One of the big challenges that I get asked about all the time is, how do I enable my internal teams to do ABM?
Well, I recently stumbled upon a couple of folks who are doing this really well. I thought it would be great to invite them on the show to talk about their experiences with enablement — what’s worked well and what challenges they’ve had to overcome.
So, on our most recent episode of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast, I interviewed Jordan Fanelli and Cassie Sperber, the enablement experts. Jordan and Cassie are both Account Based Marketing Associates at iCIMS.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- Why enablement matters
- What you can do to help your teams work together
- How to overcome common roadblocks to success
Why is it important to enable your internal teams to do ABM?
Jordan: To be successful enablement has to encompass both marketing and sales. We don’t want to put ourselves into silos — which tends to happen in organizations that are trying to run marketing and sales functions to the same accounts simultaneously. Building process that can enable sales to leverage the marketing tools that we’re using really helps us to tell a better story, across the board.
And, at iCIMS, we refer to ABM as Account-Based Revenues, to really emphasize the idea that we all need to work together.
What are some practical things you can do to help sales and marketing work together as one team?
Cassie: Our teams actually sit right next to each other. We work hand-in-hand with sales, we’re on a first name basis, and when they need help on something or we have a question about how they leverage a report we’re right there to work through it together. It’s really all about working as a partnership as opposed to two separate teams.
What are the roadblocks you have encountered and how have you addressed them?
Jordan: Communication can sometimes get lost. Our way around that is through one-on-one time, carving time out of the day to meet and talk about issues. We also create decks so that we’re sharing materials in easy and digestible ways for people who only have a couple of minutes in the morning to skim through their emails and then do the next task.
Cassie: Coming from an MQL model and moving over to that influence way of measurement can be a challenge to get people to rally around. That’s something I think we’re still kind of working through. But I think defining the proper metrics that you can communicate up to your CMO can definitely be a challenge.
My first big takeaway is that it’s really about revenue. I think we have crossed the hurdle as a community where we are now understanding that account-based is the way to go. But I like the way you are calling it account-based revenues to get everybody aligned on why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Second, I love that your teams actually sit together. That way you don’t have to wait for that monthly meeting — those conversations that are happening organically.
And finally, what I have seen to be the greatest pain point is what you talked about — shifting from MQL to influence metrics. We have trained the management team, the executive team, or the sales team, that marketing’s job is to create MQLs. And that’s how their success is measured. It’s hard to move to a different level and say, “no, it’s not just that, it’s really influence over every single account that you’re going after.”
Jordan and Cassie’s Challenges:
Jordan: Create an adoption timeline that isn’t so technical. To enable and really teach somebody, you need to be able to speak to what they will understand and what they care about.
Cassie: Don’t be scared to open the lines of communication. Ask questions. And something that I think is really powerful too, is shadow someone. Sit with them, while they do their daily job, and learn like what is useful to them.
So, there you have it. The enablement experts on why it matters and how to achieve it in your own organization.