To continue with our #FlipMyFunnel Funnel Flipper Series, we caught up Troy O’Bryan, VP of Strategic Growth at Bonfire Marketing Company. Troy is an account-based advocate and is on a mission to elevate the demand generation results for his clients. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter and check out his top ABX tips below.
We see a lot of people in the community struggle with adoption and buy-in. With you being on the agency side, how do you go about convincing a client that account-based should be a part of their strategy and then how do they then sell it internally.
Don’t drop everything that you’re doing today. The biggest shift you’re going to see an organization go from is whatever goal that they have. “I have 1500 leads per quarter.” now they go to I’m only going to 50, but they’re going to be higher qualified and bigger deal sizes. It’s going to shorten our sales cycle but we’ll have less of them. That kind of change is big because all of sudden everybody’s got these results and they’re showing the on their dashboards and their meetings and then all of a sudden, next thing you know, there’s a big dip which won’t go over well. There needs to just be a pilot program in the beginning, don’t cut everything else off. Initiate the pilot program alongside the regular strategy and then prove the metrics that you want to have such as bigger opportunities, shorter sales cycles, and better closed rates.
[Tweet “#ABX adoption tips? “Don’t drop everything you’re doing today.” – @troyobryan #FlipMyFunnel”]
What types of challenges have you seen with ABX?
Executive and sales buy-in. One, you have to have executive buy-in from a sponsorship standpoint, that says yes this is the direction that the organization is going and making a commitment to that. Then sales buy-in becomes a “ok marketing, you’re going to support us, how? I don’t understand. Usually you provide us leads and then we take your leads, we qualify some of them and then we get some and we’re happy for them. But you’re going to get involved in this whole process now? That’s always been a challenge, trying to get that alignment back and forth.
Do you think it starts from the bottom-up by getting sales on board first or starting with your executive team and getting buy-ins at those highest levels?
I always go after the squeaky wheel, which would be sales. Somebody’s not meeting their quota, somebody needs more, or they just want to do something differently. Just like when we do marketing and help our clients in their positions from a messaging standpoint, people buy for two different reasons – they have aspirational goals that they want to achieve or they have some sort of pain they’re trying to solve. So find that sales person that’s either like I want to do something or has some pains and feels like they aren’t getting what they need from the current strategy and are willing to try a new idea. Bring this to the table, “hey, ABX is the way to go”, talk to them about that, champion with them, then once you get something with them, take it to the executive and leadership and say “hey here’s what we did, here’s the result of this, we’d like to do more.”
Building trust with your sales counterparts. There’s a lot of broken trust between marketing and sales teams. If you’re a marketer how do you rebuild trust with sales?
Look for something that’s daunting in a salesperson’s day. They have so many different things, research they need to get done on the accounts that they’re calling on. Let’s take that effort right now, if I can get you the right contacts to initiate, if I could write an email that’s going to have a better connection for you with that person or if I could even do some effort with the SDR team and actually get some calls into an account to get you an appointment – just getting those couple different successes helps to build trust. Go actually extend the invitation and go do the thing that you want to do – don’t just talk about it, show them! They’ll know that you’re actually serious and you actually want to help me…yes, I do!
[Tweet “How can marketing help? “Look for something that’s daunting in a salesperson’s day.” @troyobryan #FlipMyFunnel”]
Who are your heroes?
I had some bosses early on who were account-focused. He taught me about all of this because I left a direct-mail driven organization for his and when I got there he preached how it was just all about accounts, it’s all that matters. His name is Joe Krisky and he was always big on data-driven marketing but always focused on accounts so I always appreciated that. I love the #FlipMyFunnel movement and the awareness the community has gotten. Taking something that we as salespeople always did but didn’t have a good way to talk about it to marketing so now we can say “just flip the funnel – this is how we want to go about that” so thank you for that.
[Tweet “”I love the #FlipMyFunnel movement and the awareness the community has gotten.” – @troyobryan #FlipMyFunnel”]
If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be doing?
I would be on the water all day. I always tell my staff, I’d be a raft guide or a boat guide or some sort of fishing guide. My family and I went to Hawaii this year and I sat and talked to the captain the whole time, just about his job and what he’s doing day in and day out. I love the outdoors and love the water.