Shifting Focus from Inbound Marketing to Account-Based Marketing
When Adam first joined Support.com, their marketing team was heavily focused on inbound tactics. “When I joined the company, we were really focused on inbound marketing, and we were spending [the majority of our budget] month to month on [online advertising such as] PPC ads [and LinkedIn sponsored ads].”
Although they were generating many leads this way, very few of the leads they brought in through these efforts were marketing-qualified.
“With a name like Support.com, we really got irrelevant traffic,” he explained. “I believe 90% of the people that we got inside of the funnel were consumers looking for PC help solutions — not really the B2B audience we were looking for. So we needed to figure out a different strategy, and that’s when the ABM approach came about and how Terminus was introduced.”
Instead of continuing to waste resources and dollars on bogus, unqualified leads, Adam and his team implemented an account-based marketing approach to really focus their efforts on best-fit accounts.
Building the “ABM Tiger Team”
Before implementing any account-based marketing program, Adam took the crucial first step to ABM: getting buy-in and involvement from several stakeholders within the Support.com team. He calls this group the “ABM Tiger Team.”
“My ABM Tiger Team is awesome,” Adam explained. “It consists of executive leadership with our VP of marketing and our VP of sales.” The team also included the marketing and sales operations teams and sales support, which included four account executives and two sales development managers. To round out the team, Adam’s role was the ABM campaign manager and they also had an ABM campaign events coordinator.
In order to get all of these different teams and people on the same page, Adam explained, “the key here is making sure that everybody is aligned. They know they’re part of a team, they’re excited about the campaign, and everyone understands their role. I think that’s important to make sure the campaign is successful.”
Planning Their First Account-Based Marketing Campaign
When it came time for Support.com to execute their first ABM campaign, Adam decided to start small with a very select group of target accounts. They started by targeting about 25 telecommunications companies that the ABM Tiger Team identified as companies that fit Support.com’s ideal customer profile (ICP).
Their initial goal was to see which of those companies engaged with their content and how that would correlate to engagement with other multichannel efforts — and ultimately, opportunity creation.
“When we deployed Terminus, it was very important for us to see which companies were actually engaging with advertising and how that correlates to conversions. We used that data to send over to our sales people, which were really laser-focused on the accounts that were digesting our content. From that, we were able to generate three opportunities at the value of about $250,000 dollars within 60 days.”
The combination of engagement with Terminus ads and strategic, timely, and relevant outreach from sales led to these truly amazing results.
ABM Campaign Increases Pipeline Velocity
Adam and his team also wanted to use Terminus campaigns to increase pipeline velocity and move prospects through the sales funnel more quickly. This campaign focused on a different set of target accounts with the goal of moving those accounts more quickly through the sales cycle. Support.com’s typical sales cycle is between six to twelve months, and according to Adam, “We closed an account from that ABM [campaign] in three weeks, so we were just surprised. We were like, ‘What happened here? How do we do this again?’”
For Adam, “these are the kinds of wins you want to see: a shortened sales cycle.” But they also wanted to understand the “why” behind this campaign’s insane success so that they could replicate it.
“We dove deep into that opportunity, and we were able to realize that out of the 15 people on that account, there were four major resources they were downloading. My mind was blown.”
Through this ABM campaign, Adam and his team were able to identify the types of content their target audience wanted and gained a better understanding of what kind of content they should be creating and distributing. They also relied on predictive analytics to find other companies that met the same criteria as the account they closed through this campaign.
Seeing Results with Account-Based Marketing
Now that he can show real, measurable results from their ABM efforts, Adam reminisced on how things used to be back in the days of inbound-only marketing at Support.com.
“When I joined the team literally last year, everybody was doing outbound stuff. Marketing was doing their part investing in some online advertising and the Google PPC stuff, but not really tracking, measuring, or attributing that to an opportunity.” This resulted in nearly 90% of the funnel coming from sales.
Forming the ABM Tiger Team and running these successful account-based marketing campaigns has really helped Adam show a direct impact from their marketing efforts. It’s also allowed marketing and sales to work better together because everyone is aligned around the same initiatives and goals.
Looking to the present, Adam shared, “Twelve months later, we were able to actually turn that result around where 50% of the funnel is marketing-influenced and 50 is from sales.” They also found that 20% of their funnel is now being influenced by ABM programs.
“We can see the rise of opportunities being influenced by these programs that marketing is launching along with sales,” he explained. “It’s just an exciting time for us because I think this is the correct approach, and we’re just excited to get more of these out the door.”
When asked about why he’s such an advocate for account-based marketing, Adam said, “I think bringing the whole [ABM] package together along with Terminus really makes an impact. It has proven to increase our pipeline velocity, and I’m a true believer in it.”