Inertia is a powerful force. Getting large objects, like a train, to move can be a herculean task. But once you get momentum on your side, it can become an unstoppable force.
Account-Based Marketing can be the same way. Getting your organization to move away from your current lead generation program isn’t always easy. You can’t just tell your reps about ABM once. You can’t just shoot off one email, send one Slack message or hold one meeting. You must continue to follow up with your team multiple times and built momentum until ABM becomes second nature to them.
At Engagio, we start reps off right away by getting them to shift their mindset to always think about accounts first. That’s why one of the first things they do is read our Clear and Complete Guide to Account Based Marketing.
However, you must continue to market your program internally and support your team with the tools and tactics they need for success.
I wanted to give you a glimpse into how we do it at Engagio, so I sat down with Sandra Freeman, our Head of Strategic Marketing, to cover the things that we do to make our reps successful with ABM. Sandra constantly talks with customers, and when they implement these tactics, ABM spreads like wildfire.
One philosophy that we’ve adopted at Engagio is the 7×7 principle. Sandra explains, “As my friends at PFL say, it helps to reinforce your message seven times in seven ways.”
In that spirit, here are 7 ways to market ABM internally and make your ABM spread like wildfire.
7 Ways To Drive Success and Evangelize ABM Inside Your Organization
1) Hold Regular Sales and Marketing Standups for tight alignment
Every two weeks, the Account-Based Marketer meets with each Account Executive and Account Development Rep team for a quick 5 to 10-minute sales and marketing standup to discuss how they’re jointly going after accounts.
In your standup, make sure to cover:
- Progress made since the last stand-up
- Who did you talk to?
- What did you learn?
- Plan going forward
- Focus on the top 3-5 target accounts to penetrate, and two opportunities to accelerate.
- What actions will Marketing take? The AE? ADR?
- Troubleshoot any issues as they come up
In our first year doing Sales and Marketing standups, our VP of Sales was opposed to stand-ups on the grounds that we couldn’t spare the time. But he quickly saw the value, and later said they were a critical piece to keep deals moving.
We hold these standups twice a month, but we’ve seen teams meet once a month, while other teams meet once a week. Find the cadence that works for you to make sure the people on your ABM team are all on the same page.
2) Create an ABM Slack channel for each team for better communication
Create an ABM Slack channel (or equivalent) for each ABM team, then post valuable tips, updates, and news there. And don’t forget to use it to celebrate success! It keeps the conversation going between standups, and it’s an easy way to stay accountable to each other on key actions.
We also recommend creating agreed-upon rules and responsibilities in your team’s channel. Keep the notes simple, and be clear on ownership, service-level agreements, deadlines, etc.
3) Create success decks to share wins and evangelize ABM
Transform your ABM wins into PowerPoint success decks that explain how you won each deal. This can be as simple as asking reps and marketers how they won an account, and taking note of the use case and stats. Then package it up into a format that can be passed along to reps. If you release success decks with frequency, it shows your ABM momentum.
At Engagio, since we sell a platform that helps companies execute ABM more effectively, reps use those slides for their demos. What better story to tell about your product than how you are using it and seeing success with it?
Here is a real-world example of one of Engagio’s deal stories using key engagement across time:
4) Bring ABM into non-ABM meetings for more exposure
It’s important that all members of your team who don’t touch ABM get visibility into how it’s performing. There are still plenty of organizations that separate demand gen and ABM entirely – after all, you need both for a well-rounded business strategy. But oftentimes, they don’t have full visibility into what you’re doing, so don’t be afraid to share and give updates.
Tell stories from the field and anecdotes from your stand-ups or mention all the cool stuff that can be found in the Slack channel, like links to recent success decks.
5) Showcase success around your office for even more publicity
Many companies broadcast news and updates to their entire staff. At Engagio, we have TV monitors around the office that different departments and committees use to publicize important messages. This is another prime location for the success deck! Include headshots of the team involved in the deal, pictures of onsite visits, and quotes from the customer. It’s fun for everyone, and it ties an ABM win to people the company sees around the office.
6) Share updates in board decks and investor updates for top-down awareness
Your program needs awareness from the highest levels in your organization as well. Create ABM slides for your board presentations that include ABM metrics. ABM metrics are likely going to be a little different than what board members and investors are used to seeing, so keep it simple, and educate them. Aside from your most recent wins, share other leading indicators of success and account movement throughout your funnel.
This is where technology plays a crucial role. If you have good ABM software, it takes less time and effort to pull charts and KPIs, and it makes you a lot more confident. You’ll be able to answer the trend questions for engagement, deal velocity, conversions at different stages, deal size, and win rates from your ABM efforts.
7) Communicate, communicate, communicate!
However much you think you need to communicate, do more. Everyone in your company and on your team has different ways of talking, learning, and absorbing information. Find out how your reps like to communicate and do it that way — a lot. It’s much better to over-communicate than under-communicate.
We all have selective attention, and we all have a lot going on every single day, so don’t expect anyone to hear and remember the information you send the first time. Leverage multiple forms of communication to get the news about your ABM programs out there, and by all means, keep telling those stories.
By repeating the information and using multiple channels, when a rep needs to reference information, they will easily be able to find it and use it. Otherwise, it could easily get lost and reps may give up trying to find it.
For your ABM program to work externally, you have to market it internally. Thanks again, Sandra, for your brilliant insights into ABM! Rember, collect ABM stories, share them with your team, then share them again and again!