ABM for B2B organizations: mixed results and ongoing challenges

June 10, 2024

As go-to-market (GTM) leaders strive for a competitive edge in the ever-evolving marketplace, account-based marketing (ABM)—which dates back to the 1990s—is still a hugely important strategy for B2B organizations.

However, results from Enlyft’s recent 2024 ABM Benchmark Survey indicate that while ABM investments are expected to increase in 2024, many organizations are experiencing mixed results and lack confidence in their in-house ABM skills and preparedness.  

Although ABM has been a sales and marketing staple for almost 30 years, the impact of targeted, personalized experiences can continue to be augmented by a new wave of strategies.  

Let’s explore the challenge of leveraging ABM effectively as highlighted in the benchmark survey and discuss strategies to enhance confidence and success within business teams.

- Challenge #1: ABM investment vs. preparedness

For those holding the purse strings, survey results reveal two facts that will be of particular interest: 64% of B2B organizations expect an increase in their investment in ABM in 2024, but only 56% rate themselves as prepared to meet the challenges of ABM in the coming year.

If their ABM efforts are to yield successful outcomes, the gap between the lack of confidence and preparedness in this area and the projected increase in investment, needs to be addressed.

- Challenge #2: ABM strategies lack finetuning

Our survey findings also indicate that businesses are experiencing mixed results in their current ABM activities. Only 5% of respondents consider their ABM efforts to be 'very successful,' while nearly half report no discernable success.

This suggests that the effectiveness and impact of ABM strategies are varied among B2B organizations. To achieve consistent results, it is crucial for organizations to evaluate and refine their ABM approaches, ensuring they are tailored to their specific business needs.

- Challenge #3: Resource allocation is out of balance

A significant hurdle highlighted in the ABM benchmarking survey is the feeling among teams that they are understaffed or underinvested to meet their ABM needs. Almost 50% of the respondents express this concern, indicating a gap in resource allocation.

Effective ABM requires dedicated teams and sufficient investment in technology, data, and talent. For successful ABM implementation and execution, the careful allocation of resources will need to be prioritized.

- Challenge #4: Team members crave tools and training

Personal preparedness also plays a role in the effectiveness of ABM efforts. Only 7% of respondents report feeling very confident in their ABM skills development and training, while the majority feel neutral.

With the advent of GenAI in sales and marketing and as technology continues to advance at breakneck speed, it is key for the personal skills of teams to keep pace. Leaders should invest in comprehensive training programs and provide ongoing development opportunities to enhance the expertise of their teams in ABM.

5 tips to improve the confidence and preparedness of your people

To address ABM challenges, it is essential to have the buy-in and support across the GTM team. By boosting the confidence and preparedness of your people, you are more likely to engage and empower the people who will make or break your efforts.  

Here are five strategies to consider:

  1. Leverage the power of data: Supercharge your efforts with an ABM and customer intelligence platform that is robust enough to capture intent signals from your website and third-party digital sources. This combination of data will create a clearer picture of prospects’ progress along their buying journey.  
  1. Implement comprehensive training programs: B2B organizations should invest in training programs that cover various aspects of ABM, including strategy development, data analysis, and technology utilization. These programs should be designed to cater to the specific needs of GTM teams.
  1. Actively support knowledge sharing and collaboration: Openly encourage team members to share their skills and work together to enhance the team’s understanding of ABM best practices and foster a culture of continuous learning. Regular team meetings, workshops, and online forums can provide opportunities for exchanging insights and experiences.
  1. Secure external expertise: Engage external consultants or experts in ABM to bring fresh perspectives and insights to the organization. These experts can provide guidance on developing effective ABM strategies, implementing new technologies, and optimizing resources.
  1. Take an agile approach: By adopting an agile approach to ABM, businesses can continuously evaluate and refine their strategies based on feedback and results. This iterative approach allows for faster adaptation to changing market dynamics and improves the chances of success.

Clinch your ABM success

While the projected increase in ABM investments in 2024 indicates the significance of this strategic marketing approach, it’s up to go-to-market executives to address challenges associated with its effective implementation. Once those are buttoned down, B2B organizations can navigate today’s new ABM landscape with confidence and achieve consistent success.  

You can access our complete set of findings on the current state of ABM by downloading the eBook, Unlock GTM Success Through Precision, today: https://enlyft.com/unlock-gtm-success-through-precision  

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