Sales and Marketing Execution Risks That Limit ABM Success

On her profile, Mandy Cole (Partner at Stage 2 Capital and Kristina’s guest on the ABM Done Right Podcast) mentions that “Revenue Solves Everything.” But, GTM teams are struggling to drive ARR, GRR, and NRR growth.

Many companies are seeing 10%+ drops in enterprise deals. Studies from Matt Dixon (Founder of DCM Insights and author of the Challenger Sale and The Jolt Effect) show that 40-60% of qualified opportunities in the pipeline will result in no decision – and that is on top of those stuck in status quo and those who decide to go with another competitor. We’re also finding that companies are struggling with stage progression as accounts go dark and have long sales cycles.

The issue is not just the economy. A weaker economy only magnifies the GTM issues that teams have – the issues that many teams ignore when companies are in growth mode and are buying. A weaker economy only shows where the cracks in the business are – and where sales and marketing execution risk lies.

In the podcast below, Kristina Jaramillo, Eric Gruber, and Mandy Cole goes into detail on the sales execution risk they find in their clients and portfolio.

Here Are the Sales and Marketing Execution Risks That Were Discussed in the Podcast:

  • Sales, marketing, and customer success teams are not paying attention to how the buyer has changed, including how they are buying and how they want to be interacted with. While more GTM teams are doing ABM, they are still doing a spray-and-pray approach – just more targeted now as they are still focused on campaigns vs. delivering personal, relevant experiences. Within the Stage 2 Capital portfolio, Mandy is seeing significantly lower conversions with companies engaging in 1:few and 1:many outbound than a 1:1 ABM approach where you focus on each interaction and ensure you have the right messaging, content, reframes, and stories. She’s seeing significantly lower conversions with companies that are doing ABM but are still using status quo techniques – and doing marketing as usual vs. engaging in the change management that needs to happen.
    Click here to learn more about our personal account-based approach.


  • Sales, marketing and customer success teams are failing to map out the key decision makers, influencers, mobilizers and blockers and understand their needs, wants, challenges, gaps, concerns and value props so they can multithread and influence internal conversations. We need a strategy for how we’re going to facilitate the selling and internal conversations – and not just focus on the beginning of the buyer’s journey where they enter the pipeline. ABM should be about improving the buyer experience across the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle.
    Click here to see the account and buyer intelligence GTM teams need.


  • Sales, marketing and customer teams are failing to map out the journey we want to take the prospect on as it’s not a linear path to revenue – so what should the experience be like, what are the interactions that will need to happen, how should the teams be working together to deliver those experiences and win, protect and expand accounts together. Unfortunately, too many teams are taking an assembly line approach vs. sales, marketing, and customer success teams integrating to create the account experience that buyers want. Steve Richards from Mediafly also talked about this on his podcast.
    Click here to listen to the podcast with Steve.


  • Sales, marketing, and customer success teams are failing to align with future and existing accounts. Sales will discuss features, benefits, and pain points that only make you a nice to have – and they are not aligning with the strategic priorities of key accounts and showing where their gaps and competitor gaps may lie that will impact the achievement of those priorities, the company, the P&L, teams across the company and their customers. Sales and marketing are not aligning with what buyers are “seeking”, where they want to go, and what they’re not thinking about. They are not tailoring for relevance nor teaching for differentiation against competitors and the status quo. Customer success teams are having the wrong interactions as they are having the same conversation as sales but in the past tense. They are talking about here are the activities we completed and the benefits gained – but they’re not talking about here are the gaps we filled, here was the impact across the organization, here are the lessons we learned, and here’s how we need to continue to evolve this program so you can achieve your evolving goals and meet your shifting needs. They do not have the right why stay, why evolve, why expand conversations, and it’s why they’re losing engagement with VPs and the C-suite.
    We discussed this with Kristi Faltorusso on a recent ABM Done Right Podcast. Click here to listen to the podcast with Kristi.


  • GTM teams are failing to do an effective discovery with key accounts. Most teams are good at asking what the current situation is. Some are good at finding out what the accounts have tried to do and how it aligns with their strategy. Most people don’t dig into what happens if the buyers do not solve their business challenge, what’s the impact across the business, and if the impact is strategic to the buyer. It’s those insights that help GTM teams design the right interactions and experiences that move accounts forward. Most of the discovery that’s being done on a call should be completed before the discovery call – as teams should have complete account intelligence on the key strategic accounts that can have the greatest impact on ARR, GRR, and NRR. The discovery that should be done is what Personal ABM calls a “reframe discovery,” where GTM teams look for opportunities to change the buyer’s thoughts, ideas, and way of thinking. We need to look for and create a-ha moments. We discuss reframing thoughts and ideas on our podcast with Challenger so teams can win with status quo accounts.
    Click here to listen to the podcast with Challenger.


  • GTM teams are focused on campaigns and scaling outreach with platforms like Outreach and SalesLoft, and they have no real intention behind their social, email, and live communications. They’re not thinking about how each social, digital, and email communication is a mini sales conversation in the buyers’ minds – and it’s why many accounts go dark when sales engage. They lack relevancy. GTM teams are treating all accounts the same – they’re not segmenting and prioritizing them.
    Click here to listen to our podcast on why the focus should not be on scaling ABM yet.



  • Teams are relying on sales enablement – but sales enablement does not go far enough. Teams need a middle layer between sales and marketing to ensure that the right experiences are being delivered to tier 1 accounts – and GTM teams are having the right interactions. They need the middle layer to quarterback and help teams overcome the struggling moments that sit at the center of each deal along the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle. These are the moments that need to be listened to, understood, catered to, reframed, and solved.


Click Here to Learn About the Account-Based Enablement That Teams Need to Remove Sales and Marketing Execution Risks.


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