The Top Ten Questions from Momentum ITSMA’s ABM Forum

  • 20 Jun 2023

Robert Hollier

The first week of June marked an exciting occasion as our in-person ABM Forum returned to London after a three-year hiatus. With over 100 attendees and a packed agenda, the Forum brought together sales, marketing, and ABM program leaders from some of the top global organizations.

The sessions were dynamic, the conversations were stimulating, and the subjects were inspirational, as we explored the future of ABM in an ever-evolving landscape.

Looking back on the day’s discussions and insights, here are ten thought-provoking questions that emerged for me.

1. Our Client Buying Index tells us the collaboration trend is unstoppable – enterprise accounts are eager to collaborate with solution providers for joint innovation. So, the question is: Shouldn’t we invest more in marketing programs that foster collaboration, like ABM, thought leadership, executive engagement, and owned events?

2. From a sales leader’s perspective, one of the key things ABM brings is the capacity to de-risk deals. But, as ABM-ers, are we paying enough attention to this driver?

3. As accounts conduct extensive research upfront, sales reps find themselves engaging later in the buyer’s journey, with limited time to influence decisions. How can ABM empower sales to be productive, effective, and maximize their time?

4. One intriguing question that came up was whether 1:few is actually the hardest form of ABM. This is something that certainly calls for further reflection.

5. Highlighting the fact that the enterprise buying process has a non-linear nature, it was referred to as “squiggly”. Do we pay enough attention to this reality, how does it impact our strategies, and how do we navigate the twists and turns of this complex journey?

6. Another point for further exploration is the public vs private sector. Considering the contrasting buying behaviors and procurement policies, does ABM significantly differ when targeting public sector accounts compared to private sector?

7. The overall theme of the ABM Forum was ‘ABM is not a one size fits all’. And, along the same lines as number six, let’s consider the differences between services companies and tech vendors. Are ABM strategies the same for both?

8. We heard from one speaker that ABM accounts outperformed non-ABM accounts by 30%. So, shouldn’t we do Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) that really measure the impact of ABM? In areas like medicine or social policy, RCT is standard, so don’t we need more data like this to support the business case for ABM?

9. Another key thought is whether we should be averting our focus from only individual interactions. Isn’t it time to start measuring engagement and attribution with the buying group as a whole?

10. The day ended with a call to be brave. Shouldn’t we stop apologizing for marketing and, instead, celebrate its power and potential – ABM in particular?

You can find a full round-up of the day, insights, key takeaways, and the other exciting events we’ve got coming up – including Marketing Vision in Boston on November 13-15 – here.

We left the event feeling inspired and ready to shape the next chapter of ABM. If you want to carry on the conversation and you’re in the area, join us at our next ABM Forum in Singapore in October – look out for more details coming in the next few weeks.

The first week of June marked an exciting occasion as our in-person ABM Forum returned to London after a three-year hiatus. With over 100 attendees and a packed agenda, the Forum brought together sales, marketing, and ABM program leaders from some of the top global organizations.

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Robert Hollier