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Summit 2014: Sharing Best Practices in Account-Based Marketing

June 10, 2014 | By Bob Peterson

The SiriusDecisions ABM Programs of the Year winners all had unique objectives, but a number of factors were consistent.

I came away from SiriusDecisions Summit 2014 with a feeling of community, both within the account-based marketing (ABM) space and the larger SiriusDecisions ecosystem. The energy one gets from spending several days with a group of intelligent, experienced marketing, sales and product professionals cannot be underestimated.

This spirit of community was particularly evident during our Account-Based Marketing Programs of the Year session, where SiriusDecisions recognized six of our clients for their impressive work in designing and executing account-based strategies. We identified exceptional programs in each of the four ABM types:

ABM Programs of the Year

  • Large account (EMC, Siemens PLM Software, Adobe)
  • Named account (CSC)
  • Industry/segment (Oracle)
  • Customer lifecycle (Ariba, an SAP company)

Each of the winners allowed us to share insights into how they structured their ABM program, the keys to their success, and the results they are achieving. For companies with an ABM program already underway, our winners helped create a vision of how enhancements can take an ABM program to the next level. For companies considering an ABM initiative, the winners provided the incentive to explore ABM as a key strategic initiative in the not-too-distant future.

While each of these programs had unique objectives, a number of factors were consistent throughout:

  • Commitment. Each of our program winners was led by one or more individuals who had a vision of what their ABM program could be. This vision was based on a fundamental understanding of the business challenges facing the organization and how sales and marketing could work together to address these challenges. These programs were distinguished by the level of dedication demonstrated between interlocked teams as they shared a commitment to meet challenges.
  • Execution. Successful ABM execution does not happen by accident. Once commitment is achieved, the hard work of execution begins. Each winner demonstrated a thoughtful approach to structuring initiatives in a way that reflected its unique organizational nuances. Each walked the often fine line of building a consistent, global methodology while still allowing regional differences where appropriate. Perhaps the most important executional element we saw was exceptional communication, which ensured that all impacted departments were on the same page and shared a common goal.
  • Results. Before launching their ABM programs, each of our winners had a clear vision of what success should look like. Whether it was pipeline growth, customer engagement or industry penetration, they understood what results they wanted and how they would strive to meet and exceed these goals. Each program was exceptional in the way it leveraged systems, processes and, in some cases, technologies, to measure and share results within the organization.

It was a pleasure to recognize our Account-Based Programs of the Year winners at Summit, but it was also exciting to speak with other customers about how much they learned from, and were inspired by, the success of these winning programs. Along with our congratulations, we thank our winners for their willingness to share their ABM success with the broader SiriusDecisions community.

Bob Peterson

Bob Peterson is a sales and marketing thought leader with more than 20 years of experience working in mid- to large-sized global organizations, with emphasis on the financial services and software sectors. Bob has particularly focused on developing account-based marketing strategies to help sales and marketing organizations forge tighter alignment.
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