Our Points Of View On Sales & Marketing

Thought Leadership

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Boston Marketo User Group – June Summary

Here are my notes from the June Boston Marketo User Group.  It’s a terrific user group having attended a few others on the east coast (DC, NYC, ATL), Boston seems to have the lead on making a great user group experience.

Thomas Zimmerman, Localytics

  • Compared the Marketo summit session topics and year over year summit performance
    • Lead Gen and Lead Lifecycles are ‘dead’ content wise vs. discussions around ABM and how to measure ABM (see below).
    • Underlying concern around budget and the ability to invest in new technologies – planning to use those technologies was a key conversation ahead of making the purchase of those technologies.
    • In slide two below (Buzzwords Y/Y), the percentage change is in topics year over year – so 0% represents no change in total topic count year over year.

 

MJ Hahn, Op Focus

  • Discussion around how companies could measure Sirius 2.0 waterfall
    • Discussed a SiriusDecisions measurement model in Salesforce that was persona driven where marketing creates the opportunity (which has process implications), avoids leads object altogether, and manages opportunity process through conversion
      • There was some customization to Salesforce but the SFDC customization was not entirely clear – eg. contact roles, related lists, custom objects, etc.
      • The discussion sounded like a ‘poor man’s’ Engagio implementation using a customized SFDC approach with weighted scores based on prospect sales and marketing engagement, difficult to tell how the model scales on score or persona change (e.g. do you need to manually update new scores?) but an intriguing model nonetheless.
    • Observation from Boston Marketo User Group leader – since Sirius 2.0 waterfall is new and typical sales cycles are 6-18 months long in B2B, the case studies at summit were basically implementation only, none spoke about actual ROI or results yet – but they expect at next year’s summit to start seeing results.

Jon Russo, B2B Fusion

  • Discussion around framework for ABM that was discussed at the Marketo Summit.
    • Starting point – baseline assessment
  • 5 key issues of ABM and MarTech we see in our engagements:
    • FOMO, Technology, and ABM Starting Point
    • Selecting the right targets (ICP, Accounts, Contacts)
    • Lack of the right ABM Intent Data strategy
    • Missing system and process requirements for ABM
    • Not hiring the right internal and external talent

 

Very few audience members had used intent data (2 in audience of 50) – a function the audience said of not having a clear enough need or the budget to execute on it, though most agreed the concept sounded interesting and relevant.

Of the 5 key issues, the topic of talent seemed to be the most challenging aspect many enterprises face.

Summary from BMUG Leaders:  Paul Green, Jody Spencer

Overall observations on Marketo Summit and SiriusDecisions Summit:

  • Reporting and analytics – there are not that many companies that figured out.
    • No one has Sirius funnel 2.0 figured out.
  • There aren’t a lot of companies embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) – the feeling was AI is so over-hyped.  One audience member was using Conversica to handle lead responses.  Marketo has content AI.  Audience AI in Marketo.
by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Top 5 MarTech & ABM Challenges for Marketing Leaders

At the 2018 Marketo Summit (#MKTGnation), we covered five common mistakes for MarTech and Account Based Marketing (ABM) deployments.

If you don’t have time to watch the embedded video, this is a ‘tweetable’ summary of each bullet point of our findings.

We began with some background.   Not every company uses the words ‘ABM’ but many companies are on a journey of account based selling and marketing.  Then we jumped into each of the five points below.

  • FOMO, Technology, and ABM Starting Point
    • Most companies have a ‘fear of missing out’, react, buy technology, realize that none of integrates.
    • Like a gym membership, people think having a gym membership (ABM technology) gets you in revenue shape (ABM strategy).  In reality, you need personal trainers to accelerate your progress with your gym membership.  Technology is not a strategy.
    • There are common elements of ABM deployments:  assessments, strategy, targeting, measurement, and XDR cadences.
  • Selecting the right targets (ICP, Accounts, Contacts)
    • Define your ideal customer profile based on qualitative and quantitative data.
    • Bounce it up against total addressable market and technologies to derive TAM.
    • Assess your data completeness at the account and lead level.
  • Lack of the right ABM Intent Data strategy
    • Account intent can be valuable when used for a personalized outreach.
    • Intent requires careful keyword selection and integration into business process.
  • Missing system and process requirements for ABM
    • Defining the customer experience on ABM is key.
    • Account disposition treatment is a critical arrangement across sales & marketing.
  • Not hiring the right internal and external talent
    • Internal talent needs to be well rounded across sales, inside sales, marketing, XDRs.
    • External talent needs to be a virtual extension of your team, agile, knowledgeable.

At the conclusion of the presentation, the sharpest audience issue that was felt was surprisingly the talent side of things – finding the right partners to augment the skills internally.  Initially, I would have thought Data as the #1 issue.

What trends are you seeing in Account Based Marketing?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Account Based Everything – Podcast

Devon McDonald, a Partner at OpenView Venture Capital spoke with me on a recent podcast on Account Based Marketing best practices.  Our conversation covered areas of how to get even more out of your ABM people, process, & technology investments based on our experiences to date.

Here is a helpful checklist summarizing that discussion and assumes the organization has already defined and agreed upon what the term ‘account based marketing’ means to them.   

 

  • ABM Roadmap to align Sales, Marketing & Executives

 

    • Strategy:  who is the ideal customer profile (ICP), what does he/she need?
    • Data:  how are leads connected to accounts?
    • Programs:  how customized is the content for the ICP?
    • Technology: what is the right mix of tools to enable your strategy across sales and marketing teams.

 

 

 

  • Developing an ABM strategy for long term success
    • Organizational ABM Framework:  are the key stakeholders defined and a roadmap for launching and optimizing ABM over the next 18 months?
    • Defined KPIs:  what are the key metrics essential to track during the early, mid, and late phases of your ABM program?
    • Pilot program:  what is your gameplan around creating a pilot program?

 

  • Baseline performance to set organizational expectations

 

    • Systems Health:  are existing systems supporting the right strategy and maximum capacity?   
    • Data Status:  are your account and contact universe complete?
    • Conversion and/or Business Process:  how will you treat accounts across sales and marketing?

 

  • Measure for impact & improvement

 

    • Data – what are the metrics around your target account profiles?
    • Data – what is the current state of account and contact data completeness?
    • What account waterfall metrics are applicable to your historical lead based model?

 

  • Lead Generation/Prospecting with ABM Accounts

 

    • Frequency:  how have you optimized for frequency?
    • Message:  what value add are you creating in each interaction?
    • Account intelligence:  how are you capturing intelligence around your target accounts?

 

  • People

 

    • Internal – are the right team skills in place?
      • Marketing
      • Sales
      • xDR
    • External agencies – agile?  Understand ABM & Systems?

Be sure to check out the full podcast here!

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

GDPR April 2018 Update

Building on our December learnings, GDPR is a hot topic within many of our client companies and all companies right now – even if they are US based selling into either US locations or selling outside US.

The fines for non-compliance are heavy at 4% of global revenues per year and the risk of inability to sell/market in the European region on an ongoing basis.  Surprisingly, many companies are not putting much energy behind compliance of their data processes or systems.

What sometimes gets lost on the compliance penalty is the actual benefit of embarking on this project – for the first time, Marketers will have true intention indicated by relevant database prospects.  GDPR forces out the ‘great unwashed’ of disinterested prospects or non-relevant contacts.  Said differently, reporting from a Marketing viewpoint will be pinpoint accurate in the EU region or on EU affected records.  Never has there been a time with such Marketing measurement precision.

We’ve conducted nearly a dozen free diagnostic tests (let us know if you want one?) to benchmark performance for our clients on their databases and have a few observations on the GDPR projects and data results:

  1. We see GDPR projects falling across two lines:
    • Part 1: prospecting part which impacts primarily systems and processes that are outbound oriented in nature (eg Marketing Automation, some aspects of Salesforce, and the processes that touch those)
    • Part 2: customer data which primarily impacts systems and processes that house or store customer level data (systems like Salesforce, Salesforce communities, and any other IT system that houses billing information or product information, etc.)

 

  1. Every company is approaching GDPR differently organizationally
    • Usually the initiatives are marketing led initiatives for prospecting processes, IT led initiatives for customer processes
    • Legal is almost always involved regardless of the prospecting or customer aspect
    • Legal/Finance/IT are often funding the initiative that Marketing and/or Sales is executing

 

  1. Benchmark data
    • We’re finding US companies with US focus surprisingly having some records in their database that would cause them to be in jeopardy of violating GDPR. We’ve seen upto 1% of the database contain GDPR records on our testing.
    • Of the non-US focused companies, we’re finding global SaaS companies having a 4% or more impact on overall database of records that would also be considered GDPR eligible.
    • We’re finding there are two levels of testing records – matched and unmatched records.  Unmatched records require a deeper investment to assess properly but statistically fall in line with matched records relative to the entire database.

 

  1. What is less noticeable are records that are tabbed as GDPR records but are NOT in the EU but are owned by the EU.  These types of records are the ‘gotcha’ records so be careful!
    • Primary territory records (eg French Guiana – and others – owned by France)
    • Outermost territories (eg Aruba and others owned by Netherlends)
    • These kinds of records are not going to be as easily detected by automation systems and are the ‘gotcha’ type records.  Studying your record types and origins is important!

 

A prediction – I’d expect to see GDPR for US based companies in 2019.  We’ve seen the recent data issues with Facebook in the news, so expect to see more, not less, privacy regulation in the US.

What trends are you seeing in GDPR for your company?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 4.  Lessons Learned in an Account-Based Approach (ABA)

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

 

In our industry conversations and experiences with over 100+ Account based deployments, we find that many marketers, particularly SaaS companies or large enterprises, believe they’re “already doing account based marketing.” When we dig a little deeper to uncover what that means, we find it means their progress is very different for a lot of companies.

 

(See article on MarTech Advisor)

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 3. What kind of talent is required for ABM success?

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

As Gartner recently pointed out in their October 2017 survey, nearly half of all discretionary marketing spend is dedicated toward internal people or external agency support.

In today’s series, we’ll talk about key resources needed to successfully pull off an ABM strategy to build on our earlier ABM posts of when to create a strategy and how to convince stakeholders of the strategy.

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 2 – How to convince stakeholders ABA is worth doing.

 

 

As published in MarTech Advisor

 

In Part 1 of our series, we talked about when an Account Based Approach (ABA) should be embarked upon.  In today’s piece, we’ll talk about how to enlist stakeholders that ABA is worth doing.

 

Account-Based Marketing or selling can not happen only within the Marketing department, which makes it very challenging for those of you in cultures that need to prove success out before embarking in a larger initiative. You need executive support, as well as the support of your peers in sales.

 

(Click on the link above for the rest of the article as published in MarTech advisor!)

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

Part 1 – When is Account Based Marketing needed?

 

As Published in MarTech Advisor

 

We have all heard the buzz; Account-Based Marketing, Account Based Selling, Account Based Revenue, Account Based Everything…the acronyms are plentiful.  I’ll add one more to the mix.

 

An account based approach (ABA) represents an omni-channel coordinated sales and marketing approach, one that reinforces B2B sales and marketing fundamentals, but more hyper-targeted than in times past.  It includes very personalized and customized experiences across ANY automation tool for sales AND marketing.   Analysts are catching onto this trend:

 

(See MarTech Advisor for full article)

 

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

2018 Salesforce Lightning Migration for Marketers

In March 2018, Salesforce will soon stop support of bug fixes within their classic version of CRM, moving toward the next generation capabilities.  Client wise, we’ve begun helping some organizations make the move over to Lightning, though clearly it is very early days of such a move.
There are several sales and marketing benefits of such a migration – better visualization, cleaner account level hierarchies, improved productivity with fewer clicks to name a few benefits.  Marketers will need to make sure their marketing automation software can in fact be used properly in Lightning as several have the classic application installed.
Before embarking on a migration, there are key questions to ask internally before making a switch:
  1. What is your business objective of a migration (e.g. sales cloud to improve sales performance, service cloud to improve support perf., etc.)?
  2. How documented are your existing sales and marketing processes?
    • How accurate and optimized are those processes?  This will help speed up an installation (and give an opportunity to freshen up an old set of sales processes).
  3. How are you thinking of this as a migration strategy – a fresh brand new instance or a migrated classic one?  This impacts strategy/timing and marketing.
  4. How much customization in terms of SFDC custom objects in Classic exist?   That will impact time to convert as custom object migration is more challenging.
  5. How proficient are your internal resources at JavaScript understanding?  That could impact time to migrate from an existing classic instance to Lightning.

What are you seeing in terms of 2018 migration plans?

by Jon Russo Jon Russo No Comments

GDPR – Sales & Marketing impact

(Please also consult your internal counsel and data privacy officer for how your company should approach GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)).

 

While there are several strict laws of data privacy throughout the globe to include countries like Canada, Australia, and China, GDPR is a European-wide framework that is the strictest treatment of data globally and is consistent pan Europe effective May 25, 2018. GDPR enforces accountability for ANY company selling or marketing into Europe and emphasizes the collection and processing of data.  This law impacts all companies, and their sales’ and marketers’ communication.

If you are a company considering implementing GDPR, there are several business advantages to following this law:

  • With clean, opt in data, better chance of demonstrating meaningful metrics internally
  • Improved targeting for selling and nurturing purposes
  • Less infrastructure carrying cost on dead contacts or contacts that have no conversion chance
  • By following the law, there is no 4% penalty on global revenues that could be assessed

There are several elements of GDPR legally to abide by, but the two largest concerns are making sure that Individuals give consent to data use and that the 3rd party has a legitimate interest, this link shows examples of the definition of legitimate interest.

 

Tips for planning for GDPR:

  • A plan should be put in place around the collection and storage of information that can identify the person, such as IP address, first name, last name, mobile numbers, and phone numbers among other information.
  • The company itself is accountable for GDPR compliance regardless of whether the data was sourced by a 3rd party or not, so it’s important to understand how data is collected and how it is processed.
  • It is critical that the marketer think through opt-in procedures, updates preference centers, and ensures sure that sales and marketing systems are properly processing data consistent with this new law.
  • The law also includes unstructured data – for example, an email that is sent from Outlook must ensure that the individual receiving the email has consented to receiving information.
  • A double opt in email approach is highly recommended as best in class way of ensuring clean data practices and is more likely found in a marketing automation system than in that of a sales automation system.
  • Data input from 3rd party sources, whether purchased lists or through trade show uploads require specialized treatment from a data governance perspective.
  • Consider a double opt in approach for all events, as an example of this special data governance treatment.
  • Some sales technologies enable phone calls to be recorded and collected. Explicit consent will be required to record phone calls.  You should clearly communicate to customers why their data is being requested for collection and how you intend to use it in any future activities.
  • Other outbound phone calls must not be listed on a ‘do not call list.’ Other calls must give explicit permission for follow up communication to occur.
  • Lastly, it is important that all tools are in compliance to governance – which would include sales automation tools (Outreach, Salesloft, etc.) as well as marketing automation tools. Marketers, make sure your sales team is compliant with their email automation tools.

The future around e-privacy and cookies is likely the next law to come out next.  It is an exciting time to be in Sales and Marketing in 2018!