Welcome to the fifth installment of our 6 For 6 Blog Series! This is a series of 6 answers to 6 buzz-worthy questions from leading marketing influencers around the country. This blog features Kevin O’ Malley, VP of Marketing at SalesLoft, an all-in-one sales development platform that enables your sales team to convert prospects into qualified appointments. As Kevin and the SalesLoft team have been known for making it rain qualified leads in an account-based sales approach, we wanted to get his thoughts on the future of the Account-Based Marketing (ABM) movement.
1. You’re a marketer within a sales development software organization. Can you describe what the sales and marketing dynamic is like at SalesLoft?
One of the best things about working at SalesLoft is the culture that we’re all responsible for maintaining. A couple of our core principles speak to the relationship between sales, marketing, and all other functions. First, we pride ourselves on creating an empathetic environment where people are urged to understand, consider, and care about the work of others. Second, we urge employees to be supportive of each other professionally, and that includes the work that’s going on now and goals that are being worked toward. As a result, the dynamic between sales and marketing is productive and respectful.
2. What are some ways your sales and marketing teams are aligning for account-based plays?
One example that comes to mind is how we’ve tuned our demand generation campaigns to align with sales’ top target accounts. We’ve invested in tools and platforms that allow us to go beyond targeting based on personas. Sales and sales development can simply provide their target accounts, and we can tune our demand generation campaigns to provide effective “air cover” to their prospecting efforts. This not only helps us take advantage of the benefits of ABM, but also helps the sales and marketing relationship overall because we are two teams working towards the exact same goal.
3. How have you adapted your approach to demand generation to incorporate Account-Based Marketing?
ABM has definitely dramatically changed the way we look at demand generation. Account-Based Marketing really starts with knowing not only what customers to target but which customers are the best fit. This means not only identifying customers that will add the most revenue but identifying customers that we will deliver the most value to in order to ensure the highest revenue quality and the best relationship. So the way we’ve started is by focusing on lead quality instead of quantity, and investing in data analytics tools that allow us to identify the characteristics of our ideal customer. We’ve started to identify and work top targeted accounts, but we always keep our data and analytics game strong so we ensure we’re headed in the right direction at all times.
4. Where do your sales and marketing teams focus their time and efforts within your ABM strategy?
When you’re shifting your strategy and making the dedication to account-based, you go through this transformation to figure out which accounts you should go after. As you pick your target accounts to go after, you start to wonder why you went after some accounts in the first place. We sort of had a gap in our ABM process before we started using EverString, but then all of a sudden there was a sense of clarity. When you’re looking at thousands and thousands of accounts, and use predictive marketing to narrow it down to the 100 or 200 accounts that really matter to your business, it allows your team to know that the accounts that they’re going after and spending time on are worth their efforts.
5. Since we’ll be seeing you in Atlanta at our ABM After Hours workshop, what’s your favorite place to grab a bite to eat there?
It’s a pretty safe bet to catch me at Kaleidoscope in Brookhaven, having curry chicken spring rolls and sipping on “One Eyed Willies.”
6. Your favorite part of working with the SalesLoft team?
5. My favorite part of working at SalesLoft is the people. We’ve built such a great team, and have such a great responsibility maintaining the culture Kyle Porter and Rob Forman have worked so hard to foster. Everyone takes that responsibility seriously as a result, and the result is an energetic and fun working environment.
6 for 6 profile: Kevin O’ Malley, the VP of Marketing at SalesLoft, has more than 15 years of product management & marketing experience. His marketing team at SalesLoft has one, simple mission: to become the world class authority in sales development. Kevin’s main focus is to drive alignment on marketing resources to build and optimize a lead to renewal discipline for SalesLoft’s content, sales development, sales and customer success teams to maximize their effectiveness.