On February 25th 1989, after 3 straight losing seasons the Dallas Cowboys fired their first and only coach Tom Landry. The team was in disarray. New Owner Jerry Jones hired a coach with no NFL experience to rebuild the Cowboys from the ground up. Jimmy and Jerry knew they had to instill a new organizational foundation and that winning would not come immediately. They drafted Troy Aikman and traded Herschel Walker, one of the most popular players in history, to the Minnesota Vikings for a Kings Bounty of draft picks that would finish laying the foundation resulting in one of the greatest dynasties in sports.
Leading vs. Lagging Indicators
This blog primarily focuses on Account-Based Marketing, Sales, and other Marketing strategies, but the elements relating to foundation building are agnostic. Business Transformation at any level, whether you’re breaking open a New Sales Segment, Region, Product, etc. requires conviction during rollout.
Transitioning to an Account-Based Marketing methodology is incredibly tedious, time-consuming, and requires an incredible foundation, both organizationally and strategically. Success does not come immediately and you can’t and won’t transition overnight. The most common pitfall I have seen early in B2B ABM journeys is manic reactivity to leading and lagging indicators. Organizations say they trust the process but continuously use lagging indicators to discount the journey mid-flight. This mania is often compounded by the length of the sales cycle. The longer the cycle, the more Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt will creep into the process as previous leading indicators including MCLs and MQLs start to dwindle and unproven KPI’s relating to successful account penetration, that are not yet correlated directly to % of Revenue contribution, increase. This is where conviction in your foundation is paramount.
Stay The Course
In my experience, companies transition to ABM for one reason. Demand Generation has become less effective.
More transactional industries and products may be able to generate revenue without transitioning to an account-based model, but the more sophisticated the product, sales cycle, or offering, the more important an ABM strategy becomes. Buying behavior has changed tremendously over the last dozen years. There are countless new ways to advertise and connect with potential customers and there are just as many new ways for these targets to conduct research. The number of devices has more than doubled. The primary ways that customers research and affirm their buying decisions has more than tripled. And according to Gartner, buyers are also as far as 75% through their journey before engaging sales.
This means wasting time, energy, resources, and dollars attracting the wrong type of customer has higher costs than ever. An analysis of an optimized ABM framework has shown that the cost per opportunity creation has decreased between 40% and 65% driving a profound impact on positive revenue generation.
All of this wouldn’t be possible without an amazing community and partners. For anyone just beginning their ABM Journey I highly recommend checking out ABM for dummies. If you are in a position to work with an amazing partner to bring your ABM strategies to life. SiriusDecisions has an amazing ABM Practice.