ABM: A Coming-of-Age Story

  • 07 Sep 2021

Momentum ITSMA

Is ABM finally growing up? Moving from uncertain adolescence to more mature adulthood? Rob Leavitt talks with Alisha Lyndon about the evolution of ABM.

Is ABM finally growing up? Moving from uncertain adolescence to more mature adulthood?

The timing works. We began working on ABM here at ITSMA back in the early 2000s, so we’re just now hitting our late teens with ABM development.

More important, after years of watching (and helping) ABM programs develop through the exploring, experimenting, and expanding phases of development, we’re beginning to see examples of ABM becoming a fully-embedded contributor to corporate growth strategy: a mature adult alongside other core contributors such as brand, demand, and key account management.

I discussed all of this recently with my new colleague, Alisha Lyndon, CEO and founder of Momentum, as part of an Account-Based Marketing podcast episode with Dave Munn and Julie Schwartz from ITSMA.

In the episode, Alisha and I talked about the evolution of ABM, what it might look like in the future, and the idea of ABM “coming of age” as a mainstay for growth-oriented organizations.

From my perspective, there’s a push and pull to ABM development and maturity.

The pull is market demand. Business buyers are demanding that their vendors and partners have a deep understanding of their specific business issues and can offer relevant solutions for their specific wants, needs, and operating environments.

Accelerated by the pandemic, their businesses are transforming but often in different ways from their peers and competitors. They’re making major changes with big bets on investments, partners, and providers to work with, and how they need to grow. And if their current vendors and partners can’t provide innovative solutions and strategies to help them transform, they’re going to move on to partners that can.

The push is the growing evidence of ABM success. Over the years, the discipline of ABM has evolved far beyond the early pioneers and we’ve seen the powerful impact it can have on driving business growth in a wide range of markets. Especially in times of disruption, as we’re in now and will likely be in for a while, building strong partnerships with your most important accounts is going to be how you grow, innovate, test new business models, and apply new solutions. As more and more marketing, sales, and other business leaders appreciate, investing in a more integrated go-to-market approach, focused on building those collaborative relationships, is going to be a key growth driver for companies.

Alisha and I also discussed the potential bifurcation of ABM programs over the next few years, and the risk that companies focusing mainly on tools and tactics may fall well behind those which more fully embed ABM in the growth strategy of the business.

Alisha and I also tackle:

  • A bit of the history of ABM
  • What I call “pseudo ABM”
  • The intersection of ABM-Thought Leadership-Executive Engagement

My conversation with Alisha is at the beginning of the podcast and goes until about 10:30. Take a listen and let me know what you think.

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