5 Reasons ABM is Not For You

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode James Carbary talks with Dan Sanchez, Director of Audience Growth at Sweet Fish Media, about 5 reasons ABM might not be a good fit for your company.

Welcome back to be to be Growth. My name is James Carberry, and I'm joined today by Dan Sanchez, our director of audience growth, and were super pumped to be on the journey that we are on in the month of February. Dan is doing a deep dive on a B M. So Dan is a genius marketer. I brought him onto the team last year seeing some of the work that he had done at a university, that he was working at a college. He was working at Minnesota and hearing stories of just marketing transformation that he's had in organizations throughout his entire career. And I thought, Man, I gotta get this guy on the sweet fish team But the reality was he didn't have any experience and b two b and so eso a few months and he realized, like, Man, I I really thought my B two C marketing background would translate MAWR smoothly into B two B. But there are so many strategies and things that I just didn't even think about. So So Dan said, man, what if in 2021 every other month I just did a deep dive on Cem, Cem practices that air pretty specific to be to be. And so we're pumped Thio to be on this time pumped to be on this journey, listening to dance solo episodes, interviews he's doing with with different practitioners of a B. M. And so today we are going to be talking about some specific things that you need to look for in your own business to know whether a B M is actually right for you or not. So we're gonna talk about five specific things that you need to look at and assess in your company to know if a B M is right for you, Dan. Take it from here, man. And maybe color inside the lines a little bit on how the Siri's is going for you. So far, I've been loving this. Siri's so so much so far. I'm a learner. I like to always dig into things that I don't know, and I've had a pretty good hand on just digital marketing in general. Like I know the tools. I know how to do social. I know how to run paid ads. I know how to do website optimization, all those normal things. But when I got into the B two b space and, uh, I found that some of the tools they're the same, but how you use them is just a little bit different. And a lot of the strategies renew a B M. Particularly. I was like, Whoa, this wasn't even possible in the B two c space. But I'm fascinated by it because it just seems like it's such a good way to approach it. If you know who your ideal buyer is, like, you literally know who to target. Because you know, you need to target the head of procurement at, uh, Salesforce. I keep using that as my example. But if you know who that is and you know his name is Brian and you have his email or like, oh, that kind of changes the game because before you had no idea who you were targeting, it was like a sand sifting for gold. And now you know where the gold is. You just have to go get it and figure out how to do it. It's just it's a totally different way of thinking, even though a lot of the tools are the same, so I'm just fascinated by it. I've been learning a lot and ready to learn more. We're early in and it's funny. It's funny,...

Dan like, because there's a lot of there's a lot of haters, right? In any time something gets popular. Haters come out of the woodwork. We're doing some original research. Right now, we're interviewing 100 B two B marketing leaders, and one of the questions we're asking them is what's the most? What's the most overrated trend in B two b marketing right now? And the overwhelming response from a lot of those folks is a B M. And I think a lot of that's being led by, you know, folks like Chris Walker. Saying things like a B M is just good marketing. What are your thoughts? Whenever you see a bunch of people kind of hating on a B M, you see Chris Walker going. This isn't novel. This is just good marketing. You know who your buyers are and you go after them. And I would say that's because Chris Walker grew up in a B two B marketing space because for other marketers who are coming in to B two B marketing from outside and I've done be to see higher ed nonprofit like this is a totally different way of thinking, cause it wasn't even possible. It's unique to be to be. Which is why, like San Graham wrote the book A B M is B two b. While it's probably you don't always have to perform it that way. It is a B two b play e. I think that's why Chris Walker says I don't I don't know how much experience he has an outside of B two b And I feel like it's kind of funny because I feel like demand generation is more of like, just generally good digital marketing strategy, like I don't understand where, like demand. To me, demanding is, like broader and more just good marketing. But that's Chris Walkers game, right? So it's also just really popular, didn't knock other people's methodologies. So that always gets a good buzz on LinkedIn, especially when they're gaining steam, especially when they're gaining steam and they're getting really popular and everybody's talking about them. It's it's easy toe to push back and you should. I think to a certain degree, people should shouldn't just be, you know, eating the food that the analysts are feeding you, and it just happens to be that in this season, Ah, lot of people are really hot on a B M right now. But we're gonna spend the rest of this episode talking about five things that you need to look at in your company to know if A B M is not for you on this first thing you need to look at is, you know, do your new customers contribute large amounts of revenue. You're looking at annual contract value on DSO for us In our journey with a B. M. We obviously used this podcast as a big part of our A B M strategy. We ask our ideal clients to be a guest on the show. We build a genuine relationship with them, and then we nurture that relationship to see if we could potentially work with him and produce a podcast for them, since that's what our businesses and, uh, And so when we first started doing this, we had to determine that the average, uh, the annual contract value for a customer of sweet fish was, you know, for us it was over $25,000 and when we looked and said Okay, if we have an annual contract value of $25,000 then we know that you know, we know how much it costs us to produce B two b growth. And so we only need to dio we only need to...

...close two or three deals with guests that are on our show for this too. Give us a positive r o I. And so because we had we nailed down and we got a very clear picture of what our annual contract value waas. We were then able to extrapolate that and that could be applied to a lot of different strategies, right? Not just podcasting. When you know what that A C V is, You look out and say Okay, What? What's it going to take for us to generate that revenue minus, you know, the cost of the execution of that strategy. So the second thing we're looking at is making sure you have a clear understanding of who your target is, or it be an indicator to not do it. If you don't have a clear understanding, there might be a few situations where this you run into this. The most obvious one to me is like you're a startup like you're still trying to figure out what your product market fit is. You're not even sure quite yet where your prospect is, who they are. You know, you think it's this person you think it's the head of this, but you're not quite sure yet you're still trying to sell. You're still trying to prove that hypothesis and because you're not sure yet a B M isn't quite right for you yet, or at least a scale in a B M campaign. You're still in the early sales days where you're just trying to get a hold of them and talk to them, which you might use a maybe, um, tactics. But you're probably not ready to launch a full on campaign and find 100 more just like that guy, right? You're still trying to find your ideal customer, and I promised, and this is not This is we didn't even talk about this before, but I promise I'm not trying to over cell podcasting here, but us having our podcast as our A B M play actually helped us figure out who are buyer was much quicker. So we've talked about this story in the past, so I won't beat it to death. But our 1st 150 episodes of GDP growth were with VPs of sales, because that's who we thought would buy our podcasting service. And we realized after 100 50 episodes, and none of them turned into customers for us that, hey, we should probably pivot who we sell to. And it was then when we said, instead of selling into the sales function, we're going to start selling into marketing. And so we started getting, uh, those VPs of sales counterparts and marketing to be a guest on the show. And sure enough, those relationships actually started turning into revenue for the business. So depending on the A B M play that you're executing sometimes by getting started with a B m early starting to have conversations with people that you having a hypothesis on of is, could this be our ideal buyer Onda having actual conversations with them, which podcasting happens toe lean toward on DSO It was super helpful for us to determine. Hey, this isn't the right fit, and we were able to pivot our strategy and start chasing an entirely new customer. And that's really when the business started to take off. Yeah, but imagine you had dumped a ton of advertising targeting those exactly sales wraps and sending them gifts, and all of a sudden they could. The costs can add up a lot, even though you think you're being really targeted. Your like. That could have been expensive really fast. Yep. And I think that's why a lot of companies that raise a lot of money in the early days before they even really know who their I. C. P. Is end up shooting themselves in the foot. I also want to point out here, Dan, that...

...for way haven't necessarily come out and said this yet, but you and I are not a B M experts. I mean, we we've been executing podcasting as a B M play for half a decade. You're very new to the B two B marketing world, so if you're listening to this, I don't want you to take it. Aziz, Though Dan and I are claiming to be a B M experts, we're learning a lot about it, especially this month Is Dan is doing all of these case study interviews and interviewing different practitioners and talking to different thought leaders in the space. But by no means are we proclaiming to be experts. So the things that we're sharing are things that we've observed from our own experience and from friends that we have sang rhumba. Dre from Terminus is a really good friend of mine. And so I've learned some things over the years. Dan has learned some things through doing these interviews for this Siri's. But by no means are we experts, so so don't don't take what we say and start throwing stones at us because we're learners and wanting to share what we're learning with you as we go along. So that being said, um, Dan, what's this third thing that that we think folks should look out for to determine whether a B M is right for them or not? You know, a B M might not be good for you if you're not even sure how to target that person. Um, if there's a specific type of individual you know you sell to, but they're really hard to get a hold of. They don't have social media accounts or they're trying to be anonymous. For whatever reason, A B M is probably not the greatest thing because you need to be able to identify who they are and get their contact information somehow. This is probably the rarest of the of the five reasons we have, though I think this would be a big one if if it's hard to identify who that person is or it's so many different people, Um, you've identified 10 different customers and they're all very different that it's hard toe, really engage them on a consistent basis. Got it? So it's it comes down to the ease of the data, like how you can access the data of the people that you're trying to go after data and just get access to them by a social search like where they're searching for you or social. I mean, everybody's got an email address, though, right? Like everybody's got a got a physical address that you could mail something to, but I would imagine depending on who you're going after. Data to those types of people could be tougher if you're especially if you're btg right. If you're going after folks that are in the Secret Service. Uh, that might be tough, but again, I mean, I think this is a rare 12 I think in today's age with the zoom in photos of the world. And, uh, there's a good Gillian, different data players in this space. I I think it's pretty easy to find, for the most part, whoever you're looking for, which is the beautiful part about BTB. Today's episode is sponsored by Lincoln. Did you know over 62 million decision makers are on Lincoln? It's the reason why I and a ton of other B two B marketers spend hours marketing on Lincoln every week. In fact, recently, I just pulled the report that informed our team had sweet fish that Lincoln had produced three times Thea...

...amount of new customers in the last 90 days than the next lead source. Three times guys. It was a lot. There is not a better platform to research your key accounts. Find the exact people you want to connect with and actually engage them in a variety of meaningful ways. Do business where business is done. Get a $100 advertising credit toward your first Lincoln campaign. Visit Lincoln dot com slash BB growth Lincoln dot com slash btb Growth terms and conditions apply Number four, I think, is gonna be the most likely cause is that your marketing and sales team just aren't ready to work together. A B M requires ah lot of collaboration between these two teams, as it is a marketing and sales play. They have to work hand in hand and making sure these these key accounts, that the marketing is really targeted and that the sales follow up with them is really on par and you're collaborating together on that handoff. Otherwise, an A B M play isn't just gonna be very strong. Curious Dan on the Beatus Seaside I guess the sales function in B two C companies are are typically pretty different. But have you noticed there being even in your experience, do you notice a lot of friction between marketing and sales? I know it gets talked about in the world of B two B all the time, almost to a point where it's like I roll. It's so annoying when you hear somebody talk about sales and marketing alignment, but they talk about it a lot because it it is really like those. For whatever reason, those two teams do not tend to get along. They're not aligned on results. What has been your experience personally, with sales marketing limit? Yeah, so this is specific tube Be to see that has a high ticket item that actually has a sales team because a lot of B two C situations you have no sales like sales is them going and clicking out, checking out on the e commerce site or walking into a retail store? And that's a very different situation, even if you're sending them to a high ticket furniture store sales and marketing like they just don't interact in a way unless you're sending them. Thio generally a call center of some kind, where sales and marketing after work together in order to get the revenue. And that's where, even in the B two C world, there is a ton of friction, and the classic problem you run into is marketings, never delivering enough leads. And if you are, then they're never high enough quality. That's like the argument we have back and forth, especially like in higher right. It's very similar to be to be in some ways because you're generating leads and then you're trying to convert those leads into applications in a higher red world. And then, naturally, the sales reps get mad because they can't close the leads or they don't have enough leads. And so you hear a lot of the same arguments going on as you do and B two b. Yeah, the perception on the sales side that marketing is over there, you know, playing with crayons and and making cute little pamphlets and banners to me, I mean, in the companies that were working with, at least with B two b sas cos it seems like we're long past those days, Um, and I actually do see a lot of synergy and a lot of alignment between marketing and sales.

I think I think the marketing leaders that I talked to and the B two B growth groups that we facilitate do seem to really get that Their function as a marketer is to support sales. But I think a lot of less progressive companies still have a long way to go in terms of understanding that that that's why marketing exists is to support sales. Everybody's driving toward revenue. I think a lot of people are still struggling with it. I think that kind of people who volunteer to be in these in these conversations with you are probably the ones who are hungry and thirsty and already implementing a lot of the ideas. It's the one who the ones who are hungry and thirsty, that air struggling, and there's a lot of them out there. Like when I came even into sweet fish. And I know all these digital marketings things. I thought everybody knew all these things. Everybody could do Facebook ads as easily as they could run marketing automation campaigns and build their own websites and then find out. Oh, not everybody does that. I was just reading all these books on Silicon Valley growth hacking. So I'm like, Oh, isn't this normal? Is and everybody do all these things like Oh, I guess not. How have you balanced or what have you done in the context of sweet fish to try to align what you're doing on the marketing side with what Josh and Logan have done on the sales side? That's a really good question, Like, right now I feel like we're so overwhelmed with So Maney inbound leads that it hasn't been a big problem. We haven't run into that more leads right now. So I'm like, It's not even a bridge we've tried to cross right now is I'm trying to lay down like, critical infrastructure so that we can scale Arlie generation efforts and our demand gin and, uh, and our even our own A B M plays right. There's still so much infrastructure to put down that we haven't even got to that point. And honestly, our demand generation work with linked in and with this podcast has been so good that our inbounds strong and is keeping our one sales guys so busy that I could hardly even meet with him to talk. Talk to him about one thing that I've noticed that you've done that has been called out by other people on the team is you prioritize what sales is asking. So, you know, there was an issue a couple weeks ago where he's like, Hey, if we had some sort of a tool that would help us help our prospects future customers. A singer, um, calls them name their show so we can, like, guide them through what a potential name of their show could be in the sales process. One, it would help with customer on boarding. It would move the launch process along much quicker if we nail that before they even signed the panda, Doc. But you instantly I mean, you You put that at the top of your to do list, which is a never ending to do list, and you crank something out. In a matter of, I think, two or three days that is now able to be used by our sales team and is expediting deal. So I just think the way your mindset is very much that of as a marketer, it is my job to to serve sales. And if this is going to map to revenue, you know, I've got all these other things, this infrastructure that we're trying to build on the email side and with s CEO and with all these...

...things on our website that we're trying to overhaul, but hope sales need something, and obviously you're not You're not gonna prioritize every single thing they ask. But it is clear to me that you see your role as being toe aid. Uh, sales and I think that's not I don't think that's actually very common. As important as marketing as I've always kind of scene, I don't know. Sales is like the final person in a race that handles the baton, and I wanna make sure that that person is ready to win and finish the race well, so they're the last person that has toe carry that thing, and I wanna make sure I've gotten a head start. Um, I do see marketing as somebody that you are a department that serves sales, especially in a B two B situation. But any kind of heavy legion environment marketing really needs to make sure they're setting up sales. Toe win Dan. What? What's the fifth thing that companies should be looking at to assess whether or not this is right for them? The fifth one is if a lot of people are already searching for the type of solution that you have, if they're already looking for you, then you probably just need to be where people are. People are looking, whether on search or on social, and it's better if they don't know who you are yet or they don't know they have an issue that your product is a solution for. So a B M is right for you. If people are not actively searching for your solution, Is that Is that where you're going? That's right. So with us, I know this rings true for me. Just in the early days of our companies selling a B two b podcasting service was very, very hard. I remember having very hard conversations with friends going the market just doesn't want this. People don't care about this. They don't get it. They don't understand that This is the easiest way to have conversations with your ideal buyers, and they're just not. They're not buying it. And I don't know if if we can do this any longer. People were, for sure, not searching P to be podcasting. They weren't searching anything related to podcasting as a Biz dev strategy, for sure, And so we had to do outreach and because we asked so many VPs of marketing to be on B two b growth and build a 1 to 1 relationship with them, we eventually started getting traction as podcasting started becoming more popular. You had shows like cereal that were really blowing up and come more progressive B to B companies started thinking, Man, how can we ride this train that we're seeing a lot of progress in in the world of B two c? So but that being said we had to go after them first. So if you're offering a new solution, maybe something that has not been offered before, and you know that people are not already searching for it. A. B M is a really, really smart play for you because if they don't know you exist, they're not searching for it. How else are they going to find you aside from you targeting them and going after them with a solution and and making them know that you exist? Gosh, that last one is so powerful because, I mean, I think we've all run into that...

...is marketers where you have a product that no one's searching for your like crap, like there's no market for this Yet. If I tell them we do X, they're like what? That's when a. B M works well because it's so personalized and education focused in on high touch, which means you can get you're you're essentially trying to get their attention to educate them on what that thing is versus other markets. Let's say you wanted to launch another social media management tool and you have a unique idea in a way of spin on it. Well, there's an existing market for that. And even if you were doing it for enterprise, it's high ticket item. Chances are people already searching for it. So just get better at U. S. C O on your AdWords campaign and do a strong social media. That's where demand is probably work better for you because it's a little bit of a commodity, though you know, you're probably trying to differentiate it in whatever way. In those cases, something might work better, though it's not the A B, um won't work. It's just that it's certainly a strong when you have something that's innovative. That is unknown, and there is no market for it yet. Awesome man, do you wanna? You wanna do just a kind of a quick breakdown of these five ways to know A B M is not for you, and then we'll roll out one. If your annual contract value isn't high enough to if you're not sure who your target is yet. Three if you have a hard time even targeting the customer if you even know who they are. Four. If your teams aren't ready to work together specifically your marketing in your sales team, if there's a lot of conflict and tension between them in five, if you are in a space that already has a strong market where lots of people are talking about it on social research, A B M might not be the right campaign, though as we discussed it probably could work there, though it certainly works a lot better if it's a new and innovative approach. I love it. Awesome, man. Well, I'm super pumped for for the journey your on this month doing a deep dive on a B. M. I know we're going to get better at it as a practice at sweet fish is a result of everything you're learning from the folks you're talking to this month. So super pumped. If you're listening to this and you haven't already given us a rating on apple podcasts takes like two seconds. Seriously, you don't need to deliver of you. Just open up the podcast, find the podcast scroll down a little bit and just tap the number of stars you think show deserves way. Love you a ton. Thanks a lot. One of the things we've learned about podcast audience growth is that word of mouth works. It works really, really well, actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted a friend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot of the text you sent to your friend Meta I know. I'll send you a copy of my book. Content based networking. How to instantly connect with anyone you want to know. My cell phone number is 4074903328 Happy texting.

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