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Can ABM really work in the channel?

Tom Perry
by Tom Perry - September 28, 2018
Partner ABM
Channel marketing is a complex landscape to navigate. A small minority of Vendors and Partners are ahead of the curve when it comes to marketing activities and content distribution, but the majority are struggling to stay ahead, whilst battling MDF issues and sales and marketing misalignment. Channel partners have become accustomed to receiving market distribution funds, but due to the fractured MDF system, do not have the motivation, expectations or marketing expertise for effective delivery, leaving them disengaged. This is amplified by the lack of sales and marketing alignment within their teams, which results in an equally fractured sales funnel. 

Outside of the channel, other marketing strategies have exploded and become more commonplace. One of these is Account Based Marketing (ABM). ABM is a laser-targeted marketing strategy which appeals directly to the pains and priorities of key decision makers of precisely targeted accounts. Using tactics such as intent scoring, desirability and fit matrices, we are able to locate organisations who are searching for specific products and services to build highly personalised, targeted marketing campaigns which provide solutions to their problems. Your marketing team are then speaking directly to a cross-section of people within a specific company who are currently ‘in market’ for a product like yours.

The benefits of ABM are exponential:

  • Sales and Marketing teams work together in a customer-centric, lead-nurturing process which accelerates the sales cycle.
  • Increased ROI
  • Long lasting commercial partnerships built upon understanding and trust
  • Trackable KPIs which are aligned with your existing lead scoring criteria
  • Increased potential of a higher lifetime account value.

In recent surveys, 84% of marketers said that ABM had significant benefits to retaining and expanding existing client relationships, whilst 97% thought that ABM had higher ROI than other activities.

Can ABM really work in the channel? Have the audience considered it?

The beauty of ABM lies in its agility; it has many guises and multiple tactics that can be blended to obtain the best results, both outside the channel and within it. ABM especially complements the recent shift in B2B marketing towards approaches more often seen in B2C campaigns. Customer-centric tactics such as hyper personalisation and refined targeting based on people rather than verticals are still relatively unchartered in B2B marketing, but ABM works with - and even improves upon - the efficiency of many existing marketing practices. So it is perfectly suited to the nuances of partner marketing. However, as with all ABM, suitable foundations must be present in the first place and the many accompanying challenges and aforementioned nuances must be understood and addressed to generate value.

Sherpa have extensive experience in partner marketing and understand the subtleties and distinctions which come with marketing through the channel. By explaining the obstacles and the relevant solutions, we can create a landscape where Vendors can establish successful and scalable ABM programmes for partners.

Why is this useful?

  • Better processes and partner education lead to greater understanding of products and how to market them
  • Opening up the marketing and sales processes gives all parties more visibility into the areas in which sales enablement requires more focus
  • Better partner engagement
  • More accountability on the partner when it comes to delivering results in return for the vendor investment (one of the existing challenges in the channel). 
Engage Partners, Grow your Channel; How ABM can Multiply your Channel Revenue

SherpaWe are excited to be sponsoring the Conference, ABM: Getting it right and making it happen. The specialist ABM event takes place on 8th November and Sherpa CEO, Tom Perry, will be speaking about how ABM can multiply channel revenue. Get 10% off tickets now, using the code Sherpa10. Tickets are going fast, so don't miss out!   

If you would like to chat through your Partner Account Based Marketing requirements, please get in touch: letschat@sherpamarketing.co.uk / 01234 964000

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