Learn from the Experts: Account Based (ABX) in This New World

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Insight hosted a digital panel discussion on April 10th. Listen to the conversation or read the summary below.

There is a New Marketing Landscape and it is critical for companies to rethink their marketing and sales strategy. This is a world of financial uncertainty for your prospects and customers, resulting in decreased budgets, longer sales cycles, and higher churn. It’s also a world of competing priorities.

Key influencers and decision makers are drowning in priority issues, making it challenging to earn their attention. Given these new realities, Account Based Marketing/Sales/Customer Success (ABX) is top of mind for marketing and sales leaders given its proven efficiency and effectiveness in engaging and converting priority accounts. 

Charlene Chen, SVP in Insight’s Marketing Center of Excellence, moderates a panel discussion on ABX featuring industry experts and thought leaders:

  • Amy Millard, CMO at VTS. Amy has over 15 years of experience driving growth at B2B SaaS Companies. Recently named a “unicorn,” VTS provides a sales and marketing platform for large commercial real estate landlords.
  • Latane Conant, CMO at 6sense, an account engagement platform. Latane Eats, Sleeps, Breaths ABX. Prior to 6sense Latane was CMO at Appirio, focused on re-imagining customer experiences with Cloud technology. She’s a recovering software sales woman and loves a good skinny margarita.
  • Sydney Sloan, CMO at SalesLoft, a sales engagement platform. Sydney has extensive global experience marketing software applications that help people communicate and collaborate more effectively. She has held senior leadership and advisory roles at Adobe, Marketo and Demandbase. Utilizing a variety of digital touchpoints and account based strategies, she has established proven techniques for increasing customer engagement and loyalty.
  • Eric Wittlake, a Senior Analyst at TOPO, where he is focused on the account based market. TOPO is a research and advisory firm that works with high-growth companies to transform their sales, sales development, and marketing organizations. Prior to joining TOPO, Eric spent more than 15 years creating and executing demand generation, marketing, and advertising programs for B2B (and a few B2C) companies. 
  • Shari Johnston, a Partner at Winning by Design, a Go-to-Market consulting firm where she leads the account based practice. After holding marketing leadership roles at 5 B2B SaaS startups, she decided to turn her experience and passion for account based to helping clients scale. She is also the founder and board member of womeninrevenue.org, a non-profit focused on the education and advancement of women in GTM leadership positions.

Discussion Highlights

Account based is more relevant now than ever.

However, companies must revisit and adjust their programs and strategies for the current environment. Key areas to review are your: 

  • Priority account list to focus on those with the highest likelihood to buy. 
  • Customer focus to drive engagement, expansion, and renewal.
  • Buyer personas and insights to understand their current state and priorities.
  • Messaging to ensure empathy, and more importantly, relevance.
  • Organizational alignment to ensure focus and consistency. 
  • Prospect and customer offers to delivery real value with every interaction.
  • Marketing channels and tactics to replace in-person events and solve for pipeline slowdowns. 

To deliver real value to prospects and customers, companies need to have something meaningful to offer. This may include free access to: 

  • Premium or expanded features.
  • Training and certifications.
  • Hands on support and expertise. 
  • High value information, like industry trends or benchmarks.

New tactics are needed for this new world. Without in-person events, companies are challenged to create that personal connection with prospects and customers. Additionally, financial uncertainty has resulted in pipeline slowdowns. While there’s no silver bullet, tactics that have driven impact include:

  • Virtual events, for example coffee chats and roundtables for like-minded people.
  • Direct mail, for example, using charitable donations.
  • Paid digital, for example, increasing PPC spend and expanding search terms.
  • Leveraging executives, for example, hosting webinars and joining key meetings.
  • Outbound, but only when paired with the right message and offer.

Some last words of advice: 

  • Be agile and prepared to act and change course; don’t be beholden to sunk cost fallacy.
  • Stay attuned to the market and revisit your strategy weekly – things are rapidly evolving. 
  • If you haven’t done account based before, now is the perfect time to start.

Select Quotes:

SalesLoft

VTS

6sense

TOPO

WBD

Additional Resources:

  • ABM & The New Marketing Landscape: Q&A with 6sense’s CMO: In depth Q&A with Latane Conant around the impact of a remote workforce on intent data, account based ads, and direct mail along with her thoughts on ABX tactics and best practices for this new world. 
  • 6sense CMO Coffee Talk Series Content Hub: Content hub sharing insights, research and content discussed during 6sense coffee talks with fellow CMOS that will inspire your B2B marketing strategy. 
  • How to Foster Competition When Managing Remote Teams: Advice from SalesLoft on inspiring healthy competition and maintain team rapport in SDR, sales, and customer success teams. 
  • TOPO COVID-19 Resource Center: Collection of TOPO resources created for the community they serve on how to navigate the new reality. 
  • Charlene Chen

    Charlene Chen, Senior Vice President, Marketing COE

    Charlene is a Senior Vice President on the Insight Onsite team. She first joined Insight in 2007, working with cross-functional teams at portfolio companies on various strategic and operational initiatives. Charlene left in 2010, rejoining in 2016, to work with portfolio companies on driving marketing performance and accelerating growth. During…