B2B Revenue Acceleration
B2B Revenue Acceleration

Episode · 1 year ago

83. How to Humanize Your ABM Campaigns w/ Alex Olley

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

About 75% of B2B buyers are Millennials now.

Millennials hate buying from companies. They want to buy from people — as frictionlessly as possible.

It’s time to humanize ABM.

In this episode, we interview Alex Olley, Co-Founder and Head of Revenue & Marketing at Reachdesk, about 3 steps to humanizing ABM.

We talked about, the wrong way to go about ABM, 3 steps to humanizing ABM (hint: focus on the SDRs), and ABM isn’t just a marketing thing, it’s for everyone

To hear this interview and many more like it, subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

You were listening to bb revenue acceleration, a podcast dedicated helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome to be to be a revenue acceleration. My name is already am with you and I'm here today with Alex Holly, Co Founder at Ridge Desk. How are you today, Alex? Hey, yeah, I'm really well. Thanks, sunshining. Work from home. Plenty is going on not keep me busy. But so, Alex, we you and I met as we were recording, not recording, actually doing a live will be now a couple of weeks ago, and I think we went on like a house on fire because some of your ideas and some of the points that you made regarding Account Bay's marketing, your opinion, your vision, are very much aligned with ours, and today we will be talking about humanizing your IBM campaigns. But we've got a bit of a tradition and the beginning of the PODCAST, before we get onto the topic, we always ask our guests to introduce themselves and tell us a little bit more about their companion, in your case rich desk. So would you mind just taking a few minutes to introduce yourself. Who is Alex and who is rich desk? Really good, really good question. So I'm one of the CO founders of rich desk. We started a couple of years back. I mean start with the business first. We help sales and marketing teams deliver. Why? Call the moments the matter in the customer journey, so you can create like a human connection using integrated direct man and gifting. So it's about leveraging the physical channel, bringing that back in. You know, it was a channel that perhaps died twenty years ago. Everyone used to do direct mail and now it's kind of having a comeback. So we call it direct mail to point two point, not sorry, to qua zero, but yeah, that's what reached us all about. I started it because I used to do a lot of account base marketing. I kind of started years ago as an str and a, then moved into the marketing function and saw what happened when you integrate sales within the actual abm mix, and we saw that we're getting really good results as well from using the physical channel to elevate your other digital channels to really yet complement the whole abm program that's where reached US really start. Okay, that sounds really good. And then would you serve? At the moment, whatslodof clients are? You have to mainly software because that was our background, but we're moving more into that the recruitment space as well. But you know, we work with businesses like sap, for example, and who sweets and those kind of customers. But yeah, we're going down serving consultancy, recruitment, the more service industry as well. So when you an when I is going to you in their service of the software, so selling, sending kind of the the intengiball they offer our staff, right, yeah, exactly. Okay, so let's get to the topic now. My first question is and giving a bit of background. So ABM campaign's Bay nature should always be extremely targeting and personalized. That's kind of the concept. But we still see a lot of companies setting...

...there comping up for failure from our perspective, and they that they mean that they are straying more money's more money to adds, automation and basically or being fight to bring results. Why do you think it is so important to humanize ABM and how can you actually do it? Yeah, that's a fantastic question. I've almost like to get back to a couple of years back when I started doing abm, we were doing the same thing. We would just spend a lot of money on ads and like emails and it was a marketing lad function right. We didn't get it right because we weren't talking about the right metrics and everything we want. We were actually driving towards revenue. Was All about MTL's and booking meetings and we're basically doing a lot of bit wrong. I think why make it more human and humanizing. The ABM approach is based on one really fundamental principle, that is, people buy from people, but they don't actually want to buy from your company. They want a relationship with the person, and I think it's important to this because this is what buyers expect right now. The way I always think about it is very simply those I think about seventy, seventy five percent, roughly. That beat to be a buyers. Now a millennial, the millennial sort of buyer buys in a very different way and what they've got used to. And I'm a Millennium Myself, so I can speach to myself and there's been a lot of research from Gardner another other similar businesses that have done a lot of research into this. We want this kind of friction. That's buying experience. We don't want to buy from an ad or an email, we want to talk to a humor. The be to b space is kind of working towards that's the same level of intimacy, the immediacy and coherence is perhaps what we expect from like the B Toc Brands, you know, the retail brands that we like, and I think it those kind of businesses have got it, got it nailed, because they're always there. They will always show up at the right time. It's always personally its contextual. Now the B Tob World, when you're doing account base marketing, you can take that BTC logic and put it into a BM program and surround it around a humor, you know, and str who's actually like part of the marketing machine, and an ae who's also part of that, and you can focus all of it around the experience that your prospect in your end of customer, is having. Then you're going to get way better results. So for me it's about putting the right people within your ABM program and make it humor from that way, because that's what people expect. Yeah, now, I think I think that makes puffis kind of obviously by us because I'm running operatics and we we do ever a farm ondaff as Dubid in our teams. So getting on to that, we, as I mentioned, to Indianrol, we've been recently together on a bun or discussion about the dues and don'ts of DSDR and and I'll fancy that companies on does you made the importance of these ds Dr in it diabm compaigns? What are your sorts on that? And and also I'll do your quest raight it. HMM. Yeah, so I th think that was a really good starting point from where we first met online with the strs, and I always think about having that...

...human element within this. I hundred percent agree, I think. I think the role of the FDR is is massively underestimated in terms of it's important. I think the reason why that happens is because some organizations still target their marketing teams on things like mql's also the mq AD is bad. But what we really want to do when we're talking about account based program so we're talking about revenue. That's the end goal. We don't want to. No one cares. If we don't get any revenue on the table at the end of it, then it's all for nothing. Where it's not that booking meetings. So the almost the distinction there is the word, M R account based marketing. The Marketing Element is actually what usually confus is businesses and, as I said you earlier on, I fell into this trap five, six years ago. But we'll about marketing and so of getting that top of fun approach. But I realized that if you can put humans, particularly strs as sometimes customer success, within your account based marketing program what you can do is you can focus on the revenue number a lot more and you can have that that human sub slotted with into it so that they can be the ones that deliver. I call it Switzerland. But they're not in marketing, they're not in sales, they're in the middle and there they're the ones that join the two. We all talk about sales and marketing alignment, we all want it, but but I think the str is actually the link. It's the bit where you can have marketing handoff and sales linked together and do it in a really human way, that there is part of your account based program and I'll do you get them between interact, because you know you'll. Ever, he's a spot us, a multi touch process. Do you think that process needs to be a rigid do your duo low flexibility? Is it eased on a one on one basis? I mean, I don't know. There is on sort of that question, to be fair like. So I'm asking you for opinion on that or maybe some some some storytelling. Yeah, sure, so, look, the way I've done it is you having start with. Starts with data. Everything has to start with having that. That sort of what I call the single customer of you. Where a lot of business still working in lists and which going to have this list and we're going to focus on there when it reaches that stage, and that's what it going to gets handed off. What I've built over the past couple of years is what I call that single customer of you, using like a customer data platform sort of software, so you can net together a lot of things that are real time and what you do is you you can do it based on things that can engagement scores, so that at that point that a certain level of engagement reaches x, that's when the str comes into play. That's where marketing still moves along the process. Then ever dip out of it, they're providing that air cover and then when engagement increases to another level, then that could be the point of which the A is now part of the the process as well. But I've done it based on that model. If you take real time data based on what's happening on your website, intent data, your named account list, your ICP,...

...the engagement that's happening through adds and emails and everything, you can build a scoring model that allows you to know when an individual is going to be engaging with that account. It's not just about the the individual contact or prospect within the account, but the account engagement, because then that gives you the flexibility. If you're now talking to someone who's more of a manager level, but you know you need to get into the c suite, then you can start training your strs, for example, in that situation to have the right conversation so that you can then multi thread within the account and drive the account forward. And it's at the point at which you reach that next level of engagement that's when it kind of hands off into the next phase, which might be actually the proposal or the or the pitch stage within Ay. So I don't think that you should just reach a single point and then that's it. They've kind of booked a meeting and then they move on. You've got to get to a certain point in which it makes sense for you to fully reach that level of engagement and I think that's where businesses really win. Yeah, now, I grow was j having the what we've seen recently, and there was one of the DEPI that we we've discussed on a few way be nails and beats and visit that we've been invaded to is is that currently, because of the current climate and the pandemic still pretty much being out there and everybody still being kind of flagged downe. At the moment, we see our clients sitting as a dart. Target market is shrinking. They can go after the same volume of accounts as they used to do before and I think that's kind of pushing them towards the ABM approach. Okay, and and what we've realize over the course of April and maze that that first element that you mentioned, the data, they don't have it. They really don't have it. You know, we've had maybe seven contract that we sign with prospective organization that will want to do more with us. But basically, the first step, the first part of the agreement, our first engagement with them is building up a data set. is going to that taget accounts. I dontify the being centers, I don'tify the right people in those being centers and starting from thence it look. You need to organize them by personnel. So the account level you need to organize by geography, potentially vertical and whatever you know, the crater may be relevant to you as an organization. But then you need to talk to of a second level of segmentation at the contact level, and then you can do your campaign and then you can do your one on one, too few or even one to one type of type of campaigns. But now what we are realizing? We are realizing that as well building up intelligence and, you know, putting information together. Or those customers, our clients, are treateding taking the reports that we built for them like the is. So it's a power point on Blay that will say the name of the clients and all the information that we've collected on the account and they send it to the end user. Listening to the the the account they want to prospect and I say, you know, based on the information that we collected on your account, please see the attached, I believe that you are the person that we should talk to and I believe that your issue should be this, that, that and that, and that's how they get the engagement. But we also get involved in now getting those first engagement. funnily enough, as we go along the...

...process, and sometimes, you know, we put we put contacted to not string, we also get involved into that murder investigation type of type of Sdr Medea role where, as you said, we will take the data from intent marketing, will take the data from the scoring tools and see, you know, if these people have been active, eteter etc. And then try to go from clues that we are getting on the accounts and prioritization on who accounts we want to go after, first trying to find clue, to build up a case to then go and speak to them. And that's kind of the opener and it's interesting way it works. By do agree with you. And my next question is, is all wrongs that role? I know that you say that they are not cells DSDRVIDEA is kind of is kind of not really a sells role, not for your marketing role. So let's call it for the sake of today, and a BDR role. And I can't base development representative role in a way and make question to you, Alex he's I'll do you insensivized, just people? Yeah, so you have the you still keep the traditional model in a sense. So for an AB account based SDR, yeah, you'd still say, you know, you need to book meetings with the right people. But you have a scoring system. This is what I've started using. You almost have a priority list and I just break it down into too. So you have your tear. One in your tear to anyone in that tier one. There might be twenty five account now you give it, you give it a value to the level of seniority and the best fit persona. So let's say you're setting the marketing, you have a CMO. Is your ultimate decision make, and then the CFO might be the one, particularly now he's going to be actually signing off on the budget for it. If you have a meeting with the CMO, there worth twenty points. And let's say perhaps you you provide integrations as well, but they're not as key to the decision. So, having that, the CIO might get you ten points, do you actually do on the point system so that whereby you actually incentivize and remunerate your account based Business Development Reps, SDRS, whatever we're calling them, based on that point system, because you know that in those tier one accounts, the higher you get up and the more buying you get up from the senior decision makers, you can appoint more points to them and actually remunerate them on that basic it really demonstrates the right behavior to make sure you're talking to the right people. That's the first part for me. It's having a scoring system. Then you do a slightly lower system for your tear to accounts. For example. We know one average there's between six to eight buyers involved in the buying decision in a babe transaction. So more with an account based marketing it's more like twelve to fourteen. The second part to it for me is around actually remunerating the the str on the closed one revenue from it, because again, they are more interested in not just the first part of...

Book Ere Meeting and qualifying and making sure there's a next step in place to move forward. They're actually also displaying the right behaviors, and this is usually where their attention to detail is enhanced because they're amunerated on when that deal closes, that they're going to be compensated on that too, and that's one of the biggest shifts I've seen happening in business. Now, less just about meetings book but also about when, when you do your job properly and it closes, you'll be conversated for the actual money, but will come through the business when the contract sign yeah, focus on quality. That makes perfect sense and I'm just want to shifted it a big gear. Do you think that the ABM is still pretty much a marketing driven approach? It's in between both. You know and we know that a real ABM camping should be marketing stupotted base cells walking together. That's the do's to the dream world. Okay, but coming back to make question, do you think that the ABM is, to the pretty mature a marketing driven approach, or do you see more cells leader and senior leadership members beying into the video of Adm? Or I can base everything as we've been cutting it. Yeah, there's there are a couple of stages of the maturity of your Abim Programs. For me, I think the larger organizations are struggling to actually make that shift because there's so much internal constraints tractually make account base marketing programs work. You need to get by in throughout the whole organization. Can't just be the marketing team saying hey, we're going to do ABM and then hope it works. That won't work. The CEO needs to be brought in, the CMO, everyone down to like yes, they are, everyone needs to be brought into it right. So I'm actually seeing the businesses that make it less about a marketing initiative are usually sort of the the hyper growth techn companies who have been more agile. The buying is a bit easier to get hold of because you can do a pilot project and see quick winds quite quite easily and then invest more into it. So I actually think is those those businesses that sort of hypergrowth bit more agile, usually sort of DC back companies that are being pressed to get quality results and not just those the quantity numbers and actually the bigger organizations struggling a bit more. It's really important to stress a CA'TMAs marketing is not a new content, but it's been around for twenty, five, thirty years. Used to be only for the larger companies that had big teams, have marked that had sort of thirty or forty marks that they can allocate the account. Now we've got so much more technology that allows it to be more agiled. Have scoring systems, intend data, CDPs, wasting it altogether into a crm. It's becoming more available to those businesses in the more angil companies that are investing that technology now are the ones that are moving away from ABM being a marketing let initiative and more holistic cross functional team. Absolutely, absolutely no. I completely agree with you. Long leave the account base everything because I think in in today's climate,...

...and particularly if you if you've got a value product and you want to go and get your big ticket sells, it's more important than ever. Last question for you. I know we're running a little bit of out of time. I get excited sometimes, Alex, do we. We often see people looking at her, we see clients coming to us as I want to do an account base everything campaign. I completely get it. We do the white blots of Blah Blah Blah, we get going and literally there are only interested in the meetings. Okay, so they only want meetings and they want what I would call an open the door meeting. So, as you say, so propulse me at the sea level in that accounts and then see you later. Don't touget a count anymore. So if you go after account a, get me at the top of that account. That's its operatics. Job is done. You can move on to the next one. We are trying to tell them that this is not right, and I think we're trying to tell them that this is the responsibility of marketing, but also sells to supert the AE to not only get that first meeting in the ACCOM but also bought them in enriching that consensus by they engaging with all deals of personnails that would be from close to fire involving the decision making process. What do you think about that? Do you think is the right of project? Do you think we should change our approach? Shot, do you think we fating a loss? Butt all, you're on the right approach. That you've got to you got to keep a hard line there. Yes, fine, we do or want meeting, but there's no point in meetings that is not going to turn into an actual close one deal. If you think that you really break it down into two, and for me I can't. Base Marketing is transitioning from the ABM to the ABX side of things. Account Base experiences and I think if you if you buy into experience as being in the new currency whereby we're not differentiated on products and pricing and those things, and you're creating experience which is all about your prospect your customer, the account you need to have it as a friction as approach doesn't just stop at the point that a meeting takes place. You need to build these cost functional teams. You need to have a whole team that buys into that. So that and it's not even just the point of which that first deal gets closed. ABM actually goes beyond that. CANTI is marketing is about expansion and advocacy. It's about you know, you have customers. How do we really get more out of them? So for me, if you're thinking about ABM, is let's target this account, get meetings book, not only for getting about stage one, which is obviously getting the contract signed and winning the customer the face. Two after that is actually about expansion. How do we really get more out of that account, because what we aim for in ABM is advocacy. Ultimately, yeah, advocacy leads to better renewer rates, quicker velocity in deals, but really importantly, expansion and up cells, and I think that's what everyone should really be at me for. If we aim the expansion side of things more, will forget more about the meetings booked, we'll forget more about the initial clothes one and we'll think longer term, and I think that's what we should be amble. Okay, now, completely agree with you. Well, rich end, well out of time now it's so knowing. I had two more question for you because...

I eat. They keep on coming, but I'm sure with the obsition together our lext that that that's fine. I love to we're trying to keep trying to keep up a just ready earlier shops. So so you know people can listen to them during a commute or something like that and not go for the long, long haul type of conversation as I want you to thank you for your insight today. Very, very useful. Really appreciate you take the time. I knowed your confirmed our fridge desk. You're operating as a Bidr the moment. I would encourage anyone to find your linkedin and to follow your journey, because it's pretty cool and and fun. You know, it's good to see us so for a little bit, but Orsando yet it's kind of an interesting went to witness. But if anyone wants to connect with you to Laun more about rich desk or you know, just carry on the conversation that we just said today or flight was the best way to get told of Your Lex Yeah, just find me on Linkedin. Just said, Alex Ali. My snames, I W E Y quite unconventional ones. That are and many of us. If you want to find more about reachest, go on to Linkedin page or just find us on wwwascom will wait. We're always happy to have a conversation. That's wonderful. Well, great and many things again to you. It was an absolute pleasure to have younger show today. Yeah, likewise, thanks not for having me. operatics has redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While the traditional concepts of building and managing inside sales teams inhouse has existed for many years, companies are struggling with a lack of focus, agility and scale required in today's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can help your company accelerate pipeline at operatics dotnet. You've been listening to BEDB revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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