Treating ABM as a Privilege

Initially, Kristina Jaramillo and Eric Gruber asked Christina Handy (VP of Account-Based Marketing) at FIS to be a guest on the podcast to talk about the enablement that’s needed to ensure stage progression and wins with target accounts, as Christina was responsible for deal support in past roles. But then we found out in pre-podcast conversations that ABM is treated as a privilege at FIS, which is very rare.

Listen to the podcast below to see how sales and marketing teams work together because ABM is treated as a privilege.

Here Are the Key Points from this ABM Done Right Podcast with Christina Handy:

  • Many marketers, including Jarod Greene from Highspot, have previously mentioned on our ABM Done Right Podcasts that marketing should drive ABM and select target accounts. But then, we hear from others that this approach does not work because there is no follow-through with sales as there is no buy-in on those accounts. In a recent conversation, Jon Miller (CMO at Demandbase) said that sales should select ABM accounts. But through our experience, we found that sales will often select their wish list, and there is no rhyme or reason behind why those accounts should be pursued. At FIS, sales selects the accounts alongside marketing – and sales must build the case for why an account should be part of an ABM program. Sales may pick the accounts but there are marketing controls, and if sales does not do the pre-work and build the case, then the account will not be covered as ABM is treated as a privilege.


  • ABM is a very high table-stakes offering that marketing is presenting to sales and it needs to be treated in that manner. To do ABM right, it requires large investments in time, resources, money and effort from all teams that are engaging in the program. In the case of FIS, sales are getting 1:1 support, and a body to help them from a marketing perspective on how they can GTM in an authentic, thoughtful, intentional and relevant way. ABM needs to be treated as a privilege otherwise, you’ll be sacrificing quality for quantity.


  • When you treat ABM as a privilege, sales and marketing teams focus on the interactions teams are having – and the experiences they are delivering vs. focusing on campaigns. They think about how they can position themselves as strategic partners to existing and future customers and provide them with content that will help them with their specific situation and their specific strategic priorities. Prospects must see themselves inside the story that’s being told – and this is not happening as ABM is not being treated as a privilege and sales and marketing teams are continuing to push out general content even though operational efficiency at one company can mean something totally different at another company.


  • When ABM is treated as a privilege, you consider building deep personal relationships with the human buyers in the accounts you want to win. You think about being relevant across all levels: industry, company, department, persona, personal/individual, financial, operational and even the clients’ customers.


  • When ABM is not treated as a privilege, you just build a pipeline and you miss the next steps after the pipeline is built. Many companies do not think about the secondary pieces and it’s why many come to us saying they’re challenged with accounts going dark after sales engagement. When you treat ABM as a privilege, both teams think about ABM for the full lifecycle of the target account. In our past ABM presentations, we talk about how buyers are left hanging in the middle of the buying journey and how ABM should be used to accelerate accounts to revenue. Click here to view our past events


After You Listen to the Podcast, Read This Article to See the Account-Based Enablement That Would Help Teams Get More Tier 1 Accounts to Revenue:



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