How to Make ABM More Personal for Large & Small Accounts

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez talks with Kristina Jaramillo who is the president of Personal ABM. Kristina shared her approach for how to get the attention of large accounts through a high customized and personal approach as well as some ideas for companies targeting small accounts.

Yeah, welcome back to BTB growth. I'm dan Sanchez with sweet fish media and I'm here with Christina jaramillo, who is the president of personal A B. M. Christina, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me dan, I appreciate it and I was excited to talk to Christina because she focuses on my kind of favorite version of A B. M. But before we break into it, I wanted to kick it off, just dive right into the questions as far as how you define a B in and in and of itself because there's lots of different definitions of their, some people define it broadly, some people define it narrowly and there's all kinds of things in between. So Christina, let's jump into like how do you define it? What is it, what is it not? Okay, so to me, A B M should be defined as a business strategy, focusing on fixing the challenges and revenue leaks that an organization might have, it's about getting more tier one I. C. P accounts that can provide more maximum lifetime value and greater revenue growth as well as growing existing accounts. But as you mentioned, a BMS definitions kind of all over the place. I think people are just taking in different directions and trying to fit where they think it fits and so it's gotten diluted and I think more recently the term A B. M has kind of been synonymous with the technology that enables it. So we're doing A B. M. Because we have demand base or we have six cents or we have terminus or whatever. A BM technology and I think those tech tools are seen as, you know, as a silver bullet, which is not the case. And so because of that, I think a lot of companies are treating A B. M as marketing as usual, but just with shiny new tools, they're not focused on how A B. M should be that business strategy to fix those problems beyond just pipeline. So it's become about technology and tactics. Like last a couple of weeks ago I was talking to CMO of a channel sales and tech company and you know, her Ceo had introduced us because I shared with him that I believe their a B. M. program was missing 60% of the market because I knew that they were using six cents. So when I got on the call with this CMO, I asked her automatically, what is your A B. M strategy, what does it look like? And she started off by mentioning their textract, she said we use outreach we use and we use six cents marcato zoom info. So basically she was just talking about the tools they were using and she even mentioned that they were a case study for six months because they were using the platform correctly. And to me using six cents platform correctly, it's different from a B. M effective strategy. So what I really heard in her conversation was similar to a stat that I saw from I T S M A. I believe it was, it said about two thirds of a BM organizations are not seeing significant business impact or improvement with their A B. M. Program. So I think she kind of fits into that because they might be treating it again as marketing unusual and just kind of using tools and saying that they're doing it. And she also mentioned that they were having a lot of deals going to their safer competitor, more comfortable choice, which was Salesforce. And I think because they were treating A B. M. As a technology versus a strategy, that was the problem that that was, you know, exacerbated by the fact. So I think it comes down to the fact that a lot of people think of technology as fitting as a B. M. And the tech being synonymous. But it's only one piece of the puzzle. To me, A B. M. Is not about campaigns and marketing unusual as usual. Like you start off strategic when you start campaigns, but the minute you focus on tech and then just those massive campaigns it's going to become tactical. Um and then you're not be able to get accounts to revenue. And you know, I think A B. M. Should really be focused on how you're going to get those tier one accounts to revenue, especially the ones that are disengaging with sales and marketing and put a strategy for getting those, you know, accounts to revenue. Technology just like content message is just a piece of the puzzle. Yeah, I do find it's an interesting case that I don't know there's two different approaches that I've seen and...

I've had this with I I have these conversations I t most of all because I almost feel like some people are like, no, we decide what we want to have happen and then we go and find tools to accomplish that versus I'm actually going to reverse a lot as I find out what most of the tools can accomplish and then based on what's possible. I go in reverse engineer what I think will work best two different approaches. I find that I like to just kind of start with what's possible and then kind of map a strategy to that. So I can kind of See them like using something like six cents and trying to get the most out of it. But at the same time I can certainly lead you astray because it can lead you doing things that you hadn't necessarily thought or that are actually going to lead you to your revenue goal. So that makes a ton of sense. And maybe maybe it was better than what they did before and just mass advertising across a huge, huge segment or persona, right? So at least they're focusing in on a few more accounts, but at the same time, hopefully they're tracking towards revenue, otherwise it could be a massive miss, right? And I'm sure across big organizations implementing these A B. M. Campaigns, it's it's it's hard to know if what you're doing is all mapping towards revenue, but I'd love to hear more like there's a lot of people that like to take the the one too many approach and the one too few approach, but where I know you specialize in Is in that personal 1 - one approach. So I'd love to hear more about what you guys are doing that personal A B. M as far as those 1 to 1 approaches. I know we have a few things we've done at sweet fish, but I'm always looking to hear about how do we make marketing more personal? It's one thing to personalize it, but it's a whole different thing. It's like a totally it's a massive jump away from just personalization to be actually personal. Right? So what are the things that you guys are working on that you found works well there. Yeah, absolutely. I it's interesting that you mentioned personalization being different than being personal because I see a lot of people confusing the words and to me, personalization is maybe adding industry relevance or company relevance or role relevance or maybe even someone's name in a campaign versus getting to know what's what matters to them as a person, what matters to them as part of a smaller team with an organization and what matters to them as an organization as a whole that's that's to me is personal. And with a B. M, the one too few one too many and 1 to 1 it needs to be a balance and I feel like people play really well, maybe in the one too few and one too many. And that 1 to 1 is where we saw a lack of programs. So that's what we focus. For example, we we're working with a company called Schneider national. There a three pl or a third party logistics firm out of Wisconsin, they have the big orange trucks with their name on it, you know, so they had a their messaging was about better people, better process and better technology. They were stuck in that kind of messaging and campaign framework for over five years and they were trying to gain traction with an organization called Sigma, which is a offshoot I believe of Cisco, Cisco with an S policy. And this particular company had heard Schneider's messaging that better people process tech from Schneider, but also from competitors because it was very similar to what everybody else was saying in the industry and they didn't see how that was filling the gaps or personal impacts to give them a reason to change. They didn't see themselves in that story that was being told, which is why they were ignoring any type of outreach. They were already ignoring email, social live phone conversations. So we took a look at their contacts and we started on linkedin, we saw that the Schneider's team had the right context. The VP of sales even was connected to Sigma's VP of logistics on Lincoln, which is someone they would have to get in the decision making committee. But we noticed that sales did not have the right content and messaging to make that human to human connection. So we redesigned profiles and content to show mid market firms like Sigma, how they were being underserved by their transportation management system, which is the TMS it's a solution or one of...

...the many solutions that Schneider provides Schneider needed to show sigma that they were and other target accounts that were similar to them that they were kind of being treated like that middle child by their service providers because they weren't big enough to get the huge service providers and get a lot of attention and they weren't small enough to go with the more boutique kind of firms. They needed the team at sigma to acknowledge the gaps they had and how they were impacting everything across uh the organization from operations to supply chain to the P. N. L. How is it affecting employees any kind of KPI S They had service performance and customer performance. So ultimately, we created by Eurocentric profiles on linkedin bio centric content and messaging that spoke to the human buyers versus at them within key accounts that they wanted to win, protect and expand this particular case. We were talking to sigma, you know, when you're speak to human buyers, you have to have industry, company rank role and even personal relevance. But we've seen that a lot of sales and marketing communications kind of stops at what we said earlier, the the personalized which industry and company relevance and then personals when you add all of them together. And so once we were able to increase the relevance in, you know, across the board for Schneider, sigma and others that were mid market targets for them were kind of pulling business development through the sale cycle versus trying to like push them through. So we were able to cut The sale cycle down to six months and Snyder was typically used to seeing 12 to 18 months and then the account was they won the account and it was worth anywhere from 2 to 6 million depending on how they, how long they can retain them as a client and how long they keep up that personal relevance throughout the journey. It's a massive deal. So it sounds like they kind of had a positioning problem but they're probably like a very, I mean it's hard to position when you're like fully customizable, right? And lots of people are playing that game. So I really like how you did the research to find what I believe it, you said it was sigma, right? The customer they were targeting was they just did enough research on it to find and prove to sigma that what they could do would save them time would save the money would be beneficial for them. By doing enough research on sigma to be able to say like this is how we can help you specifically how we help in general. How we can help you. Right. And that makes a massive difference. Does that mean you or like the marketing team just had to do a massive amount of research to figure out what they were using and how they were losing money and all that kind of stuff. Do you are you doing that with just sigma or do you do it with like 10-20 accounts? Like how much how deep did you go to do that? And how with how many accounts? We typically work with a couple of dozen accounts but it's you know it's it's the goals that they were looking at. So we when we chose sigma we knew that it was going to have what kind of revenue potential it was going to have. So we only choose accounts that are worth 67 plus figures. Otherwise it requires so much time and so much effort and so much research and so much content creators. The message creation we make sure that we know that they fit the I. C. P. To a. T. And that what is going on internally in that target account is going to fit really well. So we always go backwards and start with well what are you doing best with your current clients and not what you think you're doing best with your current clients, what do your clients think that you're doing best for them? And then we, like you said reverse engineer who would be a target that you know what's an organ organization that looks very similar and might have similar things happening behind the scenes that we're not aware of. So that's why we work with a limited number of accounts and 1 to 1. But whatever we learn from our 1 to 1, we then can scale it by applying it to the one too few and one too many and those that are running maybe an A B. M. Tech or some other kind of campaign. And so that's the, when we play in that 1 to 1, how many, how many did you do? Like sigma? Was it just like just Yeah, no, there was a...

...couple of handfuls, but that was the quarter where they wanted to win. Their particular Snyder's goal was to increase revenue with a new client versus another time we had done it with an existing client that they wanted to expand and just make sure that they retained. So it depends on the quarters, you know what their goals are. Each company has goals. Do we want to protect our at risk accounts? Do we want to expand current accounts? Do we want new logos, but again, they have to be really lucrative accounts because this is a time heavy approach, that makes sense. And so you're saying, what I'm hearing you say is your kind of handling 12 at a time, whatever the priority is for that quarter you're kind of going after. I mean this, I mean this is like the top of the pyramid, right? This is the 1 to 2 accounts that you really want to focus on are going all in on. So that makes a ton of sense. What do you do, let's say for audiences listening who have some really big contracts but they're not millions were in the high hundreds of thousands. What do you typically do with your own clients that are in that size? That's a similar approach? You know, what our focus is also is, you know, are we trying to shorten sail cycle times? Like another thing, not only do we get a good big deal with that particular story told, but we did cut the sale cycle by a third, which is awesome in itself. So it depends if that's their goal. Do we want to even expand deal sizes? Do we see that there's an opportunity for that because it's a similar approach, but it is, take a lot of research into what's going on. So what do we use intent data depending on if that's something that's available to us? Do we see what's going on? Are they an acquisition mode? Are they just get a lot of funding so that it's a similar approach. It's just a case by case but it does require a lot of, lot of research. So what we do is we're not a stand alone marketing were usually like a supplement to marketing because they can't necessarily have time or the resources to do what we do. What aspect to usually help assistant. Do you do the research or do you just kind of set up like the overall framework of like, well here's the problem and here are some solutions of how we can help guide. Yeah, we do strategy and execution. So we'll start of you know what the problems that we are that we see again depending on what their goal is expansion retention, new logo but we do the research, we create the content to support that research and we kind of, we work with sales really well because we our marketing specifically for sales conversations that they want to have. So we will create case studies, we will create white papers, we will create row actual articles to support the selling conversation. Um and I actually have an example of that when we can get to a little later but that's what we do. So we do it from start to finish and then then whatever we use or what we create can be used in the campaign. So like if we create a case study or an article we can use it in the one too few or one to many campaigns and see, you know, this is this is the framework that really worked along with this segment of this industry. What are some other approaches? It sounds like you're really heavy and like essentially putting together custom proposals is how you're becoming the most personal, so you're creating marketing collateral, maybe even landing pages and stuff that are completely customized for the one account which is highly personal. Tell me a little bit like what that looks like tactically like what are the kinds of elements you're producing or in collaboration with these marketing teams in order to get these things in front of the a counter or you sending it pretty much is like a customized white paper to the main account. Um, we might be sending customized content of the main account, but we don't necessarily call them out by name. So we kind of allude to what we know is going on, what we've heard is going on in the company. Um, you know, if we've heard it from news or research that we found or even from Champions, Internal Champions in the organization that might not be decision makers, but are telling us, you know, we're having problems with X, Y, Z. And we really think that you can help us and we'd show how what they're doing right now can better be either improved or if they need to switch vendors or whatever...

...the case may be. So we're doing it that way. We're not actually. So it's it's more, it's not necessarily customize as it names the the prospective client, but it can be used as an evergreen piece later on. If that makes sense. Makes a ton of sense. And it sounds like it's really, it's almost like farther, it's much farther down the funnel where you're working probably as much with sales as you are with the marketing at that point. I mean if you're focusing on one or two accounts at the time than sales probably speaks a lot into it and but you're still generating marketing assets that can be used up the funnel. So that's what are some other approaches you've taken that you found work well Personal, A. B. M. So one thing that we're really big on and a lot of our clients are kind of either just getting started with this or they see that it's an issue, they just don't know how to address it. We have shown them that there can't be a handoff between sales and marketing. So once the selling conversation begins, marketing needs to be there along the way. So whatever sales learns, um, during their internal conversation or their conversations with the prospects or maybe a demo call whatever they need to share that information so that marketing can come along and support them with another piece of collateral that might or maybe even some talking points for the next time. So I'll give you an example. We were working with an e commerce tech firm that learned in a good way. Not the hard way um that sales and marketing has to continue to work hand in hand. They were using a BMT conversations with the health care health care product firm and this product firm served long term care facilities, skilled nursing assisted living hospice V. A. Hospitals. And the firm wanted to move from a traditional old school phone and fax system to modern self service e commerce platform. But the firm had two sides of the business to support the new purchases that were strong demand uh And rentals. And our client software was designed specifically to integrate with S. A. P. C. R. P. Um That didn't have the capability at the time to meet the needs of the rental business. So despite having these teams team calls, seeing a demo executing the executive buying committee at the health care product firm was still hung up on the rental side of the business. What they didn't see is the risks, the costs um impacts of choosing an e commerce platform that sat outside their er P. But would accommodate both sides of the business. So instead of keeping them, what they were looking to do is get everything under one solution. And it was going to be difficult because there was gonna be some holes. Sales was trying to have further conversations with the team but the VP of I. T. Was basically acting as their gatekeeper and kept the distance between sales and the buying team. So it was really hard you know to have these internal conversations because all the requirements were being collected in a vacuum so instead of giving them the time to make the wrong decision, marketing sales work together to create a consensus in their favor. So what we did was we created content to show the effect of working outside ASAP with a platform like maybe magenta and the impact that it would have on go to live on performance on P. N. L. And on corporate initiatives because I. T. Would have to be tied up for at least 6 to 12 months on this e commerce project. So by showing how their decision to go the other way was going to affect them in different ways They were able to work together to ensure when with sales and marketing versus going that 5050 chance that the buying team would make their decision in their favor. So we kind of help them see the bigger picture as opposed to one little piece of the puzzle and that was made it easier for them to make the right decision or in our favor. I should say makes a lot of sense. I've been not in huge company has been some mid sized companies. I've been the decision maker. I'm like large Crm purchases and different things like that and I'm like man if I would have had a sales where it would have been delivering me that information to help make a case to my,...

...to my people who are arguing against me. I would have been like so much, it would have been so much easier. That makes a ton of sense from being that you're just kind of like you're, you're asking me all these questions. I don't have all the answers. But if my vendor who's trying to sell to me, he's actually like, there you go. You're just like Just do this. You're interesting that one person who's really rooting for you inside that organization. Right. Exactly. That's the idea. I'm curious to know if you have any campaign ideas for people who want to do personal A B. M. Who are like in the way, way down like their average contract sizes are in the tens of thousands and a. R. R. And maybe over the long long haul if they have annual recurrent revenue can add up to a lot, but generally they're not, they're not making that big of a game with each new customer. How do you become more personal with a B. M. If your, if your contract sizes and that tens of thousands range. So first of all I would talk to these sales people and tell them to take a look at their linkedin profile. Does it look like you're looking for a new role because you're talking to me about your President Club awards quote after quote unquote attainments, how much you've made in the last couple of years for your company because me as a prospect and I know my clients have said this as well the minute they see that, you know, a wall goes up because they know they're going to be sold, the minute they accept the connection, change it to be story based. How are you helping your buyers? How have you helped them recently so that other people can kind of see themselves in that story. So if you come across as a seller, it's harder. But if you come across as someone that's developing or sharing value and giving relevant value, it will make it much easier to open that door to a connection and possibly a conversation down the line. If you can teach people they're going to be much more open to, you know, speaking with you. So it makes a lot of sense. And rewriting linked in profiles is good. I still want to put that in like the personal category, right? You're offering content to be more relevant for sure. But are there any ways to make it more personal where you've actually customize something to that company? Customsize that to the company? Yeah, I think just before you send like if you know that you're trying to win a specific organization or just get even closer towards a deal with an organization? Think about what you're sending them. Are you sending them just that next piece or that next touch in your cadence. So you know, we need to have 10 touches before they're going to get to this stage in the buying journey or is it actually relevant to them? Or if you're going to send them a piece of collateral, I've been sent white papers or case studies or e books that are hundreds of pages long and I'm not going to read the entire thing before you pick me again next week. So if you're going to send me that, tell me to read page five through 10 or whatever and say, I want you to read this because I know you're going to be interested in X, Y, Z. So that gives you that other layer of relevance as opposed to a copy and pasted email that looks like you just sent it to everyone. You took the time to know well I'm interested in this, this is going to help me do my job better and make me better and you took that extra time. You know, it's not a lot of effort. I think people just think it's gonna be too time consuming so they automatically don't want to do it. But if you take that extra couple of minutes to say that I know this is going to be important to you because and I'm not just reaching out to you to add to my number of touches in Salesforce or whatever it is, people are gonna know the difference. Yeah, it does make a huge difference. And even think about it is on linkedin now have, I don't know, I'm pretty active on linkedin. So people ask me questions about podcasting, but I'll take the time to go to Sweet Fish Media dot com. Search for an episode we've done on that find and send it to him. Right? That's that little customized touch that says like, hey, I heard you, I saw you and uh, here's, here's my best way I can help you in a short amount of times. I can't spend too much time on like an individual account, but you can still customize it. You can still make it personal. Yeah, you can still put in the extra effort and people notice it right away. Is there anything else you do with large accounts that help it to become more person? All more human?...

Yeah, I mean you have to well, let me just put it put it this way, I, we think of every interaction. So every touch point, whether it's an invite to connect, it's an email, it's a phone call, it's a voicemail, whatever it is that you're doing. However you, you run your sales or marketing team, Every touch point has to be relevant because it has to talk to what the people are interested or speak to the person and what's interesting to them or what's what's happening in their world and if it's not relevant then you can set yourself back because every person, every every interaction is kind of like a sales conversation. If you're not adding value in building layer upon layer each time then people are gonna notice. And like you said it shows that you've actually taken the time to to hear what they had to say to learn a little bit about them. Um And wherever you're getting your info, if you're getting it from the news, if you're getting it from intent data, if you're getting it from zoom info, if you're getting it even from their website because a lot of websites put their press releases and what they're their bosses are. You know like if you're looking at a mid market company and it says the Ceos goal for the next year is to increase new increase revenue by X. Percent. That's something that's relevant to them because you know that that's going to be trickling down to them eventually. So see how you can speak to that and it just it shows that you're actually interested and you're not just wanting to sell them, you want to actually become a partner to them. Um And every single interaction has to answer that. So don't just hit send, don't just do something for the sake of doing it. Don't just make a phone call to make a phone call figure out what the intent is behind it because the intent is really important. Fantastic. I want to ask one last question. If somebody wanted to get started with personal A B. M. And I don't have a full A. B. M. Program implemented already. What's the way they can kind of like start and get tests and test the idea before they start to develop something that's more robust? Yeah. So let's do it from the sales point of view. Pick a couple accounts that you want. That note that you fit your I. C. P. Don't just pay accounts you said oh these will look good on my ball of clients. Do they fit you? Do they fit your company? Can you solve their problems better than other people? Can you address the issues that they're having and then kind of do a little bit of research and do a little bit of homework even if you have to do it on your down time about those accounts and who are they, who are the target people that you need to connect with and reach out to them and however you reach out, If you use linkedin, if you use email, make sure that you have some relevance and test it out with one or two accounts at first and see how it goes. And you might have to put a little time and effort into it and see how that goes and then you can try to scale it a little bigger and then hopefully get a little more buy in for maybe the rest of your team. Um see if you can kind of launch a pilot program that's a little bigger than that based on your findings are, but I think take time to teach yourself to always learn what's going on in your target accounts because I'm sure if one account is having an issue, then more accounts are going to be having that issue and it's just going to help you in the long run because this, the personally BM approach the 1 to 1 approaches the long game. It's not gonna be, I'm gonna get results since 30 days, it's more like 60 9100 and 20 days. So think of it that way. Don't think of, you know, instant gratification because that's not the way this is gonna work. That's perfect. So Christina, thank you so much for joining me on GDP growth. Where can people go to learn more about personal a b M and connect with you online? Yeah, personally BM dot com is great. We also have another resource called Stop the sales drop dot com. It's a podcast. We've done some events, We've done some videos, there's articles from our team as well as guest posts. So it's a free community that people can just kind of learn from and reach out to me on linkedin. I'm there all the time and give me some relevant reason as why we should connect, not just you listen to me on the podcast and it's Kristina with a K. Fantastic. Thanks again for joining me on GDP growth. Thanks so...

...much dan Gary V says it all the time and we agree every company should think of themselves as a media company first, then whatever it is they actually do. If you know this is true, but your team is already maxed out and you can't produce any more content in house. We can help, we produce podcasts for some of the most innovative BB brands in the world and we also help them turn the content from the podcast and blog posts, micro videos and slide decks that work really well on linked in. If you want to learn more, go to Sweet fish Media dot com slash launch or email Logan at sweet fish Media dot com.

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