On February 12th, 2018, hundreds of marketing and sales leaders descended on LinkedIn’s office in San Francisco for the event I ABM: Bringing Sales and Marketing Together.
Cohosted by LinkedIn and Terminus, the event was a half-day of thought leadership and practical lessons on building a successful account-based marketing program. To cap it all off, a happy hour provided an opportunity for networking and taking in the stunning view of the city and the bay.
- 10 Lessons Learned for Account-Based Success – Sangram Vajre, CMO & co-founder at Terminus
- Account-Based Strategy: Four Use Cases – Craig Rosenberg, chief analyst and co-founder at TOPO
- LinkedIn + Terminus: The Digital Solution for ABM – Bryan Brown, chief product officer at Terminus
- ABM Case Study – Lars Christensen, VP of marketing at Snowflake Computing
- ABM Practitioner Panel with:
The information, advice, and real-world stories they shared were so impactful that we want to recap them for you here. First, we’ll take a look at some of the biggest takeaways from the event. Then, we’ll dive deeper into each presentation.
4 Key Takeaways from #IHeartABM
It’s clear that account-based marketing is becoming a must-have strategy for B2B companies. The trouble is, many teams are struggling to actually execute on it.
That’s why the speakers at #IHeartABM shared strategic and tactical advice for succeeding at account-based marketing. Throughout the sessions, the speakers homed in on a few themes:
1. Work as #OneTeam
Every speaker touched on the idea of working as #OneTeam — in other words, aligning marketing and sales to create one go-to-market team. ABM requires marketing to move down the funnel to support sales, but it also requires sales to work alongside marketing to engage accounts at the top of the funnel. And unsurprisingly, several speakers emphasized the need to gain executive buy-in to ensure ABM initiatives are successful.
Taking that idea a step further, Craig Rosenberg argued that organizations cannot dabble in ABM. Instead, you must commit to an ABM program and iterate until it is successful. That doesn’t mean that the program can’t start small, but making it a companywide commitment is a prerequisite to achieving success.
2. Measure the Right KPIs
A continuous refrain from speakers focused on the importance of tracking the right metrics for your account-based marketing program. You cannot keep using the same KPIs you used for lead-based marketing and expect ABM to be successful.
With ABM, you must measure results at the account level by replacing lead acquisition with measures of account engagement. One way to do this is by reporting on the way unknown contacts at target accounts interact with your brand, your people, and your website. Above all, target account pipeline and revenue are the critical measures of success for an ABM program.
3. Focus on Account Tiering and Segmentation
Consistent throughout each presentation was the importance of account tiering and segmentation. With modern technology, you can target more accounts than ever before, but you still need to be strategic. An effective tiering and segmentation strategy is critical to executing ABM at scale and achieving superior results.
Any account-based effort begins by defining your ideal customer profile (ICP) and then tiering those accounts. You can do this based on their likelihood to buy and/or the expected customer lifetime value. Sangram shared how our team at Terminus uses a model we call Fit + Intent + Engagement for dynamic tiering. Adding additional segmentation by vertical, technographics, or other criteria allows ABM practitioners to provide more tailored content, offers, and experiences.
4. Orchestrate Account Engagement
There’s no way around it: ABM at scale requires new processes and technologies. To coordinate engagement activities for target accounts, marketers need to set up and manage digital campaigns as well as cue sales outreach at the right time.
At the event, Terminus shared our new integration with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, which allows you to easily orchestrate display advertising and LinkedIn Sponsored Content campaigns at every stage of the marketing and sales funnel. In addition, Terminus provides marketers with account engagement data to help them decide when and how to coordinate sales outreach to target accounts.
Read on for a breakdown of each speaker’s talk and some of the most memorable slides from their presentations.
Session #1: 10 Lessons Learned for Account-Based Success – Sangram Vajre
First, Sangram Vajre, CMO and co-founder of Terminus, shared ten key lessons for ABM success. His electric presentation covered marketing and sales alignment, the importance of securing leadership buy-in, personalization, and measuring success. Check out the beautiful ABM scorecard Terminus uses to report ABM success on slide 19.
Applying just a few of these lessons to your ABM program is guaranteed to improve your outcomes.
Here is what Twitter was saying about Sangram’s talk.
— LinkedIn Marketing (@LinkedInMktg) February 12, 2018
— Peter K Herbert (@PeterKHerbert) February 12, 2018
What #ABM means is that instead of #marketing getting 100s of leads into the top of the #sales funnel, you focus on 100 accounts. Need to get CEO support and change metrics – engagement now key. #IHeartABM pic.twitter.com/OSuCyZELla
— Jennifer Barr (@rjenbarr) February 12, 2018
— Ben Coffee (@CoffeeMeing) February 12, 2018
Session #2: Account-Based Strategy, 4 Use Cases – Craig Rosenberg
Next up was Craig Rosenberg, founder and chief analyst at TOPO, a leading advisory firm for sales and marketing. Craig is a fantastic speaker known for packing tons of information into a short period of time, so brace yourselves for the knowledge about to be dropped.
First, Craig walked us through the TOPO account-based funnel. Starting with a strict ICP, marketers must further refine their target account lists. Next, it’s time to get those accounts engaged and bring sales into the conversation. Finally, he encouraged marketers to focus on measuring target account pipeline (TAP). An ABM program should create more high-quality pipeline that will ultimately lead to more revenue, higher ACV and LTV, and shorter time to close.
After his primer on ABM, Craig dove into four examples of companies whose struggles to grow efficiently were reversed with the help of a smart account-based strategy. The use cases he shared were:
- Quality Over Quantity
A $60 million company was generating thousands of leads, but their sales team hadn’t hit its quota in years. By refocusing their efforts on a strict definition of their ICP, tiering those accounts, and segmenting them into verticals, they were able to increase TAP and average deal size — and sales hit their quota for the first time in two years!
- Marketing & SDR Orchestration
A growing company had a very well-defined ideal customer profile, but pipeline from those accounts was low because marketing and sales were struggling to break into them. To solve this problem, the marketing and sales development teams aligned on campaigns with highly tailored messaging and offers across multiple channels. Marketing also provided air cover throughout the entire sales process. As a result, these coordinated campaigns doubled revenue from target accounts. The program was so successful that they expanded to their Tier 2 accounts to keep the momentum going.
- ABM for Events
A large company with a complex and established marketing process was not efficiently generating pipeline or revenue. However, the company could not quickly pivot all its entrenched processes, so they started small by taking an account-based approach to events. They completely refocused their field events program on fewer but more high-quality events for their target accounts. As a result, they increased pipeline at a lower cost, brought sales into the process earlier, and grew by 30%.
- Account Expansion
A company with many customers but low LTV realized their target accounts didn’t necessarily need to be uncovered — they were already customers. They decided to refocus acquisition efforts on account expansion. Their team chose an account-based approach with a focus on providing their customers new value, and they were able to increase LTV by an impressive 10X.
Craig encouraged the audience to think about ABM not as a campaign but as a business decision. This gives marketers the freedom to focus on the right people, not the most people. Ultimately, the shift to account-based will drive more revenue for your business.
Trying to explain to the other departments that #ABM isn't just personalizing a couple of blog posts or email workflows, and @funnelholic summed it up really clearly: "Account-based is a business decision, not a campaign" #iheartabm @topohq #flipmyfunnel
— Taylor Wagner (@T_Swags) February 14, 2018
Session 3: LinkedIn + Terminus, The Digital Solution for ABM – Bryan Brown
Did you know that the average B2B marketing team is using between 30–100 technology tools? When Bryan Brown opened his presentation with this statistic, hundreds of marketers’ heads nodded in unison.
Bryan quickly dove into how Terminus is on a mission to make ABM easier and more effective for B2B marketers. Terminus allows marketers to proactively reach and engage the right people at their target accounts with digital ads without requiring any contact data. We make display advertising easy for an ABM strategy with industry-leading targeting technology, advertising campaign automation, and account engagement metrics.
Bryan wasted no time getting to the demo of Terminus’ new integration with LinkedIn Marketing Solutions that allows marketers to launch, manage, and report on Sponsored Content campaigns for ABM. Now, marketers can easily orchestrate both LinkedIn and display advertising to better engage their target accounts.
You can see Bryan’s entire presentation here:
And, check out the beautiful LinkedIn Sponsored Content campaign builder.
This is how simple it is to reach the right people at the right companies across multiple channels. Learn more about the LinkedIn + Terminus integration.
Session 4: Account-Based Marketing Case Study – Lars Christensen
Lars Christensen, VP of Marketing at Snowflake Computing, showed off the ABM program that is driving their massive growth.
Following the #FlipMyFunnel approach to account-based marketing, they began with identifying fit. With a total addressable market of 25,000 accounts, they identified 200 top accounts and 3,000 named accounts using predictive fit and intent technology.
They then used tools like Terminus to drive engagement with their target accounts and prioritize them for their sales team based on engagement. Check out Lars’ whole presentation here:
In the hundreds of marketing campaigns I have run, metrics is always key. Interesting to hear how @SnowflakeDB measures customer intent as well how they measure engagement. Lars Christensen, VP Marketing. #IHeartABM #ABM pic.twitter.com/EsaURiEwvH
— Jennifer Barr (@rjenbarr) February 13, 2018
Session 5: ABM Practitioner Panel
The event closed with a panel hosted by Justin Shriber, VP of marketing at LinkedIn Marketing and Sales Solutions. The panel was a highlight of the event with three ABM experts:
- Matt Amundson, VP of marketing and sales development at EverString
- Ty Heath, agency and partner education lead at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions
- Rob Israch, CMO at Tipalti
If companies aren’t at the level where they’re providing THE BEST customer experience, then what they do doesn’t matter because the new bar has already been set. #IHeartABM
— Ben Coffee (@CoffeeMeing) February 13, 2018
Justin kicked off the panel discussing how B2C companies have set the bar high for customer experience, and now B2B companies must follow suit. Account-based marketing is the best strategy to ensure B2B marketers create outstanding buying experiences. Justin asked the panel to share one of the best buying experiences they’ve had in B2B, and Ty’s example was especially memorable.
Marshmallow fluff + a note saying "This is the last fluff you'll ever get from us" — Great direct mail marketing from @Square2 gets a shoutout from @tyrona @LinkedInMktg at #IHeartABM pic.twitter.com/ulNrOMoYuk
— Terminus (@Terminus) February 13, 2018
The panel shared many actionable insights for ABM practitioners, including:
- tips to help marketing work more closely with sales.
- ways to gain account insights and personalize content based on these insights.
- the importance of focusing on not just accounts, but buying centers within those accounts.
— BrightFunnel by Terminus (@BrightFunnel) February 13, 2018
An awesome panel at #IHeartABM . What is ABM? “A holistic way of targeting an account to more effectively increase sales.”
via @mattya56 Thanks @Terminus @LinkedInMktg @LinkedInB2B pic.twitter.com/FnVKuj8r9z
— Maria Pergolino (@InboundMarketer) February 13, 2018
After the event, attendees headed up to the 17th floor of the LinkedIn offices to take in the view and network with other marketing and sales leaders.
To learn more about the Terminus integration with LinkedIn, schedule a demo now.
— Jennifer Barr (@rjenbarr) February 13, 2018