A Q&A With Snowflake Computing’s Daniel Day
Most ABM advice these days focuses on why to try it and how to start. But what’s it like to be in the trenches, knee-deep in ABM deployments and demand-gen transitions?
EverString had the opportunity to sit down with Daniel Day, Director of Account-Based Marketing at Snowflake Computing and rising star in the ABM space, to get his take. This is Part-1 of 2 of the interview.
Q: What’s been the key to your account-based marketing (ABM) success at Snowflake?
Day: Probably the fact that our sales team is account-aligned. I’ve been at organizations where that wasn’t the case and I spent a lot of time advocating for ABM and not a lot of time doing it.
Even before I joined Snowflake, the sales team here was targeting accounts based on a combination of knowledge of the field, key verticals, and our ideal customer profile. I’ve since been on a 12-month journey to become data-driven and now we’ve married all the knowledge and intuition of our sellers with the numerical landscape in every region. I feel pretty confident we’re no longer leaving stones unturned.
How did you get the sales team onboard with ABM?
It was about collecting all this data that nobody was asking for and getting key people within the organization excited about it. The sales team never came to us asking for help choosing better accounts. But as we gathered this rich information, I started dropping hints. Maybe a new sales director would come to us wanting to be more data-driven and I’d say “Well, we have this data on every account in your territory, is that interesting?”
“We went from asking for a seat at the table to us driving the territory and account selection for our sales organization.” – Daniel Day, Director of ABM at Snowflake Computing
Once key people saw value, they socialized it with peers. Now, it’s the model for our entire North America operation. At the beginning, I’d spend an hour with every single person who came on board to help them build it out. Now, it’s modeled in our Salesforce instance and BI tools and it’s automatic.
It has been something of a 180 for the marketing organization. We went from asking for a seat at the table to us driving the territory and account selection for our sales organization.
What were the sales team’s reactions?
Excited, because we started by proving the value. But it took some change. It used to be that new sales reps would join the enterprise organization with a list of desired accounts. But since we’ve gone from 25 to 100 field sellers in just the past year, that model doesn’t work. Now we know their territory and individual accounts before they come on board, and we just make a few adjustments based on their existing knowledge or relationships.
What do you think made the sales team trust you?
Well, one, because we were successful right out of the gate. It’s easy for me to talk about it like that, but really, there’s been 3-4 years of thought that went into this rollout. And two, it came from the very highest levels of our sales leadership. Our CEO and CRO decided they were going to be all-in on account-based sales.
“The mandate to have an account-based team has to come from the very top or it’s an exercise in futility.” – Daniel Day, Director of ABM at Snowflake Computing
The mandate to have an account-based team has to come from the very top or it’s an exercise in futility. I’m not saying it can’t be done without executive support – it can – but it’s much more difficult. ABM doesn’t work without an account-based selling team.
We’re also a data company to the core, so ABM really was a great fit. Here, if you want to have a conversation with our CEO, you have to have the data to back up your stance or he’ll ask you to go find the data and ask him later. In this environment, we were tracking lots of information I could use to power our ABM.
ABM has also been extremely effective for us because sellers are held accountable to landing-and-expanding within key accounts. We measure our sellers by how many first meetings they drive, their first contractual deals with a business – we call those capacity deals – and then how much on-demand business. In this model, buyers come back two, three, even four times adding more data storage with us. It’s a sweet-spot for ABM.
What would you recommend to other ABM marketers?
Remember that sales is your customer. We have a 1:1 marketing account engine where we work with companies like Terminus and Uberflip to do some really specific campaigns. When we do that, we get the whole account team involved. We have sales sign off on the messaging, content, and who we’re targeting. We don’t do anything without their input. I’d recommend that – this level of sales-marketing involvement is what makes ABM work.
In Part-2 of the interview, Daniel Day shares his tips on territory planning, ABM account scoring, and his secret to ABM success. Stay tuned.
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