GTM Strategies: A Look at What Works – A Live Fireside with Jon Miller, and Billy Batemen
Jon Miller has over 20 years of experience in leadership roles over SaaS companies. Jon recieved his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and a MBA frorm Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He was the Co-Founder and CMO of Marketo, which was acquired by Adobe. Jon followed this success by Founding and Engagio and leading their platform in the role of CEO. Today, Jon is the Chief Marketing Officer at Demandbase, and is changing how B2B companies market and sell their products.
Billy Bateman is the Co-Founder of ChatFunnels, a digital conversation analytics, and optimization solutions provider. He has a background in digital marketing, business operations, and entrepreneurship. Billy grew up in Idaho and graduated from Brigham Young University and has a Masters of Business Administration from Boise State University. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys fishing and hunting.
“There are going to be people that are influencing your deal that sales are not engaged with…which makes alignment between departments critical. Hold account stand-ups where sales and marketing discuss the needs of potential buyers…and focus on quality metrics and not just quantity metrics”
– Jon Miller
- Demand generation today is like a soccer/football game, it isn’t a hand off
- Buyers are more privacy aware, so the focus needs to be on account data
- Orchestrate all the account data with buyer data from enrichment tools, calls, emails, etc.
- Data is valuable, but insufficient on its own
All right, Jon, good to see you. Thanks for joining us here at the Demand gen summit.
Totally. It seems like it’s been really good so far.
Oh, it’s been great. It’s been great. We’ve had Dave, Mark and Rick. I thought the keynote was really insightful. We’ve got a bunch of speakers already up that were recorded before the event that you can go and view now. But I’m excited to talk to you. Before we get going, just a little intro to John. John is the man, the myth, the legend himself.
One of the co-founders at Marketo started the company named KGO and now the CMO at at Demand Base and really excited to see what you have to share with us, Jon.
Thank you very much.
Okay, so so let’s get into it. Really want to talk about go to market strategies, what people can be doing to be successful today in today’s environment. So let’s just jump into it. Like, what are the struggles that you’ve seen in today’s B2B marketing sales teams that they’re experiencing with their go to market strategies?
Yeah, I mean, I kind of want to answer that starting by, you know, a little bit of just going back in time, you know, I mean, as you just mentioned, I was one of the co-founders that Marketo and sort of helped to build our demands and engine there, you know, and I think, you know, we talked a lot about our own secret sauce at Marketo and how we did it, and I think that inspired a lot of other companies to sort of. Well, it’s working for Marketo. Let me do it. The same way. So as a result, like, a lot of those patterns and strategies became kind of commonplace. You know, and it was working at the time, you know, back in like 2010, 2012, when I was doing this on Marketo, the demand gen that we were running was generating like 80% of all the pipeline.
The sales season was closing. So and as a result, the sales reps could have higher quotas. And it was really a very efficient engine. But as I said, that was like ten years ago. And I think the the way buyers buy has changed a lot since then. And I think that’s requiring some pretty deep changes to how we think about doing demand generation. Put another way, the sort of simple world of what we did at Marketo kind of doesn’t work that well anymore, at least for most businesses. So I want to talk about some of those changes and some of the challenges that that’s got, you know, so let’s go ahead. Go ahead. Yeah. Okay. So, you know, I think the first challenge is the traditional Marketo demand gen model is uses like a baton handoff as sort of the metaphor.
You know, marketing would generate a lead and then we would nurture it until it’s ready and score it and know when it’s time to pass it to an SDR or a salesperson. The SDR would qualify and pass it to the would close. They would pass it to a customer success person. And it was a very linear process where the lines between each of the departments were defined clearly.
Yeah, the roles and responsibilities and the service level agreements you could document at all. And it was very, very straightforward, but that worked when buying was somewhat linear and simplistic. And buying today is more complicated, it’s much more non-linear. It’s also, as we’ll talk more later, much more complex in terms of multiple members of a buying committee coming in and out at different.
Parts of the whole.
Process. So as a result, that sort of linear baton handoff mindset kind of breaks the analogy I like to use to describe demand generation today looks more like a football or a soccer team, depending on where you live in the world and your sport of choice. Yeah, but fundamentally, we’ve got players in different positions and they pass the ball back and forth as the ball moves up and down the field.
Yeah, look at the path the ball takes. It’s a very non-linear path towards the goal and and it requires the players in these different positions to really work together in an aligned fashion. So, so put another way, demand gen today requires a much more orchestrated, complex set of emotions between marketing and sales. No longer that sort of simple linear baton handoff for the first one.
Okay, let’s what’s number two.
Is a number two has to do with the fact that buyers today are a lot more anonymous and kind of privacy focused, you know, than they used to be. Again, back in the Marketo days, somebody would come to my site, they want my e-book, they fill out a form, boom, I’ve got my cookie on them now and I can use Marketo to track everything they’re doing on my site.
Digital body language was called at the time and we can see them. Buyers today, though, are savvy. They know if they come to the site and fill up that form, we’re going to track them. They’re probably going to get emails and phone calls they don’t want. So they’re increasingly trying to stay anonymous on our own site. And they’re doing more and more of the research it off of our site.
You know, like whether it’s just researching articles. Yeah. Or increasingly talking to people in private, our communities. And that makes it just a lot harder to be smart about where, you know, where an account is and a person is and to score them appropriately. And it increases the needs need for things like intent data, you know, and you layer that on top of that privacy requirements, cookies going away, you know, and and again, it’s just the, you know, the result is that there are sources of intelligence out there, but they’re fragmented, and to make your demand generation work, you’ve got to find some way to bring all that fragmented data together and really make sense of it, which requires a I and other things that just didn’t exist ten years ago.
Yeah. So how like how do we bring do we start bringing that data together and piecing the picture? How do you guys do it at market or not? A market demand base?
Yeah, exactly. Because we didn’t do it very well. And so, you know, kind of back then, you know, I think the first piece of the puzzle is that at least for B2B companies, we’ve got a little bit of a superpower that consumer marketers don’t have. And that’s the fact that there aren’t really any privacy regulations or frankly, privacy concerns about company or account level data.
Yeah. You know, where people are squeamish about, you know, me, you’re tracking my behaviors, you know, you know my income and whatever, you know, might be. But you know, the fact that my company has $260 million of revenue and is headquartered in San Francisco, you know, that doesn’t really particularly make anybody all that squeamish, you know? Yeah. And so we can start thinking about how do you use the account level information.
You know, both things like I just mentioned, like firmer graphics, you know, like where are they, how big are they? But also more subtle things like techno graphics, what technologies does that company have installed already? Yeah, because knowing what tech they own is a pretty good clue about what tech they might be buying next. You know, also, I mentioned earlier intent data.
No, Intel didn’t tell you what John Miller is interested in. It tells you what my company, you know, in aggregate is interested in. So, again, it doesn’t trigger that kind of privacy anonymous compliance set of concerns. So that’s the first piece is just we’ve got this account level data that we can use that can be we can use to be a lot smarter about knowing what’s happening at that account and what’s going to be relevant, and then on top of that, we do have our first party data, you know, the data and that’s the data that’s in my marketing automation and in my CRM, in my emails and the council meetings that my reps have. And I don’t want to say it’s perfect, but if you add it all up, the market automation data, CRM data, the email data, the website data, the calendar data and bring it together and augment it with the third party data.
I was just talking about about the accounts. Yep. And run it through AI. Now you start to be able to have some intelligence, you know, to be smarter about knowing what’s happening at the account, what you should say, you know, what’s the right set of plays to run, etc..
Oh, I get it. So just to kind of recap for anyone who’s joined us because we’re streaming live, really look at the data around what’s going on with these different accounts at the high level. Like look at that account data from a graphic information don’t get too personal and and then look at your first party data, your CRM.
What’s going on in the emails on your website if we know what’s going on with the account, even the individuals before we decide on Hey, how are we going to engage these accounts?
Yeah. And probably the most important piece there is to try to understand where that account might be in its buying journey with a company like you. Yeah. You know, because there’s people aren’t. But let me get this phrases right way. People don’t like getting cold calls from salespeople. They don’t like unwanted sales outreach. But if you can find that right magic moment when they actually are kind of thinking about making a purchase and you can reach out in a way that is not pushy and salesy, but actually helps them to think about structuring a complex evaluation, you know, that actually can be perceived as very valuable.
Go ahead. I don’t like the Challenger sale method you’re talking about. If you know the right the right time that you can say, hey, let us be your guide and help you in making this decision, not, hey, you were on our pricing page. Let’s get you signed up today.
Yeah, but the reality is buying these B2B products is hard. And as much as vendors like me, we we try to make it clear what we do, you know, but every vendor suffers from the curse of knowledge, right? We know so much more about our world than the buyer does. It’s almost impossible to make it simple enough for the buyer.
So the buyers are overwhelmed because, like, it’s complex, it’s hard. Do I even need to buy this thing? I can’t tell the vendors apart from each other. You know? And and if a salesperson can show up in a challenger appropriate way and say, I’m going to help you make sense of all this, and they show up at the right time, that’s actually pretty useful, and so knowing where that account is in this journey, you know, it becomes so, so important. So how do you how do you figure out what we’re right. I didn’t know when.
They’re when they’re there, though, like that’s that’s really because we can see like a, you know, like a lot of us, you know, you’ve got the reverse IP, at least at the account level. You can be like, you know what, these 30 accounts have been hit in my site pretty regular. They kind of match my, you know, the ICP that we typically sell too, but how what signs or signals you look for to say, hey, this is the time for, you know, not just to send them like a marketing email, like all about us and how great we are. And maybe you want to get on our mailing list, but have a salesperson say, hey, like let’s do some outreach and pick up the phone and give, give our buying committee at these accounts a call.
Yeah, this is where I become so valuable because the reality is there’s no ever you can’t ever point to just that one magic thing. Yeah. You know, again, back to the simple world of Marketo. You can score a lead, give them points, and hey, if they get to 100 points, they’re an empty well, let’s go call them, you know, and yeah, it’s just that’s not the way it works today. So, you know, a lot of companies have gotten excited about intent data because intent sort of purports to solve this and say, hey, we can tell you when there’s a spike or a surge or a trend in there, researching your topics a lot more. And, you know, that sounds pretty cool, you know the problem though and demand based we sell we sell intent data, right. We’re intended to you know, obviously I’m not I don’t want to poo poo in ten data, but it’s really valuable. But it’s insufficient by itself. Yeah, right. It’s one one signal of what might be going on at the account. The stuff they’re doing on your site is another signal, right.
You know, if you you know, if typically they’ve been you’ve had one or two people on the site reading your blog, you know, but then all of a sudden you see 12 people show up and they’re reading your product pages, you know? Okay, that’s an interesting signal, right? Again, by itself, it might not be sufficient, but you’re buying that with the intent data.
Now you’re starting to get to see some sort of a pattern here. And that’s exactly I is really good at. So what the I can do is it can look at what are the patterns that accounts tend to follow in the 30 days before they become an opportunity. And if you can see an account that starts showing a similar pattern, you know, that’s when you start it starts to get interesting.
Now I will say, you know, when you start out, I, I, you know, you get into like black boxes and like some magic voodoo thing that’s going to like, you know, wave your hands and like this account will float up above. And like, that’s the account that you, you know, and nobody knows why that account is the one that sort of lit up.
Yeah. I do think you need to be careful of, like, making it feel like it’s voodoo magic black box. You know, at the end of the day, if, if you’re going to tell a salesperson, hey, this account seems hot, you got to be able to tell them why.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I agree with you, because we will do this every night of our product. We do a little bit of it and it’s more focused on, Hey, what’s going on your website? And we’ll just say we’ll send we start out just sending alerts like, hey, they’re trending get after them. And even my own sales team is like, okay, why are they trending?
You know? And we had to give them more insight, okay? Like here are some of the activities that make us think you should be going after them.
That’s exactly right. Yeah, well, we’re in a lot, so. But I think, I mean, yeah.
We’re good. We’re good. So, you know, if people haven’t read your book on spam, your brand is e-book free. Sure. You could just get it for free off the demand based website. But one of the things I really liked when I read it and I agree with you, but I just wanted to get a little more insight from you.
For anyone who hasn’t read this, you talk about we need to change from we’re selling to a lead and we’ve already touched on this a little bit to you actually selling to a whole account. And in today’s environment, you’re you’re definitely selling to multiple decision makers like nothing is getting approved right now, at least if you’re selling into tech without a couple people getting their their hands into the deal to make sure like we need to spend this money.
So how how do we adapt and change as marketing the salespeople to make sure that we’re we’re addressing the entire account when we get them into that selling process?
Yeah, we’re talking about ABM, near and dear to my heart. Right? So I should say the full title of the book is on Spam, Your Brand, which is like the catch line, but it’s the definitive guide to a smarter go to market through ABM and ABC’s yeah if anybody’s read any of my definitive guides for Marketo you know you know that you know these aren’t these these aren’t your simple ebooks this is 260 pages and it’s, you know, chock full of lots of ideas and best practices.
You know, the thesis behind the book, though, is that, you know, being the recipient of sales and marketing today often feels pretty crappy. You know, and we’ve talked a little bit about this, you know, unwanted emails and phone calls and and irrelevant messages and ads that don’t make sense and all that. And the question I ask in the book is, you know, why is this happening?
Yeah, well, the salespeople are dumb. They’re not right. You can’t be dumb and survive in, you know, in sales today. And it’s like the marketers are dumb or ill intentioned. You know, we all want to be relevant to our customers, but we we fail so often and we fail so often because we don’t have all the intelligence that we need.
So the book then really goes into a lot of like, you know, what is the answer to that? And one of the key reasons why why we’re failing today to be more relevant and personalized is because too much of the marketing historically has been focused on the lead and not the account in the buying group. Two years kind of specific question, you know, and we see this all the time in in the real world one, hey, somebody comes to your website, they fill out a form to get your e-book or something.
That doesn’t mean that company is in a buying cycle. Yeah. Even if one person comes to your site and fills out like a contact me, right? You know, like, that’s what you have is you have one, like, glimpse into one sort of fraction of what’s happening in the account. The I like to sort of talk about there’s this old fable of five blind men who are touching an elephant.
And if you able but the first blind man is touching the tail and thinks it’s the snake and the second blind man is touching the leg and thinks it’s the tree. The third one is touching the horn or the tusk, you know, and I forget what he thinks it is, but something hard. Fourth, once touching the ear, thinks it’s a carpet, you know, and so on, and you know, that can happen all the time when, you know, it’s just that one lead, right? It’s like you’re only touching the tail or the leg. You don’t really know what the kind of the whole thing is. When you can look at it from an account level and you can aggregate this information of what’s happening with the lead and you know this one and this one and this one and this one, that’s when you start to really get a sense of like, okay, I can start I can really now start to figure out that this thing’s an elephant and or this account or this buying group, you know, is there something really going on or not? And, you know, it just makes sense to I mean, at the end of the day, a salesperson doesn’t close a lead, they close an account. And so it makes sense that, yeah, that our everything about our go to market should be focused around that buying group or that account, not the individual person.
Yeah, I agree on that. On that. We’ve got to figure out how to address the whole, the whole account. So when you’re looking at the account journey, what are some of the the tactics and strategies we actually need to be thinking about? Like when we’re just like, okay, you know, you’ve got this whole journey from awareness to qualified to an opportunity to making a decision and even becoming a customer and renewal.
And we, we engage these like what do we need to be addressing in, in these different steps in the journey?
No, I’m glad you’re asking about that. You know, because I own sort of loosely touched on that earlier. You know, the the knowing where the account is in the journey is probably the single most important attribute. You have to be more relevant and more personalized with that account. Yeah. You know, and we talked about like, well, hey, if they’re high, if they’re actually in a buying cycle, you’re going to want to treat them this way, but let’s just say this is an account that’s at the very top of the journey. But you know what? You call it the qualified states. Or when I call so qualified that this is an account that you’re interested in, they they seem like they’re a good fit for you, but they’re otherwise pretty darn cold. Right? They’re not coming near they’re not really engaging on your site and they’re not even showing a lot of intent.
Right. So how are you going to treat that account? May the worst thing to do is to start having an SDR, send blind emails, you know, because then that literally the people at that account will hit spam. You know, if that happens, yeah, no matter how good or personalized that relevant is and you mentioned that you went to the same college they did and like, oh yeah, weekend doesn’t matter.
You know, if they’re in that very top of the stage and they’re not thinking about your business, it’s going to be spam at that stage for sure. So there you got to be thinking about, all right, I need to build my brand. I need to build some awareness, you know, and honestly, this is about emotion and not logic, you know, and so what is your branding campaign? I know this is the demand gen summit, but people don’t think talk nearly enough about the impacts that your brand has on your demand. And so thinking about building your brand with these accounts before they’re sort of entering into the account journey is really, really critical. Then you have accounts that start to move down that journey.
So I, you know, I should also say back to like don’t have a black box. I don’t think you should ever have a vendor card to force you into a set of stages for your journey. But you shouldn’t adjust your business to match a vendor’s set, you know, set of conditions. The software should adjust to your business. So as I’m talking about these stages, I’m really describing stages that, you know, hey, work for me, it demands, but your business might be different.
You can and should customize the definitions of some of these stages as you go. But that sort of caveat aside, you know, about you wanting transparency for me after the qualified stage, I would have what I call an aware stage. So this is an account that is in my ideal customer profile and is starting to show some intent, though they’re still not really engaging with my site the stage after that when I would call engaged and then this one is now okay they’re they’re somebody I’m interested in and I’ve got at least a decent number of people from that account who are like starting to interact with me, whether it’s my content, my blogs, my events and things like that. Yeah, they’re still not showing any of those signals of being in market or buying, though. So I think you take these aware and these engaged accounts and this is where you sort of want to move from the emotion and brand to the sort of thought, leadership and logic. This is where your content can really come into play your your ebooks, your webinars, your podcasts, you know, all that kind of stuff.
Yeah. You know, and hopefully mostly not jaded, you know, because then they, they, you know, you don’t really care if somebody in this stage is filling out a form or not. Yeah. Because you’re getting you’re not trying to necessarily call them. You’re just trying to kind of educate and move them through this this process. Then you might have what I call a marketing qualified account or a okay, call whatever you want, but obviously the NQ is a play on the classic. Mickey Well, this is that magic in market. They’re showing the signs and the behavior here is that accounts tend to show 30 days before an opportunity. This is where you kind of definitely want to sort of be a little bit more focused and aggressive in that challenge or consultative outreach, etc. Yep. You know, from there you can think about whether you want to break your opportunity, like open opportunities into just one stage or multiple stages. You know, I do say I do see a lot of a lot of times there’s a dead zone in the opportunity journey, which is you’ve created the app, but it’s not kind of actively buying.
Right now. Buying cycle and apps often kind of sit dead there for a while. You know, either they go, yeah, of or something. So you’re going to want to think about accounts maybe in that stage differently from accounts that are kind of an active sales rep is meeting with them every week is defined and you know, buying day condition O’s, you know, etc..
Now you might say, hey, we should have created that up in the first place, but there’s lots of reasons why people create ops and yeah, so kind of that, that aside, the point is you can have these different stages for the opportunities where I think you want to focus your marketing is on validation and consensus, right? We’ve talked about the fact that these buying committees have up to 21 different people, and I can pretty much guarantee you that sales rep is not talking to 21 different people.
There are going to be people at the account that that are influencing your deal, that are not part of the sales reps radar, but marketing is good at kind of air cover and breadth and you know, so, you know, this, you know, focusing your your marketing on things that drive validation and consensus around the decision like analyst reports third party validation, case studies.
You know all of these have things become really valuable, you know, but you’ll notice marketing isn’t stopping even though it’s an opportunity. You’re just changing kind of the focus of what you’re trying to do. And then lastly, there do a bunch of things even once that a customer, you know around adoption and value net promoter and ultimately expansion, if you’ve got more products to sell, which is about really an expansion that the other day is really about understanding buying committees and pockets of engagement inside the larger account.
So point is the journey should be customizable and it should give you clues around how to speak to that account in the most relevant, impactful way for where they are in their journey.
Okay, I like it. I like it. One one thing, you know, listening to the keynote this morning at that opportunity stage, that’s where where Dave and Rick and and Mark spent a lot of their time focused on it. And one of the insights I forget exactly who shared it, but they talked about, you know, their top of funnel opportunities, you know, early stage opportunities.
They’ve never had more. But where the challenge they’re seeing is moving them down the bottom of the funnel right now, there’s a lot just like a lot of hesitancy to actually make progress and and get close and sign a sign that deal ultimately. So what are you guys my question is it like, what do you do at demand base tactics once they’re in that, hey, we’re in this opportunity stage, what are we doing?
We’re doing display ads to the to the whole account. Or are we getting those buying committee people, even though we may not be having conversations with them? But, you know, chances are sales is only talking to 2 to 5 people, you know, as they’re moving this around. But there could be that other if we’re talking to five people, we’ve got six more people that that might be involved in making that decision.
So how how does demand base run air cover for sales in that opportunity stage?
I mean, a couple of different tactics that we use. You know, you did mention display advertising and just an advertising and that that’s definitely true as part of it. Yep. And again, with the ads are, you know, hey, look, we’re a leader in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant report. You know, you should feel good about this, you know, study or, hey, you know, Forrester did a total economic impact review and showed that, you know, you’re going to get 273% ROI, right?
So you can definitely kind of do some of that kind of stuff. And that’s that’s very, very I like it. That’s all. But I think there’s a lot more you can do. We have not we we have an automated set of reporting that lights up any open opportunity that hasn’t had a sales touch in the last week. Okay. So we’re connected to the CRM, so we know what the opportunities are. We’re connected to the emails. So we know if our sales rep is emailing or if they’re email people that account or emailing us. We know if there’s meetings, right, so we can light up any account that might be stalling for any, you know, set of reasons and that going go to the individual wrap.
It can also go to the reps managers saying, hey, here are your reps accounts that are at risk of kind of stalling, you know, so that’s just another example of just, you know, making sure things move. Now, let’s say something is stalling. Then you get into what should we do? We do something that we call account stand ups where a rep and the marketer and an SDR get together on a periodic basis and talk about what’s going on at that reps accounts, and it can be open ops and it can be non, you know, kind of ops. We’re trying to create. Yeah. And so if we see, you know, and usually what we do is we have a dashboard in demand days that kind of walks through the different views that Reps territory that might make sense. One of the things on that dashboard might be this stall opportunity view that we just talked about and at that point they can nominate a set of different plays that we might want to run.
So sometimes that might be an exact engagement. So they might ask me to reach out to the CMO, you know, to kind of kind of get that kind of level or our CEO to reach out to their CEO or our CFO to reach out to their CFO. Yeah. Those types of plays that we can run at times will do like a direct mail play, you know, whether that’s like, you know, directly to a person or a decision maker, you know, just to kind of, you know, sometimes it’ll be a sign copy of my book.
You know, other times it can be something fun, you know, back to people or in offices. Maybe we don’t really do this much anymore. But, you know, the classics send a whole box of cupcakes to the office, you know, with with your logo on the top of each cupcake or something. So yeah, yeah. There’s similar things you can do, but, but ultimately what I’m trying to convey here is we have a playbook of things you can do, and it’s that stand up or huddle that the wrap sort of calls the play they want to run to kind of progress the deal up with the playbook.
I like it. Thank you. Thanks for sharing these. You know, like if you’re listening and you’re watching this like man John has just shared a bunch of great insights as you’re trying to move these deals down the funnel and support with marketing. Because I think sometimes for marketers it’s easy to forget, like what you’re ultimately going to be judged off is like, did you drive more revenue?
It’s not the impressions, it’s not the clicks, it’s not the website visitors or even the conversion rate. It’s like, did we hit the number is what your SEO, your SEO is, is going to judge you off of. So these are all things to help. Help with that. Okay. We’ve got a few more things we want to hit before before we wrap up.
So how do you like? We talked about a bunch of strategies and we’ve gotten into this a little bit on the opportunity level, but break down like where you think companies should start if they haven’t been thinking about selling to accounts and they’ve been very lead focused and they’re going to make this change to to okay, we’re focused on the account journey.
Where where do they start? Like, what are the the two or three things that that they should really start thinking about as they get started and implement?
Yeah. Well, I’m going to answer this two different ways. I’m going to first answer the recommendation I have where I would love to see companies start because it’s the right answer. And then I recognize that not every company is going to be able to kind of do it exactly best practice right off the top. So that idea is more of a crawl, walk, run kind of answer.
Okay. But the the best way to do this, I mean, so at the end of day, any account based program, what it’s really about more than anything else is putting more resource into more valuable accounts and by definition less resource into less valuable accounts. So instead of kind of everybody being treated the same, you’re really just differentiating value, and so the simple thing you do is you have target accounts and non target accounts, right? A more sophisticated thing would be you might have tier one accounts, tier two accounts, two or three accounts and then targeting.
So you can you can, you know, kind of think about this. But the magic in all of this is getting the right accounts into the right tiers. Now, that’s often a mistake would be to have the marketers select the accounts. And this happens and this happens. Lux The marketers are the ones who have access to lots of cool data, right?
You see, if there’s a platform like demand based, the marketers probably bought it, you know, and so they might say, Well, hey, the demand based stuff spits out. These are the best accounts. So these should be the best these accounts that we’re going to do. It’s way better to have marketing help guide the process. You know, with like, hey, sales, here’s the data that says what’s the best accounts are? but now you, Mr. or Mrs. Salesperson, you pick because then the salesperson really has buy in an alignment, you know, because they’ve actually chosen the, the accounts as opposed to being sort of told. Which are the accounts. Yeah. Now the selection work well but what I recommend you do is actually write down on a Google document or some shared document.
What does it mean to be a target account or even better, what does it mean to be a tier one and a Tier two and Tier three? And I call this the your entitlements. What is the entitlements for a tier one account? What is marketing going to do? What is sales going to do? And there’s two pieces of magic behind defining these entitlements.
The first piece is it’s your contract. When the salesperson goes to pick their tier one accounts, they know exactly what it means to be picking a Tier one account because it’s documented and defined and so few people actually define it. The other magic of defining your entitlements is it tells you how many of each account you can really support.
Put another way, the mistake companies run into is they’re just like, Well, you know, every rep needs to get a tier one account or, you know, gets ten tier one accounts. So we’re going to have 200 tier one accounts. And, you know, usually that ends up meaning you’re not really treating your tier ones as differentiated as you want to.
Yeah, but by defining entitlements, you’re going to be like, okay, I can really only have 20 of these for my whole company, so how am I going to make sure I get the right 20 is sidebar. You just got to remember, you know, the parade rule 8020, this through an account selection your top 20% your accounts are probably worth 80% of the value, you know, and within that bucket, the top 20% of that 20%, your top 4% is probably 80% of that, you know.
Yeah. So getting really differentiated, it really does make sense. So letting all that down, best practices, you want a marketing driven but sales owned account selection process which is entitlements to define what it means to be each of the types of tiers and then tells you how many of each one you can have. And then marketing brings the data and then sales actually does the selections.
So in approaching it.
In a perfect world, that’s the best place to start. Now not everybody can do that. Yep. So there are lots of sort of baby. Excuse me, I have there are a lot of baby steps that you can take as you thinking about getting something like that in place. I have to go up over time.
Worries what happens when we’re alive.
So a really I mean, we’ve mentioned advertising a couple of times, but advertising is your simplest easiest baby step because you’re already spending money in your demand gen programs, you know, and maybe what you do is you just take some of your lowest performing dollars. So you know what? I’m going to just test out if I take $5,000 a month off my crappy programs and yeah.
To run ads to this list of accounts I think look like a good list of accounts. And then I can see, well, do I get more web traffic from those accounts after I ran the ads than before? You know, and that this doesn’t require you any having to do any new process, any new people, any new budget, you know, and eminently measurable, you know.
Did I get more traffic before than after? And if so, at least something’s working. So that’s a really easy, easy onramp, you know, to get started, you know, I’ll leave I’ll leave it at that if you’re in my book talks about more of you know easy yes we probably should get started.
And if anyone hasn’t read the book like I, I haven’t read the whole thing cover to cover because like you said, it’s it’s not like, you know, your typical 30 or 40 page book, but tons of good stuff in there. I’ve had my marketing team go through it and they love it as well. So one more thing where we’re running out of time here, but you’ve talked about, you know, there’s a shift in the engagement and demand generation, and you mentioned five different go to market processes, one being account intelligence. Where where do we start? Like, let’s just wrap up with what what you recommend doing with these different go to these different GTM processes?
Yes. The five processes in the book are what I call build, which is build your account intelligence foundation and find the right target accounts. And that’s frankly what I just talked about on your tears and your entitlements and having a smart account selection process. The third is then engage and frankly, this is where the demand gen people kind of light up, right?
ecause the first two are kind of like more marketing operations and process and all that engage. We’re going to run some programs, right? We’re going to we’re going to do something. We’re going to do some display ads, but we’re also going to send some emails and hold some events, send some direct mail, do some website chat, personalize some web pages.
So there’s all these different channels that you can use to engage your target accounts defined by your entitlements. You know, the magic of the engaged process. It’s less about the any one channel of the Holy Grail. It’s more about the orchestration across channels. Yeah. And they use the word orchestration very consciously there, you know, because you can think about, you’ve got your direct mail, that’s your percussion, you have your events, that’s your brass, you’ve got your email, that’s your string instruments, etc., etc., etc. What you want is them to all work in harmony, and that’s why the word orchestration kind of I think makes so much sense. So we’ve covered build, finding, engage. The fourth process is close and this is really at the core of that sales and marketing alignment getting, you know, I mean if you think of sales as a channel orchestrating sales into the overall mix, and you know, I mean we’ve already talked about aligned sales and marketing account selection process. Now sales really owns the account selection. We’ve also talked we’ve talked about sales and marketing looking more like a team rather than a baton handoff. Yeah. You know, we talked about things like stand up. So there’s like lots of just nuances of of getting sales and marketing to work together in a very effective way, and then the fifth process is measurement or measure, which is, you know, near and dear to the hearts of all demand gen marketers. We love our instruments. And there’s a couple key things I sort of would talk about when we talk about measure measurement in this world. The first is, is to make sure you’re focusing on quality metrics and not just quantity metrics.
You know, the classic demands and metrics are about counting things. You know, I had this many attendees, I had, you know, this many hours. And so and those are still useful, but just a quality metric is okay. How many of those attendees were the right personas from the target accounts? No. Just adding extra kind of quality layer on top of things.
How many miles from your target accounts? Yeah. Or, you know, other kinds of quality based metrics. Start bringing the account lens into it. How many? MKA It’s not just in quotes, you know, that kind of stuff. So quality, not just quantity. Okay. And the last thing I’ll say about measurement is, you know, we could talk for the next hour about attribution, and I know attribution is just something that marketers are always kind of interested in hearing about. I personally think that attribution is pretty flawed in terms of how we’re thinking about it, in terms of we’re thinking about it for two reasons. You know, the first is part of attribution tends to be trying to assign credit to different teams, right?
The whole idea of this is a marketing source deal versus a sales source deal. And I think we’ve got to throw away those concepts of marketing source, marketing influence, sales source, etc., because we’re not it’s not a baton relay anymore. It’s a team. And what we care about is just the team scoring enough goals. Yeah. So, you know, number first piece, just focus on your total pipeline created and stop worrying about marketing sourced marketing influence.
That’s kind of the key piece on that one. And then the other one with attribution is that, you know, there’s too many people are trying to use attribution to prove their ROI. You know, they want to go in and say, Hey, look, I ran this event. It cost me $30,000 and I got this much pipeline and revenue. So look, it was 114% ROI.
Yeah, there’s just too much false precision in that. There are so many assumptions that are built into attribution models, both from how you actually do the allocation to what actually gets included in the attribution model first, which touches etc., etc., that it just it doesn’t you’re doing yourself a disservice to try to say it’s it’s that’s a little distracting on the camera.
You’re doing yourself your best to try to say that it’s a certain specific ROI. So the best way to think about attribution is don’t use it to prove your ROI, use it to improve your ROI. What I mean by that is it’s all relative. Now, you’re not saying this got 114% ROI screening. Is this got more ROIC than that, and therefore I should do more of this than that, use it for guidance, not specific proof.
I couldn’t agree with you more on that, I think. I mean, I meet with our marketing team, go through metrics and, you know, everybody’s trying to like take credit for their campaigns and what they’re doing when like I really as a leader couldn’t give a crap. You know, all I care about is, hey, did we hit the company number?
Are we meeting our goals? And let’s figure out what seems to be working and and put more, more money, more time or effort, whatever it is into those things. And then, you know, like if it’s not working as effectively, like let’s not do these things if we’ve got things that are more effective. So I like that way of thinking about it.
John, thank you again for joining us. Really insightful, really insightful. Thank you for sharing. Is there anything you to leave us with before we before we go on there? Our next speaker.
Oh, gosh. Um, well, you already gave a good shout out for the book, so, I mean, I do think, you know, it is free, even though it’s a real book. So I do encourage people, grab a copy of that. Yeah, I’ll just end with like, gosh, you know, we haven’t talked about the fact that we’re entering a year where I think marketers are facing a lot of pressure on budgets.
Yeah. And you know, we’re going to hear a lot of the phrase do more with less. You know, we probably heard a lot today on the summit, but we’re going to keep hearing it over and over. So, you know, here’s what my takeaway on that is. We’re going to have to do more with less. I already know how hard people are working.
So we’re not going to get there by working harder. We’re going to have to get there by working smarter now, which means being more relevant, more personalized. So I encourage everybody here to like think about what is your strategy to use intelligence to work smarter in 2023.
Oh, I like it. Awesome. Thank you, John. And thanks for joining us on the Demand Trends Summit. Next, in just a few minutes, you’re going to hear from Sangram, former co-founder at Terminus. He was at Pardot and now a partner with GTM Partners.