ABM Program Success: Four Tips from a Bass Fishing Tournament Winner

Bass fishing looks easy…that is, until you step off the dock into your boat and realize you have eight hours to catch as many largemouth bass as you can. The same holds true for Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It makes sense and looks easy until you have to dip your toe in the water and build out a pilot program.

The other weekend I was flipping the channels on the TV and came across an interview with a guy who had just won a bass fishing tournament. His insights seem to be just as relevant for successful Account-Based Marketing as they did for successful bass fishing. I’d like to share four of those insights with you and see what you think. Continue reading

Beyond the Hype: A Peek Behind the ABM Curtain Part 4

An interview with Russell Glass, Former VP, Products at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions

Kwanzoo: Looking at your background, it looks like you started in Sales, moved into Marketing, wrapped yourself around Products and Data–and found time to be an entrepreneur along the way. What impact do you think your early jobs had on the way you think about B2B sales and marketing?

Glass: I saw very early in my sales career the importance of capturing and pulling together conversations as well as the value propositions and benefits that my customers cared about—which helped in setting follow-up meetings and reminders, etc. Then as a marketer, I learned the value of organizing that aggregated data. Leveraging that organized data made me a smarter marketer. I see it today with Account Based Marketing (ABM). Understanding all the customers that a group of salespeople are engaged with, understanding how those customers are moving through the lead funnel and leveraging that data to influence your targeting and campaign strategy—ensures alignment and assures that marketing is not wasting dollars on companies that just aren’t in the conversation yet.

So, if you are focused on the bottom of the funnel, you want to focus on the people that the salespeople are talking to. If you are focused on the top of the funnel, you want to focus on the people that salespeople would want to talk to. All my early jobs and experiences came together to help steer how I think about B2B sales and marketing—and how I founded Bizo.

Kwanzoo: Yes, thanks for bringing that up. You founded Bizo. What is the impact that you think that Bizo has had on the B2B marketing and sales tech landscape? Continue reading

How to Approach Account-Based Marketing Part 2 – Selecting the Right Technologies

In Part 1 we covered how Account-Based Marketing (ABM) requires planning for success. Marketers need to think like their sales colleagues when building the ABM plan and target accounts. When the ABM strategy is created it’s time for you to identify the marketing technologies that will enable the strategy.

There is no single ABM technology solution

Selecting the right technologies to help your ABM initiatives is like determining whether you need to redo your kitchen. You have the core framework of a functional kitchen—so do you really need to invest in new cabinets, sink, countertop, etc. or do you just need one or two new appliances? Beware of the “shiny object syndrome.” Also, don’t go down a rabbit hole of thinking that there is one appliance that can meet all your kitchen’s needs. Several marketing technology vendors have produced fantastic content to help define ABM and best practices tactics. One problem with this effort is how many marketers think a couple of vendors’ views are the standard process for ABM technologies. Marketers are learning a specific vendor process through webinars, conference presentations, white papers, ABM certifications, and ABM online training—without doing their homework or due diligence. Continue reading

Lead Generation: The Need to Apply Account Based Marketing

Stop me if you have heard this one… Your Marketing team is tasked with generating a specific number of leads, with the understanding that a certain number of those leads will become qualified and then a certain number of leads will convert into opportunities.

However, what really ends up happening is Sales says that your team’s qualified leads are crap. “They were not ready to purchase,”“They were just fishing for information,”“The lead was too small to afford our products.” Sound familiar? The list goes on and on.

“What really ends up happening is Sales says that your team’s qualified leads are crap.”

In turn, your team becomes frustrated because they feel they’ve thoroughly planned their demand gen strategy and have done their due diligence. They’ve spent a significant amount of time meeting with Sales to get their qualification criteria, they’ve gotten executive buy-in, and created SLAs. Now, just a quarter or two later, they are being told what they’re doing isn’t working and is not helpful to sales. So, the Marketing team throws their hands up and focuses more on lead quantity rather than lead quality— just getting leads in the door. If Sales follows up, who knows, but at least the Marketing team can say they hit their lead gen numbers.

Where is the disconnect? Continue reading

How to Approach Account-Based Marketing Part 1 – Selecting Accounts

How would you approach Account Based Marketing (ABM) at your company? Would you simply buy a marketing technology tool and call that ‘Account-Based Marketing’? Would you work with your sales colleagues, or not?  How do you select the target accounts?

I have written this blog to cover two core components for ABM that most marketers need help with: selecting the target accounts, and the variety of technologies that support an ABM strategy.   Continue reading