For many, ABM has been a game-changer. From enhanced customer engagement to shortened sales cycles, ABM enables businesses to engage with a broader – yet more targeted – audience, while also providing a solid foundation for longer-term relationships with high-value clients.

For others, however, ABM has simply been a costly non-starter. Here we highlight six common barriers that stand in the way of potential gains, and show you how to break through them.

1) Working in sales and marketing silos

Collaboration is key for successful B2B marketing. Yet many organisations still find themselves confined by departmental silos. If your marketing and sales teams work too much in isolation, you will often be left with fragmented strategies and missed opportunities.

What you can do about it…

  • Cultivate open communication – encourage communication across teams by establishing regular meetings to share insights, challenges, and updates. An environment where team members feel heard and valued will pave the way for a more collaborative atmosphere.
  • Implement cross-functional workshops – host cross-functional workshops to foster a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. This way team members can work towards common goals with a holistic view of the wider organisational objectives.
  • Celebrate cross-team achievements – acknowledge successful collaborative efforts. Whether it’s a joint project, a shared success, or the seamless integration of strategies, recognising and celebrating achievements fosters a sense of unity and co-operation.
  • Implement integrated technologies – a shared platform, such as a CRM or marketing automation system, ensures teams have access to real-time data, customer interactions, and campaign performance, all of which encourages a more cohesive strategy and execution.

2) Not prioritising your ABM account list

Your ideal customer profile or account list is the backbone of your ABM strategy. Neglecting to prioritise this through the lens of meaningful criteria can result in scattering your resources and efforts. Take the time to identify and prioritise high-value accounts, allowing for a more targeted and effective approach that yields more efficiency and impact.

What you can do about it…

  • Conduct thorough qualitative analysis – segment existing accounts via revenue potential, industry, or engagement history. This helps to identify high-value accounts that deserve special attention, enabling you to focus efforts on those with the greatest potential.
  • Leverage quantitative analysis – use data-driven insights to prioritise high-value accounts. Analyse customer behaviour, historical data, and engagement patterns to determine which accounts are most likely to convert or generate significant revenue.

3) Lack of customer insight or research

Without a deep understanding of your target audience, your marketing risks being too generic to hit home and too uninspiring to provoke a response. But, by knowing your customers inside out, you’ll be able to tailor your messaging and offerings to resonate with their issues and meet their specific needs.

What you can do about it…

  • Commit to comprehensive customer research – by utilising surveys, interviews, and data analytics to gather insights into customer preferences, pain points, and behaviours, you can ensure your marketing strategy and specific messages have the relevance and resonance to influence your target audience.
  • Develop buyer personas – by humanising the different segments of your target audience, you gain a more rounded understanding of your customers. These personas should include demographic information, as well as customer challenges, goals, and preferences. Your marketing can then address the unique concerns and motivations of each segment, creating a more personalised and compelling experience.
  • Establish continuous feedback loops – people, job roles, and industry challenges are all dynamic and can evolve over time. Establish mechanisms for continuous feedback, such as customer surveys, social media monitoring, and customer support interactions to regularly update your understanding of your audience.

4) Lack of personalisation

In today’s era of hyper-personalisation, generic marketing messages have become obsolete. B2B buyers expect a customised experience that resonates with their unique challenges and aspirations. You need to craft personalised content, target your marketing campaigns with laser accuracy, and ensure your buyers know that you understand and cater to their individual needs.

What you can do about it…

  • Embrace data-driven personalisation – by leveraging data analytics, you can understand your audience on a granular level. Analyse their behaviour, preferences, and past interactions with your brand to create personalised experiences, such as targeted email campaigns, tailored content recommendations, and customised product suggestions.
  • Implement dynamic content – by incorporating dynamic content into your marketing, you can adapt your messaging in real-time based on user behaviour and preferences. From a personalised website, email, and message greeting, to product recommendations and industry-specific content, this level of customisation enhances engagement and strengthens the connection between your brand and your audience.
  • Utilise marketing automation – investing in marketing automation tools enables you to deliver personalised experiences at scale. These tools can automate the delivery of targeted content, personalised emails, and even dynamic website experiences. By setting up workflows based on user behaviour and segmentation, you can ensure that each prospect or customer receives content that aligns with their specific interests, leading to deeper and more rewarding engagement.

5) Tracking the wrong metrics

In today’s data-driven B2B marketing, tracking metrics is crucial. But tracking the wrong metrics can be just as damaging as not tracking any at all. You need to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your business objectives.

What you can do about it…

  • Align metrics with business goals – whether it’s revenue growth, lead generation, conversion rates, new opportunities generated, customer retention, or brand awareness, you need to choose metrics that directly contribute to achieving your goals and provide meaningful insights to guide your marketing strategy.
  • Focus on quality over quantity – rather than drowning in a sea of metrics, prioritise the quality and relevance of the data you track. If, for example, lead generation is a priority, focus on metrics such as lead quality, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value.
  • Regularly evaluate and adjust – if certain metrics are not providing valuable insights or aligning with your current business objectives, be willing to adjust and refocus your tracking efforts.

6) Short-term thinking

ABM is not a one-and-done strategy. Viewing it as a short-term solution misses out on the long-term benefits of cultivating strong, personalised relationships with key accounts. You need to embrace ABM as a continuous process, nurturing relationships over time for sustained success.

What you can do about it…

  • Establish a long-term ABM mindset aligned to the buying cycle timeline – by understanding that ABM is an ongoing process that involves nurturing relationships, building trust, and delivering consistent value over time, you set the stage for lasting partnerships that go beyond immediate wins, creating a foundation for sustained success.
  • Develop comprehensive account plans – to keep your ABM activity relevant and responsive to the evolving landscape, you need to not only create detailed account plans that outline the long-term goals, objectives, and personalised strategies for each key account, but also regularly revisit and update them.
  • Foster continuous communication and engagement – by maintaining an ongoing dialogue with key accounts, you can build a foundation of trust and strengthen your position as a valued partner.

At CBC, our team of global B2B ABM experts can help you create, implement or strengthen your own ABM strategy. To start the conversation, simply reach out to Ralph Krøyer at or +45 35 25 01 75.