A week ago, after traveling some 1600 miles (give or take a layover or two) from the terminals of the Indianapolis International Airport out to Boston, then back, I’d just finished a whirlwind day at #FlipMyFunnel – Boston, an account-based marketing conference put on by Terminus. The entire conference was dedicated to the new ideas surrounding ABM. Okay, I realize traditional sales methods have pointed toward ABM for most of recent history – and definitely all of my sales career, but the sales funnel, the idea of attracting those accounts, making the most of the customer’s journey, is upside-down.
The traditional B2B sales and marketing funnel is lead-based. It’s based on the idea leads come in at the top of the funnel then follow a straight path from awareness through purchase. It starts untargeted with the goal to grab as many leads as possible at the top, then drop them into an email cadence. It totally overlooks deeper engagement through the customer journey and ignores the psychology of customers.
The #FlipMyFunnel conference, though, turned the funnel on its head. The idea is to find, first, the best-fit customers, then expand reach, engage prospects and then create advocates. It’s redesigning lead generation by introducing marketing technologies to engage contacts at scale.
Calls and emails can only go so far, Terminus CMO Sangram Vajre said in his recap of the movement. Instead of blasting a single, monotonous message to thousands of people, we can optimize content and campaigns for the right accounts.
Today’s new sales staff is socially active, digitally savvy and creates their own content to catch the attention of buyers. Marketing has the keys to these targeted accounts’ attention span, but all stakeholders have to be aligned to reach company goals.
Realigning your ABM strategy,Vajre said, has the power to surge your consumer engagement – just like Invoca’s Julia Stead did last year. A certified ABM Superhero, Stead targeted the right accounts and upped engagement by 200 percent.
Breaking out into sessions, I was caught up-to-date on the 2016 State of B2B Marketing, a discussion led by Vala Afshar, the chief digital evangelist at Salesforce.
Each touchpoint with your brand is a chance for a customer to strengthen their engagement with your logo, he said. But it’s time to flip the scenario. Every time a customer touches your brand, learn from them. Each contact, no matter through which medium, should drive holistic erudition from your customers’ needs. In turn, you’ll be able to create a strategy to more efficiently market, serve, build and sell to your marketplace.
This year, he added, more than 50,000,000 B2B emails are sent each day. But marketers struggle to gain insight through the channel. They just don’t have control of it, which means they’re wrestling to deliver an elite brand experience through it.
Of course, I couldn’t help thinking how much we help marketers take ownership of this until-now elusive channel. Sigstr is opening the door to employee email as an owned marketing channel – it’s giving companies control of an overlooked marketing opportunity. Want proof? Check out our new eBook.
Matt Senatore is boss.
I have serious respect for Matt Senatore. He’s the Service Director of Account Based Marketing at SiriusDecisions, a top research and advisory firm in the B2B space. His keynote hit on the alignment of marketing and sales in his clients’ strategies, and specifically EMC.
Brave enough to bring up his fandom of the New York Yankees on stage at a conference in downtown Boston, even going so far as to clearly note their win from the night prior, his contagious personality was still irresistible. Post-presentation, in a candid one-on-one I unabashedly explained my life goal: To be him. Next. I look at the knowledge he has, the leadership he’s earned and the authority he’s created. I want that.
You should have seen the look on his face! Shock served up with a side of awe, he admitted this was a first. But I’m a firm believer, nothing beats an honest, personal touch when you’re meeting new people.
I wasn’t alone on the trip, a few of my esteemed colleagues were on hand at the conference, too. Here’s what they had to say about the experience:
Michelle Baques, Sigstr
In the sales world, we’re constantly challenged with breaking through the noise and getting time with our most important prospects. In Tyler Lessard’s breakout, “How to Make Your Target Accounts Love the Fact You’re Targeting Them,” I learned new, creative ways to prospect. Lessard, who is the CMO at Vidyard said it’s time to get personal. Not just “personal,” but really personal. By using hyper-personalization and direct mail, you can create an experience your prospects will actually look forward to hearing from you.
While Vidyard is focused primarily on video, Lessard shared several other ways to get connected that make others in your prospect’s network want to be prospected by you, too. Everything from personalized videos that call out your name, to toasters that toast your face on bread.
Vidyard, you can prospect me anytime you want!
Bailey Roberts, Sigstr
The sales and marketing SaaS platform world is exclusive. Through our partnerships with Salesloft and Terminus, Sigstr has quickly been initiated into this illustrious group. #FlipMyFunnel marketed the official launch of the Terminus + Sigstr partnership after the announcement of Terminus’ ABM Cloud.
When we arrived at #FlipMyFunnel, we had a moment of appreciation for the company we keep. Looking around the sponsorship hall, we saw some familiar faces, and many new ones – each insanely successful in the ABM and mar-tech world. Our sponsorship table, where I was stationed, was set-up two booths away from Act-On, where we had a blast learning how to juggle with members of their team (using the kick-ass light up balls they handed out throughout the day).
Hanging out at our Sigstr booth, we saw more than just standard conference elbow-rubbing, but instead a sort of reunion. Our community has become a family. Even as a newcomer to this space, we were able to reconnect with awesome people we met in March at Salesloft’s Rainmaker event in Atlanta.
Despite the airline losing the luggage with all of our promo items, the day was a resounding success. We used the break between the conference and the FlipMyFunnel Birthday Party to celebrate our team, and dream about what’s next. We went to Lincoln, a local restaurant that has an old Civil War flag mounted on their back wall (next time you’re in Boston, be SURE to check this place out, it’s phenomenal!). We celebrated our first year anniversary with Sigstr. It was an incredible way to end the day and reflect. We ended the night dancing to some killer violin covers by Rhett Price.
For more on Sigstr and how it can help with your ABM efforts, check out our latest resource: