How the Right ABM Approach Can Increase Influence and Create Greater Wins
It seems to be a buzzword in B2B marketing recently: account-based marketing, or ABM. But what is the right ABM approach that will help B2B firms to generate greater returns? We have an engaging conversation about this with Kristina Jaramillo (President, Personal ABM). During our discussion, Kristina talks about what a lot of organizations are getting wrong with ABM, some of the key things that they need to consider when investing in ABM, what has changed in the landscape as a result of the pandemic, and how organizations should build alignment in order to drive ABM success.
Topics discussed in this episode:
Christian Klepp, Kristina Jaramillo
Christian Klepp 00:08
Hi, and welcome to the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. I’m your host, Christian Klepp, and one of the founders of EINBLICK Consulting. Our goal is to share inspirational stories, tips and insights from b2b marketers, digital entrepreneurs, and industry experts that will help you to think differently, succeed and scale your business.
Okay. Welcome everyone to this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast where you get your weekly dose of b2b marketing insights. This is your host, Christian Klepp. And today, I’d like to welcome a guest into the show who works with supply chain and tech marketers to add a personal account layer that enables them to influence revenue with new business and account expansion. So Kristina Jaramillo, welcome to the show.
Kristina Jaramillo 00:53
Thank you for having me, Christian. I really appreciate that. And thank you for pronouncing my name so eloquently. I love it.
Christian Klepp 00:58
Oh, you know, I try. (laugh) But no, Kristina. You know, I really enjoyed these conversations we’ve been having these past couple of weeks on various topics, and I’m really looking forward to this conversation.
Kristina Jaramillo 01:13
Yeah, me too.
Christian Klepp 01:14
So all right, well, let’s get the show on the road, then. Um, you know, Kristina, you’ve developed your expertise and built your career around. I would say it’s not just an important area, but it seems to be one of these buzzwords that’s floating around in the world of b2b marketing these days. And that’s ABM or Account Based Marketing. And I know you’re gonna have a field day with this question, but walk us through what you believe ABM is and isn’t.
Kristina Jaramillo 01:41
Sure, no problem! You had it me pegged. I love this question. (laugh)
So I think ABM… should be an integrated business strategy. So it includes not just marketing. It should include sales, account management, customer success teams, anyone who’s client facing as well work together to win, protect and expand key named accounts that can provide the organization with the greatest revenue growth rate, greatest… you know, return. And but what I’ve seen it rather than being a business strategy… in a lot of cases, it’s become another tactic, just to drive leads. So we’re all focused on marketing, a lot of people tend to be focused on just leads, but I think it should be about driving revenue with new accounts, and even more revenue with existing accounts.
And, you know, another thing that’s kind of interesting to me and kind of, not what I agree with, but in many cases, ABM has been about… has become like account based marketing, or excuse me, advertising or account based awareness where companies, you know, maybe had shown intent, so then they go after them that way. But, you know, many organizations are taking a one to few or one to many approach so that they can scale with ABM technologies like Terminus, Demandbase, there’s a bunch of others. But one thing that I think that these programs are missing is that personal relevance that you had mentioned earlier, I think that personal relevance that added that layer of relevance that you can get to prospects is… kind of help you win, protect and expand those key accounts, especially the ones that are stuck in status quo. And I think the last statistic, as I said, about 60% of the market is stuck in status quo. So that’s a huge percentage.
Christian Klepp 03:18
Kristina Jaramillo 03:19
Yeah. And I’ve seen that split fluctuate between 60% and 70%, but I just go with 60%, because I can remember it.
Christian Klepp 03:25
Kristina Jaramillo 03:27
But if I think ABM is about driving revenue with key accounts, then we need to have that balance of one to one, one to few and one to many. So it’s not just the mass kind of approach. You know, and the one to many, you know, you prioritize accounts based on where they are in their buyer journey. And I think the ABM approach that you use with your tier one accounts should be drastically different than the approach that you use with tier two. And then, you know, even with tier three, the ABM approach that uses account that’s showing intent, or you know, kind of raising their hand, consuming your content, engaging with you should be different from an account that previously showed interest but maybe stopped engaging from reason kind of fell off the map… maybe got stuck in the funnel. And it definitely should be different from account where you need to create the intent, create that buying vision. But unfortunately, what I’ve also seen is that too many ABM programs kind of become a one size fits all and in marketing, I don’t think that that’s ever the case.
Christian Klepp 04:24
Oh, absolutely not. And you know, you’ve brought up so many amazing points. And you know, the one about like that has become very… to quote you like, it’s very, leads based or like leads driven. I would say, like, why do you think that is? Are people just like in too much of a hurry to like get results immediately, or what’s the dealer?
Kristina Jaramillo 04:48
I think it’s a combination of yes, being in a hurry. Also just kind of filling in the pipeline showing like bigger numbers maybe. And I also think because these technologies have come out to help you scale ABM. They kind of take on another mass approach and just use it that way. So I think it’s a combination of stuff, but it’s like a perfect storm to just turn it into another quote unquote, campaign. And it definitely, I believe, should not be.
Christian Klepp 05:15
Right. Right, exactly. And there was this other point that you brought up about, like, in terms of like prioritizing or focusing on prospects or accounts based on what part of the journey that they’re at. And I would, I’m probably gonna, I’m probably gonna get into trouble for asking you this, but I’ll ask anyway. Um, would you say that it’s a it’s a fair or a probably a logical approach to also like, I would say, prioritize or focus on accounts, where you see longer term profitability for the organization or like, based on the profitability that the accounts may generate in future?
Kristina Jaramillo 05:54
Yeah, I think so. As long as there’s other markers, not just that, you think, Oh, this is gonna be a big account for us. But I think if you can identify with valid, you know, some reasoning behind what the organizations that are going to give you or greatest revenue growth potential and regular greatest long term, then absolutely.
Christian Klepp 06:11
Right. Right. Okay. Okay. Fantastic. Yeah, told you. Oh, so tell us about like, I promise you, Kristina, we’re not going to talk about COVID. All right, about the pandemic.
Kristina Jaramillo 06:24
Keep your word. Please. (laugh)
Christian Klepp 06:26
We are not. Yes, yes, exactly. But I do want to talk about, you know, something that’s obviously changed within the past 12 to 18 months. And, you know, obviously, there has been some of that in the ABM landscape as well. So tell us about a change that you’ve seen in ABM as a result of the pandemic.
Kristina Jaramillo 06:45
Yeah, so I think prior just to like set it up so we can see the changes. Prior to pandemic, sales and marketing investments and resources, we’re really focused from what I saw on the top of the funnel. So, you know, as investments kind of dwindled, and less money was put into where prospects got into the middle of the funnel. And then when you get to close, your sales and marketing investment in resources, we’re basically at a flatline. But now, I think getting new prospects into the funnel has proven challenging as priorities have shifted due to this pandemic. You know, time, investment and resources reallocated to the middle of the funnel to the stuck accounts, where I’ve seen a lot of people to quote Matt Heinz, he calls the CFO, the CF’NO’, to sign a deal. (laugh)
Because, you know, depending on where you are, you might not have ever encountered a CFO. But I think now everyone’s being a little more diligent with their spending. So, you know, I think a lot of companies or what I’ve seen, a lot of companies are doubling down with extra time and investment, ABM resources to protect and expand the key accounts. As I think Customer Success teams and Account Management teams are having that wrong conversation with clients. What they’re doing is what I’ve seen is that they’re talking about activities completed, versus, you know, activities and benefits versus having a conversation, where the C suites, C suite and VPs, those decision makers, they really want to know about the gaps that you filled, your impact. They’re engaged to learn more about future growth opportunities. So they need like a bigger picture, you need to create that for them, and then also show them how they need to continue to evolve the program so that they continue with you. And then, you know, as existing clients were the initial prospect list, sales and marketing teams have really begun, I think, to focus on this customer experience, that existing account should have, and the context that should… excuse me content, that should be driving accounts, and how they can better shape retention, expansion conversation, so that they can be protected and grow revenues for the organization.
Christian Klepp 08:48
Right, right. Now, that’s a really good point. Would you say like, you know, what’s your what’s been your experience in these past 12 to 18 months? I mean, at least like, you know, from your company’s perspective, have you seen ABM budgets being reduced? And are they slowly coming back? Are they the same? or like, what’s happening there?
Kristina Jaramillo 09:09
I think it all depends on the ABM focus was. If they were doing the marketing campaign, like I was talking about one to many. Then I think that might have increased. But people that are, you know, that increased, I think in the beginning of spring, and then into the summer, because I think the first and second quarter people were kind of especially in the marketing side were kind of floundering on what to do and just mass producing messaging, but it was like the old messaging they were using in Q1 – 2020. And it was totally not, you know, your buyers were totally changed. It’s not going to be the same messaging. But I think as the end of 2020 and into 2021, I think people are kind of focusing and getting more refined and that they have to pay attention to those… taking ABM approach with existing clients so that they can keep them because obviously they are… should be hopefully in a good standing with them, but they want to make sure they can hold on to them and as well as expand the footprint. So I think it kind of did like a roller coaster. And I think we’re on the upward of using more ABM. It’s obviously depends on the definition of who you’re talking to. But I’ve seen from the one to many and the one to few, both growing.
Christian Klepp 10:17
Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, at least from what you’ve been saying these past couple of minutes, it sounds like it’s an upward trend again, so that’s at least a bit promising. Right. So.
Kristina Jaramillo 10:26
Christian Klepp 10:27
Okay. Um, so this name is a mouthful, I’m gonna, I’m gonna try my best. Recent reports from the Information Technology Service Marketing Association, or ITSMA for short, has shown that only about a third of organizations are seeing significant business impact with ABM. So, you know, from your perspective, how are most organizations approaching ABM ineffectively?
Kristina Jaramillo 10:57
Well, I think going back to what I said earlier about how their campaign focused, whether… you know, I think that’s ineffective because I think the focus should be on interactions and how those interactions lead to revenue, because that’s really what matters at the end of the day. So our organization has been able to reverse no positions for SaaS tech supply chains. But in most cases, it’s really, really hard. And you have that one chance to win, protect, or expand span that account that you want. Because if you have one communication misfire, one wrong email, one wrong interaction at all, you know, you could risk unresponsiveness from your prospect or inaction, which is just, you know, just as bad. But what I’ve seen is sales and marketing and account facing teams are traditionally speaking in industries and volumes of accounts with little to zero relevance, because we’re getting back to that wanting to scale. So they’re having similar conversations. And there’s no differentiation between an acquisition conversation and an expansion conversation when they’re two totally different scenarios. But when firms engage in account based approaches, they often speak at accounts with the same messaging and not, you know, they don’t consider that value is different for each person for each account, every company is going to be different. But you know, after you gain interest in awareness, you need to challenge the status quo, because you remember how I mentioned 60-70% stuck in status quo. You know, the only way to get someone to move or think differently is to challenge them and convince them otherwise. And this is where you require real connection beyond just the brand. You know, because it’s trust matters, not only on a company level, but on a personal relationship level. And I think that is the key difference, that personal connection is what’s going to make that… you know, able to move that conversation forward. But it goes beyond understanding that your targets role, it goes beyond delivering content, and messaging that’s tailored for what the buyers maybe are searching for, if you want to engage and convert even more prospects, you’re going to have to go beyond personalized intent driven experiences and more personal approach. And what I mean by personalized versus personal is personalized to me is when you enter somebody’s company, you enter their name and an email, you enter their role, or maybe what their company is searching for. So you’re showing that kind of intent, or you know, using that kind of an intent information. But a personal approach is saying what’s important to you as an individual, what’s important to you as a team member?
So that’s the difference there. And I and I want to mention that if some people check out my profile, I recently posted a video rants that my partner Eric Gruber talked about, and he was complaining about how sales and marketing teams are too focused on campaigns, which means they’re playing that number games rather than a revenue game, which is what I think a lot of people need to be focusing on. And by doing that, you know, no matter how hard you try to personalize and in content and messaging, it’s not going to… you just can’t personalize mass.
And again, we had already talked about this earlier, I think another issue with ABM is that they’re lead based, but you know, I don’t think sales needs more leads. So there’s no reason for MQLs, when you have sales and marketing agreeing on the accounts they want to so they’re all agreeing on the ICP. They’re all agreeing how they’re going to get to open a conversation to close deals. So they’re basically moving as one entity. And I know that it’s easier said than done. But I think if that’s you want it to work, that’s one of the things that you know, needs to happen.
And another gap that I see is that there’s that misalignment between all these different teams, so sales, marketing, customer facing, you know, they’re all having different conversations, but the top performers that use challenger sales, these challenger people are focused on tailoring for relevance, teaching for differentiation, reframing prospects, thoughts and ideas, and making that emotional connection so that they can create the business case. But what I’m seeing is that a lot of content that’s getting pushed out is you know, the thought leadership information, but the key thing that’s missing is the commercial insights. So it’s not reframing a conversation. And it’s not making that connection to make, you know, or build a business case. So I think that’s, that’s another thing that’s really, you know… one of the things that Eric also talked about is how most content doesn’t support ABM or sales, because they’re talking about, you know, either features and benefits versus the actual story that it’s going to drive that that relationship forward.
Christian Klepp 15:31
Well, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I call a mic drop. (laugh) That was that that was amazing. I mean, like, you came up with so many points that were just not only incredibly insightful, but I think they were really important. Like, you know, for people that are either doing ABM or considering to do ABM, you know, this is the time for them to take a step back and reflect on all of these points you just raised. In fact, I had another lead on question based on what you what you said earlier. I mean, do you feel to a certain degree that there’s a lot of people out there that tend to be… I guess the word I’m looking for, it’s like commoditizing this approach… and especially when it comes to ABM, because it seems like they are.
Kristina Jaramillo 16:17
Yeah, I think that’s a good word for it, because they’re just trying to just… I don’t know if it’s, our need to make it easier, again, going back to having to scale it, but just turning it into another tactic. So they’re going to run an ABM campaign when ABM is a strategy. That’s where confusion lies.
Christian Klepp 16:35
Well, that’s this whole like, you know, I’m and no offense to anybody that’s doing ABM. But you know, in terms of like doing it the wrong way, it almost feels like it’s trying to do lead generation on auto-replay. And the truth is, and you’ve alluded to it in the past couple of minutes, that in reality, it’s not that straightforward. there’s a lot of like moving parts in this ecosystem that people have to think about and consider.
Kristina Jaramillo 16:59
Absolutely, absolutely. That’s a really good point.
Christian Klepp 17:01
Yeah. Okay. Fantastic. Leading onto that topic. You know, and you’ve brought them up already. You know, there’s a lot of things that organizations are getting wrong with ABM. And you know, we’ve mentioned some of them in the past couple of minutes. So let’s take that step back, like, you know, what we were talking about earlier, and, you know, see how we can get started on the right foot, build that right foundation for ABM. And then that listeners, you know, those that are listening to this interview, can then see a positive business impact if they are considering to implement an ABM strategy.
So I think I heard you correctly, but I’m going to just repeat it. You were saying something to the effect of that marketing should not just focus on leads and MQLs. Do you care to explain that a bit further?
Kristina Jaramillo 17:52
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I actually read a book for Latane Conant, who was the CMO of six cents. And she wrote, it’s called no forms, no spam, no cold calling. And she mentioned that MQLs are not worth a dime. And I completely agree with her. And she said, she gets a lot of pushback from marketers on this, and it’s still kind of a hot topic, you know, hot button to press to people. But if a lead gets stuck, or they fall out of the pipeline, what good are they? You know, if organizations are so focused on leads versus the end goal, which is revenue, then, you know, what’s more important, leads or revenue? I think that’s what people are missing. And I think that there’s a focus on how many touch points sales and marketing are hitting, you know, how are we expanding our, our LinkedIn networks? How many emails and InMails are we sending? How many calls we’re making, whether they’re cold or not. You know, how many demos are we getting with target accounts? So, you know, getting back to that tactical, ABM has become so tactical that, you know, to get the lead, we’re getting really excited about it. But any type of engagement as an indicator that, you know, prospects, at least somewhat likely to result in the sale i think is… you know, is not true. The prospect is put through like this arbitrary lead scoring system companies have all different types. And once they get enough points, then they’re either thrown over or kicked over to sales. But the truth is an MQL, you know, really doesn’t tell you anything about you know, the prospects’ motivations, their intentions, where they are in the buying process, which is something you really want to know. You know, it’s not an insight driven approach. So many of these end up stuck, you know, and then sales and marketing wind up having the wrong interactions, whether that’s social email or live because they just don’t enough info with MQL.
Christian Klepp 19:37
Yeah, that’s exactly right. And I think you touched on something earlier, which I think is worth repeating. And that’s the fact that ABM is you know, it gets so tactical or the you know, a lot of companies are so like, focused on the execution aspect of it and the generation of leads or MQLs that they tend to neglect the strategic and planning aspect of it. So, you know, how important do you think that is, the vessel equation?
Kristina Jaramillo 20:06
I think that’s really important. You have to look at it, are we going to run an ABM strategy and we’re going to consider rolling it out to everyone, because everyone has to be involved from top down. It can’t just be a marketing run thing or a sales run thing. You know, I’ve heard it called account based selling whatever it is, it’s the personal identification against the invocation of you know, tier top accounts, and then personalizing your or personal approach to reaching out to them, but it needs to be everyone’s involved. And that’s how, you know, that’s how it becomes a strategy versus just that mass campaign approach.
Christian Klepp 20:40
Right. Exactly, exactly
Hey, it’s Christian Klepp here. We’ll get back to the episode in a second. But first, is your brand struggling to cut through the noise? Are you trying to find more effective ways to reach your target audience and boost sales? Are you trying to pivot your business? If so, book a call with EINBLICK Consulting, our experienced consultants will work with you to help your b2b business to succeed and scale. Go to www.einblick.co for more information.
I know you brought up some of these points in the past couple of minutes. But what are some of the key things that you think organizations have to consider – if they are contemplating to start investing in ABM? So with regards to like the holistic planning perspective? And what do you think they need in order to build that strong foundation that we’ve been talking about?
Kristina Jaramillo 21:32
Well, I think the first thing people need to focus on is their ICP. So Ideal Customer Profile needs to be set. But it has to go beyond you know, their traditional approach of company size, industry, annual revenue, there needs to also be a focus on the culture of the organization, the technology that they are already using, their buying processes, their beliefs as a company, you have to go deeper than that. You know, so for example, when we look at, you know, an ideal customer for our organization, we look for organizations that have smaller marketing teams, their sales team applies a challenger kind of approach, they’re using some kind of technology or intent technology like either a 6sense, or Bombora, or maybe using Terminus, they’re looking to go beyond leads and have started to move away from tracking MQLs, because all these things show us that they’re on the right track, and they’re going to be like a good fit for us. And these organizations, you know, want more revenue accountability for marketing, there’s still still some organizations that don’t… haven’t evolved that far, so they really wouldn’t be a great fit.
And another, you know, thing is that they need to have specific named accounts that they want to try to close or that they want to protect, or that they want to expand. And they need to have this top down, left to right approach to go-to marketing planning, meaning that leadership is involved, like I mentioned earlier, and they’re focused on aligning everyone. So sales, marketing, account, customer success teams are all involved in this.
And I think, you know, another thing to consider is that you have to think about the different journeys that these ideal customer profiles can go through, there’s what I’ve identified, or we identified as four:
So the first one would be accounts that are showing intent. So maybe they’re searching for your key phrases around the solutions or you know, services you provide. They’re consuming, your content may be engaging with you. With these accounts, you can take a one to few approach, but you have to think about how are you going to move them down through the funnel and build that strategic plan around your solution. How are you going to teach these accounts about competitor specific actions impacts, so they’re not looking at your others or considering other people.
The second journey you got to look at is, you know, this is the one for the accounts that show intent, but maybe have stopped engaging, maybe they didn’t see your unique value. Maybe they were looking into new solutions, but it wasn’t an immediate fit or immediate priority for leadership. Maybe they didn’t even see themselves in a story that you were telling. Because, you know, again, we go back to these campaigns, you can have that limited relevance. So you need to take that personal approach to reverse no decisions and drive a consensus throughout the organization.
The third journey is for accounts that are not showing any intent. So getting back to that 60% of the market that stuck in status quo, you know, definitely general campaigns will not work for this market. In order to move them, you’re going to need to… they’re going to need to see their account specific gaps. What’s happening in their organization, and you know, they need to see their personal impacts. You know, they don’t need benefits. They need to see the impacts of either staying the same or the impacts of not making a choice. And these accounts need to have a buying vision created specific for their company, meaning a LinkedIn profile content and messaging needs to speak to these accounts and the human buyers within those accounts.
And last but not least, that fourth journey is for existing customers. So those customers that are at risk of leaving, or they can provide the greatest revenue growth, whether that’s expansion or longevity. If you know if only you can expand them, if they weren’t just happy with what was going on already, those are the customers you need to have the right stories with the right messaging that helps them see and acknowledge the gaps that you filled, the impacts that you’ve had at the organization as a whole, and also well is at the operations level, different divisions at the customer, at the finance level, all the way down to the personal individual within the team, that’s maybe utilizing or benefiting from your solution. And that content helps them see why they need to continue to evolve, how they need to continue to evolve, and how your organization should be playing, you know, role, what kind of role they should play in the evolution. So basically, what it all boils down to is that you need to start thinking about every interaction that you have with accounts, rather than worrying about how many people we can reach them, what conversions we’re having. You know, we need to focus on individual interactions, and how it’s moving individual accounts and individual buyers forward rather than just becoming another number of a quote unquote, lead.
Christian Klepp 26:11
That was amazing. Sorry, I was taking notes, as you were talking about, like you, you laid that out in such a way that was just such a beautiful breakdown, which just drives that point home, which you mentioned at the beginning of this interview, which is basically that there’s so many moving parts, which is kind of short of stating the obvious. But um, the other important thing is also that when you’re considering, you know, implementing ABM campaigns, marketers really need to put themselves in the shoes of the customers at these different stages of the journey. And think about, like, what these guys are looking for, what it is they’re missing, what are the gaps in the opportunities that can be identified? Right? I mean, like, if they’re going to get this right, these, you know, the approach the content, all of that has to be tweaked, based on these different stages that you were talking about.
Kristina Jaramillo 27:09
Yeah, absolutely. I think too many times people jump into ABM without a full on strategy of, you know, how are we going to show up on LinkedIn? What is the content we’re sharing? Is it going to drive awareness? Or is it going to drive a sales conversation? You know, how are we going to act and I… it really takes time, like when we work with clients, it’s usually 30 to 60 days, some mostly 30 to 45 is usually the main time frame, but it’s not an easy thing. And it’s intensive, but if you do the work in the front, it’ll reap benefits for a while. And that, you know, I think people also need to say that you don’t just figure it out once and then don’t evolve it, you need to evolve it as market changes, forgetting it, otherwise you’re lost.
Christian Klepp 27:49
Absolutely, absolutely. And I mean that you know, if anything, if anything else, like if, if 2020 has taught us anything, is that a lot of these situations are fairly fluid, right? So it’s, it’s that whole aspect of like, you know, being flexible and agile and adjusting accordingly based on these changing market dynamics, because the markets have changed.
Kristina Jaramillo 28:10
Yep, absolutely. Yeah, I’m shaking my head over here. Yep. Yeah. bobbing up and down, you just can’t see it. (laugh)
Christian Klepp 28:18
I’ll take your word for it. Um, you brought up, you brought up some of these points earlier, but like, you know, how are you applying ABM and challenger across all channels for technology and service firm clients?
Kristina Jaramillo 28:33
Yeah, um, so LinkedIn is our platform of choice. So that’s what we use it. But you know, just to clarify for people, LinkedIn is not a strategy. It’s only a tool. You know, I’ve heard people say, Oh, we have LinkedIn navigator, you know, we have a strategy. I’m like, that’s… no, it’s a tool in your arsenal.
Christian Klepp 28:50
It’s a platform.
Kristina Jaramillo 28:51
Yeah, exactly. So it’s the personal account based / challenger approach. So if anyone’s not familiar with the Challenger Sale, Challenger Customer, I highly recommend those two books. There’s even a third book. I haven’t gotten that far. But getting specific with that, because I think a lot of sales… marketers need to start thinking more like salespeople, especially if you want to be and are being held accountable for revenue.
Christian Klepp 29:12
Kristina Jaramillo 29:13
So I think that’s, you know, it’s a personal account based process that challenger sales approach and the communication where, you know, sales and marketing are relevant to that target accounts and the human buyers. You know, one of the biggest compliments that we got is that from one of our clients, they met with a prospect and the prospect said, you know, I’ve read this article, and it felt like it was written just for me, and it totally was, we just didn’t call them out on it. And that’s the type of content that you really want. The personal communication needs to speak to those target accounts, the human buyers, their gaps, their impacts as specific as you can get. So as I mentioned earlier, that means profiles need to be tailored for the accounts that you want to win, the accounts that you want to protect, because they might be, you know, at risk of leaving, or accounts that you know that you can expand because you can create a bigger footprint rather than a resume, because I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of marketers, and even sales, people are having these resume profiles. But you should be sharing your relevant origin story. And that’s going to show, you know, it’s going to prove that you understand the accounts that you’re targeting, you understand them, you understand what they’re going through. And this is a great way for your profile to focus on reframing your prospects, thoughts and ideas, getting back into, you know, being able to move them from, you know, changing and making that emotional connection, and then the business case, and this is what you can do with stories and your profile that you do that. But another way you can do this is, you know, do that over email, or social or even live communication. So every communication channel, you know, should be using this type of approach.
And also, teaching for differentiation is really important. And that means, you know, your profile is not going to come out and say, we are different by XYZ, it’s going to say, it’s going to teach the person why you’re different and show the prospect how you’re different. So they can come to their own conclusion on how you’re, you’re different or, you know, based on the stories that you share, you want them to come to their own resolution or own… make it seem like it was their idea. You don’t specifically write it out for them. And I think what people take a challenger approach, you know, you’re relevant with every communication behind the company and industry level. And that’s, you know, really important, because you’re relevant at the division, the rank, the employee level, the personal level, customer level, and that conversation, as we were talking about before, should be focused on, you know, account specific gaps, impacts, opportunities for growth.
So this means that the prospects’ world, you know, you enter the prospects’ world, rather than kind of forcing yourself into it, type of thing. And I think when you send like a templated message, you’re kind of doing that you’re forcing them to enter your world, you’re forcing to think about what you think is important, as opposed to flipping the table. So this kind of approach has really been helpful, you know, to reverse no positions for our clients, you know, we’re driving seven figure deals with accounts that were unresponsive for five years, protecting at risk accounts, ensuring competitions not, you know, doesn’t go over to somebody else, you know, expanding their market share within territories, you know, and even one of my favorites is that we had a tech startup that was having conversations with GE Healthcare to replace Oracle. So they were basically a nobody competing with Oracle, but they were able to come to the table, because they had something different to say, and they weren’t just talking about what they thought their value was. You know, so these are things that you’re creating that personal connection with the human buyers, and you can shift their mind, you can shift their thinking and shift their wallets and hopefully go with you. And that’s the whole reasoning behind this approach.
Christian Klepp 32:55
No, exactly. Exactly. And, you know, again, you brought up so many great points. But I think the one that I wanted to go back to, which I thought was really like hitting the nail on the head, was you were talking about using this approach, be it through the different channels and the content and whatnot. But I think that’s the ultimate compliment when the prospect of the target audience says, Hey, that really sounded like you were talking to me. Right? And, you know, we’ve all read these reports, and they’re, they’re on different platforms. But you know, one of the reasons why some of these, these ABM campaigns don’t work is because so much content is being produced that either the sales don’t really think is useful to the to the target audience, or even worse, the target audience looks at the content and feels well, that’s probably not me.
Kristina Jaramillo 33:46
That’s the worst.
Christian Klepp 33:47
Right? So… no exactly. I mean, this has been really great. And, you know, as we’re getting to the end of the interview, um, you brought up so many great points already, but I just want you to, like narrow them down to 2 things, right. Think about one thing that you think people should start, and one thing that people should stop doing when it comes to ABM.
Kristina Jaramillo 34:09
All right, let’s start with the negative and get it out of the way. (laugh) Stop thinking of ABM as just another tactic or campaign because it’s the exact opposite of that. What people should really start doing is thinking about ABM is an integrated strategy. So even though it says account based marketing, it’s really account based marketing, sales account management, customers, you’re working together almost like a family unit. Because you know, at the end of the day, you have a common goal of revenue. And you’re working together to figure out how you’re going to win certain accounts. How are you going to protect the ones that you think are at risk, or you’ve heard that we’re at risk? And how can you expand these key accounts that provide your organization with the greatest revenue growth potential. And one last thing to continue to do to start doing is think about how you can increase your relevance with these key accounts across all channels. You know, starting with LinkedIn, but moving on to other channels as well, how can you increase your relevance with your key accounts?
Christian Klepp 35:04
No, exactly, exactly. And and I think to your point, it’s, it’s thinking about it all, as I like to use the word ecosystem because it kind of is.
Kristina Jaramillo 35:13
Christian Klepp 35:14
Um, think about this whole ecosystem and how you can get all these different components within the ecosystem to harmonize and function. I’m gonna use this archaic term, but like a well oiled machine.
Kristina Jaramillo 35:25
No, it’s totally true.
Christian Klepp 35:26
Yeah, exactly. (laugh) Now. Kristina, this has been really awesome. And now this is the part where you get to do us the honor, and, you know, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Kristina Jaramillo 35:38
You know, I know this part is necessary, but it feels so weird when I’m talking about myself. (laugh) But I know it has to be done. Alright. I’m president of Personal ABM. I’m also partner at Stop the sales drop. So I work with b2b sales, marketing, account teams, customer success teams to add that personal relevance with the key accounts that they want to win, protect or expand. And we focus… so I focus on building personal relationships with these one to one communications that we’ve been talking about, to speak to decision makers. You know, to drive top to bottom engagement with previously untouchable enterprise, that’s one of my favorite things that we’ve been able to do and I had some articles on top sales and marketing publications, sites, blogs, like Salesforce, Forbes, MarketingProfs, Crunchbase, Sales Hacker, the list goes on. You also see that I’m recognized, this is one of my favorites as well, being recognized by LinkedIn’s own marketing – The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide. So definitely check out personalabm.com and listen to our podcast that Christian was on stopthesalesdrop.com. And I invite people to connect with me on LinkedIn and join the community at stopthesalesdrop.com, because it’s free to join. And we have an ongoing reboot Friday series right now where we’re bringing together C suite and VPs to work on, you know, discuss what’s working, what’s not working, and the shifts that we need to drive growth, and get access to upcoming panels at stopthesalesdrop.com and just click join the community.
Christian Klepp 37:14
Fantastic, fantastic. And you know what, I’m a little bit taken aback, because I did not realize that I was interviewing a high roller here. (laugh) But like, you know, it’s super awesome that you made it to that list. And you know, congratulations, of course on that.
Kristina Jaramillo 37:31
Christian Klepp 37:32
But, you know, Kristina, this has been such an insightful and informative session. So thanks again, you know, for taking the time to come on and share your insights and your experience with us. And, folks, please do reach out to Kristina on LinkedIn. And you know, let her know that you listen to this podcast. And please do check out her podcast as well. It’s call Stop the Sales Drop. And that’s probably available where you get your favorite podcasts and join their webinars which take place on every Friday. Is that right?
Kristina Jaramillo 38:01
Christian Klepp 38:02
Once again, Kristina, thanks so much for your time. Take care, stay safe and talk to you soon. Bye for now.
Thank you for joining us on this episode of the B2B Marketers on a Mission podcast. To learn more about what we do here at EINBLICK, please visit our website at www.einblick.co and be sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes or your favorite podcast player.
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