This post is based on our all-hands meeting with special guest Jillian Gartner. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out below.
She joined us at our all-hands staff meeting for an overview of her ABM program at Thomson Reuters Legal, where she’s the Director of Account-Based Marketing.
She gave us fresh insight into her team’s three-tiered ABM approach.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- Her team’s insane 95% win-rate
- A focused three-tiered ABM approach
- How Jillian ensures marketing & sales are always working in tandem
- Different tactics and strategies you can use for each tier
Can You Explain Your 3-Tiered ABM Approach?
Jillian: A couple quick details on how our program’s structured: We expanded our program, so we service 500 accounts, and they’re all at various tiers.
Tier three is our most simple tier where we have “always on digital marketing,” which should be employed everywhere. We’re marketing to decision-makers at large law firms. I don’t know if anyone here has marketed to lawyers before, but it’s really hard. They’re a challenging group to engage. So we created an additional layer of so we can get people to take action. We deploy high-level marketing campaigns that are bucketed by product group. My team is mainly focused on selling 3 different types of products and we group the customers by the products we’re marketing, and where they are at in a renewal process, or a large acquisition opportunity, and we bucket those accordingly and then deploy programmatic ads to Terminus to help us get there. We also have a number of different in-market events. These are sometimes product-focused groups, sometimes more informational sessions and sometimes we don’t even talk about our products at all. Sometimes they’re just informational events about the industry as a whole and where it’s going.
Tier Two Firms:
These are really where we find our quick wins. These are firms where we also employ always-on digital marketing, but layered on top of that are custom marketing approaches that are helpful, specifically to help when deals get stuck in the pipeline. Sometimes people don’t want to call us back — it’s just the nature of the beast. So we have different trial incentives, or door-opener kits that we send on behalf of the sales team. That could include something as cool as a YETI tumbler or as simple as a bag of popcorn, which people seem to love (it’s one of our top performers as of last week). We’ve also done Google Homes, Amazon Echos, Mini iPads, you name it. We also help with in-market events, so similar to what we do with Tier Three along with thought leadership opportunities. And then we also have high-profile events. We book suites at the US Open, we have a table because Thomson Reuters is part of a news network, Reuters News, and we have access to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. (High-profile attorneys and C-levels at some of the world’s largest law firms think it’s pretty cool to be invited to that, so we definitely leverage that as best we can.)
Finally, our Tier One. These firms are our highest-risk renewals or largest acquisition targets. So, we’re very renewal-focused in our ABM program, and it’s because of how we know our market. We know our total addressable market and we know where we stand, and so we know the firms that do business with us and why. But then we also know the whole host of companies that don’t work with Thomson Reuters and the reasoning behind that, too. Which is super important to know. So we take all that into account and work directly with the sales channel to build custom one-to-one marketing programs for the firms. So we have a whole host of different tactics that we use to get folks interested, and we work with the sales team not only to get buy-in, so the sales team understands the journey. So we’re mapping every activity we do to the sales process, and we’re having a positive impact on sales at the end of the day. We’re mainly measured on win-rate, so of all the deals closed, how many won and how many lost.
Last year we were, I’m super excited to share, massively successful at 95 percent win-rate.
Some People Were Slightly Skeptical of Your 95% Win-Rate. Can You Unpack That?
Jillian: Yeah, absolutely. After you posted that podcast (episode 259), there were a lot of skeptics out there. “Really? What are you really doing? How are you really measuring win-rate?”
First, about 80 percent of our work in ABM is specifically focused on renewals. Thomson Reuters is lucky to have a high win-rate when it comes to renewals. Another factor is, we had the biggest product launch in eight years last year for Thomson Reuters Legal, and that drove a lot of adoption right away, and a lot of interest. So, we basically set our goals around marketing two of our largest products for Thomson Reuters Legal, and we knew that 80 percent of the firms had big renewals coming up. We also needed to add incremental revenue to those. And, if we didn’t have incremental value associated with any opportunity, we didn’t count that as a win. Of all the opportunities for those two product lines, we were fortunate that 95 percent of those closed one and had some incremental revenue with them. So, it was a combination of the new product we had, and then also our strong success with renewals in general, and then third: Our ABM team is connected at the hip with our sales channel. Not a day goes by where I don’t get an email, a text, a phone call from someone in the sales channel who’s working on something towards ABM.