How Pinion Aligned GTM Teams to Drive More High-Value Cybersecurity Wins

KCOE ISOM (now Pinion) was the byproduct of a merger between an accounting, business strategy and financial services firm for AG companies (and those serving the industry) and a cybersecurity and IT services firm. After the merger, Personal ABM worked closely with a positioning and messaging firm to identify the value of the combined forces – and how it needed to be positioned to the market and key accounts (especially those needing cybersecurity services.)

Leveraging the expertise of both sides of the business, it made sense to focus content, messaging and positioning on aligning IT with the CEO, CFO, COO, CTO and business leadership. However….

Changes needed to be made to marketing, sales and operations, if the firm was going to commit to moving forward with the new messaging and positioning.

For example, the new messaging led to a completely new audience for the sales and marketing team as they needed to uplevel the conversation and bring together the finance, IT and operations side of their prospects’ businesses. They needed content and conversation frameworks that would speak to the complete C-suite and show how their IT gaps and cybersecurity risks can impact their supply chain, GTM, manufacturing operations and the P&L and start talking about the customer’s situation.

Remember, ABM is all about treating an account as a market of one. Its value lies in increasing your personal relevance – and to achieve this requires a deep understanding of your target account. When you know what makes a business tick, you start to see how you can make your brand proposition relevant to them. You learn their pain points, their business challenges, their gaps, their impacts, what drives their decision-making, and where they want to position themselves in the future. By gathering insights and in-depth knowledge about the buyers, you create a picture of an account as a single market.  And that’s an ABM value proposition; the core messaging that will drive the creative.

It’s a way of communicating the existing brand proposition to a very specific audience that fits their context. The firm needed to design value props for specific customer needs and to the unique opportunity in each account. They needed to show the role they can play in their strategic initiatives and the impact they will have on the business and finance.

Most ABM programs would stop at getting a better understanding of the target audience and personas, developing content and messaging and identifying a list of target accounts. 

But ABM should focus on the journey a buyer takes from start to finish. Every touchpoint and piece of content (including the website, detailed industry reports, unique digital experiences and peer-to-peer engagement with subject matter experts) forms part of this with the aim of drawing an account through the sales funnel to a closed deal and beyond.

In reviewing the customer journey, we noticed that operations was misaligned with the new sales and marketing conversation. The sales team would get potential cybersecurity customers (many of which were existing accounts to the accounting firm) to move forward with a cybersecurity and IT audit at a low entry price point. But, the report that operations provided focused on age of software/hardware and issues that an IT manager would care about.

Operations did not go on-site and see first-hand the specific impacts IT issues and cybersecurity risks had across the organization, including employee productivity, potential supply disruption/operation shutdowns, and future growth. And, the report showed no relevance to the new audiences that sales and marketing were talking to.

If we didn’t focus on the complete account experience, including the IT and cybersecurity audit and the conversations that operations would have, then any traction with the C-suite would have been lost. GTM teams would have been directed to the IT manager, who has little to no authority or influence on high-value deals. One of the biggest reasons why accounts go dark is that GTM teams did not think about the complete experience. One irrelevant misstep along the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle can kill a new or existing deal.

By focusing on the complete account experience, our client was able to engage the C-suite and drive 6 and 7-figure deals.

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