Hook, Hampshire, 8 October 2018 – Two-thirds (65%) of senior B2B Marketing and Sales decision-makers consider social media the most effective marketing communications activity to support combined sales and marketing efforts as part of an account-based structure. Social media is followed by email marketing (61%) according to an independent study, commissioned by Whiteoaks International, the UK-based technology PR agency.
Marketing communications and lead generation
When asked to consider the potential choices of communications streams used as part of the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) or Account-Based Sales (ABS) framework, marketers place a greater value on the assets they have responsibility for creating. Both Marketers and Sales decision-makers rank social media, email marketing and customer reference work, including case studies and testimonials, as their top three communications streams. Media relations are valued in fourth place for marketers, whereas video takes fourth spot for sales leaders.
Both Marketing and Sales decision-makers agree at 89% that their company’s marketing activities have a positive impact on sales and lead generation, measuring this with enquiries through the company website, social media and at events.
Collaboration between marketing and sales functions
In the report, ‘A Perfect Match: ABM and ABS’, 87% of Marketing/Sales decision-makers state that their department is very closely or closely aligned with the Sales/Marketing division. This collaboration is particularly true amongst sole decision-makers and employees that have been in their company for more than five years.
The current implementation and increasing shared use of a CRM system for both prospective and current clients (59%) is a tangible catalyst in facilitating and reaching shared marketing and sales goals and objectives in a more strategic and efficient way, particularly when using a cloud-based platform.
Suzanne Griffiths, Managing Director at Whiteoaks International says: “In the B2B technology sector, the alignment and collaboration between sales and marketing departments to achieve a shared strategy is becoming ever more crucial. And with 67% of the typical B2B buyer’s journey taking place online, we can now better prove and understand the importance of social media and email marketing in supporting the sales function.”
The shift to an account-based organisation
81% of the total audience surveyed agree they are currently working to either an ABM or ABS structure. Yet two-thirds (60%) of Marketers are dissatisfied with the impact and the figure is even higher with 79% of Sales professionals also stating that they are dissatisfied.
Griffiths continues: “While our research challenges the long-held assumption that Sales and Marketing teams are always on opposing sides, the high level of dissatisfaction suggests that the ABM or ABS concept, technology or resource needs improving for it to demonstrate value to this group of leaders.”
Working with the leading research firm and founders of the PRCA Research Best Practice Committee, Vitreous World, Whiteoaks International polled 200 professionals to produce the first piece of research of its kind in the UK to consider the views about ABM and ABS and the associated outputs from both senior Marketing and Sales decision-makers.
 Global Performance Group
 202 interviews were conducted in June 2018 using an online methodology across both senior Marketing and Sales decision makers. Quotas were placed on the marketing and sales sectors to ensure a 50/50 split.