In many B2B companies, a lot more attention is paid to how many deals enter the pipeline than on measuring the rate of closed-won deals. Yet the average win rate is one of the most important measures of success! Although winning deals is normally considered the job of the sales team, how can the marketing team contribute to this crucial KPI?
If you’ve done the analysis, and your win rate is at or even below the industry standard, you might want to consider how account-based marketing (ABM) can boost revenue results.
Here are five ways in which marketers can get behind sales to drive win rates up:
1. The early bird catches the worm
ABM takes a long-term view of targeted accounts, systematically and continually communicating with all (or almost all) of the members of the buying center/s in each account. So your company is always top-of-mind – and a constant source of inspiration for prospects and customers alike. And that, in turn, keeps competitors playing catch-up instead of leading the pack.
2. Deals that fit
ABM begins by cutting away prospective customers that are a poor fit for your company and performing pre-qualification on the target account list to emphasize opportunities that are more likely to close at a profit. After all, why should salespeople waste their time chasing the wrong deals in the first place?
3. The buying center already knows you
A 2019 LinkedIn study revealed that in 74% of cases, the salesperson is only communicating with one member of the buying center – yet B2B decisions are typically made by 7 to 15 decision-makers or influencers! That’s a recipe for disaster, lengthening the sales cycle (with the associated risks) and placing most of the sell-in task out of the company’s control.
ABM works to ensure everyone who matters is already aware of and (where possible) engaged with your brand before a sales opportunity even sees the light of day!
4. Better pipeline management
Part of any properly implemented ABM system is best-practice pipeline management. This cuts away deals that are unlikely to close, saving marketing and sales time and money and enabling the sales force to focus more effort on deals that have a higher chance of succeeding. Here’s where the marketing team can help their sales colleagues by, for example:
Supplying accurate, timely insights into the account
Ensuring enough members of the buying center have seen the benefits of the proposed solution – in a way that is relevant to their role
Identifying what sequence of touches has achieved success with similar opportunities in the past
5. Better sales and marketing alignment
In 2020, sales enablement is one of the top-of-mind, must-solve issues for marketing managers. At cylindr, we also consider it to be a key part of ABM that directly impacts on win rates. For example, in a 2019 Miller Heiman study, companies without sales enablement reported win rates of 42.5%, while those with sales enablement reported an average win rate of 49.0%.
Lifting sales enablement, however, demands that sales and marketing teams work more closely together. With an ABM approach, both teams work with full awareness of the customer-facing end of the business. They share a lot of the same metrics – putting ‘vanity metrics’ like clicks and views in the back seat, while pipeline and realized revenue KPIs move to the front. And marketing develops an understanding of sales goals and account relationships while providing much more direct and valuable support than is typical of B2B sales/marketing interactions today.
Achieving a high level of sales and marketing alignment isn’t easy, of course, but it is enabled by the way that ABM can shift the company’s fundamental approach to revenue generation. And as the success of this advanced approach starts to show, expect to see both teams get more and more enthused about the power of alignment!