EverString was excited to attend the 2017 TOPO Summit, as it’s a premier event that gives our team the opportunity to hear from many thought leaders in the sales and marketing tech world. This year’s event was held at Pier 27 on the sunny San Francisco Bay shoreline, but the spectacular views at the venue weren’t the only thing making a serious impression on attendees this year.
The views at TOPO Summit were almost as impressive as the speakers.
It was clear as soon as you walked into Pier 27 that account-based sales and marketing have held staying power over the past year. Not only were there numerous speakers specifically selected to talk about account-based sales and marketing, but it seemed to weave itself into several of the sales effectiveness and ops discussions as well. This should come as no surprise. EverString has been on the forefront of account-based marketing and sales capabilities in the past year, helping many companies discover net-new, relevant accounts and contacts.
Dan Kimball and Shalin Bhandari of Eventbrite spoke specifically about ABM on Day 1 of TOPO Summit, and drew some really introspective reactions during their joint session. One of the biggest takeaways from their presentation was centered around how to get started with ABM, and how marketers and sales professionals should start simple with their business plans and move toward alignment where there is a fit. This is why solutions like EverString in particular are so important, as sales/marketing alignment is one of the key functions of the Audience Platform.
— Eric Wittlake (@wittlake) April 13, 2017
Peter Herbert, VP of Marketing at VersionOne, ended the Account-Based talk track on Day 2 with a bang. Peter shared how he got started with VersionOne’s award-winning approach to Account-Based Marketing and Sales, and the resulting success VersionOne experienced. By leveraging technology like EverString, Engagio and Bombora as part of their ABM tech stack, Peter and his team were able to increase engagement, pipeline and size of opportunities across target accounts.
According to Peter, “95% of new business at VersionOne came from high-fit accounts identified by Everstring.” The session ended with a key takeaway that ABM is a go-to-market transformation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get started with your own strategy tomorrow.
A Human-Centric Approach to Sales
While attending sessions throughout TOPO Summit, there seemed to be underlying themes that couldn’t be avoided: namely, making sales and marketing more human-centric, and targeting high-fit accounts. With EverString’s self-service platform that’s specifically designed to help sales and marketing teams find high-fit contacts and accounts, it was good to hear that these topics were being discussed at length from several leading minds in the industry.
— Kristina McMillan (@Lifeiterated) April 12, 2017
Kristina McMillan, a leading voice at TOPO and the organization’s current Director of Research, focused her session around sales development, and explained from the beginning that the most valuable accounts should be the main focus when you’re talking about expansion. Customization and personalization in sales were also major talking points during her session, so it’s no surprise that she gave EverString and our own VP of Field Marketing Matt Amundson a shout-out during her session!
A tech stack from Peter Herbert of VersionOne at TOPO Summit features EverString, Marketo, Uberflip, Engagio, Terminus and SalesLoft, and how they all tie into VersionOne’s Account-Based Marketing infrastructure.
Keynote Speeches Take Us to The Movies
We all love talking about the future of sales and marketing, but breaking up the day with something outside of your wheelhouse is always good too. That’s why we were so excited to see that two moviemakers were slated for the keynotes on both days of the conference.
Day 1 introduced us to filmmaker Bryan Fogel, who recently landed a major deal with Netflix for his documentary Icarus. Set to launch in August 2017, Icarus explores the effects of performance-enhancing drugs and how it affected Bryan as he participated in a grueling amateur cycling competition in France. However, the story quickly changes and begins to uncover one of the biggest sports stories in history: the Russian doping scandal. The entire crowd at Pier 27 was riveted during his session from start to finish, and needless to say, this is a film that will definitely be added to the queue this summer.
On Day 2 we were introduced to Matthew Luhn, an animator, writer and branding consultant who has been working with Pixar Animation Studios on many movies, including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, and more. Even though Matthew’s has amazing talents as an animator, he still had some pretty incredible takeaways on how to take the art of storytelling and merge it with sales and marketing goals in order tell your best story as a business.
We are already excited for next year’s TOPO Summit! Hopefully in 2018 we will all still be talking about the power of account-based marketing and the numerous ways we can support sales growth and development with an innovative mindset.