Because ITSMA, Tech Target, and others report that more than 2/3 of account-based marketing programs underperform, Kristina Jaramillo (President of Personal ABM) and Eric Gruber (CEO of Personal ABM) invited Jess Larkin (former ABM leader at Okta) to discuss the six elements that are enabling sales and marketing to win. These elements are:
- A clear understanding of what ABM is.
- An ABM strategy is not just a list of tactical activities and cadences.
- The right ABM vendors
- Greater balance and prioritization
- An account plan for how sales and marketing teams will prospect, nurture, and close tier 1 accounts.
- Greater relevancy with the human buyers in the accounts that GTM teams want.
This ABM Done Right Podcast Started with Defining ABM Because Even CMOs Make ABM Synonymous with ABM Tech or Confuse ABM with Demand Gen
At Okta, they broadened the scope of ABM to include sales, customer success, and product teams, as ABM is about getting to greater revenue growth as 1 team. The marketing team works shoulder to shoulder with sales, solution engineers, account teams, and leadership to get high-value accounts into the door, to the close, and toward expansion. To Jess, ABM is more than sourcing the pipeline. It’s about building customer relationships across the buyer’s journey and the complete customer lifecycle and providing the right experiences and interactions that provide value to the customer and revenue growth for Okta. It’s about working together as a cohesive unit, gaining influence, improving deal velocity, reducing churn with strategic accounts, driving upsells/cross-sells, accelerating accounts to revenue, and increasing ACV. We must go beyond measuring marketing-sourced revenue and work with sales to get their revenue number. The CEO of the Pedowitz Group also discussed this in his podcast below.
The Conversation Then Moved to ABM Strategy as Many ABM Organizations Invest in Tech Before the Strategy
Because many ABM organizations focus on Demandbase, Terminus, 6sense, and other ABM tech first, most ABM strategies are nothing more than a list of tactics and cadences. There is no thought about:
- How do we change sales/marketing motions, and what content do we need to get specific accounts to the a-ha moment?
- When do we need 1:1, 1: few, and 1: many, as most organizations do not go beyond their ICP and tier/prioritize those accounts?
- What is the change management that we need?
- Where are the business revenue challenges that we should be applying ABM to fix?
- How can we drive demand with accounts stuck in the status quo and do not show intent?
- How can we re-engage accounts that go dark?
- How can we drive stage acceleration with stuck accounts?
- How can we go upmarket and get larger deals?
“Many ABM teams are trying to fly the plane as they put the wings on it.” Jess Larkin
As Many ABM Firms Are Just Engaging in Targeted Demand Gen, We Discussed the Importance of Choosing the Right Vendors
At Personal ABM, we’ve seen ABM firms talk about “retrofitting” ABM into existing processes and systems. We’ve seen firms complete “aspects” of ABM or “tactics” that can be part of an ABM program. We’ve seen firms talk about doing 1:1 ABM, but all they do is camouflage a 1: few approach as the interactions miss personal relevance.
“Good vendors that are an extension of your team are worth their weight in gold.” Jess Larkin
You need a vendor that knows your business and your team, how to navigate the swim lanes within the organization, and how to uncover the gaps in sales, marketing, and account management processes and motions leading to revenue losses. You need a vendor that knows how to integrate sales and marketing with one aligned process.
As Only 1/3 of ABM Organizations Are Executing 1:1, 1: Few, and 1: Many ABM Programs, We Talked About the Need for a Balanced ABM Program.
Jess mentioned that her favorite part of being part of an account-based sales and marketing organization that is strategic is that there is no one size fits all program. They’re using one: many to break into and open up accounts and drive awareness. For 1: few, they are looking at accounts with a common thread to drive greater engagement. They’re using 1:1 for accounts ready for white glove elite experiences and layered interactions where sales, marketing, and account teams work together to drive the value of Okta and the specific use case that would solve the target account’s specific challenges.
Jess Larkin and Personal ABM Also Talked About…
- The need for greater account intelligence and account plans so you can be two steps ahead of your buyer. Below is a podcast where we detail what needs to be part of your account plan and the account intelligence that sales teams need.
- The need for greater relevancy with the human buyers in the accounts that GTM teams want. In the podcast, Jess Larkin shares a case study on how they secured a win with a 3-month sales cycle vs. 18 months by focusing on unconsidered gaps and personal impacts. Click the image below to learn more about a personal account-based approach.