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TOPO’s “2019 ACCOUNT BASED BENCHMARK REPORT” – which included 150 account-based organizations - showed that every participant reached or exceeded a 24% revenue growth, and 90% of the respondents said there is a better alignment between the sales marketing department, and they cooperate in a coordinated manner since they developed an account-based go-to-market approach.

Since 2019 the world has undergone big changes and the digital development has accelerated.

We – at Infinityn – experienced it in the recent years that ABM can:

  • Create more sales-qualified opportunities,
  • Improve Sales-marketing alignment, shared goals and targets,
  • Shorten sales cycle, and have a higher efficiency.

The years have also shown its weaknesses, ABM can often lack:

  • Indication of go-to-market timing or buyer stage,
  • The extra human-to-human touch (as seen in phone conversations or face-to-face meetings),
  • Ease of implementation and launch. It can be timely and costly to create an ABM strategy, reassemble the team, hire accordingly, bring in the right technology, and unify all the components,
  • Data analysis and technology involvement to make more informed decisions,
  • Customer success. Sure, ABM aligns marketing and sales beautifully, but customer success is a must. Customer success is crucial to ensuring your top accounts are served best, always.

At Infinityn – we believe that there is always room for improvement and after we overcome the weak points of ABM, we felt that a strategy upgrade is needed to move the needle for growth teams in 2022 and beyond.

What that upgrade may be?

Enter Agile Account-Based Growth.

 

What is Agile AGB?

Agile Account-Based Growth (Agile ABG) is a framework for B2B enterprises which helps ensure revenue grows steadily, consistently, and predictably. While many enterprises look to ABM to achieve revenue growth, human touch, timing, ease of implementation, and alignment with customer success still lack. For that reason, B2B marketers are aiming to create the next generation of ‘account-based’, one that goes beyond even ABM.

With Agile ABG, the next generation of ‘account-based’ is finally here.

ABG

This framework encompasses and impacts the entire funnel from research and intelligence to marketing, sales, and customer success.

These various business components are finally tied together under one strategy to ensure a holistic revenue-growth outcome, especially for organizations which have high-value products with longer sales cycles, technology-driven solutions, and enterprise-sized target client.

This orchestrated process utilizes 5 “Account-Based” functions (intelligence: ABI, marketing: ABM, sales development: ABSD, sales: ABS, and customer success: ABCS) at every stage of the account lifecycle.

Agile ABG is more than just a sum of the 5 functions.

Instead, a unique synergy is created when each component is unified. Together, this framework will ensure that the right conversations are happening at the right time, which ultimately helps fill your pipeline with the accounts that matter most. Those accounts get an outreach in the way that truly resonates with them. You’ll know straight away who’s ready to buy, who’s needing a bit more time, and who is not fit for your account list - no time wasted. The accounts that you serve best will be nurtured for advocacy and repeat business.

The goal of Agile ABG is to create a bigger picture to account-based practices, and expand on areas where ABM, and B2B sales and marketing processes in general, are lacking.

Download our agile ABG white paper:

CLICK HERE

 

The 5 Components of Agile ABG

As indicated, ABI, ABM, ABSD, ABS, and ABCS together make up the Agile Account-Based Growth framework. 

Each of these “Account-Based” functions or teams also have a key word that describes their purpose as a component in the greater framework.flywheel

ABI (Account-Based Intelligence) =“Research”

ABM (Account-Based Marketing) =“Teach”

ABSD (Account-Based Sales Development) =“Outreach”

ABS (Account-Based Sales) =“Challenge”

ABCS (Account-Based Customer Success) =“Advocate”


Not only are these components can stand individually and independently from one another, if need be (for example, the “Research” stage can be a standalone function/service in itself), but they are also steps in this process that can be unified to create synergy in generating demand as a whole.

The 5 components together create an end-to-end process which is illustrated in the form of a flywheel to represent the stages of the Agile ABG buyer journey.

  • The shape of this flywheel: Being circular, the flywheel best demonstrates how reaching the customer success function (“Step 5” or “Advocate”) does not necessarily mean the endpoint or the last step. Rather, this could be seen as a stop on an infinite loop of Providing services to your clients. The process circles around as long as desired and does not terminate when a single sale has been made.
  • The pointed arrows, similarly, Indicating the loop of possibilities.
  • The white space left in between the colors in this flywheel: This white space could be interpreted in two ways:
    • Firstly, this whitespace gives room for a new product or service to enter the circle, in which case the loop would begin again, as stated in the previous points.
    • Secondly, this empty space represents our “whitespace accounts”, which is a term used to describe any account which is not yet a client but has the potential to become a new brand in the portfolio.
  • The overlap of colors: When combined as an end-to-end process, these 5-key functions are conducted in a sequential, but often overlapping, manner. This means that to some degree, one could say that Step 1 (Research/ABI) happens first, then Step 2 (Teach/ABM), then Step 3 (Outreach/ABSD), and so on. However, it is also important to keep in mind that one step does not have to end in order for the next to begin. Usually, multiple functions will be happening simultaneously in the process. In fact, the 1st Step (Research/ABI) most often is implemented throughout the entire journey, despite it is also functioning as a launchpad for the first task in the process.

Despite some slight differences from business to business, the important thing, all in all, is that the components always work in harmony with your revenue goals. In terms of structuring the components - the sky’s the limit, and there are endless possibilities when it comes to combining the 5 parts.

In order to get an idea of how each component contributes to the Agile ABG framework, as well as to understand how the individual components could benefit alone or together your organization, you can find additional detailed information below:

 

Research (ABI - Account-Based Intelligence)

The “Research” function is the information-based beginning of the Agile ABG framework, and also acts as the constant support to the whole Agile ABG process.

The goal of this function is to build a foundation of data-driven insight in order to set the rest of the process up for success. ABI researches any relevant information that could help distinguish the account and its importance from the rest. Creates visuals, such as the Opportunity Heatmap, so that data is neatly and concisely laid out for easy understanding.

ABI supports this sales journey via mapping out the sale funnel for fruitful close, to ensure the ease and clarity of known information about opportunities to stakeholders of this journey.

Find out more: The Brains Behind Your Enterprise’s Next Growth Spurt (infinityn.com)

 

Teach (ABM - Account-Based Marketing)

The “Teach” function is the marketing and awareness stage of the Agile ABG journey.

The goal of this function is to inform, educate, familiarize and build trust. Data from the ABI team will be used to start exposing top accounts to your brand, leveraging marketing assets with an account-based mindset. Advertising campaigns will take place and marketing materials will be chosen based on the account's firmographic data and where it stands in the buying journey.

The “Opportunity Heatmap” from the previous phase allows ABM to master this personalization and expose only the most relevant content to truly warm-up the account for the later buying journey. Marketing should truly support sales to set the stage for success, and in the ABM function, is where this will exactly occur.

 

Outreach (ABSD - Account-Based Sales Development)

The “Outreach” function is the part of the Agile ABG journey which opens doors to new business and best conveys the ‘human touch’ element that sets this framework apart from the rest.

The goal of this function is to shortcut unnecessary areas of the sales cycle by reaching out and having genuine conversation with relevant prospects to reveal their true needs and desires, and to establish real relationships which allow you to become a trusted professional.

This is where actual bonding takes place - where prospects are not only prospects, but individual people with interests, personalities, goals, plans, dreams, hardships, pains, wishes, sense of humor, particular communication style, organizational preferences, and much more. These aspects are not ignored merely to hit numbers, rather, the ABSD function utilizes these human aspects to provide value and assess how the service can be delivered in the best way possible, according to their specific situation.

Because a sturdy foundation has been laid down by ABI and ABM, the Outreach team is able to have relevant conversations immediately without wasting time. This function will be opening doors and priming the target account for a later close.

 

Challenge (ABS - Account-Based Sales)

The “Challenge” function of the Agile ABG framework is where strategy and fine-tuning come into play to close the deal and provide the most value.

The goal of this function is to close, upsell and cross-sell by applying psychology, neuro-linguistic programming, sales-strategy, buyer-centricity, communication tactics, the ‘Challenger’ approach and Sense-Making approach to the Agile ABG process in order to close the sale and get new clients under your wing.

Here is where strategic choices are key, and where persistent, creative, empathetic, tactful, passionate and engaged sales professionals bring the prospect to the end of their buyer journey. The end result will be a happy client that is galvanized into leveraging your solutions and looks forward to repeat business.

 

Advocate (ABCS - Account-Based Customer Success)

The “Advocate” function is the segment of the Agile ABG journey which focuses on loyalty, satisfaction, and continued delivery.

The goal of this function is to provide extra services which were initiated in the ABS phase, thus aiming higher and going the extra mile through consistent value-add. If all goes well in the previous steps, the client will feel urged to include your organization in more projects of theirs, due to their trust and reliance on your work. Through this, further projects, extra services, and other offerings will be booked and KPIs will be created. The ABCS team ensures that these KPIs are met and that these ‘side projects’ always act as the cherry on the cake to provide the polished, finishing touch to an overall fruitful relationship.

When this stage is successful and the client has a trusting relationship, the cycle of the flywheel starts again from the beginning and continues onward, repeating as long as needed. The client will then spread your brand through word of mouth, and they will act as a patron of your services and an advocate to other organizations who are considering purchasing the type of offerings you provide.

All in all, you’ll not only continually build upon your current client relationship to create an infinite buyer lifecycle, but you will additionally create an advocate for your organization which will increase likelihood of additional interest from the client’s trusted network.

The “Advocate” function is eventually weaved into the entire flywheel. The idea is to continue the buyer journey continuously, which allows ABCS to flow back over into ABI, ABM, ABSD and ABS. Through this, a holistic alignment takes place throughout the entire lifecycle, and the client can rest assured knowing that they are continuously served best by a trusted organization.

When the five components come together to make for one unified, holistic process in your organization, you’ll notice that you’ll gain:

  • Clarity: a deeper understanding and points of conversation, needs and pains from the accounts and prospects on your dream list, faster than ever before
  • Human-centricity: an account-specific mindset where personalization is also personal, with a human touch
  • Trust, community, and brand - all while tending to the hard numbers
  • Confidence knowing this system that can be repeated, scaled, and is easy to implement & launch
  • Peace of mind through a method that works with your existing technologies
  • True alignment not only between marketing and sales, but also customer success so that the client always is served best, thus building trust for repeat business
  • Higher revenue plain and simple.

Download our agile ABG white paper:

CLICK HERE

 

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