[Live Blog] A Marketing & Sales Love Affair: The Future of ABM at Revenue Summit 2017

March 8, 2017 Amelia Ibarra (Admin)


During the first day of the inaugural Revenue Summit, we had cupcakes, detox juices, and a serious dose of puppies. But beyond the delicious treats and cuteness overload, we also learned a ton about the various ways sales and marketing teams are joining forces to launch and optimize Account-Based Marketing strategies within their organizations.

The SF-based event, hosted by #FlipMyFunnel and Sales Hacker, kicked off with an inspiring opening talk from Terminus Founder and CMO, Sangram Vajre. He covered the evolution of marketing and sales functions, highlighted the major challenges that we all face today, and then made the case for what he sees as the next big mega trends: ABM (because of course) and making heroes out of our customers. Throughout the rest of the day, these trends permeated much of the conference, from the sessions, to the expo floor, to the one-on-one conversations taking place in the lunch buffet line.

We walked away from Day 1 with our arms full of fun swag, along with some newfound knowledge around what to expect from the near-future of Account-Based Marketing.

Below, we run through our top 5 takeaways from the first half of Revenue Summit 2017:

Treat Your Targets Like Customers, Even If They Haven’t Signed Anything Yet

When you think about your target accounts, you have to think about them as customers, whether they’re paying you today or tomorrow. As Sangram said during the day’s opening talk, if you don’t focus on your potential customers before they start writing checks, you run the risk of losing them forever. Tailor your tactics for your targets by treating them as customers, and you’ll set them up to become lifelong advocates.

Your “Customer” Is More Than One Person

revenue-summit-2017In the world of B2B, the customer will always be more than one person. You’re selling into an entire organization, which means that after you’ve identified an account, you have to expand into that account and find all of the people you can sell to. Going beyond that, you have to engage with all of those people on their own terms to show them that you care, hopefully turning them into future advocates in the process. During their session, Terminus’ VP of Sales Tonni Bennett and Director of Marketing Ops Stephanie Kelly talked about what they’ve learned through their ABM efforts: SDRs set more meetings when they reach out to multiple stakeholders in an account, AEs have a higher win rate when they’re multi-threaded in the account, and customers are more successful when CSMs include and engage multiple stakeholders in the account.

Test, Track, Measure, and Optimize

When Senior Director of Marketing at Marketo Anastasia Pavlova took the stage, she began with a few things every team should consider as they embark on their Account-Based Marketing mission: start with a goal in mind, develop a hypothesis, and establish a baseline to measure results against. It’s a lot like science, really—you have to test, analyze, and optimize in order to see better results. During her session, Anastasia walked the audience through the Marketo team’s principles for ABM success. It should come as no surprise that the final principle is measuring and analyzing results in order to continuously improve.

Sales Development Can Better Connect Marketing and Sales Teams

Our own VP of Marketing and Sales Development Dayna Rothman, presented on how to hire, structure, and train a revenue team for ABM success, and she opened by saying that one of the biggest barriers to finding that success is a siloed sales and marketing teams. What’s an organization to do? Use ADRs (or SDRs, or BDRs—whatever your org might call them) to bridge the gap by owning the one-to-one relationships at target accounts, supplementing marketing’s broad-based approach, engaging in personalized outreach (with direct mail campaigns, for example), and scheduling meetings for sales reps so that the business can close more deals and see more revenue. And if you want to make sure your marketing and sales orgs stay well connected and as efficient as possible, be sure to keep Dayna’s statement in mind: “The best way to support a revenue team structure that thinks through all the facets of ABM is for ADRs to report into marketing”.

It’s Time to Challenge the Status Quo!

Sangram opened with this concept, and it was repeated in one way or another throughout the rest of the day. With Account-Based Marketing taking centerstage for a lot of B2B organizations, both marketing and sales have to look at traditional methods through a new lens in order to collaborate and execute well. Instead of focusing on how we want to sell, we need to start focusing on how our prospects want to buy. We need to put our target accounts—our customers—at the center of our strategies, solving their challenges and empowering them to succeed within their own organizations. If we can accomplish that, we’ll be on the right track.

Want to learn more about how to orchestrate and execute a stellar ABM strategy? Get in touch with one of our revenue intelligence experts!


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