of all your interactions with prospects and existing accounts.

On Growth Colony Podcast, Phil Lakin, VP of Revenue Operations at Aprimo, recommends building a stack around your CRM, your central source of connectivity. 

However, you don’t need the perfect tool stack right from the start. You can start with what you can acquire and then scale.  

Ignite Sustainable Business Growth with ABM 

There aren’t many B2B organizations without an ABM program. Many without one are either thinking about it or planning to implement it. As I’ve highlighted above, ABM is effective in many areas of B2B marketing and selling and capable of driving sustainable growth for B2B companies.

Looking to implement an ABM program? Check out these 5 ABM common mistakes and how to avoid them. You can also subscribe to The CMO newsletter to receive more in-depth marketing tips and resources.

Dozie Anyaegbunam
By Dozie Anyaegbunam

Dozie Anyaegbunam is the Senior Editor of The CMO, digital marketing firepower for SaaS pioneers. He's a marketing strategist with years of experience in Marketing, Communications, Ecommerce, and SEO. And has worked across verticals ranging from software to edu-tech, apparel, and F&B, leading teams at B2B SaaS startups, global multinationals, and the public sector. He’s the Founder & Host of The Newcomer’s Podcast featuring immigrants and their stories of moving to a new country, and he’s currently producing a documentary on the immigrant’s experience.