Video Interview: Account-Based Marketing for Sales Development

Why is account-based marketing essential for sales development?

This episode of #TheSDRChronicles is dedicated to account-based marketing and how it helps sales development reps (SDRs). For this session, we’re privileged to hear from Sangram Vajre, CMO at Terminus, founder of #FlipMyFunnel, and author of Account-Based Marketing For Dummies. This video is an awesome chance to hear him talk firsthand about account-based marketing and how it has helped us as SDRs here at Terminus.

Here are some key takeaways from my interview with Sangram about how account-based marketing for sales development helps the entire organization

Account-based marketing helps turn the love/hate relationship between marketing and sales into a love/love relationship.

There’s always the question from sales about what marketing is doing to drive revenue for the organization. Account-based marketing helps to get the entire sales and marketing (or “smarketing“) organization aligned to target a set of best-fit accounts, and then doing everything they can to win new revenue from those specific accounts.

ABM focuses on accounts instead of leads.

There’s a statistic from Forrester Research that less than less than 1% of B2B leads turn into customers. For marketers focused on lead generation, this means that that 99% of whatever they’re doing doesn’t drive revenue.

“Nobody wants to be in a position where they say, ‘99% of what you do doesn’t matter,'” Sangram says. “I think marketers are just late to the party . . .  The sales team has always been focused on accounts.”

With ABM, though, sales and marketing teams are on the same page. This makes life easier for SDRs because we know the accounts we’re reaching out to fit our ideal customer profile, and we know the data we have about those accounts is accurate.

Account-based marketing drives revenue from events.

Sangram gives the example of preparing for #FlipMyFunnel Boston, where the sales development team prepared a list of accounts they wanted to attend the event. Terminus actually doubled the number of SDRs going to the conference because there were so many demos being scheduled. The SDR team did a phenomenal job working with the marketing team to create a list of accounts, invite the right contacts, and follow up accordingly.

ABM helps SDRs with outreach.

As an SDR, it has been helpful to have air cover from our marketing team, who uses our own ABM platform to get in front of prospects. This adds another neat aspect of smarketing because we are utilizing both teams’ strengths to achieve one goal. Through this method, the SDR team has seen an increase in demos and more successful conversations with prospects through cold outreach.

In conclusion, these methods have helped the marketing and sales team come together to accomplish some pretty great feats. It also proves that account-based marketing is a strategy that helps align sales and marketing that brings real results. SDRs, sales organizations, and B2B marketing teams can benefit from an ABM strategy that will help uplift the entire organization’s efforts.

Learn more about account-based marketing by watching my full 5-minute interview with Sangram:

To learn even more about account-based marketing, download Chapter 1 of Account-Based Marketing For Dummies for free by clicking the banner below.

Download Chapter One of ABM for Dummies

Here’s the full transcript of this Q&A on account-based marketing for sales development

Morgan: Hey guys, hope everyone’s having an awesome day. This is SDR Chronicle number 20 and this is going to be about account-based marketing and how it helps SDR. This is going to be part 1. Sangram Vajre is here, CMO at Terminus, MarTech All-Star. You guys have probably seen him around. Great friend, great mentor, great person to work for, and I’m super excited for him to talk about account-based marketing and how it has helped us as SDRs here at Terminus. Further ado, Sangram, go ahead.

Sangram: Hey man, how you doing?

Morgan: Doing good.

Sangram: We’re excited. I think what you’re doing with the SDR Chronicles is pretty awesome. For me, I think the sales and marketing team has been such an interesting place where marketing always is doing many more things and then sales is like, “I don’t know what marketing is doing.” It’s kind of always crazy, so I think there’s always this love/hate relationship between marketing and SDR organization, and you can also see that more organizations are actually having SDRs now report into marketing because they need to have a lot more alignment. The reporting structure is not really what’s going to give you alignment, but it’s the mentality of it. Really excited, man. Thanks for having me.

Morgan: No problem. I just want you to kind of dive into account-based marketing, and why it makes you so excited, and then how you see account-based marketing funneling into sales organizations and SDRs.

Sangram: Sure. What makes me excited about account-based marketing is that I wrote the book. I’m just kidding. It started with the fact that, as a CMO myself, prior to this I was running marketing at Pardot, and prior to that I have been in other marketing functions like Demand Gen and whatnot. It always made me kind of anxious about, like what am I doing is really driving revenue or not? When the company’s not doing well, it’s always a question like, “Hey, is marketing doing what they’re doing?” If the company is doing well, nobody questions marketing. Right?

Morgan: Right.

Sangram: I always had this weird feeling of like, “Hey, how do I make sure that what I am doing, I personally should know that I’m focusing on the right things.” The whole idea of focusing on leads just didn’t work. I’ll always say, “Oh, we got so many people.” The best example I always use is, there was a company who actually had a Game of Thrones infographic. They have like thousands of people download. They went to the sales team and said, “Hey, look, we got a thousand leads,” and the sales person says, “Awesome,” excited, they high-5. They work on those thousand lead for a week. Then the sales person comes back and says, “Man, those leads were crap. They were all Game of Throne fan.” They didn’t even know that we were the company that actually created this and stuff.

That example really kind of elevates the problem that we have in the marketplace today where that less than 1% of the leads turn into customers. As a marketer, is almost telling me that 99% of whatever I do really doesn’t matter; it doesn’t drive revenue. Nobody wants to be in a position where they say, “99% of what you do doesn’t matter.” Nobody wants that. I feel that account-based marketing, the idea flows in the right accounts, engaging them on their terms, and kind of turning them into advocates really is the driving force, really is the philosophy that every marketer and sales organization need to adopt. I think marketers are just late to the party. I think sales team has always been focused on accounts. Marketing just needs to get up and kind of figure out and shake themselves and really start focusing on accounts. That’s really exciting.

Morgan: Yeah, awesome, awesome. I guess, kind of talk about how some of us flew to Boston and how we use that account-based marketing method to increase our demo flow.

Sangram: Yeah, kudos to you and several folks at Terminus. We do #FlipMyFunnel conference, we hosted, there were a lot of people part of that, so it’s pretty exciting. What happens in that is, we drive a lot of people excited about account-based marketing to come to this one conference. Now, we know we were going to Boston. Right? What we would do is like, we focus on, “Here are the list of accounts that we want to make sure that they come to this conference, because we’re not selling them our product, but we want to make sure that they understand what account-based marketing is all about.” The SDR team did a phenomenal job of kind of focusing on the account. The marketing team helped them with creating a list of accounts, worked together, they did a whole bunch of invites and things like that. By the time we went to the conference, I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I did know that we had a ton of demos.

We actually doubled the number of SDRs going to the conference because we had so many demos scheduled. For them, it was more of like, “Hey, we have been talking, we have been emailing back and forth, let’s make sure we kind of set up.” Some of them actually had demos done before they actually went to the conference. By hyper-focusing on the accounts and making sure that there is a call to action of a conference in the city where they are going to learn about the stuff that we are talking about, as opposed to coming to an event that we are doing, no, no, no, come to an event where everybody who is who in account-based marketing is going to be there, really helped them drive real conversations. I think that really helped set up the right kind of demos. It was great. We had a tremendous amount of pipeline coming out of that, and it was a really win-win for both marketing and sales.

Morgan: Awesome. Sangram, I appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to lay down knowledge on account-based marketing and how it has helped SDRs inner sales organization. Once again guys, thanks for tuning in. Keep dialing and I’ll see you guys soon. This is the guy.

Sangram: Thanks, man.