ABM: Bridging the Data Gap
“Without good data, your ABM program will stall.” That’s the message I got from Steve Pogorzelski, CEO of Avention, the Massachusetts-based business intelligence and sales enablement platform (formerly OneSource).
ABM isn’t just a buzz phrase, then? “It’s certainly a trend,” Pogorzelski conceded. “That’s why we did the survey–because we were concerned about the same thing.” That recently released survey, “Accounts Based Marketing: The Art of the Start,” revealed, said Pogorzelski, that “86 percent [of respondents] thought ABM was here to stay, and would help with customer acquisition and retention.” No fewer than 90 percent acknowledge its relevance to the B2B space, but when it comes to preparedness it’s a different story. For example:
- Almost half of respondents were either not practicing ABM, or had not progressed beyond planning pilots in the next 6-12 months.
- The overwhelming majority of respondents in both marketing and sales functions would say no more than that they were “building towards” having the right data for ABM.
- Around 70 percent did not feel able to identify lookalike accounts based on the data available to them.
The results were derived from two surveys of 100-plus executives and managers across a variety of verticals.
Pogorzelski insists that effective ABM depends on real-time data representing what he called “a single source of truth.” For Avention, of course, that source should be their DataVision solution which surfaces and centralizes real-time insights drawn from a global set of websites and news sources, including social media. (It can also integrate data from the major CRM platforms: Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.)
First as OneSource, Avention has a long history of helping companies “get a much more comprehensive view of customers, prospects and opportunities. We saw that ABM was becoming more and more important.” Hence what Pogorzelski called “a fundamental, unprecedented offering,” the OneSource ABM Solution, designed to provide the building-blocks of a successful ABM strategy: data to support the targeting of the right accounts and the development of rich account profiles.
“We broaden the ability to go after customers and prospects,” Pogorzelski said. The solution makes it possible to do ABM at scale, identifying lookalike accounts with shared sets of attributes, tracking changes within accounts, and monitoring alerts which users can customize around any number of prospects or customers and attributes.
ABM, said Pogorzelski, is also an effective retention tool. Experience showed that building relationships through the sale of multiple products to different parts of organization helped renewal rates. Retention was also promoted by real-time business signals, including executive changes, the opening and closing of facilities, and M&A activity.
One more benefit, Pogorzelski observed: having ABM as a shared sales and marketing responsibility helps the units align around agreed targets and shared terminology.