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Episode Info:

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Account Based Marketing is by no means a new topic to marketing professionals. But the advent of new technologies makes the ABM process potentially more effective - if we know how to integrate the proper tech and mindsets into our strategy. On this episode, Bernie speaks with Sydney Sloan, CMO of SalesLoft. Sydney brings a wealth of experience to the conversation, including a prolong at Adobe.

In this conversation Bernie and Sydney discuss the 5 Pillars of an effective modern ABM strategy. Listen to learn how to know your customer, tier account priorities, integrate tools and technology, execute as one team, and then land and expand.

This episode is brought to you by Zubtitle, a new online tool that makes it easy to automatically add captions to any video in minutes. Don’t let your videos get passed over on social media because people can’t follow along on mute. Head to http://Zubtitle.com/Vengreso to get started.

PILLAR ONE: Know Your Customer

Anyone listening to this episode has at least some understanding that an account based marketing (ABM) strategy is a viable approach to find new customers. Once that decision is made, the first goal is to establish your ideal customer profile and create a list of target accounts.

There is so much information out there that allows you to identify potential customers. You want to consider the industry companies are in, the problems they are solving, the tech they may need, and more. Sydney says this kind of data can be used to identify and score potential organizations. Once you do, you have your initial universe of target companies.

Next, you need to score those accounts using things like intent, online activity, the level of engagement people within those accounts are having with your company. Obviously, this requires essential pieces of technology in your tech stack that can be used to draw in and integrate the data in useful ways. Sydney highlights the tech needed and how to use it effectively, on this episode.

PILLAR TWO: Tier Your Accounts And Set Priorities

In the SalesLoft approach to account based marketing, tiers are set to enable the team to recognize the priority targets among the many that are on their ideal customer list. They have established tier one, tier two and tier three accounts. This helps the team (marketing and sales) stay on the same page in terms of effort and strategy for each account on the list. Sales and marketing work in tandem to create the list and ensure the tier rankings are set properly.

The tiers are used to inform how the team implements a variety of actions that Sydney refers to as, “care, nurture, feeding, and growing each of the accounts.” It’s the process of bringing prospects along, guiding them through their own unique buying journey through engagement, interaction, and the provision of great resources that help them come to buying decisions. The goal of this first stage is to eventually set a meeting where that prospect can meet with a member of the sales team.

But the ABM process is far from over when an appointment is set. It’s used to manage and track the entire customer journey experience. Sydney says, “We have a monthly meeting where we check in to review status on accounts, engagement levels on those accounts, and (we) are investing our time and budget jointly (between sales and marketing) on making sure that we're doing right by those customers.”

PILLAR THREE: Integrating Tools And Technology

Effective, modern ABM is predicated on using tools and technology the right way. That’s where the SalesLoft team really shines. In your case, you probably already have your CRM system, but you also need a tool that's going to help you identify levels of engagement with customers. It should be a tool that pulls in data from the open web so you can start to map the companies out there that are looking for what your company provides. That tool will then serve up ads that are going to warm up those accounts.

As you can see, it's that combination of customer intent and your efforts at driving awareness to those target accounts that provide the greatest opportunities. The SalesLoft team invests in LinkedIn as well as other networks to surround potential accounts with awareness of the solutions SalesLoft provides. Additionally, they also offer them relevant content based on their profile, to draw them in.

In Sydney’s mind, a great marketer can warm up a prospect and build awareness so that when sales reaches out, the buyer is already aware of SalesLoft and how they solve problems like theirs.

PILLAR FOUR: Executing As One Team

When you think about the complexities around B2B selling today, the process the customer goes through continues to expand. A sales organization might have 15 to 20 people involved in one deal or sales cycle. How do you make sure that everybody is informed and that everyone continues the dialogue with buyers in a consistent and strategic way?

One way the SalesLoft team does it is by recording every interaction. It could be phone conversations, or email exchanges, or meetings - but these interactions are recorded so everyone involved is equipped to understand the entire sales cycle for that buyer. It’s data that needs to remain front and center for anybody that's involved in engaging with that account over the lifetime of the account. This enables the sales organization to better know how to align its teams to best serve that customer.

Integration on this scale can only happen with an intentional focus on data collection and management in a way that is accurate and usable - and that requires the right tools.

PILLAR FIVE: Land And Expand - With A Different Mindset

It's easier than ever for customers to switch to a new provider, so your team has to work just as hard to maintain existing accounts as it does to acquire new ones. Sydney uses the term “land and expand” to explain the dynamic of building a relationship and a broader base of services with customers once they are initially secured.

In her words, “I have the opportunity to serve this customer. My goal in life is to make them wildly successful. So that expands within their account, they continue to get more and more value from that. We build a long-standing relationship with that customer to the point where - when somebody on the customer’s team leaves that company to work someplace else, they bring SalesLoft to their new company because of the relationship that we've been able to establish together.”

The point is to develop a long-term customer relationship, to cultivate it and serve the customer in a way that exceeds their expectations. As marketing and sales teams work in tandem, this is the point where you must figure out where that next step in the process is for that customer, where can you create the opportunity to expand and deliver more value to them?

Featured on This Episode Outline of This Episode
  • [1:38] Who is the team at SalesLoft?
  • [3:49] What IS modern Account Based Marketing?
  • [5:39] How can marketers get to know their customers in today’s digital environment?
  • [7:39] Tiering accounts for better management and prioritization
  • [10:08] Selecting your tools and technology wisely
  • [23:10] The final step: Land and Expand[
Resources & People Mentioned

This episode is brought to you by Zubtitle, a new online tool that makes it easy to automatically add captions to any video in minutes. Don’t let your videos get passed over on social media because people can’t follow along on mute. Head to http://Zubtitle.com/Vengreso to get started.

Connect With Bernie and Modern Marketing Engine

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