How Do You Go From Lead-Based Marketing to Account Based Marketing?

Change can be challenging. New diets, new schedules, new habits – they can seem harder than climbing a mountain. But there are certain lead dominoes that, once knocked over, will trigger everything else to fall into place.

When I asked John Steinert, CMO of TechTarget, “how do you go from lead-based marketing to Account Based Marketing?” he reveals the lead domino that will make ABM easier.

Enjoy!

(watch the video on YouTube

TRANSCRIPT:

Brandon:
So, how do you go from lead-based marketing to account-based marketing? Hey everyone, Brandon Redlinger here, Director of growth at Engagio. And to help us answer that question, I have John Steinert, the CMO at TechTarget. Hey John.

John:
Hey Brandon.

Brandon:
How do you cross this chasm, right? And also, I think you have some very interesting things to say about KPI’s, too, right? How do you change these KPI’s?

John:
Yeah, so, I think that the chasm is caused by KPI’s, and let me talk a little bit about that. If I start going overboard just tell me “stop ranting.” My spouse does that a lot, says “you’re starting to rant about B2B marketing, and I don’t really care about it.”

But that’s kind of one of the points I wanted to get on, because one of the great things I think is going on right now in our industry is that it’s gotten sexy enough that it’s attracting a lot of young talent. And what I want to do is I want that talent to be applied to the latest, best way of doing things. And the best way of doing things, which you and I both know, is working on an account-based model. But here’s the problem.

Even if you think you’ve adopted, and you’ve implemented, you’ve adopted the philosophy of being account-based as a marketer, you’ve crossed the chasm with your sales folks who already think this way, and you say, hey, I’m gonna go do some Account Based Marketing, we’re going to do plays together, and everything’s looking good.

If you’re coming from a lead-based world, you know that those leads are going to go to some intermediary before they go to field sales. The leads have to be worked, and they’re going to go to SDRs. And so my point about the industry being sexy is that what I’ve seen, we’re not having any problem hiring young people. And so these people come out of college, and they’re ready to go, and they’re smart as hell, and they go right into SDR land, and they’re in SDR land, and they really don’t know much about marketing no matter how much we train them, right, they don’t know that much about our products so they can’t really interact effectively without a lot of enablement.

But the worst thing is that their KPIs make them behave in a certain way.

Brandon:
Very good point.

John:
Right, so they’ve got these KPIs that are based on things like call volume, call more people. You know, I don’t give a damn if these people are showing any signs of interest, your job is to get that meeting. Well, here’s the problem. In account-based strategy, we’re tasked with making sure that we focus on certain accounts. And when we have certain indicators, signals, we want the behavior of anybody who’s interacting with that account to change. We want them to use those indicators to change the play that they execute. But that requires that the KPIs themselves get changed to incorporate that.

So, you could be on board with account-based strategy, sales, field sales is naturally on board with account-based strategy, but you’ve gotta get the leadership, whoever’s forcing the SDRs to a narrow KPI path to expand their KPI model, because they have to be allowed to execute in a sensitive way, a way that is informed by what is going on in the account, a way that they use that information, so with our purchase intent stuff, they can see what the account is doing, even if there’s not a lead there. And they can see the people who are active, who you should be talking to.

So you’ve got to allow them to call people who are not MQLs, and you’ve got to teach them what to say if you see people behaving this way, consuming that kind of content, so you have to enable them more, and until we do that, A, we can’t execute account-based strategy effectively, because it will be broken by SDR behavior, and B, and this is the most important part, you’ve got young, smart kids who are doing what is really a volume-based, sort of almost mindless task and you’re wasting that talent. They could be innovating right now, with ways of breaking through those accounts, and you’re not letting them do it.

Brandon:
Exactly.

John:
So, that’s the rant, and because SDRs are great, they’re full of energy, they’ve got, you know, they’ve got the emotional strength to do this very difficult job and take, you know, hang-ups all day, so let’s leverage that into something a little bit more effective by giving them the information and the enablement and adjusting their KPIs so that they can show what they can do.

Brandon:
Great, love it. Let’s leverage the talent, let’s change the KPIs, let’s give them some great intent data.

John:
That’s right.

Brandon:
Great, thanks, John.

John:
Thank you, Brandon.

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Head of Growth at Engagio, the Account-Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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