For more than 30 years, account-based strategies have captured the hearts and minds of executives. A business approach that treats individual accounts as markets in their own right, account-based growth is designed to create long-term impact within your most valuable accounts and deliver more effectively on overall business priorities.
The term account-based growth evolved from account-based marketing (ABM). However, as the term ABM permeated business and became diluted by technology providers who blur the lines between demand generation true account-based growth strategies, the original intent of the term has been lost.
As a strategy, the reach of account-based reach extends far beyond the boundaries of marketing. In fact, and we can learn from companies that have expanded and embedded account-based programs as part of their overall growth strategy.
Yet, even companies with mature programs will confront a new breed of challenges that will put strategy, people and processes to the ultimate test. To address these, marketing and growth leaders need to employ some key axioms of account-based growth that lay the groundwork for creating sustained business success.
One key premise is that organizationally, account-based growth re-defines and re-calibrates the relationship that marketing enjoys with the whole of the rest of the business – not just sales, but also customer service, finance, executive leadership, etc. When done right, account-based growth is successful because it brings together the mindset, skills, and resources of all those teams, as well as relevant business leaders, to focus on helping the customer achieve its business goals. It’s an “outside-in” approach to growth.
But sales and marketing alignment is still one of the most hyped topics in B2B marketing. On the one hand, yes, it can be challenging; however, with account-based growth, one thing is clear – growing the business is everyone’s responsibility.
That does not mean people are running around aimlessly, bumping into each other, all trying to do the same things. It’s more about orchestrating the role of what the marketing team does, versus the sales team, versus the delivery team. Definitions of roles and clarity of responsibilities are essential.
Leaders also need to be clear about where the boundaries are and where the interlock is – and ensure all parties involved understand. It’s a cultural challenge to engineer this approach, but you cannot create an account-based growth organization with a lone wolf attitude. Coordination and collaboration are key.
This blog post is an excerpt from Axioms of Account-Based Growth. The full document with all the details is available on Growth Hub.
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Have you considered these three critical questions before committing to account-based growth as a business strategy?