Top ABM Takeaways from SiriusDecisions Summit 2019

In today’s day and age, organizations must join forces to help leaders and their businesses develop a customer-obsessed strategy to drive growth. In fact, that was the theme this year at SiriusDecisions Summit 2019 – TOGETHER: Achieving High Performance by Aligning the B-to-B Revenue Engine.

It’s no surprise that Account Based Marketing was, once again, a popular topic with an entire track dedicated to best practices.

But before diving into our top ABM sessions, let’s spend a hot second looking at the keynote by Tony Jaros, president and Chief Product Officer at SiriusDecisions. Tony highlighted the importance of alignment across different parts of the organization. When teams are aligned across the revenue org, they see an average of 19% faster revenue growth and 15% higher profitability.

Teams should be asking themselves not only, “are we doing good work” but “are we doing the right work” based on the company’s growth strategy. The highest growth and most successful organizations have clear direction from leadership on what to focus on and those things are directly tied to business strategy, so all functions know how their work fits into the overall business.

Ok, now to our top ABM Session and key takeaways from each.

Build an ABM Strategy like Salesforce (no matter your readiness)

Salesforce has had an account-based strategy for years, and they have the results and market share to prove its effectiveness. From team structure and account segmentation to cross-channel execution and measurement, Salesforce uses their ABM programs to engage high-value accounts.

Michael Globits, Senior Manager, ABM at Salesforce, revealed his five-step process for how they got up and running with ABM:

  1. Define a decision-making hierarchy
  2. Identify the right accounts
  3. Engage the right teams with the right messages with dynamic and sequential messaging
  4. Build messaging tracks based on sales stages
  5. Measure the right KPIs for different stages

He goes on to explain that account-based readiness depends on four things:

  1. Defining your ICP and target account list
  2. Obtaining dedicated people and budget
  3. Coordinating sales and marketing play to execute your programs
  4. Measuring your program’s success

Beyond buzzwords: omni-channel, ABM, buyer’s journey, intent signals, storytelling. Sometimes what seems like “Buzzword Bingo”, but if done right, can be your most powerful strategy.

This session went beyond the buzzwords, featuring insights from over 200 CMO interviews on how they’re moving their marketing teams to revenue centers through the use of data, omni-channel ABM, CDPs, sales & marketing alignment and more.

Erik Archer Smith, Marketing Director, ABM at ARM Treasure Data, explains ARM Treasure Data’s path to ABM:

  1. Preparation
    • Account analysis
    • Sales alignment
    • Marketing Automation alignment
  2. Analyze
    • Account awareness
    • Customer journey
  3.  Activate
    • Integrated across channels
  4.  Measure
  5.  Iterate – do it all over again!

This was a one year target completed in two blocks, each six months long (#1–4 was one block and #5 was the second block).

Through this process and using the right technology to support ABM, Erik and his team were able to their top of funnel goals (AQLs) with multiple channels, optimize their mid-funnel conversation with verticalized retargeting and personalization, and increase their average deal size.

Demystifying Data: Powering ABM with Clear UI and Machine Learning

Through data sources, platforms, machine learning, and advanced analytics, Cloudera was able to generate valuable ABM-focused data. In this presentation, Sara McNamara, Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Cloudera, explained how to surface that data in a way that is able to be easily understood and actioned upon. There’s a myriad of data sources nowadays to organize and understand the enormous volume of data, and AI can help identify relevant patterns in data. ABM technology paired with AI is helping to automate the surfacing of that data, which allows revenue teams to deliver a more personalized experience to top stakeholders at key accounts.

Sara explained that she helps her team personalize interactions across multiple touches to give remarkable experiences to prospects by leveraging a three-tiered approach to ABM: strategic accounts (1:1), named accounts (1:few), and commercial (1:many). Their process is to first identify, then nourish, and finally attract. Sarah also explains that you don’t have to use the same process or software her team uses – the key is to start small with what you have, iterate to find what works for you, then scale up. Finally, she urges people not to forget about reaching out to their networks for tips and advice.

Applying ABM at Scale for Hypergrowth

ABM is at the forefront of the B2B marketing strategy playbook, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t have buy-in from your Sales team. Salespeople never talk about how many leads they’ve closed. They talk about how many accounts they’ve closed.

Heidi Bullock, CMO of Engagio, started out with revealing her latest thinking about ABM and the process she uses for getting programs up and running.

  1. Get on the same page with Sales – agree on the strategy, your target account list, and what success looks like.
  2. Entire your tech stack is account-centric (not lead-centric) – this starts with foundational pieces, like lead-to-account matching.
  3. Personalize the message – to scale your ABM content, different tiers of accounts deserve different personalization.
  4. Orchestrate programs – get your entire team involved with your multi-step, multi-channel programs.
  5. Activate Sales – provide Sales with insights on engaged accounts, best people to contact next, which deals have gone dark, info on QBRs and other account reviews, etc.
  6. Measure at different points in time – early-stage metrics are going to be different than late-stage metrics, but you must measure early and often.

Anastasia Pavlova, VP of Marketing at OneLogin, then jumped in and showed her team’s process:

  1. Start With the Goals (pipeline, closed/won deals, opportunities, SQLs, meetings, etc.)
  2. Align on the strategy (and figure out how to balance demand gen with ABM)
  3. Invest in the Right ABM TechStack
  4. Develop Ideal Customer Profile
  5. Select and Prioritize Accounts (yes, you guessed it, they take a tiered approach)
  6. Develop Account Insights (using Engagio <3)
  7. Create Messaging and Content (by persona, segment and industry)
  8. Deliver a Consistent Message
  9. Orchestrate Plays Across Sales & Marketing
  10. Provide Daily and Weekly Reports to reps (again, using Engagio <3)

This session closed with Anastasia offering some final advice: hire “hunters” and winners, invest in data quality and operational excellence, align incentives to desired outcomes, and measure and test everything.

Six-figure deals in 3 letters – ABM

ABM is all about prioritization and engagement – prioritizing your top accounts, and organizing content to engage and educate accounts. Inbound requires great content and content delivery to yield results.

Yoav Schwartz, cofounder and CEO of Uberflip, revealed the Uberflip Content Experience Framework:

  1. Aggregate content
  2. Organize content
  3. Personalize experiences
  4. Market and distribute
  5. Generate results

Like many organizations, Francesca Krihely, Director of Demand Generation and ABM, explains that her team at MongoDB also follows the three-tier approach to ABM, which allows them to scale their efforts. They also have an account funnel that mirrors the lead funnel but has that account lens. She also emphasizes that account prioritization is key to aligning your Sales team, focusing on what matters, and pairing the right campaigns with the right accounts.

Here’s her ABM Cycle:

  1. Predict
  2. Prioritize
  3. Engage
  4. Educate
  5. Close
  6. Reflect

Beyond the ABM Basics: How Snowflake Uses Intricately’s Data to Plan, Prioritize, and Prospect Target Accounts

Daniel Day, Senior Director, Account-Based Marketing and Market Planning, at Snowflake Computing, started off by giving a quick overview of what ABM means to Snowflake:

  • 1:1 account targeting
  • Personalized messaging and CTAs
  • Rich account intelligence insights
  • Predicated on driving engagement
  • Deep alignment with sales

Snowflake’s approach to ABM is unique (and has been incredibly successful) – before activating a new sales territory, before hiring reps, before setting quotas, marketing creates an account plan for each country, each region, each territory, each sales representative.

In order to deliver insights across the entire company, Daniels starts off with getting data from Intricately, turns them into insights about the market, their target accounts and the key personas within those accounts, and finally delivers those insights to key stakeholders, including the executive team, Sales team and the Marketing team.

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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