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 andmarketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. Hi, welcome tobe to be a revenue acceleration. My name is already am with you andI'm here today with Alex Holly, Co Founder at Ridge Desk. How areyou 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 ofyour 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 todaywe will be talking about humanizing your IBM campaigns. But we've got a bitof a tradition and the beginning of the PODCAST, before we get onto thetopic, we always ask our guests to introduce themselves and tell us a littlebit more about their companion, in your case rich desk. So would youmind just taking a few minutes to introduce yourself. Who is Alex and whois rich desk? Really good, really good question. So I'm one ofthe 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 youcan create like a human connection using integrated direct man and gifting. So it'sabout leveraging the physical channel, bringing that back in. You know, itwas a channel that perhaps died twenty years ago. Everyone used to do directmail and now it's kind of having a comeback. So we call it directmail to point two point, not sorry, to qua zero, but yeah,that's what reached us all about. I started it because I used todo a lot of account base marketing. I kind of started years ago asan str and a, then moved into the marketing function and saw what happenedwhen you integrate sales within the actual abm mix, and we saw that we'regetting really good results as well from using the physical channel to elevate your otherdigital channels to really yet complement the whole abm program that's where reached US reallystart. Okay, that sounds really good. And then would you serve? Atthe moment, whatslodof clients are? You have to mainly software because thatwas 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 servingconsultancy, recruitment, the more service industry as well. So when youan when I is going to you in their service of the software, soselling, sending kind of the the intengiball they offer our staff, right,yeah, exactly. Okay, so let's get to the topic now. Myfirst question is and giving a bit of background. So ABM campaign's Bay natureshould always be extremely targeting and personalized. That's kind of the concept. Butwe still see a lot of companies setting...

...there comping up for failure from ourperspective, and they that they mean that they are straying more money's more moneyto adds, automation and basically or being fight to bring results. Why doyou think it is so important to humanize ABM and how can you actually doit? Yeah, that's a fantastic question. I've almost like to get back toa couple of years back when I started doing abm, we were doingthe same thing. We would just spend a lot of money on ads andlike emails and it was a marketing lad function right. We didn't get itright because we weren't talking about the right metrics and everything we want. Wewere actually driving towards revenue. Was All about MTL's and booking meetings and we'rebasically doing a lot of bit wrong. I think why make it more humanand humanizing. The ABM approach is based on one really fundamental principle, thatis, people buy from people, but they don't actually want to buy fromyour company. They want a relationship with the person, and I think it'simportant to this because this is what buyers expect right now. The way Ialways think about it is very simply those I think about seventy, seventy fivepercent, 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 gotused to. And I'm a Millennium Myself, so I can speach to myself andthere's been a lot of research from Gardner another other similar businesses that havedone 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 kindof working towards that's the same level of intimacy, the immediacy and coherenceis 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 businesseshave got it, got it nailed, because they're always there. They willalways show up at the right time. It's always personally its contextual. Nowthe B Tob World, when you're doing account base marketing, you can takethat BTC logic and put it into a BM program and surround it around ahumor, 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 allof it around the experience that your prospect in your end of customer, ishaving. Then you're going to get way better results. So for me it'sabout putting the right people within your ABM program and make it humor from thatway, because that's what people expect. Yeah, now, I think Ithink that makes puffis kind of obviously by us because I'm running operatics and wewe do ever a farm ondaff as Dubid in our teams. So getting onto that, we, as I mentioned, to Indianrol, we've been recently togetheron a bun or discussion about the dues and don'ts of DSDR and andI'll fancy that companies on does you made the importance of these ds Dr init diabm compaigns? What are your sorts on that? And and also I'lldo your quest raight it. HMM. Yeah, so I th think thatwas 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 hundredpercent agree, I think. I think the role of the FDR is ismassively underestimated in terms of it's important. I think the reason why that happensis because some organizations still target their marketing teams on things like mql's also themq AD is bad. But what we really want to do when we're talkingabout 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 onthe table at the end of it, then it's all for nothing. Whereit's not that booking meetings. So the almost the distinction there is theword, M R account based marketing. The Marketing Element is actually what usuallyconfus is businesses and, as I said you earlier on, I fell intothis trap five, six years ago. But we'll about marketing and so ofgetting that top of fun approach. But I realized that if you can puthumans, particularly strs as sometimes customer success, within your account based marketing program whatyou can do is you can focus on the revenue number a lot moreand you can have that that human sub slotted with into it so that theycan be the ones that deliver. I call it Switzerland. But they're notin marketing, they're not in sales, they're in the middle and there they'rethe 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 thelink. It's the bit where you can have marketing handoff and sales linked togetherand do it in a really human way, that there is part of your accountbased program and I'll do you get them between interact, because you knowyou'll. Ever, he's a spot us, a multi touch process. Do youthink 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'tknow. 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 youhaving start with. Starts with data. Everything has to start with having that. That sort of what I call the single customer of you. Where alot of business still working in lists and which going to have this list andwe're going to focus on there when it reaches that stage, and that's whatit going to gets handed off. What I've built over the past couple ofyears is what I call that single customer of you, using like a customerdata platform sort of software, so you can net together a lot of thingsthat are real time and what you do is you you can do it basedon things that can engagement scores, so that at that point that a certainlevel of engagement reaches x, that's when the str comes into play. That'swhere 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, thenthat could be the point of which the A is now part of the theprocess as well. But I've done it based on that model. If youtake 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 andemails and everything, you can build a scoring model that allows you to knowwhen an individual is going to be engaging with that account. It's not justabout 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'smore of a manager level, but you know you need to get intothe 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 threadwithin the account and drive the account forward. And it's at the point at whichyou reach that next level of engagement that's when it kind of hands offinto the next phase, which might be actually the proposal or the or thepitch stage within Ay. So I don't think that you should just reach asingle point and then that's it. They've kind of booked a meeting and thenthey move on. You've got to get to a certain point in which itmakes sense for you to fully reach that level of engagement and I think that'swhere businesses really win. Yeah, now, I grow was j having the whatwe've seen recently, and there was one of the DEPI that we we'vediscussed on a few way be nails and beats and visit that we've been invadedto is is that currently, because of the current climate and the pandemic stillpretty much being out there and everybody still being kind of flagged downe. Atthe moment, we see our clients sitting as a dart. Target market isshrinking. They can go after the same volume of accounts as they used todo 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 thatthat 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 wesign with prospective organization that will want to do more with us. Butbasically, the first step, the first part of the agreement, our firstengagement with them is building up a data set. is going to that tagetaccounts. I dontify the being centers, I don'tify the right people in thosebeing 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 verticaland 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 atthe contact level, and then you can do your campaign and then you cando your one on one, too few or even one to one type oftype of campaigns. But now what we are realizing? We are realizing thatas well building up intelligence and, you know, putting information together. Orthose customers, our clients, are treateding taking the reports that we built forthem like the is. So it's a power point on Blay that will saythe name of the clients and all the information that we've collected on the accountand they send it to the end user. Listening to the the the account theywant to prospect and I say, you know, based on the informationthat we collected on your account, please see the attached, I believe thatyou are the person that we should talk to and I believe that your issueshould be this, that, that and that, and that's how they getthe 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 intothat 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 fromthe scoring tools and see, you know, if these people have been active,eteter etc. And then try to go from clues that we are gettingon the accounts and prioritization on who accounts we want to go after, firsttrying to find clue, to build up a case to then go and speakto 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 allwrongs that role? I know that you say that they are not cells DSDRVIDEAis kind of is kind of not really a sells role, not for yourmarketing role. So let's call it for the sake of today, and aBDR role. And I can't base development representative role in a way and makequestion 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, youknow, you need to book meetings with the right people. But you havea scoring system. This is what I've started using. You almost have apriority list and I just break it down into too. So you have yourtear. One in your tear to anyone in that tier one. There mightbe twenty five account now you give it, you give it a value to thelevel of seniority and the best fit persona. So let's say you're settingthe marketing, you have a CMO. Is your ultimate decision make, andthen the CFO might be the one, particularly now he's going to be actuallysigning off on the budget for it. If you have a meeting with theCMO, there worth twenty points. And let's say perhaps you you provide integrationsas well, but they're not as key to the decision. So, havingthat, the CIO might get you ten points, do you actually do onthe point system so that whereby you actually incentivize and remunerate your account based BusinessDevelopment Reps, SDRS, whatever we're calling them, based on that point system, because you know that in those tier one accounts, the higher you getup and the more buying you get up from the senior decision makers, youcan appoint more points to them and actually remunerate them on that basic it reallydemonstrates the right behavior to make sure you're talking to the right people. That'sthe first part for me. It's having a scoring system. Then you doa slightly lower system for your tear to accounts. For example. We knowone average there's between six to eight buyers involved in the buying decision in ababe transaction. So more with an account based marketing it's more like twelve tofourteen. The second part to it for me is around actually remunerating the thestr on the closed one revenue from it, because again, they are more interestedin not just the first part of...

Book Ere Meeting and qualifying and makingsure there's a next step in place to move forward. They're actually also displayingthe right behaviors, and this is usually where their attention to detail is enhancedbecause they're amunerated on when that deal closes, that they're going to be compensated onthat too, and that's one of the biggest shifts I've seen happening inbusiness. Now, less just about meetings book but also about when, whenyou 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, focuson quality. That makes perfect sense and I'm just want to shifted it abig gear. Do you think that the ABM is still pretty much a marketingdriven approach? It's in between both. You know and we know that areal ABM camping should be marketing stupotted base cells walking together. That's the do'sto the dream world. Okay, but coming back to make question, doyou 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 thevideo 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 AbimPrograms. For me, I think the larger organizations are struggling to actually makethat 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 bethe marketing team saying hey, we're going to do ABM and then hope itworks. That won't work. The CEO needs to be brought in, theCMO, everyone down to like yes, they are, everyone needs to bebrought into it right. So I'm actually seeing the businesses that make it lessabout a marketing initiative are usually sort of the the hyper growth techn companies whohave been more agile. The buying is a bit easier to get hold ofbecause you can do a pilot project and see quick winds quite quite easily andthen invest more into it. So I actually think is those those businesses thatsort of hypergrowth bit more agile, usually sort of DC back companies that arebeing pressed to get quality results and not just those the quantity numbers and actuallythe bigger organizations struggling a bit more. It's really important to stress a CA'TMAsmarketing 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 bigteams, have marked that had sort of thirty or forty marks that they canallocate the account. Now we've got so much more technology that allows it tobe more agiled. Have scoring systems, intend data, CDPs, wasting italtogether into a crm. It's becoming more available to those businesses in the moreangil companies that are investing that technology now are the ones that are moving awayfrom ABM being a marketing let initiative and more holistic cross functional team. Absolutely, absolutely no. I completely agree with you. Long leave the account baseeverything because I think in in today's climate,...

...and particularly if you if you've gota 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'rerunning a little bit of out of time. I get excited sometimes, Alex,do we. We often see people looking at her, we see clientscoming to us as I want to do an account base everything campaign. Icompletely get it. We do the white blots of Blah Blah Blah, weget going and literally there are only interested in the meetings. Okay, sothey only want meetings and they want what I would call an open the doormeeting. So, as you say, so propulse me at the sea levelin that accounts and then see you later. Don't touget a count anymore. Soif you go after account a, get me at the top of thataccount. That's its operatics. Job is done. You can move on tothe 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 ofmarketing, but also sells to supert the AE to not only get that firstmeeting in the ACCOM but also bought them in enriching that consensus by they engagingwith all deals of personnails that would be from close to fire involving the decisionmaking process. What do you think about that? Do you think is theright of project? Do you think we should change our approach? Shot,do you think we fating a loss? Butt all, you're on the rightapproach. 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 inmeetings that is not going to turn into an actual close one deal. Ifyou think that you really break it down into two, and for me Ican'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 asbeing in the new currency whereby we're not differentiated on products and pricing and thosethings, 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 stopat the point that a meeting takes place. You need to build these cost functionalteams. 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 getsclosed. ABM actually goes beyond that. CANTI is marketing is about expansion andadvocacy. It's about you know, you have customers. How do we reallyget 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 gettingabout stage one, which is obviously getting the contract signed and winning the customerthe face. Two after that is actually about expansion. How do we reallyget more out of that account, because what we aim for in ABM isadvocacy. Ultimately, yeah, advocacy leads to better renewer rates, quicker velocityin deals, but really importantly, expansion and up cells, and I thinkthat's what everyone should really be at me for. If we aim the expansionside of things more, will forget more about the meetings booked, we'll forgetmore about the initial clothes one and we'll think longer term, and I thinkthat'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 earliershops. So so you know people can listen to them during a commute orsomething like that and not go for the long, long haul type of conversationas I want you to thank you for your insight today. Very, veryuseful. 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 tofind 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 ifanyone 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 thebest way to get told of Your Lex Yeah, just find me on Linkedin. Just said, Alex Ali. My snames, I W E Y quiteunconventional ones. That are and many of us. If you want to findmore about reachest, go on to Linkedin page or just find us on wwwascomwill 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 haveyounger show today. Yeah, likewise, thanks not for having me. operaticshas redefined the meaning of revenue generation for technology companies worldwide. While thetraditional 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 intoday's fast and complex world of enterprise technology sales. See How operatics can helpyour 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 inyour favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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