The SDR’s role in Account-Based Marketing

Author:

Jessica Fewless

The SDR’s role in Account-Based Marketing

Author:

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The SDR’s role in Account-Based Marketing

Jessica Fewless

VP of ABM Strategy, Field & Partner Marketing at Demandbase.

The adoption of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) into business models has grown exponentially over recent years, and shows no sign of slowing down.

ABM brings with it many benefits, however, it is widely acknowledged that perhaps the key benefit of adopting an Account-Based Marketing strategy, is the alignment between sales and marketing. The nature of ABM brings both teams together and this also involves the BDR / SDR teams that, depending on each organization, will be reporting either to sales or to marketing independent if the activity is outsourced or done in-house.

To understand the role that SDR teams play in an Account-Based Marketing world and how they can help to accelerate and maximize results, we spoke with Jessica Fewless, VP of ABM Strategy, Field & Partner Marketing at Demandbase.

According to Demandbase, “ABM helps B2B marketers identify and target the accounts they value the most. ABM solutions typically include account-based data and technology to help companies identify, attract, engage, convert, close and then measure progress against customers and prospects.”

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“ABM helps B2B marketers identify and target the accounts they value the most. ABM solutions typically include account-based data and technology to help companies identify, attract, engage, convert, close and then measure progress against customers and prospects.”

Jessica Fewless – VP of ABM Strategy, Field & Partner Marketing at Demandbase.

Sales Development and ABM

SDRs are seen to play a pivotal role in Account-Based Marketing. They allow companies to generate strong, qualified leads, moving away from the traditional ‘smile and dial’ approach, which often leads to a disconnect between lead generation and sales.

In an Account-Based Marketing world, “the total number of activities (calls/e-mails) will decrease, but the relevance and personalisation of interactions increases significantly”. As such, this results in solid leads that are far more likely to bring consistent results, and lead to revenue.

Personalisation is a key factor of ABM- it makes interactions more direct and puts the prospect at the centre of the conversation by ensuring they feel SDRs have a good grasp on their business, and so are only approaching them with relevant information.

Technology and ABM

Introducing technology into the SDRs role can be beneficial; It not only increases productivity, but also can work to give SDRs a more in-depth insight into companies, thus allowing them to tailor messages that are more relevant to the prospect. For instance, AI can bring to light more info about that company, what are they searching for, are they on your competitors’ websites (which could indicate a likely buyer)? Who can you talk to there and what can you talk to them about?

SDRs are a crucial component of ABM. They have the capacity to be flexible and proactive and not just reactive to inbound leads. They can work with marketing teams to nurture certain leads in ‘fieldwork’ and are able to prioritize appropriate leads with sales and marketing, thus bridging the gap between the two departments.

In ABM, sales development reps can fit in virtually anywhere within the sales and the marketing teams. If the whole team is focused on the same thing – i.e target accounts and revenue- the right thing will happen regardless. Marketing needs to acknowledge the SDR team’s role in their success, knowing if the SDRs aren’t bought into a campaign, or aren’t properly enabled to capitalise on it, it will likely fail. In the same vein, if the SDR team recognizes the marketing team and their importance in helping them reach their goals (pipeline and revenue), then they will be willing to work leads from the marketing list.

Conclusion

To conclude, SDRs play an important role in an ABM approach and, if implemented successfully, can accelerate results and pipeline generation when aligned to the overall sales and marketing strategy.

About Jessica and Demandbase

Jessica Fewless is VP of ABM Strategy, Field & Partner Marketing at Demandbase and an ABM enthusiast.  In her journey at Demandbase she has spoken to over 100 customers and prospects and has presented over 2 dozen certifications and workshops on a variety of topics around ABM. Jessica led the strategy for and built a Field team at Demandbase which accounts for 15% of their pipeline and touches 40% of all won business for the company.

About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

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Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

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Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

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