Inbound Marketing and ABM

what synergies are needed to boost your company's sales performance?


ABM and Inbound Marketing: What Synergies to Boost Performance?

Based on hyper-personalisation, surgical targeting and the quest for added value, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is an interesting lever for companies with long to very long sales cycles, a relatively high average basket and a complex offering. ABM and Inbound: what synergies are there to boost sales performance?

Account-Based Marketing (ABM), from 1993 to 2022

In 1993, a paper published by the consulting group Peppers & Rogers predicted “a One to One Future” for B2B sales efforts. Ten years later, the IT Marketing Services Association (ITSMA) coined the term Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and laid the foundations for the approach. Since then, the concept has made its way across the Atlantic before being evangelised fairly quickly in France.

Account-Based Marketing is a strategic approach that develops and executes ultra-targeted, hyper-personalised or even personalised marketing programmes to address strategic accounts and boost sales performance. ITSMA identifies three ABM variants.

The ABM in France… a taste of unfinished business

According to a survey carried out by Tech Target and HG Insights, over 60% of B2B marketers (worldwide) are now practising some form of Account-Based Marketing. In France, the adoption rate is estimated at 55.3% by the 1st French Barometer of Strategic Account Marketing… with mixed success. In fact, only 30% of the companies surveyed said they were “more or less satisfied” with the results achieved, with a score of 6 out of 10.

ABM x Inbound Marketing: the 8 major differences

Popularised by HubSpot over a decade ago, inbound marketing is a business methodology that involves attracting prospects with content that answers the questions they ask themselves every day. It’s a bait-and-switch approach that moves away from cold, frontal marketing towards a more spread-out approach over time, leaving it up to the target audience to come to the company in exchange for high-value-added content.

This table taken from the book “De l’Inbound à l’Account-Based Marketing” co-authored by Laurent Ollivier and Gabriel Szapiro summarises the 8 differences between ABM and Inbound Marketing.

ABM x Inbound Marketing: what synergies?

Companies that combine ultra-personalised approaches with more generic strategies can exploit synergies to improve sales performance.

The practice of ABM is formative, in the sense that it enables the teams responsible for content and salespeople to develop an in-depth understanding of their market. By immersing themselves in the business issues of a strategic account, working on practical cases and confronting the company’s offering with the reality on the ground, they are able to develop their skills, which translates into better inbound content fuelled by practical cases and demonstrations of expertise.

Inbound marketing and ABM can form a continuum. In fact, a lead generated in an Inbound way can be considered, a posteriori, as having strong commercial potential. The company will then start an ABM loop to maximise the chances of conversion. Here is a typical scenario of synergy between Inbound and ABM.

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