Marketers need to choose the right account-based marketing strategy and sales teams need to improve the accuracy of their sales planning processes, according to an eBook from SiriusDecisions that continues to make the case for closer collaboration across the enterprise functions.
The SiriusDecisions 2018 Planning Guide (registration required), which also covers issues for those working in product management, may serve as a useful backgrounder to those attending the research and advisory firm’s first-ever Summit Canada, taking place in Toronto on March 1st.
While the Planning Guide (which was provided exclusively for review to B2B News Network as Summit Canada’s media partner) covers a lot of ground, some of the highlights include information from a survey of sales execs that reflects the difficulty of accurate sales planning. This is despite the fact that more than half, or 56 per cent, use more than three years’ worth of sales performance data as part of the sales planning process.
“Many SiriusDecisions clients have described the entire planning process as their biggest pain point, but the survey results showed that much of the pain actually came after the development and delivery of territory and quota plans,” the eBook says. “Although 55 percent of respondents successfully complete the planning process before the start of the fiscal year, the most severe pain begins shortly thereafter. Thirty-four percent of respondents stated that between 21 percent and 40 percent of the quota plans they deliver are subsequently modified.”
SiriusDecisions recommends closer alignment with areas such as marketing as one of its recommendations, even though sales teams may continue to be the plan’s primary authors.
Marketing groups, meanwhile, need to be equally consultative as they explore account-based marketing (ABM), SiriusDecisions says. In a chapter on ABM, the company walks through approaches based on large-account, named account and industry-specific marketing, though the eBook says not enough marketing departments have appointed an ABM point person. Once they do, outreach to sales should be among their first order of business, according to SiriusDecisions:
“Because ABM changes how marketing and sales go to market together, marketing leaders must formally propose the ABM program to sales leaders via face-to-face meetings to gain initial input and agreement,” the report says, adding that similar efforts should be made with sales operations teams “as soon as possible to develop an ABM charter that documents the program’s objectives, teams, roles, processes, infrastructure, resources and measurement.”
SiriusDecisions Canada will be releasing the results of an even more recent research study specific to the Canadian market that explores how high-performing organizations behave differently. The research will be used to kick off Summit Canada 2018.
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