In hockey, there are 5 skaters and a goalie on the ice at once per team. But when you try to put a 6th skater out there, you’ll get penalized for too many men on the ice. In football, there’s a penalty for having more than 11 players on the field at once. In fact, there’s an equivalent penalty in every sport. And the reason is obvious – having more players gives you an unfair advantage.
But in business, there’s no such penalty. When you’re trying to close business, having more resources on your side working an account is better. But too many sales reps leave some of their best players on the bench. When you put those players in, you can enable great things to happen.
Brandon: I was chatting with Nicole DiNicola the other day and she told me a story that I just had to get out there. Now she runs ABM over at Qualtrics and she was in a strategy planning session with the account-team and one of the guys turns to her and says, “Hey Nicole, how do I enable you to deliver great ABM to my account?”
Now, I don’t know about you, but this isn’t something that we hear every day, right? So, Nicole, my question for you is one, how did you build that trust and alignment with that team? And then two, what was your answer?
Nicole: Hey Brandon, yeah, it’s not everyday that I get questions like that from my sales team, you know, them asking me how they can enable me to deliver the best Account Based Marketing for them, but I love it! So to answer your first question of how do you build that trust with sales, I really think it’s about being all in with your sales team and totally aligning with their goals and their vision for the accounts that they work with. Sales teams look at their business on an account-by-account basis and, luckily, Account Based Marketing does the same thing.
So I’m going in there and saying I’m going to partner with you to build the marketing strategy that’s going to align with you, and this account, and the goals you have for this account. We’re going to build the marketing materials to support that that’s going to make us look way more knowledgeable within this account and build the relationships that you need to be successful. I don’t know what sales person wouldn’t be happy with that.
So my answer to him when he asked me this, of how he could enable me, the key thing is treat you account-based marketer as part of the account-team. I like to be hands-on and involved. Include me in your weekly team call so I can hear about changes to the account as they happen, when it’s appropriate, invite me to customer meetings, I will travel, I’ll get on the road, I’ll hop on a call, anything I can do to hear how the customer speaks, the questions they ask, the pain points they have. It all enables me to deliver better marketing materials for you.
So if you are a sales-person looking at this and wondering how you can make ABM more successful for you, think about that expand your account-team a little bit more to include you account-based marketer. And if you’re an account-based marketer, go to your sales-teams and be a little bit more open maybe to getting deeper into the accounts to really understand them and to make you part of the team.