Why ABM Is a Team Sport
Just like there’s no “I” in team, there’s no “I” in ABM. No one individual can do it alone. And, just like with any sports team, it takes a combination of vision, leadership, and a team mentality to beat the competition and find success.
Unfortunately, many marketing teams approach ABM as separate components working toward separate ends rather than as a unified team where each person plays a part in achieving the same goal. Indeed, despite 52% of marketers spending 6-15% of their budgets on ABM, 26% of ABM programs don’t follow basic ABM best practices. In an increasingly budget-tight climate, low-performing ABM programs are at risk of getting cut.
Input and planning need to be a concerted team effort between everyone involved in an ABM program: one complete with the right leadership, essential frameworks, thoughtful strategy, and the right skills to make it happen. So, what makes up a winning team, and how does that apply to ABM? Let’s break it down.
What Makes a Winning Team?
In sports, a successful team requires both players and a coach. However, not just any coach or players will do. More specifically, a winning team needs a coach and players who understand their intended roles and how they come together to achieve their goals.
Winning coaches are responsible for:
- Setting the goals. A good coach creates the vision and plans for how the team will accomplish what it sets out to do — win the championship.
- Inspiring the team, getting them excited, and helping all players believe in themselves.
- Building and teaching a playbook that demonstrates how and why all the players must work together to accomplish their goals.
In short, the coach ensures their team knows that no one individual star can achieve their goal alone. It takes a team effort, and the coach’s role is to rally and lead the team together toward their common cause.
Likewise, winning players are responsible for:
- Committing to the goal and believing in the plan.
- Showing up every day ready to put the work in.
- Living with a team mentality — no one likes a ball hog.
- Playing to their strengths.
- Excelling at communication, both on and off the field.
While all great teams have excellent coaches and players, teams that excel and end up winning the championship tend to have one ingredient that stands out above all others: culture. Only the select few teams who truly get along, inspire one another, lift each other up, and have fun along the way will make it to the end.
Applying Leadership, Teamwork, & Heart to Your ABM Program
As with sports, applying a team mentality can make a world of difference for your ABM program. Everyone has a role to play. Thinking of your ABM efforts as a championship game can clarify each person’s role and motivate your team to achieve more together than they could alone.
With ABM, you need leaders who are responsible for:
- Setting the goals and vision for ABM. Your ABM leaders need to communicate where they feel ABM will have the most significant impact on the business, their expectations, and what they hope to achieve with the ABM program.
- Bringing the team together and getting them excited about the ABM program. Leaders should show their team that the business is invested in this program and believes it can have a substantial impact on growth goals.
- Building an ABM charter that clearly outlines each person’s role, how they should work together, and when they should leverage the tools in their toolbox.
There’s not a single star player that can get a team to win a championship. The AE or Sales rep alone can not get ABM to work, nor can one individual “ABM marketer.” Each person on the ABM team is essential.
With ABM, you need skilled marketers and team members who:
- Believe in the vision and are committed to doing their part to achieve the goals that the leaders have outlined.
- Own each of their individual pieces of the overall playbook and work to collaborate. No one individual or department should try to take it from start to finish.
- Develop a RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) chart and follow it.
- Excel at cross-department communication.
So, what sets the greatest championship teams apart from all of their opponents? The secret ingredient of culture. The same holds true in the corporate world when it comes to ABM.
What do we mean by that? Getting your target accounts to engage, take meetings, and lean into your ideas is a payoff that rallies the team around the ABM approach. It’s that feeling of scoring the game-winning goal — it’s motivating, thrilling and exciting!
The Magic of Making ABM Win
A team-minded ABM strategy is an investment in your team’s full potential; 76% of marketers saw higher ROI with ABM than any other strategy. Indeed, the greatest ABM programs become highly successful when everyone across marketing, sales, and customer success is aligned, has bought in, is communicating, and is having fun — just like with any successful sports team.
Keeping competitors at bay and winning over your competitors happens when ABM programs go from disparate efforts to a united front. If you’re ready to take your ABM team to the next level, Inverta can act as the coach or a key player to help you win.