Chief sales officers (CSOs) need to take the lead in developing and executing an account-based strategy (ABS) with marketing, according to Gartner, Inc. A Gartner survey of nearly 70 CSOs in January and February 2021 found 49% of respondents reported pipeline and demand generation as a critical initiative for the year ahead. Therefore, it’s imperative for CSOs to closely collaborate with marketing to drive engagement and progress target accounts through the customer lifecycle.
“Sales leaders who see account-based strategies as an initiative solely driven by marketing will miss opportunities to acquire new customers and grow existing customer accounts,” said Craig Rosenberg, distinguished vice president analyst in the Gartner Sales practice. “Leading B2B organizations have adopted a coordinated, cross-functional account-based strategy, leveraging real-time data and technology, in order to be more timely and scalable in their go-to market.”
During his session today at the Gartner CSO & Sales Leader Conference, taking place virtually in the Americas May 17-18, 2021, Mr. Rosenberg discussed how an account-based strategy improves customer lifetime value and win rates, and delivers higher ROI when compared to a traditional go-to-market approach. In fact, Gartner research shows that 48% of organizations using ABS experienced a higher average win rate.
Gartner defines account-based strategy as the coordination of valuable, relevant experiences delivered across all functions that impact the customer to drive engagement and conversation at a targeted set of accounts. As opposed to traditional demand generation tactics, account-based strategies allow marketing and sales teams to focus resources on highly-targeted engagement plays with target accounts (see Figure 1).