Our Points Of View On Sales & Marketing

Thought Leadership

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

ABM & Data – how to think of it

Want to learn more about data? Click here.

[Jon] Hi I’m here with Scott Vaughan. He’s the Chief Growth Officer of Integrate and Scott and I were just talking about data. Data decays, Scott, at two to three percent per month at the contact level.

Make it very hard for sales and marketing productivity. What are you seeing in terms of an account based marketing strategy with data right now?

[Scott] Well, if you’re gonna do an account based strategy like that, data is everything. You need the account intelligence, you need to be able to build out that buying committee and the contacts. And we’ve got a massive data hygiene problem. We’ve got one in our existing database that we’ve compiled and spent a lot of money to build, so we have to get clean, but we also have one that we’re spending a lot of money on demand dollars from all these sources to bring data in, and frankly, with all the direct integrations and just pushing in lists and all those things without validation, without governance, it’s killing the database even more. So you’ve got this investment in your expensive tools like marking animation, CRM, your data warehouses, and you’re pushing bad data in, and so it’s just compiling. So we are seeing those that have a get clean, clean your database, and stay clean, putting a level of governance and ability to comply at the top, as that data comes through, is really helping demand marketers and leadership focus on driving more value, focus on creating higher conversions, and then being able to do better targeting. That all adds up to more pipeline, more revenue.

[Jon] And who do you see owning the initiative for data governance? It’s a great point about data, and really important point that sometimes people miss, but who do you see as the owner in the organizations that you target?

[Scott] So, revenue ops, which can be sales and marketing or sales or marketing, is really sit at the center. CMOs know they have a problem, even sales leadership knows they have a problem, but we try to work with marketing and sales ops to help drive those conversations. And know that there’s an answer. Because it’s not just, clean your data’s not a big initiative, you tell your CMO that, where’s the revenue? Well it’s a step to be able to go then really increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the investment of your people’s time and everything that you do.

[Jon] Makes sense, and you just recently got promoted to chief growth officer from CMO, what kind of trends, how you feeling about that, what kind of trends are you seeing there?

[Scott] I’m a little overwhelmed, in a good way, we’re a high growth software company so what we decided to do is put somebody in place who pivots and connects sales, marketing, product and customer success, and be able to apply specific account plans and strategies against those, our top 25 customers, using a rough number, our highest potential prospects, and then bringing to bear all the resources, including our technology alliance partners, like Marketo and Bombora, LinkedIn, and then our solutions providers, those are the folks that work on the front line with our customers. So it’s a really exciting role, it’s strategy, but it’s building again. After CMO for five years here at Integrate and building the brand and the initial demand channels, it was time to hand that to somebody else who could do great work at the next level of scale, and this allows our company to have a really intense focus on growth.

[Jon] With the average tenure of a CMO of 18 to 24 months you’ve more than doubled that.

[Scott] I beat the odds. On the data, I survived.

[Jon] Congratulations on that, that’s no small feat, and I guess last question, outside of Integrate, what do you like to do for fun?

Well, lately a lot of hiking and exercise, trying to get that mental health and capacity, that’s been more and more trying to work that in. You know here we’re in Scottsdale, it’s beautiful, trying to get out and about and get that activity going, that’s been the thing I think I’ve added and focused on the most outside of work.

Awesome, well thanks again Scott.

You’re welcome Jon, great to see ya.

Great to see you.

Alright.

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Waterfall Metrics

Many companies, particularly older SaaS companies, are still stuck with a lead based sales and marketing system while testing an account based system.  For those with a lead based system, the handoff points between sales and marketing can be critical.

In many client scenarios, we see low conversion rates between MQLs and SALs.  This is a sample set from all Marketo customers that ranges from 20% to 33% based on the maturity of the company of their funnel conversion.  The conversion rate is a function of Average Selling Price, Total contract value, sales cycle length and sales cycle type.  

In our experiences of seeing a pattern of low MQL to SAL conversion, this situation can usually be traced to 1 of 4 items or combo of items:

  1. No rigid acceptance criteria by the receiving function (SDRs) and/or no clear lead definition criteria agreed upon by sales and marketing – no accountability by parties or dashboards that can trigger non-compliance alerts and thus finger pointing.
  2. Too high of quantities of MQLs pushed to SDRs that are of low quality or low value – this is what we see most frequently as evidenced by actual conversion rates
  3. Lack of capacity of SDRs to execute on MQLs that marketing produces, so SALs are left untouched.
  4. SDR function that works for head of sales who is more motivated to do pure outbound ‘dial for dollars’ than to follow up on inbound.

Sometimes Marketing is unfairly asked to contribute even MORE to pipeline year over year across a flat or minimally growing budget against a weak conversion point that we spelled out above – we see that phenomenon quite a bit in the first quarter of the year.  In some cases, this calculation makes sense as investors want to see a more efficient sales/marketing engine as evidenced by a lower Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC) over time.  However, Marketers are asked to make a “step function” change in CAC which is extremely risky to hit expectation wise.

There are ways to combat this increased pipeline challenge of marketing shouldering all the burden and other ways to improve revenue for the company that marketing can influence:

  • Fix the MQL to SAL problem – depending on the cause as identified above, one could address this overall conversion issue.
  • Reduce churn – with customer marketing, you can help drive better LTV and with better churn numbers, you can reduce the pressure sales AND marketing feel on generating new business – you have to generate fewer new MQLs to sustain revenue
  • Ask your CFO what he/she thinks about the sustainability of a step function change in CAC;  in our experiences, that is not a scalable solution in any SaaS environment, a good CFO will know that and may come to your defense.

Addressing any of these areas will help for better sales and marketing alignment, improved stakeholder satisfaction, and longer term tenure by a head of marketing.

What trends are you finding in your waterfall lead metrics?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

SDR Outreach – Salesforce.com

As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, the SDR function is likely the most valuable function in the organization yet is often under-invested with newly minted college graduates slogging away at cold to qualify objectives.  On average, half the time these SDRs work for Marketing, half the time they work for sales.

Salesforce is the daily tool of many of these SDRs, either SFDC Classic or Lightning or combination thereof.  SDRs are busy logging their activities of meetings, follow ups, phone calls – and seeing which of their prospects have had marketing automation activity (website visits, forms, webinars, etc.)  Typically SDRs are queuing up a cadence for their prospect using several valuable tools – Salesloft, Outreach, and Yesware;  by our estimates, Salesloft and Outreach are the most frequent tools we run across in our client base.   While Marketing Automation have tools that are functionally equivalent (eg Marketo’s Tout), we typically see these marketing automation tools deployed the least.

Typically we see these set of SDR enabling tools offering the ability to enroll a segment, set a cadence of email touches, allow end users to customize those cadences for the right situation, and report out on metrics.  Outbound dialing capabilities are usually found in other packages – InsideSales.com and Connect and Sell being two market leaders with various packages addressing that aspect.

However, there is a new entrant in the market in Sales Cadence and dialing capabilities –  and that’s Salesforce itself.

In the Spring 19 edition, Salesforce now has an optional package called ‘High Velocity Sales Tools’.  This for-fee add on capability not only replicates the cadence capabilities of the tools mentioned above, but it also gives an optional for-fee dialer capability.   More importantly, it gives Lightning Salesforce SDRs the ability to have prioritized workflow based on Salesforce Einstein capability – our early testing indicates that Einstein prioritizes the leads with Einstein Lead Scoring activity at the top of the queue, such that the most likely to close are worked on first.  This is potentially a huge leap over competitive tools BUT assumes Einstein Lead Scoring and Einstein Activity Capture is enabled and in place.  There is also a private workspace for SDRs to work within their leads which make it attractive.  In theory, this new offer should be more tightly integrated than that of a 3rd party tool.

While it may make independent companies like Salesloft, Outreach, and YesWare a bit nervous, Salesforce’s own track record of acquiring partners marketing automation and CPQ solutions show that the market can sustain both a Salesforce acquisition for native capabilities AND outside players.  Salesloft and Outreach have a few year head start over Salesforce so one would think their momentum will carry.  Where we’d expect Salesforce to make greater inroads with this newer capability are in brand new, pure Lightning installations moving forward.

What remains to be seen is how well marketing automation can complement the Einstein sales activity if the system is not Pardot – Marketers who are concerned about conversion should keep a careful eye on this.

Which tools are you using for your SDRs?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

What should I measure in Marketing?

As I mentioned in a previous post, as a former CMO with a passion to measure marketing impact on the business, I’m often asked by others ‘what should we measure in marketing?’  Let’s dive deeper into ideas of what to actually measure.

We typically see two models depending on whether you are trying to take business decisions from measurement OR if you are trying to ‘account’ (or justify) marketing investment.

Model 1 – CEO/Board reporting

  • If your board of directors or CEO are interested in marketing reporting, they are going to care a lot about cost of acquisition, particularly in SaaS based companies. Lifetime value is also a valuable metric to consider when it comes time for acquisition costs – in a SaaS model, measuring lifetime value by cohorts can be helpful.  These are typically manual measurements vs. system measurements.
  • The cost of customer acquisition, particularly in SaaS based companies is a manual calculation vs. a system calculation yet is very valuable for board level reporting. This acquisition can be more valuable if done by cohorts.
    • It goes without saying the CAC to LTV ratio from the above figures is also worth showing a trend on.
  • In the maturing stage of a SaaS company (i.e. beyond 7 years old), they’ll eventually want to see a decrease in total marketing investment relative to that of revenues – ideally revenues should be climbing at a significantly faster rate at that point relative to that of marketing investment.
  • Measuring performance in cohort retention in SaaS models are a must do – but again need context. Often times we’ll hear of 90% annual retention rate celebrated yet if you look at the cohort retention rate over say a 3 year or more span, the retention rate in cohort will average more like 66%.  Marketing has a huge upside in influencing retention in these longer cohort areas as a small change in retention adds to a substantial bottom line improvement; however, most marketers have very little incentive to invest their time here vs. acquisition.  This is where looking at compensation plans is critical.

Model 2 – Head of Sales/ Marketing Reporting

  • Sales may be more interested in what you in marketing are sourcing although in our experiences, this conversation can be tricky with a head of sales because you are ‘accounting’ for how a deal gets sourced – be careful with this one politically!
  • For those Account Based Marketing fans, Account engagement could be another CEO or Sales metric to measure – we’re seeing that boards of directors in SaaS companies are not yet asking for this metric, yet for an account based strategy, it is a leading indication of success.
    • Account engagement can be measured a number of ways or tiers – from an account with a contact that has some level of engagement beyond an email open (for example, download, webinar attendance, booth visit, demo – a ‘success’ metric’).
    • It can also be measured as an open stage 0 or stage 1 opportunity against the account, preceded by some period of time with a campaign attached to the contact related to the opportunity.
  • If you are measuring a lead based approach, there can be a variety of models to consider – first touch, last touch, and multi-touch are the most common.
  • Multi-touch attribution is best handled by 3rd party software in addition to you your marketing automation platform and CRM system. For multi-touch attribution, there are a variety of models to consider – even touch across all points, a W touch model, or you can with some software packages rank/rate the touches based on frequency.
    • In our client base, we have experienced vendors like Full Circle, Bizible, Terminus, LeanData, Engagio, and Calibermind to name a few.  Each have its strengths and weaknesses.
    • We also see Tableau or a visual tool layered ontop of an SQL database.
    • Lastly, Excel which has been around since the 1800s is also a tool we see deployed (just seeing if anyone actually reads these posts lol).

What are you measuring in Marketing today and how are you measuring it?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

System Changes: Quality Control

Customer end user satisfaction is everything.   Thinking back to my days as a SaaS CMO in both private and public companies, in an agile environment, we’d go through a very rigorous development pre-process to ensure a reasonable outcome for a minimally viable product.

As a company matures, strategy changes.  Infrastructure supporting the strategy changes.  Business process changes to better support customers.  The need to integrate more systems together to have a better customer experience changes.  With all these macro changes, a rigorous process to support these internal system changes must be put in place.

We typically see a greater need for methodical change in Salesforce than that of Marketing Automation because Salesforce impacts how every user in the company can operate.  Getting a system level change wrong in Salesforce is VERY visible INTERNALLY;  getting something wrong in marketing automation is VERY visible EXTERNALLY.  Each of these scenarios impedes a good end user customer experience.

Skipping steps in a process to drive new features or product creates visible customer errors, costs sales & marketing productivity, and undermines organizational confidence.  Yet so many companies with executive leaders often overlook the value of taking a methodical approach within their own systems (Salesforce, marketing automation) hoping to speed the process.  Eager and impatient for results, an executive wants to jump right to the outcome.  While I too was a former impatient executive, I’ve come to learn jumping to the outcome involves significant organizational and productivity risk.

In our experiences with Salesforce.com and systems that connect to Salesforce, the companies that are best in class also follow a rigorous 5 step process before rolling out change.

  1. Requirements definition and system design
  2. Architecture, set up, customization – sometimes in a sandbox, sometimes in production
  3. User Acceptance Testing
  4. Make iterations / round of revisions – repeat steps 1-3 as needed
  5. Launch, training, and documentation

 

In step 1, requirements are defined and a system is designed on paper (eg powerpoint).  This gives all parties the opportunity to do ‘what if’ analysis before designing in system, and gives the ability for organizational change management buy in.   It’s the least risky step yet the most valuable to do of the five steps, to ensure a successful outcome.

In step 2, once the requirements are signed off, then design can take place within the system – in some cases this design is done within a sandbox (eg Salesforce sandbox) to minimize the risk of change.  In other cases, change is made right to production.

Step 3 is often overlooked.  When an outside agency or any party is building software or configuring systems, going through a rigorous test process ensures minimal mistakes are made.   While one would expect the configuration itself to be accurate, users often time see edge use cases not readily apparent when diagraming things out on powerpoint.

Feedback is acted upon in step 4.  If new findings arise in step 3, now is the time to remediate issues.  This may require repeating steps 1-3 but only if a substantial change is needed.  Typically, minor point changes are needed at this stage.

The final step involves launching the changes and training the trainer or training the end users on what to expect on those changes.  This ensures a consistency in the organization, rather than just one or two people knowing about the change.  Documenting the change is also helpful.

When these steps are taken, you can assure your internal stakeholders are happy as your end product will be more accurate.

When business needs change, what is the process your team uses for system change to support the business?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

5 Foundational Questions of Marketing Measurement

5 Foundational Questions of Marketing Measurement

First of a 2 part series. 

As a former CMO with a passion to measure marketing impact on the business, I’m often asked by others ‘what should we measure in marketing?’   The temptation is to race right to the visual presentation level of dashboards.   However, it’s best to start with getting context.

While it’s probably the right question to ask, it’s often a difficult question to answer without context.  However, there are usually common questions to consider on the journey to this answer.

  1. Let’s start with the first one – what is your reporting objective?

There are two typical models of reporting objectives – first is to make business decisions from the reporting, the second is to make Marketing as a function that is accountable for their impact.

Our next article will dive more deeply into what to actually measure.

  1. What role are you in?

This can be complex – if you are ‘doing the work’ vs. ‘delegating the work’ there is a tendency in our clients of ‘doers’ to provide vanity metrics to their boss – web page visits, clicks, downloads.   ‘Doers’ that get promoted make that vanity metric connection to business impact – retention rates, new revenue growth, etc.  ‘Doers’ that also ask to get their compensation tied to pipeline performance are ahead of the curve relative to their peer set.  If you are the ‘C’ level leader of Marketing, the next post will dive into what exactly to measure from a business impact perspective.

  1. Who owns Salesforce?

This is a key question because getting marketing attribution done right relies on Salesforce process and methodology.   If marketing is the ‘owner’ which we find in about 30% of the cases, the ability to orchestrate change is much easier.  As a ‘guest’ in Salesforce, you then rely on others to help you execute that change.   Dashboarding inside or outside of salesforce could also be a function of who owns it and where is the information most credible.  We typically recommend dashboarding inside Salesforce.

  1. What state is your data in?

With data decaying at 3%/month due to people changing jobs (in a good economy!), a database without governance is like ordering a year’s worth of milk supply at your home thinking you will be good forever on your milk diet.  Data is at the heart of sales effectiveness, marketing effectiveness, and inside sales effectiveness – so much productivity is lost here because ‘no one owns the data’.  This is a critical function that also drives attribution.  So it’s prudent when measuring to know the exact state of your data.  We often recommend creating a dashboard for this data.

  1. What is your selling motion?

Are you a transactional sale?  An enterprise sale?  A sale involving partners?  A sale that has cold to qualify with a BDR function?  Each of these has dramatically different attribution needs and/or use cases in measurement.

 

What are you seeing as common questions or issues in measuring marketing?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Myths of Account Based Marketing

I recently compared notes with Kelvin Gee, Sr. Director of Modern Marketing Business Transformation at Oracle, on myth’s on Account Based Marketing.  Even though Oracle owns Eloqua, his points are quite valid across any size company using any automation platform.

  • Kelvin: The first myth is that account-based is only for big accounts, and while that might be true, that’s where the account-based is most intense, with the data and processing technologies today we can scale account-based all the way down to pyramid. So not just the tip of the pyramid but the middle layer and the bottom layer. So account-based at scale is what we’re trying to prove out today.
    • Jon’s opinion: Kelvin makes a great point for non-transactional, b2b purchases, in theory ABM can extend throughout the funnel.  The challenge is scaling in a personalized way throughout the funnel, as well as prioritizing the most meaningful accounts in the funnel.

  • Kelvin: The second myth is that account-based is just a tactic. Sometimes people think that, oh if we just run an executive event or dinner for particular account, that’s account-based, but no, account-based is actually a strategy, a fundamentally different way of how marketers do business and it takes a different approach in terms of who you’re focused on, the tactics that are in play, the orchestration with the sales and then how you measure your stuff is completely different. So that’s why it’s really a strategy and not just a series of tactics.
    • Jon’s opinion: another great point here by Kelvin and one where we see a number of other outside agencies ‘muddying up’ the tactics of ABM vs. defining a true ABM strategy.  Thinking through the right plays and right treatment for types of accounts is a much different thought process than executing a tactic.

 

  • Kelvin: The last myth is that most people call it ABM, and what we’re trying to do is change the nomenclature internally because if we just say account-based marketing or ABM, sales will just think, it’s just another marketing campaign, it’s the campaign of the month or campaign of the day and again, if account-based is truly a strategy that aligns different parts of the organization including sales and customer success teams, as well as other parts of the organization, service as well, we can’t call it account-based marketing, because it implies only one part of the house and it just reinforces the fact that this is another campaign and we don’t wanna do that so we’re fundamentally calling it account-based or account-based strategy, so those are three myths that we’re trying to debunk here at Oracle.
    • Jon’s opinion: the definition of ‘account based’ can vary wildly by company.  It’s wise to get sales and marketing in a room to really define what the account based definition is, what the treatment is, and what the expectations are.  Measurement helps, too.

 

What kinds of myths are you busting?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

SaaS Churn (aka customer attrition)

Sales and Marketing leaders have lived in the US through an expansion period over the last ten years.  It’s easy to fall into bad habits here when customer growth becomes the exclusive focus.  Reflecting back on recessions in 2001 and 2008, quite a bit of attention was THEN focused on customer retention initiatives.  By the time a recession hits, it’s too late for many organizations to then make that shift to hugging their customers.

More SaaS companies are assigning resources to the existing customer base, because they realize hitting their bottom line numbers are a function of not just retaining clients, but growing their revenue.   With high churn SaaS models, companies are forced to work harder and more ineffectively on the sales side of the equation.

Here are some valuable churn statistics echoing the case for why it is important to allocate sales and marketing resource on both ends of the funnel:

✔️The median annual unit churn for SAAS companies was 10% in 2016. (forentrepreneurs)

✔️More than two thirds of SAAS companies experienced annual churn rates of 5% or higher. (Totango)

✔️If your Net Revenue Churn is high (above 2% per month) it is an indicator that there is something wrong in your business; this will become a major drag on growth. (forentrepreneurs)

✔️Net-revenue churn improves with larger Average Contract Value (ACV), likely due to more structural churn among SMB customers and higher switching costs associated with larger contracts. (Mckinsey)

✔️Between the SMB and Enterprise customer types, the top-quartile performers not only have net-revenue churn that is 14% to 23% percentage less than the average performers but also have net-revenue churn that is negative in an absolute sense. (Mckinsey)

✔️Gross dollar churn among companies with an internet go-to-market strategy saw a meaningful increase, up from 8% in 2015. (forentrepreneurs)

✔️The fastest growing SAAS companies averaged $250k in MRR and were only losing around 3.2% of that revenue each month to churn. (InsightSquared)

✔️As companies scale their growth engines, a slightly-above-average churn rate becomes harder and harder to offset with net new revenue growth, especially when the goal is to outpace it by 4x. (InsightSquared)

✔️The median SAAS business loses about 10% of its revenue to churn each year and that works out to about 0.83% revenue churn a month. (Tomasz Tunguz)

✔️The very best SAAS companies keep monthly revenue churn at around 0.58%, that’s only about 7% revenue churn a year. (sixteenventures)

✔️The very best SAAS business has a negative churn rate and will have a Dollar Retention Rate of greater than 100%. (forentrepreneurs)

✔️Median annual gross dollar churn was 8%, 7%, 6% and 8% in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. (forentrepreneurs)

✔️The best SaaS companies achieve 5-7% annual revenue churn – equivalent to a loss of $1 out of every $200 each month. (sixteenventures)

✔️As with unit churn, companies with longer contracts (2+ years) tend to report lower annual dollar churn. (forentrepreneurs)

✔️ Non-renewal rates are higher than gross dollar churn rates and higher for shorter duration contracts. (forentrepreneurs)

Credit for stat aggregation:  Despina Exadaktylou of Bad Ass Marketers Forum.

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Boston Marketo User Group – June Summary

Here are my notes from the June Boston Marketo User Group.  It’s a terrific user group having attended a few others on the east coast (DC, NYC, ATL), Boston seems to have the lead on making a great user group experience.

Thomas Zimmerman, Localytics

  • Compared the Marketo summit session topics and year over year summit performance
    • Lead Gen and Lead Lifecycles are ‘dead’ content wise vs. discussions around ABM and how to measure ABM (see below).
    • Underlying concern around budget and the ability to invest in new technologies – planning to use those technologies was a key conversation ahead of making the purchase of those technologies.
    • In slide two below (Buzzwords Y/Y), the percentage change is in topics year over year – so 0% represents no change in total topic count year over year.

 

MJ Hahn, Op Focus

  • Discussion around how companies could measure Sirius 2.0 waterfall
    • Discussed a SiriusDecisions measurement model in Salesforce that was persona driven where marketing creates the opportunity (which has process implications), avoids leads object altogether, and manages opportunity process through conversion
      • There was some customization to Salesforce but the SFDC customization was not entirely clear – eg. contact roles, related lists, custom objects, etc.
      • The discussion sounded like a ‘poor man’s’ Engagio implementation using a customized SFDC approach with weighted scores based on prospect sales and marketing engagement, difficult to tell how the model scales on score or persona change (e.g. do you need to manually update new scores?) but an intriguing model nonetheless.
    • Observation from Boston Marketo User Group leader – since Sirius 2.0 waterfall is new and typical sales cycles are 6-18 months long in B2B, the case studies at summit were basically implementation only, none spoke about actual ROI or results yet – but they expect at next year’s summit to start seeing results.

Jon Russo, B2B Fusion

  • Discussion around framework for ABM that was discussed at the Marketo Summit.
    • Starting point – baseline assessment
  • 5 key issues of ABM and MarTech we see in our engagements:
    • FOMO, Technology, and ABM Starting Point
    • Selecting the right targets (ICP, Accounts, Contacts)
    • Lack of the right ABM Intent Data strategy
    • Missing system and process requirements for ABM
    • Not hiring the right internal and external talent

 

Very few audience members had used intent data (2 in audience of 50) – a function the audience said of not having a clear enough need or the budget to execute on it, though most agreed the concept sounded interesting and relevant.

Of the 5 key issues, the topic of talent seemed to be the most challenging aspect many enterprises face.

Summary from BMUG Leaders:  Paul Green, Jody Spencer

Overall observations on Marketo Summit and SiriusDecisions Summit:

  • Reporting and analytics – there are not that many companies that figured out.
    • No one has Sirius funnel 2.0 figured out.
  • There aren’t a lot of companies embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) – the feeling was AI is so over-hyped.  One audience member was using Conversica to handle lead responses.  Marketo has content AI.  Audience AI in Marketo.
by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Top 5 MarTech & ABM Challenges for Marketing Leaders

At the 2018 Marketo Summit (#MKTGnation), we covered five common mistakes for MarTech and Account Based Marketing (ABM) deployments.

If you don’t have time to watch the embedded video, this is a ‘tweetable’ summary of each bullet point of our findings.

We began with some background.   Not every company uses the words ‘ABM’ but many companies are on a journey of account based selling and marketing.  Then we jumped into each of the five points below.

  • FOMO, Technology, and ABM Starting Point
    • Most companies have a ‘fear of missing out’, react, buy technology, realize that none of integrates.
    • Like a gym membership, people think having a gym membership (ABM technology) gets you in revenue shape (ABM strategy).  In reality, you need personal trainers to accelerate your progress with your gym membership.  Technology is not a strategy.
    • There are common elements of ABM deployments:  assessments, strategy, targeting, measurement, and XDR cadences.
  • Selecting the right targets (ICP, Accounts, Contacts)
    • Define your ideal customer profile based on qualitative and quantitative data.
    • Bounce it up against total addressable market and technologies to derive TAM.
    • Assess your data completeness at the account and lead level.
  • Lack of the right ABM Intent Data strategy
    • Account intent can be valuable when used for a personalized outreach.
    • Intent requires careful keyword selection and integration into business process.
  • Missing system and process requirements for ABM
    • Defining the customer experience on ABM is key.
    • Account disposition treatment is a critical arrangement across sales & marketing.
  • Not hiring the right internal and external talent
    • Internal talent needs to be well rounded across sales, inside sales, marketing, XDRs.
    • External talent needs to be a virtual extension of your team, agile, knowledgeable.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the sharpest audience issue that was felt was surprisingly the talent side of things – finding the right partners to augment the skills internally.  Initially, I would have thought Data as the #1 issue.

What trends are you seeing in Account Based Marketing?