Kristina Jaramillo, president of Personal ABM creates revenue engines for mid-market firms that want enterprize sized deals. Her team creates wins with accounts that were previously unresponsive to sales and marketing for the last five years. Reversing "no" to a yes, protecting at risk accounts, and driving expansion with others. Under Kristina's leadership, her team impacts stage progression, sales cycle, win rates with tier one accounts, deal sizes, ARR and customer lifetime value!
These are all Kristina's favorite topics - so grab your earphones and prepare to dive into building the revenue engine partnership!
Connect with Kristina https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinajaramillo/
Connect with Jeff https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffbethechange/
So with that in mind, I want to thank you for joining us. And now onto this episode of the revenue architects,
my guest today is Christina president of personal ABM. At best it doesn't her, both her best marketing teams have a lead engine, even though leads should not be an issue with intent data platforms like six sense or Bombora technographic platforms like ZoomInfo and platforms like LinkedIn sales navigator.
Unlike ABM, Christina creates revenue engines for mid-market firms that want enterprise sized deals. Her team creates wins with accounts that were previously unresponsive to sales and marketing for the last five years. She's reversed, no positions with companies like ups protected at risk accounts, like Proctor and gamble and drove expansion with accounts like Sephora, Under Christina's leadership, her team impacts stage. Sales cycle. When rates with tier one accounts, deal sizes, ARR and customer lifetime value. That's a lot. I just want to say it's really impressive. So Christina, glad to have you on the show.[:
[00:01:36] Jeff: So, you know, I've been chatting a lot over the last few months just on the topic of marketing sales revenue engine and how getting that partnership working together.
And so I'd love to hear from you, you know, how do most companies you know, either build a lead engine or build that revenue engine and it may be,[:
And I think the difference is one year marketing's only talking about pipeline versus pipeline to revenue and the speed, which accounts are moving to revenue. That's when you, you have a lead engine, if you focus on pipeline and how many accounts from your ABM efforts in the pipeline that you have have you know, then you have a leader engine versus revenue engine.
So for a revenue engine for me, I think about the top tier ICP accounts that are not engaging with your campaigns. So I'm unlike a lot of Meyer marketers where I don't really care about conversions when I see, or I hear that there's a 20% conversion rate. I'm automatically thinking about that 80%, that 80% that didn't convert.
How many of them, or how many of the 80% are your ICP tier one accounts that could move to revenue? If we just improve the experience, the interaction. That sales and marketing are having, it's not just one side or the other. And I think when you focus on the buyer journey and the experience, you can have a revenue engine and you need to have a hand shake versus a handoff between sales, marketing, account teams, customer success teams.
Then you can[:
Moving from unaware. I'm aware of a problem. Now I'm aware of a solution I'm starting to consider different vendors and I'm starting to express intent, which can then be captured by several pieces of technology. And hopefully you've raised your hand. You've signed up for that demo button, especially if you're in a B2B kind of software as a service.
So I'd love to hear You know, ICP anterior one, like, are you involved working with your clients to kind of spell that out or refine it?[:
So yeah, we do help customer, our customers and our clients define that. And it mazes me how many that, you know, have had marketing teams and sales team. Been around for a while. They still struggle with it. And I think it's just because it needs to be a team effort and a strategy and, and figuring out where your market is and where the clients are that would fit you to a T and where you do the best work and where you have the greatest success.
And we're always with our clients only focused on tier one because the approach that we take, the personal account based approach we take is most lucrative. And you get the most bang for your buck or most ROI. A return on your investment with those tier one accounts. So when we think of tier one, tier one to us means accounts that are going to be six, seven plus deals.
So these are going to be a longer sales cycles. But greatest return on right.[:
Let me just like slack that down a little bit and get down to what I think is a reasonable envelope for you to operate from. But that principle of operating from a constraint, you only have so much time. You only have so many resources. You only have so many reps actually in your company to. And go out and prospect to the wider market.
And you only have so much marketing spend, almost everybody that I've talked to, you doesn't have infinite marketing spend. And the more you spend into these channels, you actually get diminishing returns over time. So I think that's interesting. Lastly, I would say, I think someone told me this joke. That he went into a company, advised them and asked them what their ICP was.
And his first assessment was okay. Anyone that has a pulse, probably the wrong type of ICP. Just lay that out there.[:
And I just, it boggles my mind, but I guess they're just, I'm seeing it from here. Different[:
So we talked about before we started the call one-to-one account-based marketing and prospecting, ABM, or account based selling, a lot of folks might call it you know, when and where does it mean?[:
So I recently saw a study, I think earlier this year from ITM I T S M a, that said about a third of organizations are seeing significant business impact from ABM. So that is kind of disheartening, cause that's not that many, but another stat that I saw was that only a third of organizations are taking a balanced ABM, so balanced, meaning they're.
Targeting or speaking to one-to-one targets, they're speaking one to few and one to many programs. So I think that that's a direct correlation as to why I think that there's no, this is happening because there's no differentiation based on account tier. So we talked about earlier setting up the tiers of your accounts.
You know, I think they're because of that, you're having the buyer ingredient and buyer journey levels are kind of skewed. And with the approach that we use, the more personal ABM approach we focus on personal interactions across every channel and the experiences that you're delivering. Again for tier one accounts.
So you can provide the greatest revenue growth with these. We are creating a we're focused on creating a more personal ABM approach for those organizations that are maybe showing intent. But for some reason, have either fallen through the funnel or stuck in the funnel. However you want to see it, but they are your ICP.
So again, they're your ideal customer profile. We create profiles. So we're talking about LinkedIn profiles, content and messaging. That's going to speak to their particular business, their particular business vision, the gaps they're having. What those gaps are doing. And so the impacts are having on the business vision.
And more importantly, when we're targeting, targeting, one-on-one, we're talking about the personal impact. So what is happening to you personally, as an individual with these gaps and that's how we're driving change with that 60% of the market. I know it fluctuates too. There's always a running status, either 60 or 70% of the market that stuck to status quo.
Are stuck in status quo. So that's what we're doing with that. And w we need a more personal one-to-one for these accounts that show intent, but have stopped engaging for whatever reason. And usually it's because what we've seen is that they're not sealing seeing themselves in that story, that sales, and marketing's a share.
And we need a more personal one-on-one approach for those accounts that are progressing slowly or stuck. Like I mentioned earlier we can use that for at-risk accounts to drive Margaret and growth with accounts that are costing you more, but maybe providing slower rate of return. To expand those accounts.
And it's one of the key areas where rev ops is important[:
Then they're the folks who. Well, Colombians, they have, they're using some sort of competitor. Maybe you were in a cycle with them. To me, that's the first telltale sign that they're not exactly happy with their current solution. And there's an opportunity there to circle my calendar. Find out when their renewal date is started doing the, oh wait, you got 30 days written notice.
Most likely I'm going to work backwards 120, 150 days from that. And I'm going to start figuring out what you're paying. What drives you in your career? What makes you look good and how we fit into kind of that career plan for you or that solution plan for the company, and then hopefully figuring out how to win.
So, one thing that's not I'd be curious to double-click on, is. You know, the economics and the cost associated with setting up an ABM program in the first place. Are there specific like deal sizes or deal ranges where you think ABM is priced out? Like the economics are upside down and are there maybe better fertile grounds in terms of ASP's to go ABM?[:
One-on-one interactions. We can scale back to the smaller deal sizes. So for your tier twos and your tier threes, but I don't think the ABM approach works for maybe, you know, like a monthly subscription type model where it's only a couple of hundred dollars a month, or you don't have any, you're not selling it to enterprise.
I've seen the greatest results in what I've experienced. What I've read, what I've seen is that it has the best impacted you're selling into the enterprise, or maybe even more expensive. Mid-market[:
So folks talk about account based marketing. But there's also your customer. Some of these accounts are already your customers and thinking about expansion or folks who believe the company and they actually move on to a new company and they were on your target list. So those are interesting areas.
So I'm curious, aside from the technology, what are kind of like, you know, if you were to give advice to a marketing strategist or a CRO or a CMO, like, what are the things outside of technology that you should be thinking about when constructing a thoughtful ABM[:
So if you don't have your ICP nailed, that's where you would start. So going back to the ideal customer profile, also tiering your accounts. So who are going to be the most lucrative deals and those would be the tier one. And then you would work backward to two and three. You also have to figure out what's the goal of by ABM.
Do we want to protect that risk accounts that we know are kind of tiering or they're going around and shopping around? Because we've heard from, you know, our contacts that's happening. Do we want to expand accounts that we know maybe are only using a small portion of our products or solutions? Or do we want to get net new?
What is the focus? And I think you have to focus on one of the three first and then you can expand to the others once you've nailed the one channel that you decide, then you can expand. If you try to bite off more than you can chew by trying to do it all at once. I think it's just gonna be. Just become another tactic and it's going to fail as opposed to a strategy, because I think everyone thinks that, you know, ABM is the shiny new tactic.
What is really a strategy? Yeah. It's core.[:
And if you can break down your objective into certain sub objectives and you can start to put together a strategy around that, and then you on envelope or put an envelope against it around what is possible based on the resources at your disposal. So for example, if you're a PLG company and you want to tackle enterprise, well, do you have the product to tackle enterprise?
You have the sales rep. To have the muscle memory to be put in front of a multiple decision maker type sales cycle. And more importantly you know, you know, do you have the messaging and the positioning? So, you know, trying to take on more than you can chew. I, it certainly resonates with me. So Christina was very curious to hear from you around, you know, your predictions, particularly around ABM technologies and our processes.
Particularly in the last couple of years, I've seen quite a few vendors knocking at my door. I haven't used them before. And so as a rev ops leader, it's a little confusing, like what should I be looking for[:
So you have to figure out what your goal is from that ABM campaign. Like we were just talking about earlier. Do you want net new clients? Do you want to protect that risk and do more on the customer side? Or do you want to. You know, just do a little bit of both, both, and I think that's what you have to take into consideration and just try unfortunately going.
I think they have to go through the demo thing and go through, you know, the reviews and see what fits for you. But there's, there's just so many out there that it can be consumed time-consuming and I think a lot of people are thinking that, you know, technology is one size fits all and it's not.
And again, going back to that strategy first is going to help you pick the right solution. And make you be more invested in the solution. I think that people take the wrong step of buying this, the technology first and then doing a strategy. What I think it[:
You know, what are some misconceptions around ABM? You know, just direct mail repackaged, is it targeting multiple people at an account at the contact level in Salesforce, like beyond kind of the nitty-gritty technical tactical details? Like what are some misconceptions that you, you constantly hear from from clients or prospects?[:
Or how many, you know, organizations? Oh, we have like a thousand counts that we're targeting right now. And to me, what that is. Automatically raise a red flag and says, okay, you're doing account based awareness. You're doing account-based advertising, but not necessarily account based marketing because to me, going back to what I said earlier, it's a strategy.
And the strategy is how are we going to get accounts to revenue and existing counselor, greater revenue. And like we just said, technologies like one tiny piece of that. But to drive revenue growth, which is what I think ABM should be doing versus pipeline. You need the right account plan. You need the stories, you need the content, you need messaging for the complete journey.
So going back to that strategy and you need greater alignment across all teams, because all of this info is going to come from a variety of departments you know, to get, to get on board and to get all this information gathered. That's why it's so important to get that strategy in place. So, you know, I think that that's where people.
Are going wrong, treating ABM as a campaign that's delivered through this technology. So when that happens, it becomes an expense. And when it comes to marketing budgets for the year, if it's not delivering what it said, then it's the expense gets cut. And that's how it becomes. ABM becomes a tactic and people just kind of move on.
But I believe that ABM is about having the right interactions, delivering the right experience. To get accounts to revenue and existing accounts again, to greater revenue. So I think a lot of technology driven ABM programs fail because they are kind of retrofitting existing sales and marketing and account management programs and operating as usual, as opposed to, you know, as usual to a targeted list as a boat post to getting back.
That strategy that[:
I'm curious to hear, you know, with that why don't we talk about. That village more often, and rather than just encapsulate ABM as this three letter acronym, like why do you think that it's not mentioned as much?
And I think that's why it's evolving to account-based everything or account-based customer experience or account based experience, whatever lingo you want to use. But it's just an account-based approach in general and there's different aspects of it. And again, depending on your goals, you're going to need.
The customer stories. If you want to drive net new, or you're going to need customer stories, if you want to see why you want to expand or protect an at-risk account. So that's going to require different levels of insight and different departments and teams that are coming together. And I think that just as sales and maybe customer success or account management teams are accountable for revenue, I think marketing should have an accountability and a person.
And a number and a goal to hit. And I think that would make it easier for everyone to get on the same page. If we are only focused on revenue at the end of the day, then it will make us stop and think, okay, is this you know, activity that I'm completing or this email that I'm sending, is it focused with that in mind?
Or am I doing it just to hit a MQL number or call a number or a demo number? And I think that changes the whole mindset. It affects the, the overall success of the strategy[:
Those are vanity metrics in mind. But the inner beauty comes from what we talked about in your intro a little bit. You mentioned net new accounts, that's pipeline generation. That's clearly a metric that a lot of CMOs and CRS are agreeing to that marketing is helping to generate a qualified pipeline through those conversions.
But secondly, I want to maybe turn your attention to something that you mentioned in the intro is you reversed no position. And then you protected at risk accounts. Can we talk about those two a little bit, because I know generally maxi ABX ABM topic, but the no position to yes. Position and the, at risk to comfortably customer and loyal, like what, what is, what is that all about?[:
If you give them that one-on-one personal interaction, personal relevance to them, you're going to have obviously more positive results. And for protecting, let's say, let's talk about the reversing, no positions, a particular client of ours. I'm sure that you've heard. Terminology in this phrase across it's it's across multiple industries, but really ramp it in the tech and SAS.
We have better people. We have better processes and we have better technology. Pretty generic doesn't really mean anything to me. And that's that messaging that so many people are using. We found one of our clients was using it and they were in a logistic space of all things. And their competitor was, we're all using the same kind of messaging.
And so they were reaching out to this particular company for over five years. They were reaching out through sales, through marketing, live inter phone you know, email. And they were just getting, you know ignored. And it was because the messaging sounded the same. You had to change the conversation.
So you have to adopt what I like to adopt. And what we've seen is really work is the challenger mindset. So the challenger sale is something, a book, or that was. I can't even remember how many years ago, maybe it's 10 now, but it's, it's all about teaching for differentiation, tailoring for relevance. And basically what you're doing is you're teaching in a way that leads back to you.
So changing the conversation that way made these accounts, this particular logistics provider have a conversation with an organization that was ignoring them. This particular organization also was able to reverse note position. With that same kind of process, they were targeting Procter and gamble.
Like you had mentioned in the intro and Procter and gamble, they had, you know, great relationships with the people that were using their products. So they had great relationships with the ops and the manager level, but not with the VPs and the C level who were actually, you know, holding the purse strings.
Saying, whether they move to another vendor or they expand their account or whatever the case may be. So we changed that conversation to speak to them and what is most important to them. So they were showing how the gaps that they were being filled by our client and the impacts that it was having and not at the actual operations level, the impact that was having to their customers to service, to ops, to employees, even so across the board.
And when you give them a bigger picture, It's going to change their minds. So you basically are giving them a reason to change, which we all know that in sales is one of the key things that you have to do. Otherwise people are going to say, well, that's your, your product solutions. Nice. And it's a nice to have, but it's not something I have to have.[:
It's about being relevant because you know, there's a moving target. Like you said, your ICP changes over time. Your messaging might've worked two or three years ago. But now you're not. Messaging is an also ran and your buyers have moved on. They've moved on to different cares. And so having the same way or as is not going to address what they were solving for three years ago.
So I have one last segment for you. It's called a Rorschach test. And the way this works is I'm going to say a few words and I would love to hear the first thing. Yeah, it pops into your mind. All right. Personalization versus[:
So personalizing is templating with a few key details, you know, about the account or the individual, you know, this is your position, this is your industry. You know, even the first name, you know, you can take lovely. I'm sure we've all received these lovely copy and paste type of thing. But it can be used for anyone.
So it really seems like it's written for anyone. So I don't, it doesn't give me a reason to care, but when you're relevant to buyers and you're relevant to accounts, you're relevant across all levels, you're relevant across industry company rank personal and even, you know, in some cases, customer levels.
So buyers feel like you're speaking directly to them. Like the biggest compliment that we've gotten is, you know, when I read this case study or I read this email or I read the success story, I felt like you weren't. Speaking to me or writing it for me. And I think that's the difference between personalization and relevance,[:
[00:25:34] Kristina: Yeah. So this is something that I think a lot of people have said, and I tend to agree with is I believe human to human. So that's the new H to H human interactions. Cause I'm all about that personal relevance. The more that we try to scale like sales and marketing, it becomes how many more people can reach, how many.
Accounts, can we get you kind of lose that connection? Do you lose that intimacy what's needed? And buyers are unresponsive. Like we said earlier, I think about not seeing themselves in stories that are being told and they don't see that relevant reason to change or that urgency, or, you know, why should I choose you over, you know, maybe[:
MQL real or not.[:
But those leads don't really mean anything if they're not getting all the way down to revenue. So that's why I think there's such a dis disconnect or discrepancy between pipeline numbers and actual revenue. So, unfortunately MQL is a real, but to me, I don't[:
[00:26:52] Kristina: Deal velocity. Okay.
So I think deal velocity is where something is where ABM should have the greatest impact. They should be focusing on accelerating accounts to revenue, through conversations with sales and marketing. I've seen that the leads are really not the issues. It's that conversion problems. I recently talked to a CMO and she was telling me, you know, we've been talking for these huge clients that we love to close.
We've been talking to them 14 months and she felt she was throwing around names. I think she said one of them was Walmart. One was MasterCard and some others. Large enterprises, but they were not any closer to a deal. So to me, 14 months is way too long to not get anywhere closer to the deal. And she's saying, oh, we need more closers, which may be true in her case.
But I think that it wasn't a sales issue. I think that they should be using ABM or account-based approaches to get these enterprise accounts to revenue. And I think that's what, where deal velocity[:
[00:27:52] Kristina: this is really hard. I like to see a ballpark. I understand why people like to keep it behind closed doors, but the larger, the deal size, the more complex the sale or solution is, you know, the longer the sales cycle.
That's where you're going to. You're going to need that one to one to create that vision for those longer sales cycles. So I think ballpark, but don't, don't say contact sales, like don't my biggest pet peeves was it's pricing at the top of the website and you click on it. It says contact sale. So that's just[:
Yeah. And then your SDR calls you and there's no talking about pricing whatsoever. All right. Change management.[:
Like it puts, if we want to do that. A football analogy. One is the defense. One is often. One is, you know, the, the QB maybe, but they're all working for this end goal. And I think change managers, change mindset and changing[:
[00:29:15] Kristina: don't read your name again. I, I asked I saw something on LinkedIn from John Russo who was at B2B fusion and he actually posted something.
You know, most companies can Retford to refit their ABM with every note around their lead process and their technology. But you don't have to necessarily, you mentioned that you don't have to necessarily burn things through a ground to develop an ABM strategy. And I think he's right. If you want to go back to.
Lead engine we were talking about, but ABM should be about driving leads and driving stronger pipeline. So it's not about getting leads into the pipeline. It's about that strategy. So I think retrofitting is not a good term for ABM. We need to talk about how we're going to get these key accounts or tier one accounts.
To revenue, which starts with a strategy and its structure. It needs its own stuff.[:
[00:30:15] Kristina: I invite everyone to connect with me on LinkedIn. It's Christina with a K. Please give me some relevant messages.
Don't send me generic and don't send me you know, I want to join your network. Give me a reason why we should connect, make it interesting. Also check out personally, bm.com and also check out stop the sales drop.com. We have a podcast as well that Jeff will be on in a few weeks. There's a bunch of videos, articles, free community to learn and listen from for B2B sales, marketing, and revenue.[:
[00:30:51] Kristina: Thanks so much for having me, Jeff. I had a good time.