With similar hipster vibes to San Francisco, Austin did not disappoint. Seriously, Craig Rosenberg couldn’t stop talking about the breakfast tacos and brisket, and I can’t blame him. #YUMBBQ. Like the Austin food scene, FlipMyFunnel also did not disappoint! The FlipMyFunnel Festival, put on by Terminus, was a day packed with all things Account-Based Marketing, some great conversations, and some serious indoor food trucks.
Here’s a recap of some main events, just in case you missed it!
Kicking Off the Day with Keynotes
Sangram Vajre, CMO and Founder of Terminus and Founder of the FlipMyFunnel movement, kicked off the festival by explaining the need to challenge the status quo sales funnel. It’s been the same for over a decade! But the market has changed and the buyer has drastically changed, so why do we have the same sales funnel? In contrast to blasting out messages to anyone who will read them, Sangram suggests that we need to focus on targeting the right people in the right accounts. We need to engage these prospects with the right content on the right channels—so we can turn them into advocates for our companies.
According to Sangram, these advocates may not be ready to buy just yet. But if you have prospects engaging with you, reading your content, and loving your brand, those prospects are going to come to you when they are ready to buy. Those same prospects are the ones that are going to stick with you, do case studies on your behalf, and take calls with other potential prospects advocating for your product and what it has done for their business.
Next up, Julia Stead, Director of Demand Generation at Invoca, took the audience through Invoca’s journey to ABM success. She talked about the importance of using predictive in their account selection process. Invoca trusted EverString to help them understand which accounts their sales and marketing teams should spend their time on—the accounts with the highest propensity to close.
Once Invoca chose their accounts they used Linkedin Sales Navigator and other resources to collect information in order to personalize their outbound efforts. With that, they rolled out what Julia called “Omni-channel Nurturing” using a steady stream of email, direct mail, display ads, and SDR outreach—and they saw some major results. We’re talking 1.8x more pipeline and lift in opportunity creation rates of 50-200%!
So how exactly do you do ABM? That’s what the sessions got into. I’ll highlight a few key learnings.
Account Selection and Segmentation
I took the stage with Hana Abaza, VP of Marketing at Uberflip, in our session titled How You Can Use Content to Completely SLAY the ABM Game. I can’t take credit for that title. That was all Hana. Big thanks to her and Uberflip sharing the stage with us!
Before we talked about content, I spoke briefly in our session about the different ways you can select accounts. Because you can’t create awesome, custom targeted content experiences without knowing who to customize them for! Each way essentially falls within either a manual approach or predictive selection.
A manual approach is when your sales and marketing teams get in a room to decide, based on past experience and gut feel, who you should go after with your account-based strategy. This can be a tedious and largely subjective task. And in the words of Jon Miller, Cofounder of Engagio, “in the real world, many factors contribute to a successful sale—and many of them will be invisible to your teams”.
Predictive selection uses tens of thousands of data signals to map similarities in order to determine what makes your customers a good fit for your business. Predictive marketing can map those similarities and provide you with the target accounts that look like your most successful customers and prospects.
Jim Walker, VP of Marketing at EverString, talked about how important it is to segment your accounts once you have gone through that initial selection process. Because with ABM, if you are not smart about how you are segmenting the accounts you go after, you are going to run down your budget very quickly.
ABM is also expensive from a time and resource standpoint. It puts a lot of pressure on your team to create custom content, unique nurture streams, and other custom experiences. You just can’t do that for every one of your accounts. It’s not scalable. Make sure you’re putting time into the accounts that really matter most to your business and have a high likelihood of buying your product.
Run Coordinated ABM Plays
Jon Miller, Cofounder of Engagio, took the stage to school the crowd on how to do coordinated plays in an account-based strategy. A coordinated play is a unique account plan that deploys a highly orchestrated, multi-channel, multi-tactic effort to initiate conversation and deepen the relationship at target accounts. Check out this undeniably adorable Sesame Street graphic by Engagio to explain coordinated plays.
Things to note:
- The coaches, the ones designing the play, are from the sales and marketing teams
- The quarterback is the one that communicates out the play, again, this is sales and marketing together
- The players, and notice there are many of them, are all involved to help with this effort—from Sales Development Reps to your CEO
Craig Rosenberg, Chief Analyst at TOPO, even talked about a company he worked with where each top account had its own dedicated team made up of an Account Executive, an SDR, and a marketer. This group would meet quarterly and annually, with a monthly scrum to design coordinated plays and pass information about the account to enable the teams to drive success. Pretty cool stuff.
Pro-tip: Don’t Leave Out Your Influencers
I want to relay an interesting point that Maria Pergalino, VP of Global Marketing at Apttus, brought up in her session. We talk a lot in ABM about targeting the entire account, not just an individual lead within the account. Yet we are still sending most of our direct mail pieces to just the decision maker.
For example, Maria told a story about a few members of her team working through a deal to bring on new software. She knew it was happening and was planning on giving approval if her team liked what they saw after fully vetting the tool. Yet, when the deal was about to be signed, it was Maria that got the cool gift in the mail. She hadn’t been on any of the calls, while her team was the one driving the decision. This offended her team and made them less excited about the deal.
So, when you’re going after an account, make sure that the influencers are still getting courted. You may offer less high quality or easy-to-produce marketing for these decision makers, but don’t leave them out. That’s not true ABM.
There was SO much to learn at this show. Hopefully these key takeaways give you a taste of the knowledge!