Survey Finds Executional Gap Between Marketing and Sales is Hindering Personalization at Scale for Account-Based Marketing Success
While 87% of marketers and salespeople believe in ABM’s efficacy, only 43% of marketers and 49% of salespeople are using intent data to personalize account outreach as both departments operate in silos
Conversica, Inc., a leader in Conversational AI solutions for enterprise revenue teams that help organizations attract, acquire and grow customers at scale, today revealed findings of an emerging executional gap between marketers and salespeople, as shown in the new 2021 State of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) Report in partnership with Renegade Marketing. The study found that, while 87% of marketers and salespeople agree and believe in ABM’s efficacy for converting target accounts into pipeline opportunities, the two departments are misaligned on their capacity and ability to deliver personalization at scale for effective ABM execution.
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The 227-person study conducted by Renegade was equally split between marketers (51%) and salespeople (49%). Notably, 74% of ABM practitioners within the study have been practicing ABM for three or more years. Moreover, 100% of the respondents reported that they are currently selling to a defined target account list.
The results of the study point to an improvement in cooperation and mutual understanding between marketing and sales teams, with 81% of both marketers and salespeople believing that sales is doing everything they can to close deals. Further, 76% of salespeople believe marketing is doing all they can to support sales teams. Yet despite the fact that both groups are pulling in the same direction, the effort required to manually deliver timely personalized communications to every target account—using intent data generated by ABM platforms—remains a challenge for overburdened teams on both sides.
Within the study, only 49% of salespeople and 43% of marketers say they currently use intent data to personalize prospect communications. Additionally, only 38% of salespeople are sending personalized communications to top prospects on every touch. The operational silos between sales and marketing only pose further disconnects on the amount of personalization being executed on each account and touchpoint. Namely, 41% of marketers believe their salespeople are personalizing each touch. Yet, only 23% of salespeople think the same.
Jon Russo, CMO and founder of B2B Fusion commented, “If you were only handling one or two accounts at a time, it’d be pretty easy to personalize all your messaging. But when we’re talking about account-based one-to-many or one-to-few approaches, everyone is dealing with multiple accounts that have many buyer groups, each in different stages of the buying journey. At that level, personalizing outreach manually becomes incredibly challenging.”
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The study delves further into why marketing and sales teams are struggling to leverage intent data, work together to scale personalized engagement and realize ABM’s full potential:
- The volume of data: Among the survey respondents, 42% believe that sales teams are overwhelmed by the amount of data available on their ABM platforms.
- Insufficient manpower: When asked what’s preventing their organizations from realizing ABM’s effectiveness, 33% said insufficient staff to efficiently process and interpret the data.
- Personalization is time-consuming: On average, each salesperson is spending 16 hours a week just on researching prospects for personalization.
Drew Neisser, founder of Renegade Marketing said, “Our study shows that the same intent data that enables sales and marketing teams to personalize prospect communications is also hindering them from doing so at scale. Given that these challenges are primarily tied to the capacity and time required to handle the volume of data and manually engage in outreach, tools that can automate certain communications while maintaining personalization can be invaluable to sales and marketing teams. Such intelligent automation can bridge the executional gap and elicit more meaningful responses from potential buyers to help organizations reap the full benefits of their ABM strategy.”
Sonny Dasgupta, head of product marketing at Conversica added, “The big opportunity for organizations isn’t in rethinking strategy, but in optimizing ABM efforts by improving how personalization is deployed at scale.”
Jon Russo of B2B Fusion, Drew Neisser of Renegade and Sonny Dasgupta of Conversica will discuss the findings from the study and how Conversational AI supports personalization at scale for effective ABM execution during a live webinar titled, “Nothing Is Wrong With Your ABM Strategy, But Your Execution is Failing.”
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