The events of 2020 brought significant disruption and change to B2B revenue teams. But it also sparked creative adaptation, innovation and increased adoption of ABM platforms.
6sense Chief Market Officer Latané Conant and other CMOs shared their perspectives about these changes — and how they'll impact marketers in the near future — with attendees of LinkedIn Business' recent "I Heart ABM" virtual event. Demandbase CMO Jon Miller and G2 CMO Amanda Malko were also on the panel.
Here are five key takeaways from the event:
1. ABM Is Now the Cornerstone of Modern Marketing
Now more than ever, ABM is the modern foundation of B2B revenue teams today, Latané told attendees. This is especially important since sales teams are becoming overburdened with navigating increasingly complex buying cycles with ever-growing buying teams.
“As marketers, we really need to step up and optimize a seller’s time and help them prioritize the best-fit accounts,” Latané said.
2. ABM Adoption is Through the Roof
As the commercial availability of intent data and AI has exponentially increased in recent years, comprehensive ABM platforms have risen to the challenge, Demandbase’s Jon Miller said.
This is reflected in the research that buyers are conducting at software review site G2, Amanda Malko explained. The site has seen 80% growth year-over-year in interest and traffic to ABM-related companies. Two categories in particular — platforms like 6sense and targeted personalized digital advertising solutions — generate the most user interest, she said.
3. Pipeline Clarity is Paramount
As ABM becomes the foundation for modern revenue teams today, marketers now own the mission-critical function of "future proofing" bookings, Latané said.
"Pipeline is the lifeblood of a company's success," she said. “How can we own the pipeline forecast? I mean the overall pipeline forecast across all segments and channels.” This kind of clarity and revenue predictability “are the critical things that a CEO expects and that boards want,” she said.
4. ABM Can Increase Customer Retention
ABM platforms can deliver similar predictability to customer retention too, G2's Malko said.
“I get excited about how we can apply the principles of ABM to retention,” she said. “What are those signals, those triggers, that are going to help you understand your customer’s journey, and where they are in their experience with your product?”
This data is critical especially as you approach renewals, Malko said. “Intent data is a great way to understand, 'Are they looking at other platforms? Are they looking at other services? How can I think about where they are in their experience with my brand?'"
5. ABM Brings It Together
These days, we all understand that data-driven marketers and sellers will be more successful at their jobs, Latané said. But at some point, all this data must be properly assembled to generate meaningful business impact.
“For too long as marketers, we’ve had to duct-tape and bailiwick things together” to make sense of siloed data. Along this way, marketers are “essentially doing a lot of guesswork,” Latané said. “As marketers, there's a lot you can know when you bring the data together. ... We see leading marketers wanting to bring those together and have their ecosystem of execution channels led by common decisioning.”
To discover more insights in this panel discussion, check out LinkedIn Business' recent “I Heart ABM” virtual event. The segment featuring Latané, Jon Miller and Amanda Malko begins at the 34-minute mark.