Micro-ABM and Other Strategies Used in Successful Sales and Marketing

Overview 

Katie Dunn outlines how a small team can implement ABM while involving sales in the process. She also dives into what a successful micro-ABM campaign looks like.  

Guest

Katie Dunn is a Demand Generation Marketing Manager at RollWorks. She is a San Francicso native and has been working in tech for the last five years. Her demand generation role includes virtual events, webinars, content, syndication, and ABM.  

Reference

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Intro

Billy Bateman 0:02   

All right, everyone. Welcome to digital conversations. I’m your host, Billy Bateman and today I am joined by the one and only Katie Dunn. How are you doing, Katie?  

Katie Dunn 0:10   

Hi, I am great. Thanks so much for having me, Billy. Appreciate it.  

Billy Bateman 0:15   

Yeah, excited to have you. So, Katie is a demand generation manager at roll works. And, you know, for those of you that don’t know about roll works, I’ll let Katie tell you more about it. And then, Katie, if you’d also just tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?  

RollWorks

Katie Dunn 0:29   

Yeah, absolutely. So, roll works is an account-based platform which allows you to identify, engage and measure your account-based programs. So, whether you’re just getting started in your ABM program or you have a full-fledged ready to spend a million dollars on ABM roadworks is there to help you. And it’s kind of a you know, fit as you go type of solution, which I really love about it. And we have customers that range from naked auditoria, who is a team of two to Hillary at snowflake, and she’s a team of I think, a 35 ABM or so it’s pretty, pretty great. 

Um, but that is roll works in terms of me and myself. I am Katie, as you mentioned, I’m a San Francisco native, born and raised and have been in tech for the last five years. And I do all things demand generation at real work. So whether that’s a virtual event, webinars, content, syndication, ABM, and that I kind of have my hands in various different things here at RollWorks, which is great.  

Small Teams and ABM

Billy Bateman 1:39   

Awesome, awesome. And ABM is what we want to talk about today. So, we’re going to start off with first just general ABM. You guys, you know, this, what you want to know the core things you guys do there. So, find out what you think about that. And then what I really want to dig into are these micro-ABM campaigns we talked about a few weeks ago, and how you guys are doing that. So, with that, you know, let’s start out with just like a small team, because I think a lot of big companies are doing ABM to whatever level of success they’re having. And smaller companies want to get in on this. But how can a small team start to implement an ABM program?  

Katie Dunn 2:20   

Yeah, and I think no, the questions I get from small teams, it’s like, there’s so many different things that you can do with ABM, about where to start. And it really just begins with identifying your targets, I’m sure you have some really, really great customers that, you know, are, you know, using your product today, and you want to obviously find more of those.  

Start with Customer Base

So that’s where I really recommend small teams starting is with your customer base, what do those look like, and then looping in your sales team. So, involving your sales team is very, very important. And then using data that you have available to you to create that target account list. This target account list doesn’t need to be 1000, like roll works. So, we have a very large target account list. It can be, you know, just a group of 100 accounts. 

And like Phil, you said a couple weeks ago, you have these high velocity ABE campaigns that you’re running account-based engagement programs that you’re running against these accounts and it can be as small as 100 accounts that you want to you know, spend your, your budget on. Because you have you know, other demand programs that you need to focus on.  

Different Channels

So, in terms of things in terms of starting out small, one got to get that target account list locked in to identifying the channels that you can use and in for us at roll works. It’s a mix of various different channels. But I always recommend starting with just the few channels that you know that work for your business. Typically, it can be advertising, direct mail is huge. I’m a huge direct mail user and an email, it can be as simple as an email campaign mixed in with a direct mail. And then even once they hit your website and they fill out that form, you can have a chat bot pop up that’s personalized to that account. So can be as simple as that.  

Billy Bateman 4:17   

I love it. I love it. So, when you’re just getting started, start small is what I’m hearing, look at your customer base and that’s what when we’ve started doing it, that’s what we do is like okay, what do most of our customers look like? And we tailor it by the plan that we’re trying to sell to. We just started out with email actually. 

It’s from both marketing. They start out with marketing emails, and then sales will start emailing and calling. But yeah, I mean, I don’t think you have to even start with 100 accounts like we started out where we assign marketing assigns each sales rep, each sale, rep 10 accounts and they have essentially like a three-week cycle where they’ll work those accounts between marketing and sales and they’ll either have an open up or they’ll move on and go to another 10 after that.  

Where does the sales team get involved?

Katie Dunn 5:12   

Yeah, and you bring up a good point Billy in which Where does your sales team get involved in maybe on an ABM program and you know, a lot of what maybe like marketers, and just the industry does a talk about is the change management that needs to happen when you’re bringing on an account-based program and I love how you give your sales people these 10 accounts to focus their energy on and then they can move on to another 10.  

Sometimes it starts with marketing and oftentimes, you have salespeople already going after the big enterprises of the world’s the Coca Cola, but the huge, the huge enterprises and so you can do a good mix and I always recommend when giving these 10 accounts to a sales rep is you have like three that you know that they love and that they’ve been working for a while, but then you have like some quick wins smaller, smaller accounts that you know could really benefit from your from your solution and it allows your sales team to have quick wins, which always feel good when they’re going after those big behemoths. 

Billy Bateman 6:21   

Quick Wins

Yeah, I, I agree like, you know, the sales guys always are like, what’s the biggest account that’s going to give me the biggest commission, like, it’s just where they go, and you will love them for it. But at the same time, you mix in like, hey, you know, like, you got a big premium plan that you’re trying to sell to these guys, and it’s going to probably take a while. Here are like five accounts that are perfect profile for whether you know, whatever your entry level plan is, that’s pretty easy to just, you know, like, it may even be a one call close, depending on what you’re selling, you know, and if you can get to the right person.  

Getting them those quick wins, I think does a lot for just their psyche, because sales is not an easy job. And, and then for building their confidence in marketing, where you’re like, hey, marketing, like helped me get this account, you know?  

Katie Dunn 7:13   

Exactly, yeah. And I think that goes along with the change management, it’s when you’re giving your sales people these huge accounts go after it, and you over rotate on the like, perfect account for your business. It kind of leads to salesperson, like not really believing in ABM. That’s what you really want them, you need to have them, you know, trust the marketer, and you need to have that mutual alignment around you know, that that list or those 10 accounts that you’re going after.  

Direct Mail

Billy Bateman 7:43   

I agree. I agree. So, I want to circle back to another thing that you said, direct mail. You’re a big believer in direct mail. So, what type of direct mail plays Do you find to be really effective?  

Katie Dunn 7:57   

Yeah, a lot of them direct mail, I think is successful for us for many, for many reasons. One and all. This is the hill I die on we as marketers love a good gift. And we love giving gifts, I don’t know about you, but in your personal life, I you know, I like picture, like three or four like top gifts I’ve ever gotten. And two of them happened to be a vendor because they stuck out. In my mind. one happens to be a barbecue grill that I got. I don’t barbecue, but thought it was a really great play. 

Anyway, yeah, direct mail works. And so, there are kind of two, two things that stick out in my mind. One is E gifting and then two is physical. So, I kind of start on the E gifting and kind of a campaign. To give you an example that I that I’ve been running, it’s an evergreen ABM campaign that we have continuously running here at will works. And to give a little bit of background, we were noticing when our sales people would pop someone in sequence from our target account list, they go through the sequence and nothing would really happen if they finished that sequence.  

Following Up

The sales team, you know, would follow up with them like a month, month and a half later, but we wanted to stay top of mind and so that’s where I created our awake the dead program into consideration is anyone who’s been sequenced on our target account list in the last two weeks and haven’t responded. So, they went through a sequence and they haven’t responded in two weeks. We send them an automated email, but it’s actually coming from our SDRs what’s on Sunday nights Sunday, don’t sleep on Sunday sending emails it actually works. 

The open rates are really high because if you’re anything like me, I’m checking my emails on Sunday nights to get prepared for the week. And this email triggers from the SDR but it’s all marketing lead, and we offer them a $25 door dash gift card as they start their week and we say you know, hey, Billy, you know, X, Y, and Z here from what role works. If you’re anything like me, you’re preparing for the week ahead. You know, you’d have dinner on me for lunch on me to start off your week. And I’d love to chat about X, Y, and Z companies.  

Results

You know, account-based programs, the open rates are sky high, they’re like 52%, which, if you know, any marketing, email marketing stats, the typical industry average is around 20%. So yeah, it’s more than double, which is great. And it works. That copy that I that I just said is just me kind of remembering what I wrote a few months back, but it’s great, we have a lot of redeems on those and a lot of responses to our str team.  

I can actually pull up kind of what we’ve seen, you know, since it’s been running the results, we’ve had nine, let’s see, gosh, 29 opportunities created from this program. It’s been running for a little under a year and then we’ve had $325,000 of revenue, closed one revenue from this program and millions influenced pipelines so it works and it’s evergreen so you don’t really have to worry about it you check in checking on it every once in a while, making sure that things are running right but it’s a great program one of my favorites actually.  

Micro-ABM

Billy Bateman 11:29   

Awesome that sounds like a good play and those results speak for themselves. Yeah so, I want to dig in on the micro-ABM is something we talked about and I you know, like we have our own super version of it, but you guys were saying hey, we’re running these micro-ABM campaigns. I really want to talk about them. So first, you know what to you is a micro-ABM campaign and also how did you come up with the play?  

Katie Dunn 11:56   

Yeah, so what is a micro-ABM campaign? a micro-ABM campaign is not a full-fledged campaign where you have various different touches at various different times. It’s when you maybe are at the end of the month or at the end of the quarter and you’re like I need to reinvigorate our Chartered Accountants we’re not seeing a lot of that from.  

So we run them from time to time when we see areas of opportunity and like any demand Gen marketer will say you’re like hey you know opportunity creations low what can we do to kind of you know, reinvigorate it like I said, so a micro ABM campaign is identifying an audience that you that you can identify so for us to give an example we pulled a list of closed lost opportunities in the last six months and we’re like hey, all of these all these they just said hey, it’s not the right time but maybe six months later it is the right time now and we want to reinvigorate them.  

New Opportunities

We pull that list of closed one opportunity are closed last opportunity opportunities I’m sorry push them into an email campaign and that email campaign has a link to a physical direct mail piece which in Njoo back in June it was an apiol spritz kit if you’re anything like me love good apiol spritz. And so did the audience because we had gosh like 50 people put in their address to get this apiol spritz kit so that’s the engagement our sales people needed to follow up with these target account list and get those meetings booked.  

I have Yeah, let’s see. Nine new opportunities were created in the month of June and we have over $500,000 in potential revenue from these target accounts. So, I mean, these small micro-ABM campaigns are just you know, people that sit on your target account list who may have engaged with you previously or have been closed last in the last six months that you can reinvigorate them so that is a micro-ABM campaign and there’s various different ways you can spin it. 

Billy Bateman 14:05   

Yeah, no I like it makes sense to go back to closed lost opportunities that you know, they didn’t necessarily go with a competitor they just kind of were like, hey, we’re just not going to do it right now. 

And in revisit that because they’ve had interest in and why not reinvigorate it like you’re talking about I like it. So, you guys always do and kind of like gift plays with that. Dry any other type of things. Okay, we’re just going to do like a bunch of display ads, campaigns or emails, like what other tactics you guys?  

Other Tactics

Katie Dunn 14:39   

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s a great question. I’m happy you brought it up because I left out a key portion of the multi-channel touch, we used for the campaign I just talked about. So, we did have air cover ads running to this thing, check your email for that gift, and I actually seem to work really well. With display row works. Luckily, it allows you to target not only accounts but the people within those account. So, we were able to align that close the last list with a list enroll works and run display advertising to them so it was email it was a display advertising it was direct mail we even had a chat bot pop up as well just to make sure that that experience was cohesive.  

Billy Bateman 15:27   

I love it. awesome Katie well let me ask you one more question before we break you know we talked about this a little at the beginning was change management bringing sales and because a lot of people I’ve talked to that are heavy and ABM on the marketing side when I asked them. Okay, how are you bringing in sales or how is sales utilizing this yeah, it’s very it’s a real mixed bag like some of them are like yes sales is on board like we’re really lockstep on this and other people are like if I could get those efforts on board I would but you know, they for whatever reason, they’re not paying attention.  

Getting Sales on Board

What have you found works to get sales on board because you know, it’s just ABM if it’s just marketing doing it and it really becomes like engagement when it’s when it’s sales and marketing working together and the results are taken to a whole nether level. So, what do you guys do to get sales on board with you guys because it sounds like you’re working pretty well together.  

Katie Dunn 16:33   

Yeah, we lucky luckily, we have a great marketing and sales relationship and that really starts at the top. I hate to say and I think a lot of things start at the top but with you know change like this going from boiling the ocean to a more targeted approach takes sales and marketing leadership to come together and say hey, this is what we’re going to do and they these are the reasons why.  

I’m so really starting there but for day to day I’m always checking in with our SDRs seeing how things are going so one when we are starting out in ABM, I remember back Gosh, years ago when you know this was a whole new thing. And it started with getting their inputs when they feel valued and their inputs are valued. I’m sure Billy you can understand this. 

Creating a Relationship

That is what really where that relationship starts to bond and then checking in if you did an ABM program raising your hand and it didn’t work saying hey this is this didn’t work and this is why I’m being honest because I think you know just human psyche you want to have people say hey this didn’t go right but this is what I’m going to do to make it better and I think a lot of the times when running new programs you want them to work so badly that you’re not willing to raise your hand and say hey, this didn’t work.  

But these are the things that that I want that you know that we need to fix in order for you know for it to be successful and so it’s just an open and honest conversation day in and day out about what’s working what’s not and then um you know, it’s not enough for a lot of marketers it’s not just all ABM you still have your demand Gen programs and something I was going to mention you can do you can ABM apply a lot of your demand Gen programs whether that’s content syndication, advertising retargeting, those types of things.  

ABM Channels

What I love to do is send our targeted countless to content syndication vendors and it’s all a top of funnel but we’re getting those good leads to our salespeople and they’re nurturing them through the cycle and it really starts there so there’s various different things that you can do to ABM afire channels where your sales people won’t even notice and then they start getting more and more leads from embargoed accounts and that’s why. 

Billy Bateman 19:03   

They love it. More leads.  

Katie Dunn 19:06   

Yeah, exactly.  

Billy Bateman 19:08   

They’re I mean they’ll let you know if they’re not getting leads for sure.  

Katie Dunn 19:12   

For sure and then you know what’s funny is we’re you know, they’ll never let you know when they’re not getting enough but when you’re poking in and you’re seeing you’re like hey, why don’t you follow up with this lead and all this and so now we have a conversation around prioritization of those leads which ones do that go after first? And which ones can you know sit in your cue for a little bit? 

Conclusion

Billy Bateman 19:32   

I love it. Oh, okay. This has been really good I appreciate you sharing all of your knowledge with us and I like how you guys you know open communication and then starting at the top like it seems like you’re running a great ABM or ABE whatever you want to call it campaign and program and thanks for sharing this I’m definitely going to take some of our team be like let’s try this.  

Katie Dunn 19:57   

Yeah, happy to be a resource. Just let me know anyone listening today? You can find me on LinkedIn and send me a message if you want to hear about any of the programs I talked about.  

Billy Bateman 20:07   

Okay. All right, Katie, thank you so much and we’ll chat later.  

Katie Dunn 20:11   

Thanks Billy.