ABM is a fantastic place to be right now – people are doing great work and bringing truly innovative thinking to this exciting, ever-developing field of B2B marketing. But I’ve been pondering, what makes some ABMers stand out from the crowd?
Based on my long-term Accenture career and from my experience delivering ABM consultancy projects, including training and mentoring ABMers from many different, often global, organisations, here are my top three attributes for a great ABMer:
1. Strong business compass – an effective ABMer knows that anchoring everything back to business objectives and outcomes is the route to success. They’ll understand the external market and industry dynamics impacting their client account and will marry these to their own organization’s internal growth agenda and objectives. This ability to operate at the ‘front-end’ of marketing – where business needs are understood and truly inform personalized, differentiated marketing strategies – is critical. It’s not easy, but it’s the skill that differentiates an ABMer as a strategic business partner, rather than a bolt-on marketing resource to execute tactics.
2. Empathy and influence – great ABMers are made of strong stuff. Facing off to sales and account leads is no walk in the park. And doing this in a way that builds long-term trusted partnerships is a challenge. Setting and managing expectations, persuading, and influencing (often Alpha individuals) is important – but this needs to be combined with empathy for their particular business goals and challenges, and a willingness to adapt your approach if needed.
3. A talent for creating human connections – a former Accenture CEO once said “If you’re doing something on your own, you’re doing it wrong”- and nowhere is this truer than in ABM! ABMers must be skilled collaborators – pulling together people and resources from across the marketing eco-system – events teams, content leads, tech teams, innovation leads, researchers, agencies, suppliers, partners, creatives and many more besides. These multi-faceted teams will often form and disband with each ABM plan and idea, so a skilled ABMer must be able to connect with people quickly – both internally and externally.
But this human connection is not just about team collaboration. People buy people, not businesses. So being able to truly understand what motivates and matters to individuals and, as a result, enable sales teams to have better human interactions based on mutual understanding is, in my view, the real key to ABM. It’s this ability to create human connections that is at the heart of ABM itself.
What I enjoy most in my role now is becoming part of a client’s team and supporting marketers to focus on what matters most as they implement and manage outstanding ABM programs.
Please message me directly if you would like to know more or visit www.inflexiongroup.com