ABM and Events Are a Team Sport

abm events team sport

In a modern Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy, gone are the days of marketing teams casting a wide net for leads, then handing them over to sales for follow-up. Instead, marketing and sales teams work together in order to ensure that quality leads amount to a quality target account list, which will drive their ABM strategy.

In a recent webinar by Demandbase, ABM pros from Certain and Brightcove offered their own experiences with executing an ABM Strategy, and highlight the true team spirit behind a successful ABM campaign.

There is no “I” in ABM

On the backend, a successful ABM strategy requires an all hands on deck approach that must be fully understood to truly be appreciated. “There are a lot of key players that make this ABM engine run.” says Rose Morabito, Digital Campaign Manager of Brightcove, offering this breakdown of her team’s process:

  • Marketing Operations
    The first step in the process is ensuring that all target accounts are correctly identified in Salesforce.
  • Marketing Analysts
    With the up-to-date information available in Salesforce, analysts are easily able to create dashboards in Salesforce and Tableau for sales & marketing to utilize.
  • Sales & Marketing
    Using these dashboards, sales and marketing teams are able to review and reference target accounts for assessment.
  • Demand Generation
    Works closely with each team to manage the ABM program, identify potential prospects, ensure targets are being closely monitored by sales and are included in advertising, email, and social campaigns

In order to maintain this alignment, Morabito and her team also hold bi-weekly sales standups and stakeholder meetings.

One of the greatest challenges in rolling out an ABM strategy is the alignment between sales and marketing; however, as Brightcove has shown, it can also prove to be one of the major benefits.

ABM in Action

“Events are the channel that brings Marketing and Sales teams together” – Kristen Alexander

In order to better understand ABM in action, Certain’s VP of Marketing Kristen Alexander offers a recent example in how to successfully apply an ABM strategy to field events.

As the largest technology conference of the year, Dreamforce 2017 presented Certain with an opportunity to not only to connect with target accounts, but to also drive awareness about our company with leading marketers. With the overwhelming number of sales and marketing professionals in attendance, the challenge at hand was to identify what tactics to employ in order to stand out and engage with target accounts without sponsoring a booth at the expo.

Here’s what the team came up with:

  • Go Offsite
    In order to maximize our presence during Dreamforce, Certain participated as a sponsor in the Radius B2B Champions Club, an off-site event just steps away from Moscone Center. This four-day event aimed at B2B marketers provided a relaxed environment that acted as both as a base for our sales and marketing teams, and a venue for them to interact with target accounts.Members of our marketing team participated in panels and sessions as part of a top-notch agenda, allowing an excellent opportunity to increase awareness about Certain’s technology solutions, draw in prospects, and engage with marketing leaders.
  • Get Guerilla
    One of our most successful tactics was to ask and answer the question “What would event and demand generation marketers, amidst all the chaos of Dreamforce, like to receive to make their day a little easier?” We then put together an “Event Marketer’s Survival Kit” filled with items like cold brew coffee, protein bars, Advil, Emergenc-E, and Uber gift cards, and had a members from our marketing and sales teams hand deliver them to our target accounts on the Dreamforce expo floor.

abm events team sport swag

The response was overwhelmingly positive. Instead of just giving our pitch, we showed prospects that we had really taken the time to consider them and were actively working to build a relationship with them. The kits resulted in 31 meetings, 100% of which were from our target account list.

  • Be Premium
    Another successful relationship-building tactic was to host a VIP dinner at a restaurant located near the conference venue. We invited a number prospects from target accounts, select customers, and members of our sales and marketing teams. The dinner provided an intimate opportunity for guests to network and unwind, as well as to further the discussion around Certain’s marketing technology.
  • Use the Party Hook
    Certain also co-sponsored a party with partners and utilized the designated VIP area as a way to further engage with target accounts. This enabled members of the extended Certain team to meet, familiarize, and build relationships with prospects as well. Sponsoring a party not only allowed us the opportunity to engage in-person, but it also provided us with a substantial registration list of leads for us to connect with in the future.

The result of these team efforts paid off immensely, both in meaningful engagements with prospects, but also by informing our future approach to ABM in the field. “The more you can bring everybody into your events strategy and help them engage with your customers and prospects, the more success you will have in building great relationships, and in executing your ABM strategy.” says Alexander.

The success of an ABM strategy relies on teams working together both behind the curtain and in the field, which for some requires a major shift in organizational culture and process. “It’s a lifestyle change, so it does take time,” says Morabito. “Start small and start slowly.”

For more tips and tactics on how to transition your team or role into an ABM strategy, join us in San Francisco on February 15th for the Workshop: ABM is a Team Sport.

Marcela Ricci, Certain, Inc.

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