|Source: Kogan Page|
The rapid adoption of account-based marketing (ABM) ranks as one of the most significant developments in B2B marketing of the past two decades. The popularity and use of ABM have been growing steadily since it was introduced by the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA) in 2003.
Numerous studies have shown that ABM can deliver superior marketing results, and this track record of success has led a growing number of B2B companies to adopt an account-centered approach in other customer-facing business functions, such as business development, sales, and customer success/customer service.
It's easy to find ebooks, white papers, articles and blog posts that discuss this "account-based everything" model, but these materials aren't comprehensive. Therefore, they don't provide company leaders a sound road map for implementing an account-based everything strategy.
A new book by Bev Burgess and Tim Shercliff fills this critical need. Account-Based Growth: Unlocking Sustainable Value Through Extraordinary Customer Focus (Kogan Page, 2022) provides a rigorous and comprehensive description of how to implement an account-centered growth strategy. Bev Burgess and Tim Shercliff are the co-founders of Inflexion Group, a UK-based consulting firm that helps clients implement account-based growth strategies.
Both authors have impressive professional credentials, but Bev Burgess can speak with particular authority on the topic of account-based strategies and programs. She served as a Senior Vice President of ITSMA and led its ABM practice for many years. In 2017, she co-authored A Practitioner's Guide to Account-Based Marketing, which was the first (and, in my view, the best) full-length book about ABM.
What's In the Book
Account-Based Growth is structured in four parts.
Part One (Chapters 1-2)
In Chapter 1, Burgess and Shercliff state the business case for making account-based growth a key component of a company's overall growth strategy. That business case is largely reliant on the 80/20 rule, which holds that 80% of a company's revenue is generated by just 20% of its customers. The authors also explain that the 80/20 rule is fractal, which means that, in many cases, 3% or less of a company's customers will produce over half of its total revenue.
In Chapter 2, the authors describe how account-based growth programs are working in practice. This chapter is based primarily on a survey of 65 B2B organizations that Burgess and Shercliff conducted for the book.
Part Two (Chapters 3-6)
Part Two of Account Based Growth discusses four elements that are essential for an effective account-based growth strategy. These are:
- Account prioritization and revenue allocation (Chapter 3)
- Integrated account business planning (Chapter 4)
- Managing data, technology and operations (Chapter 5)
- Leadership, culture and change (Chapter 6)