The Importance of Aligning Sales & Marketing in ABM to aid Lead Generation

Author:

Operatix
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Episode

15

The Importance of Aligning Sales & Marketing in ABM to aid Lead Generation

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Tina Bean

Founder of KickFire

Account Based Marketing helps you narrow your focus on your ideal clients.

But it will absolutely fail if you don’t align your sales & marketing efforts.

Tina Bean is one of the founders of KickFire and heads up sales and strategic partnerships there.  Kickfire began as web analytics tool and it now helps B2B companies meet their ideal clients with two sides of the business:

  1. Software as a service platform that identifies companies in the market to buy products or services.
  2. Data as a service platform that operates off of the same set of intelligence that the SaaS of the business does as well.  

Tina and her team have recently found success with an Account Based Marketing approach supplemented with utilizing their own platform to identify key accounts.  Tina joined us for this episode of B2B Revenue Acceleration to talk about sales & marketing alignment, an ideal ABM tech stack, and the best ABM KPIs for measuring success.

Sales & Marketing Alignment

An Account Based Marketing approach starts with the strategy of identifying key accounts.  This effort needs to be collaborative from the very beginning. Sales needs to define what a worthy account looks like so that marketing can begin their engagement campaigns.

The number one question that sales and marketing need to answer is: “Are people engaging with our content?”  This engagement can come in the form of website visits or consuming similar content across the web. Once sales and marketing can understand these different types of engagement, they can segment from there and begin to craft custom messaging.

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Sales and marketing alignment I think is even easier with the account-based marketing approach when you have tools that speak to both mindsets.

Tina Bean

Regardless of how prospects enter onto a site, every action can be recorded and traced.  Spikes in engagement can indicate buying intent. It’s up to your marketing to create different messaging for prospects at various stages, and it’s up to your sales team to take that prospect through to a closed deal.

Content can be syndicated that speaks to different parts of the prospect’s journey, and sales & marketing have to both agree on what that messaging should look like.  In order to keep potential buyers interested the teams need to work together to convey a consistent value proposition.

In most cases, companies usually utilize buying committees when making these large purchase decisions, so each member of that buying committee should have a consistent experience whether they are dealing with your sales or marketing department. It’s a tandem process, a truly joint effort of sales and marketing to come up with an initial list of key accounts, bring that buyer through the journey, and then keep them as a customer.

ABM Tech Stack

The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing your technology stack is to remember that your goal is to get eyes and ears on your website.  It’s vital to connect the dots and make sense of the multiple channels you are using in order to track engagement on your website.

In terms of giving tech stack advise, Tina believes this has to do with how large your company is and its ability to scale. Large companies can often deploy AI strategies based on algorithms that present predictive data.

This predictive data is used in real time to identify information on buyer intent and what type of companies are browsing your website.  This type of technology takes data and feeds it back into predictive modeling in order to produce lookalike information so you can expand your target of buyers to pursue.  From there, you can target these new personas with display, nurture, or content campaigns.

Smaller companies are less likely to have access to AI technology that allows them to produce complex lookalike campaigns. They can still use marketing automation tools for inbound marketing, analytics tools to identify companies on their website, and simpler cases of data modeling.

Tina believes it’s vitally important to have the  same the data provider up and down your technology stack. If you are using different sources, this can lead to inconsistencies of buyer personas and misattribution for lead scoring.

ABM KPI’s

Engagement is simply the key indicator of success with ABM.  Engagement can come through prospects interacting with a company’s website or through similar content consumption across the web. Companies can identify when prospects are engaging with their content, and that is a good place to begin to connect with them.

If a company can get their finger on the pulse of engagement in a prospect’s journey, they are well on their way to connecting with that that potential customer and closing a deal.

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The most important thing if we talk about KPI’s with account-based marketing is engagement, engagement, engagement.

Tina Bean

This post is based on a podcast with Tina BeanTo hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to The B2B Revenue Acceleration Podcast.

If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.

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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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Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

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.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

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

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Sales Playbook Development

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. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

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. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

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