Let’s assume you are doing Account-Based Marketing (ABM) for your company. You’ve invested in a platform like 6sense or Demandbase, and you have already identified your target accounts. Let’s also assume your data at the contact and account levels are relatively accurate within your addressable target market.

From this point, we see 5 common themes which we’ll unpack separately:

1. Underutilizing Expensive Technology

The objective of investing in technology is to scale and make life easier. However, if you are unable to reduce the time to value of these expensive investments, companies often decide to hire internal experts or external firms to ensure the technology is properly implemented and utilized.

2. Underinvesting in Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is crucial for ABM success, as the function’s breadth and depth of responsibilities are significant. The challenge with most ABM technology is that it is constantly changing, and there’s limited time to train on all use cases. If sales enablement is not in place, there’s a risk of sales development reps (SDRs) and account executives (AEs) not fully adopting what may be perceived as a marketing initiative.

3. Unequal Treatment of Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQAs)

Not all MQAs are created equal. For example, an intent-driven MQA may not have the same urgency as an MQA with significant engagement with sales and marketing. The treatment may differ internally in terms of follow-up speed and approach.

4. Lack of Agreed-upon Playbooks

Not having agreed-upon playbooks is a common campaign strategy issue. If an MQA is disqualified, are there specific reasons documented in your systems and processes? Have you identified a follow-up playbook to requalify those MQAs or keep in touch?

5. Running Multiple Funnels

The ‘double funnel’ issue is most commonly found when an account-based motion is added to an existing lead-based motion, and there’s confusion about how to report on both. This can be resolved by clarifying the definitions of leads and accounts for proper reporting.

When done right, ABM can significantly improve a company’s efficiency in profitably acquiring new customers. However, addressing these common challenges is crucial for success.