Account-based marketing (ABM) is fast replacing traditional lead-based demand generation for B2B Sales and Marketing alike.
But even ABM ultimately boils down to engaging with, and ultimately selling to, the key individuals within an account. This means modern B2B Marketing and Sales teams need to manage both leads and accounts, together.
That’s why Lead-to-Account Matching is so important. ABM can’t get off the ground unless Marketing and Sales can accurately map out which leads fit in which accounts — and on the flip side, which leads should be targeted in order to penetrate into a given account.
Lead-to-Account Matching lets you match new and existing leads to their proper accounts, which provides four key benefits for your sales and marketing efforts:
1. Account Penetration
The “account” in account-based marketing can be a little misleading; rather than being more impersonal, ABM is actually a highly personalized method of marketing. Remember, you’re still selling to individual people within a company.
Specifically: selling to an account means engaging with the key individuals with buying power — what SiriusDecisions refers to as the “buying center” or “Demand Unit.” The buying center can be made up of both people who fit your target personas and those who don’t. But with leads coming in that aren’t matched to an account, you’re missing the full picture of the buying center and potentially overlooking other decision-makers and influencers that are essential to closing a deal.
Lead-to-Account Matching makes sure you have the full picture, so you know exactly who the right people are to penetrate your named accounts.
Lead-to-Account Matching gives you visibility into sales and marketing engagements with all parties at the account level. For example, you can see who is downloading content from your website, who attended an event, or who responded to sales reps’ emails.
We all know it takes numerous touch points over several different individuals to close a deal, and all these people are most likely talking to each other by the water cooler. Knowing the different engagements across the account helps marketing to monitor and guide prospects through the sales funnel, and ultimately sets sales reps up for success.
3. Sales Efficiency
Sales reps need to focus on engaging with their customers and closing deals. In most CRMs, leads and contacts are separate, while only contacts are associated with accounts, which often causes duplication of accounts if the SDR or rep doesn’t know that the lead in question is associated with a pre-existing account. This can mean a lot of wasted time, not to mention friction within the Sales team.
By implementing Lead-to-Account Matching, you can see which other accounts exist, together with both the leads and contacts associated with them. Grouping all this information in one simple view eliminates confusion and enables clean lead routing.
To illustrate just how important this is for sales efficiency: When RingCentral implemented Lead-to-Account Matching, they more than tripled their lead-to-opportunity conversion rate. (You can read the full case study here.)
4. Customer Experience
Lead-to-Account Matching prevents poor customer experiences that can frustrate prospects and existing customers alike, while wasting your company’s precious time and resources.
For example: Accounts being contacted multiple times by different sales reps, each one unaware that the particular lead they’re speaking to is already assigned to another rep. Alternatively, Marketing can end up serving leads with inappropriate content, unaware that they’re either not interested in your offering, or alternatively much further down the funnel — or even an existing customer.
Understanding every lead and account in context is an important benefit of Lead-to-Account Matching.
For more on Lead-to-Account Matching, check out our free guide to the Top 4 Benefits of Lead-to Account-Matching:
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