The following is a guest post written by Kristina Jaramillo, President of Personal ABM.
Many companies are shifting from inbound to outbound ABM approaches using intent data—and for good reason. ITSMA’s latest benchmarking survey with the ABM Leadership Alliance reported that 76% of respondents who measure ROI found they get the highest return on investment from ABM. But ITSMA also reported that only a third of organizations see a significant business impact and improvement with account-based marketing.
Yet previous research shows—and, intuitively, we all agree—that ABM works especially when you use intent data solutions, like Intentsify’s, which enable sales and marketing teams to rapidly evolve their programs from mass spray and pray tactics, to more targeted, personalized outreach campaigns.
Sales and marketing teams spend more time nurturing prospects with an increased signal of interest and intent to buy. Conversely, they spend less time chasing cold-calling lists and more resources on specific in-market accounts that can drive revenue growth now.
While sales and marketing teams have used intent data to focus and accelerate their prospecting efforts, many of these organizations still struggle to get the most out of their intent data investments. In fact, LinkedIn's State of Sales Report shows that 44% of organizations have been seeing huge drops in responsiveness to phone, email, and social outreach. A Challenger study shows that the biggest challenge for 50% of sales and marketing teams is getting a response from buyers.
Why is this? If the data is right and it’s identifying in-market accounts, why aren’t all organizations using intent data for outbound efforts seeing huge jumps in responses?
In talking to leadership, sales, marketing, and customer success teams about how they go-to-market using intent data, we learned that many of these teams lack an effective strategy for using intent signals in their prospecting and nurturing efforts. Intentsify’s "B2B Marketer’s State of Intent Report" supports this as well. Their study shows that the top challenges organizations face with intent data include:
It’s not surprising that the latter three of these four challenges all result from the first, primary challenge: creating a holistic strategy for the use of intent data.
The problem is that sales and marketing teams still engage in a "spray and pray" approach but now with a targeted list of in-market accounts. We are still too focused on "scaling" marketing, nurturing, and prospecting as we try to reach as many in-market accounts as possible with digital ads, retargeted ads, email campaigns, LinkedIn messaging and phone calls.
As we scale for reach, we lose the intimacy that's needed to open, engage and close tier 1 accounts as the focus is not on the interactions we need to have and the experiences we need to deliver to those accounts needing our solutions.
As David Crane, VP of Marketing at Intentsify, has said many times:
“Intent data has two general values: it identifies the accounts you should focus on, and tells you what they care about, so you can provide each of them with the specific info they need. Unfortunately, most intent users only focus on the first value, while they neglect the second.”
In many cases, there is no strategy on how we will get in-market, intent-identified accounts to revenue. There is no thought about how to use the intent signals to select the content, messaging, and stories that will be needed to build the business case, teach for differentiation, and to influence selling conversations.
In fact, 86% of content and messaging do not support a comprehensive ABM strategy. As a result, intent-driven nurturing sales efforts often have little commercial impact on buyers. We just have a bunch of the same tactics that sales and marketing are to complete. They're taking the leads and running them through email/phone campaigns and treating all leads the same without any segmentation/prioritization. But, because they’re focused on in-market accounts, sales and marketing teams expect the results to be astronomically better.
No tool alone (including intent data) will not provide GTM teams with maximum revenue growth potential. If we want greater returns from our ABM and intent-driven and prospecting efforts, then we need to focus on our engagement in target accounts, our GTM strategy and ways to win tier 1 account deals as one team.
As I've shown throughout this article, it's not enough to identify the 3-10% of the market that is looking or is open to buying. You need to have the right ABM strategy, the right account plan, and the right interactions across all touchpoints. One communication misfire and one wrong interaction will result in unresponsiveness and inaction. You would lose the competitive advantage of knowing who's in-market.
Connect with me (Kristina Jaramillo) if you'd like to see how you can better leverage the intent data that your sales and marketing team can get from Intentsify. You may also want to check out these additional ABM and intent data resources:
Kristina Jaramillo, President of Personal ABM, helps GTM teams win and expand both in-market accounts and the 60% of the market that is stuck in status quo. By taking a more personal approach to ABM and intent-driven prospecting, she created wins with accounts that were unresponsive for 5+ years, reversed “later” positions with enterprises like UPS and protected at-risk accounts like P&G. So you can learn how to better leverage ABM and intent data, check out her recent on-demand training on how to avoid the mistakes that’s leading to 66% of ABM programs to under-perform: http://personalabm.com/why-abm-programs-fail-webinar