In 2016, Sangram Vajre wrote his first book, Account-Based Marketing For Dummies, which discussed the strategy at a time when hardly anyone was focusing on ABM. Vajre’s podcast is called “Flip My Funnel” because this is exactly what account-based marketing does; rather than start with a wide funnel and narrow down a wide range of prospects, you flip the funnel and start with best-fit prospects.
“[You] go after the right set of accounts, start engaging them, and then you can convert more of them,” he tells Allison in Made You Click. “This is just better marketing and sales, not just for acquisition… but for expansion.”
Allison and Sangram begin by talking about his 2016 book, specifically how it mentioned that in standard marketing efforts, only one percent of marketing leads were converting into sales. What that means, according to Sangram, is that “99 percent of what you are doing is not working.”
The goal of account-based marketing is to continue to market to leads throughout every stage of the journey, seeking leads that are specifically tailored for your brand. This allows for companies and brands no matter their size to offer a unique level of care to their customers.
From 2016 to Today
So what’s new? If the old strategies were not working, have companies embraced ABM, or is it still a work in progress? Sangram discusses how, in his new book, he writes about examples of companies that have embraced account-based marketing. One of the largest companies he mentions increased conversions by 95 percent.
This is possible because account-based marketing focuses on quality over volume. Companies who don’t utilize account-based marketing do not have a demand problem; they have a pipeline problem.
“[These companies] have a ton of deals sitting in the pipeline stage and they’re still trying to get more in the top,” Sangram tells us. “What if we stop with the top and focus on the pipeline? What if your marketing and sales focused on just them? Companies would close more deals faster.”
It’s one thing to want to use this new strategy; it’s another to actually apply it. If you’re convinced, how can you start account-based marketing?
“The answer to that question is literally on the second page of the book,” Sangram says. He recalls an old job of his, wherein they had a great month, hauling in massive amounts of leads, only for his manager to ask for a thousand more leads the following month. “I just sank,” he explains. “What I realized is, the value of marketing is determined by sales.”
While many marketers believe their identity comes from the brand and the work they do in the form of content, website development, or otherwise, the fact of the matter is that sales determine a marketer’s worth to most, if not all, companies.
To get started, he says that every marketer should communicate with the sales staff and find out what they can do to turn deals stuck in the pipeline into revenue. This is the first step.
The Marketing Buffet
Sangram believes that marketing has become a buffet, which tends to make many strategies and efforts stale. If you look at marketing by activity and action taken, there is no mindset aside from doing the work, which doesn’t take into account the needs of the company and sales team.
Instead, a marketer can wake up and focus on revenue, considering deals that need to be closed, and discuss with the team how their marketing efforts can accomplish this.
“I think it really is a perspective,” he says. “It’s a proactive mindset of focusing on the right accounts but also looking at everything you do, and not just doing it, but looking at it within the context of what you’re trying to achieve for your business.”
Learning from Each Other
Sangram discusses one of his favorite examples of successful account-based marketing in the B2B field, which is a company called Snowflake. Despite having over a thousand accounts, Snowflake still manages to tailor their experience to match the personal needs of each of their customers. This level of care is difficult, if not impossible, for competitors to match without implementing these types of strategies.
“Learning from other brands is the best way to figure this out,” Allison says. Sangram responds by explaining that what he wants people to take away from this book are the various stories and truths about ABM. From there, they can develop their own versions of these strategies.
Sangram Vajre, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder at Terminus. Also known as "The Accidental Evangelist," Sangram is the host of the daily #FlipMyFunnel podcast. You can buy his book here. Hungry for even more account-based marketing knowledge? Click below to download our workbook and guide!