Despite how well established account-based marketing (ABM) application, tactics, and benefits have become, the fact that the lead has such staying power is quite surprising. It's not that leads don't matter, it's just that they don't matter as much.
Marketing and sales teams are equal partners in revenue generation, but leads and accounts are not.
Account-based marketing is less than half the story -- it's really an account-based strategy for revenue generation that spans sales and marketing. For an account-based strategy to truly work, it requires complete alignment between sales and marketing on what accounts are best.
In marketing, this approach means tailor-fitted campaigns and messaging to a list of target accounts. In sales, the same methodology has manifested itself as a rejection of "spray and pray," and means reps spend their time on a list of prioritized target accounts. At the root of both is a list of best-fit accounts that sales and marketing agree on.
ABM had been historically sequestered in marketing's domain, which led to a systemic conflation of account-based marketing with predictive lead scoring. If you are still a lead-obsessed organization, your account-based efforts are stuck on the ground floor.
Yes, we need to go beyond the lead, it's always been about the account.
How did we get here?
Account-based marketing emerged primarily as a response to two things:
B2B purchasing decisions aren't made by one individual.
Personalized outreach is more effective than traditional mass blasts.
As the number of people involved in a purchasing decision grows (we are now up to an average of seven people), and with the advent of tools that make scalable, iterative market segmentation a reality, these two facts are increasingly salient.
Buyers are more educated than ever before, but this trend created the need for revenue-generating efforts to adapt as quickly as the technologies that are shaping this new buyer landscape. Sales and marketing teams have evolved to keep up with the rapidly changing world of B2B software, but account-based marketing has, to a surprising degree, remained shackled to leads.
There is a better way: DataFox Account Scoring
Why invest in a complicated lead scoring model when leads are not as powerful as accounts? Especially when sales either doesn't believe in the scores or doesn't believe in leads in the first place? Why should we focus on the journey of an individual MQL, when ultimately, you must convince an average of seven people to make a buying decision?
Increasingly, marketers are seeing traditional "inbound" efforts not bear fruit. Rather than pushing large quantities of leads through, the lead should be weighed along with firmographic, technographic, and signal data and used to determine whether an account should be targeted. The account should be scored with consideration of firmographic and technographic criteria, signal data, and the number of leads associated with an account.
With DataFox Account Scoring, the scoring model is applied to all accounts -- the existing accounts in your CRM, and using your custom ICP criteria, on accounts in our dataset that align with your best-fit account specifications. Because you control the scoring parameters, the number is backed by all of the analysis work your team has done to determine what makes an account a good fit. Powerful lead-to-account or company routing means DataFox can match leads to companies in your internal data set as well as ours. Therefore a DataFox account score takes into account the number of leads associated with an account, whether or not the account is logged in your CRM.
Companies evolve quickly and so should strategies to target them.
To learn more about DataFox Account Scoring, request a demo with one of our sales reps today!