Transforming sales is not enough

22nd April 2017 |   Bev Burgess

If you’re serious about growth, transform marketing too.

A few years ago, I was part of the management team that rapidly grew a mature outsourcing business in just one year, while increasing profitability too. Our strategy was to shift from being a reactive business, waiting for RFPs to arrive, to a proactive one targeting the specific accounts that would deliver long-term, mutual value. Sales transformation was a key part of this strategy, but marketing transformation was equally important.

The gap between sales and marketing is an age-old challenge in the world of complex, high-consideration business solutions. In fast-growing markets where solutions sell themselves, it doesn’t matter much, but when markets slow and clients demand a more proactive, value-add approach from suppliers, a more joined-up style is required.

In these challenging situations, however, companies often focus only on sales transformation, letting marketing carry on as usual, or even cutting back in response to declining revenues and profits.

Instead, as we saw with my own recent experience, bringing sales and marketing together with an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy is a more effective approach.

Senior Vice President & ABM Practice Leader at the Information Technology Services Marketing Association

Bev Burgess is Senior Vice President & ABM Practice Leader at the Information Technology Services Marketing Association. She is an industry expert in marketing technology services and literally wrote the book on it (Marketing Technology as a Service, Wiley 2010). She is best known as an authority on account-based marketing, being the first to classify it when developing the approach jointly with several clients in 2003. Today she leads ITSMA’s ABM practice and global ABM Council, as well as all of ITSMA’s activities in Europe.