Leslie Cocco Alore is the Global Vice President of Growth Marketing at Ivanti – an ITSM platform that helps teams find, heal and protect every device, everywhere – automatically. She spoke at ABM events like B2B SMX in Boston and now she joins Kristina Jaramillo and Eric Gruber at Personal ABM for this podcast on the Do’s and Don’ts of ABM.
Here Are Some of the Do’s and Don’ts of ABM That Leslie Cocco Alore, Eric Gruber, and Kristina Jaramillo Cover:
- Don’t even think about shifting to ABM without first aligning with sales – and understanding your customer accounts, especially if you have a broad portfolio like Ivanti, which has 66+ products. You’ll hear how Leslie and her team aligned with customer success, operations, sales, renewals, marketing, and all customer-facing and CX teams to align on how they’ll go-to-market and how they’ll show up in a way that they want to target audiences to experience them. As Kristina Jaramillo and Eric Gruber often mention on the podcasts, ABM should be about improving the interactions that teams have with future and existing accounts and the experiences we’re delivering.
- Don’t start off talking about your GTM strategy when it comes to ABX or ABX. Ivanti started its ABM/ABX conversations with a focus on business objectives and where business challenges lie. Then they talked about how their ABM and GTM strategies can support those business objectives and fill the revenue gaps.
- Don’t even think that marketing is done when a pipeline is created. Some of Ivanti’s product lines have sales cycles that are longer than 12+ months. Marketing’s job at Ivanti is not done when a pipeline is created. Marketing needs to support the customer’s buying journey, sales, and the selling conversations that need to happen. Marketing is focused on accelerating key accounts to revenue. Similarly, their goal was to double the average deal size. That means they had to take the time to intimately understand the account in order to bring more people in the buying center and more stakeholders into the mix that will have different use cases and requirements.
- Do have your BDRs, sales, marketing, and customer success teams working as 1 team to win and expand business. In many other companies doing ABM, the sellers may be account-focused, but the business development team is not. These BDRs are often given a general territory and are given an ICP to target. The idea is that the BDRs will cast a wider net that the sellers won’t be doing as sellers are focused on target accounts. At Invanti, each BDR is directly aligned with a handful of sellers. The BDRs focus is going deeper and broader on a finite book of business that the sellers are wanting to win and expand.
- Do lead with ABM/ABX strategy as a key tenet of your GTM approach. There is no one in the Ivanti organization (100+ marketers) that has ABM or ABX in their job title. ABM is not a job that one person or a group of people do. ABM is not something that is just given to demand gen. In fact, no one has the title of demand gen at Ivanti as well. Everyone understands that it is their job to support and advance the company’s business objectives and to do that in the context of their account-based GTM approach. Everyone is doing ABM because the account-based experience is part of their GTM.
- Do not retrofit ABM. If you are just retrofitting ABM, then you are not changing account experiences and the interactions the teams are having. You are still engaging in spray and pray approaches – you’re just doing it more targeted now. This is why stage progression is a challenge for many companies engaging in ABM and why accounts are going dark.
- Do increase your ABM readiness before moving forward with ABM. When Leslie started with Ivanti, they asked about ABM. She spent a lot of time talking to sales and looking how the sales organization was structured – and she told her CMO that Ivanti is not ready for ABM as they have a territory team where sellers are focused on regions and they can go after new customers, existing accounts, big companies, small companies and any company that has a pulse that they can get a conversation with. Sales leaders were talking about wanting pipeline and leads so they weren’t aligned with ABM. Leslie didn’t bring up ABM again for a whole year until the company started talking about assigned accounts and segmented sales teams by different size organizations and business needs.
- Do continue to shift and evolve. Ivanti is still going through sales enablement and training on what it means to create an account plan and how you can work your way up through an organization and talk to senior leaders about value rather than junior people about products, features, and functions. You need to put processes, training, and account-based enablement in place so you can impact business objectives.
- Don’t forget that it’s not accounts that buy – it’s people. At Personal ABM, we like to say that ABM is not about accounts – it’s really about the human buyers inside the accounts you want to win, protect and expand. It’s about how we are going to increase our relevance and improve our interactions with the key buyers.
- Don’t make ABM tech synonymous with ABM. When Leslie started with Ivanti she went on a listening tour with sales and marketing teams. She kept hearing requests for 6sense, Demandbase and other tools. They wanted it because their previous companies had it – they could not share how they’d best leverage it and how it would impact their GTM. They needed to define a very clear GTM strategy, how they were going to approach ABX, and their precision demand methodology BEFORE they focused on ABM and intent data technologies.
- Do ensure that marketing measures success the same way as sales. At Ivanti, they don’t talk about marketing sourced revenue, which only places marketing at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. At Ivanti they focus on stage progression, sales cycle time, deal size, ARR, GRR, and NRR.
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