Buyers are becoming smarter, becoming more informed, and demanding much more before selecting a vendor - really a partner - to do business with. With this, targeted account based marketing has become increasingly important as companies try to cut through the noise and differentiate themselves from their competition.
In this episode of the Revenue Engine Podcast, Kristina Jaramillo, a longtime marketing pioneer, and currently the President and Partner at Personal ABM, shares how to leverage account based enablement to win, protect, and expand revenue.
Connect with Kristina on LinkedIn, or on the Personal ABM website.
Follow Rosalyn on LinkedIn.
Buyers are becoming. Becoming more informed and demanding much, much more before selecting a vendor, really a partner to do business with. And with this targeted account-based marketing has become increasingly important as companies try to cut through the noise and differentiate themselves from their competition.
We've all heard ABM abs even AB ABX, but what does it all mean? And how do we leverage a targeted marketing approach to accelerate deals and win and win more often? And this episode of the revenue engine podcast, I'm joined by Christina. a long time marketing pioneer, and currently the president and partner at personal ABM where we discuss this and so much more.
Please take a listen and learn the do's and don'ts of ABM. So super excited to be here today with Christina. the president and partner at personal ABM. Affirm dedicated to account-based enablement that focuses on the entire customer journey to help drive more revenue. So welcome Christina, and thank you for joining.[: [:
Right. Trying to solve a problem, trying to solve an issue. So can you share a little bit maybe about what led you to founding your firm and what that original vision?[:
But we had started was LinkedIn, LinkedIn marketing firm because we felt that marketing should be accountable for more than leads and brand awareness. And the top of funnel kind of. But to traditional social marketing, at least at the time, and I, it's kind of gotten a little bit worse. We figured that you know, it's, we saw that it spoke to everyone and it's not really influencing revenue as it really could be.
And we saw that it was a great opportunity. And a lot of marketing was failing to support sales cycles and customer conversations. And it's why I believe statistic that I read recently is that like close to 50% of sales teams. Our sales team close less than 50% of what they're forecasted. And it's why CSI CSO insights reported inability to communicate a competitive differentiation as the most painful or impactful barrier impactful barrier to achieving success.
And I think the challenge was that competitive differentiation and the promise you need value has to be really relevant for the person in the account. That you're targeting. And it's really different from person to person account to account. Even within the same account, it can be different, you know, whoever you're talking to.
So relevant value is what really what we saw. And we understood that if we help leadership, we helped arm sales and marketing teams and account teams with the right profiles and the messaging and content. That's going to have these personal insights that create real conversations. It can lead to pipeline and revenue growth rasp rather than like wasted time or, you know, Filling the funnel and not anything coming through.
So it's the beginning. We focused on real key objective sales, marketing, and account management teams want, and we focus on and still continue to the accounts that are the most going to be the highest revenue. Achievable for the organization that we really have come together as an, as an organization and said that we want to win.[: [:
And I think that people are kind of doing it backwards and they're making technology investments first and then having the strategy to support it. It should be the technology supports that strategy and kindness amplifies the execution of it. And I think a lot of people are equating, account-based marketing, account-based sales, account-based everything, whatever keyword they're using with account-based technology.
And I think, you know, we're missing a really big opportunity. It's just one piece of the puzzle and it's really one of the smallest pieces. And I think it should be one of the last things that you put in after you've already kind of tested. Tweaked and reiterated and everything. Like, for example, I was talking to a COO at a a channel sales company and I actually shared this conversation a couple of times on my own podcast.
And, you know, they talked about, I said, you know, what does your account based strategy look like? What does your account based marketing program? And she started rattling off, you know, we use sixth sense. We use Terminus, we're a case study for 6 cents. And, you know, I was. And I think the case study says that you're using the platform correctly and you're getting great results, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you're doing anything more than account-based awareness, account-based advertising and getting deeper into the conversation.
I really noticed that she was challenged to go up market and go up those six-figure deals. They were kind of hovering around six, right at below six figure deals and they were constantly losing to the. Comfortable safe choice. Something that was really easy for other people to go do because they were a bigger name and that in this case, they were competing with Salesforce.
So if you have to compete against Salesforce, you'd better give a really strong reason. But that's, I think what people are kind of doing is I think they're relying solely too much on tech. And another thing is that. Organizations that are driving results with net new revenue are the ones that are really aligned to their target accounts and the human buyers within those accounts.
So instead of relying, just on intent data, we're seeing, you know, peeling back the layers of what's going on in that company. So why is their intent in the first place? What's the bigger picture? What's the bigger challenge or problem that they're trying to solve. And I think when you do that, You can figure out that intense and uncover strategic priorities they're putting in place to achieve these goals.
And that way you can kind of speak to unconsidered gaps that maybe they haven't thought about where you can fill in those gaps. And so you can impact their business, not just maybe in one way or one division, but you can impactful it, impact it through operations, finance, the different teams, and maybe even customers.
Unfortunately, when you're not enough teams are investing in these account profiles and these account plans, and it's really become going back to scaling, reaching more people and becoming about campaigns and touches versus those personal one-on-one really relevant interactions that are going to you know, drive deals, especially when you have those six, seven figures.[:
Right. I mean, system is the very last piece of it. It's just, you enable your strategy, enable your process, enable you know, the data to be flowing through that system. But yeah, I think, and then we ended up with. Incredible tech debt. Right? We buy all these technology or not realizing the value. You're not getting the information through the systems that you need, and you still have the same problem that you started with.
That's great. I love that. So always[: [:
I think we all know that, you know, it obviously costs a lot more, less to. You know, grow within your customer base and to acquire a net new customer. Right. It's difficult. So I think from, from your perspective, what are some of the critical things that companies should be really doing today to protect and expand revenue within their customer base?[:
New, the customer success teams are kind of left to their own devices. So they're either left with making up their own conversations and maybe not necessarily having the right conversations to expand, retain counts. So, you know, typically what we've seen is that a lot of customer success teams are talking about activities completely.
You know, just a list of activities, benefits provided, and it sounds very similar to selling conversation, but kind of like in the past tense. And if you want to make a decision maker or a VP or a city street actually retain, expand with you, you're going to have to make sure that you are talking to something that they care about and they don't care about these activities.
It's one of those key reasons that 82% of B2B businesses. Our companies are either disengaged in different or actively looking to replace their vendors because they're not having the conversations that they really need to see. So it's great that you're impacting, you know, if you sell into sales departments, it's great that you're packing sales, but how can you impact further than that?
How can you have more of a reach, more of a business impact? How can you, or effect effect my business vision as a whole? And another thing I think people are missing out. Just like teams have an account plan to when maybe their tier one accounts that deliver the strongest revenue growth. Really think that having a account plan and strategy for existing counts is just as important.
If not more important, like you said, it is obviously more cost-effective to keep and expand clients, but we need to map out how we're going to multithread. And get engagement that we need to protect and expand accounts, because what I've seen a lot is that, you know, we multithread for sales to make sure we can close that deal.
But for some reason that kind of philosophy or that mentality strategy approach kind of drops by the wayside once they sign the agreement and they've come on board and it's just as important to continue it, it might not be as intensive a conversation and it might not be as often, but it has to be.
Exist so that they can say that you really getting the value that we expected. We're delivering, they're delivering on the value that we had property had been promised. We're doing even more so, so why you continue to work with us? Why you continue to grow, expand with us and maybe even get us to other business units within your organization.
If you're working with these, you know, humongous organizations that have different business units that you can get into, but maybe only working in a really small percentage to validate that you need to stay multithreaded and I think that's something. For some reason or another, it kind of drops off post-sale[:
So let's talk a little bit about the market itself, right? Buyers are becoming smarter. They're becoming more informed. Okay. The frankly, they're just demanding much more, right. From the vendors of choice. Targeted account marketing has become increasingly important as companies really try to cut through that noise and differentiate themselves right from the competition.
So you've been doing this for a long, long time. So, you know, what have you seen in the market, right. In terms of trends around ABM and how has it really evolved and where do you see it going?[:
So it's ABX but whatever you call it, I don't think it's necessarily different. I think it's pretty much all the same, but I don't really think that it's evolved if anything, the last year or so, or maybe even longer, we kind of took some steps back. Hmm, we're getting away from what ABM was meant to be, which is a business growth strategy and not like a campaign or not another flash in the pan shiny object to do and move on to the next.
I think we need to get back to thinking of it as a growth strategy of how we're going to win, how we're going to protect and how we're going to expand to what is it? 20% of accounts that are going to deliver 80% of your revenue. Today, And really what I've seen trend wise changes, maybe new technologies you know, with the gifting platforms and the account-based advertising and awareness, but it's pretty much all the same marketing as usual, just maybe more targeted.
So there's at least that. So what based basically in essence, is we're marketing to accounts rather than really doing ABM. And I've seen a couple of reports the last year or so. Tech target. I TSMA said about two thirds or like 66% of ABM programs are underperforming. And I think it's for a couple of reasons, but I really hope that ABM moves towards changing those interactions that these GCM teams are having with the key accounts and the experiences that we deliver as marketers, as salespeople, as a company.
And I'm hopeful that we're going to get there because I'm seeing that, you know, chief marketers, chief marketing officers, VPs, heads of marketing. At like organizations at Longo advantage, did you sweet Unifor you know, and LinkedIn we've been having conversations with organizations like this about applying that more personal layer, personal relevance to account based approach so they can get greater stage progression, quicker sales cycles, greater deal sizes, really, so they can penetrate business units.
And I think companies are seeing that ABM or account-based everything. Cannot just be that one to many or one to few approach. And that personalization is not enough. There's really that difference there. We need to increase our personal relevance and become obsessed with our existing and future customers.
And when, I mean, one-on-one, I don't say you know, you have a targeted landing page for that. That could be part of it. When I went to one, you're talking to Rosalyn and what's important to her and her division and what's important to her and her role. And what's important to her as part of her organization as a whole.
Cause there's so many different things that matter to you versus someone that you work with in another part of the organization, or even in your own team, everyone's got their own KPIs. So the more relevant I can get to you as an individual, the stronger that conversation is going to be. And you. Notice the difference.[:
And I know you're a big believer in aligning business strategy to the customer journey. How do you see revenue operations really playing into this? And what advice do you have you know, that you give organizations around leveraging rev ops to really drive their targeted marketing strategy?[:
What we need to do is capture create and capture and optimize the demand along the buyer's journey. We, as I mentioned before, marketing needs to extend their influence beyond just the pipeline. So it's great to feel top of funnel, but there's a huge difference and discrepancies that we're seeing between pipeline numbers and actual revenue and actual achieved revenue.
We need to be looking at those fundamentals of revenue and looking for, you know, where are these leaks happening? Where are we missing? What is it. Is going on, why are we not winning at certain, you know, parts of a deal? Or why are they collapsing at this particular juncture in the, in the journey? You know, I think ABM is a great area for this, and we need to, one of the things I probably should have mentioned this as tying back to your last question is where is ABM kind of evolve too?
And I think it should become account-based revenue. So we can't really impact revenue if we're not looking for the gaps that. Revenue gaps that we have, then we can fill in kind of plug them up. And rev ops can really play an awesome and crucial role with this. I think they can help these go to market teams, uncover gaps in revenue, leakages, and kind of stop them before they get any bigger.
And they can put processes in place to measure the impact that ABM or account-based strategies. On revenue KPIs. So based on what I have seen you're more into rev ops than I am. You know, you eat, breathe and drink rev. What role do you think that maybe I like to see your take on it, just to see if maybe what we could do as on marketing side to help her.[:
Make sure that everything's working properly, you know, and kind of be those order takers, if you will, versus being really involved in the strategy and understanding how it's supposed to work and then doing some of that AB testing and really helping the marketing organizations see what is working.
And what's not. Right. Setting up the right KPIs, measuring those, and then continuously looking for improvement in those processes to start to improve even incremental changes. And I loved the way, what you were saying is not all having more demand does not necessarily equal more revenue. I was having a conversation about this recently about how, if we have a revenue problem, then we stuffed the funnel, right.
We just want to get more and more at the top of the funnel versus really Really looking at the entire journey and figuring out where are the right points in the journey that we should be tweaking or adjusting or doing more of, or doing less of to drive that, you know, drive the customer or the buyer through sort of that journey to where we need them to go in the deal cycle.
So, yeah, super, super interested, passionate. About rev ops. Christina, do you want to talk a little bit about how your company really helps drive a lot of this and how you help your customers? You know, with their targeted marketing strategy would love to hear more of that, especially with your, you know, your background and just your expertise in this area.[:
I care about how it progresses to close, because I think that revenue goals should be everyone's goals. It shouldn't be sales goals. Isn't shouldn't be rev ops schools only. It should, it should be marketing. So marketing should be just as culpable. Of four hitting revenue numbers. I mean, obviously it's not going to be the same number, but they should have a number that they have to hit as well.
You know, one of the things that we do is we focus on those 20% of accounts. Like I mentioned, that are going to deliver about 80% of your revenue. And what we do is we learn instead of, I think when people start ABM, they go big and then they try to go back to the one-to-one. We start with one-to-one first to try to perfect it and make.
You know, see what's working, what's not on a smaller scale. So if you mess up, it's almost on a smaller scale. If you do really well, it's on a smaller scale and then you can figure out how to grow it. And that's why it's part of the reason we say that ABM tech should be like one of the last pieces you put into play.
I think a lot of these teams are rushing to do the one to many, one to few, but again, just marketing as usual. So we're pushing out messages and, and, you know, not changing sales and marketing motions. And that's why I think. Starting with one-to-one can be so impactful. And then you can scale that because whatever you're doing in one-to-one, you're gonna create or get so much more insights and raw and relative information or relevant information, that's going to be able to be influenced.
And I think getting back to what you were saying about reworking KPIs, we really make sure that we're aligning with. Business and revenue objectives and apply strategies to fix the revenue leaks. So we're not just net new revenue. We also focus on protecting and expanding, and we want to make sure that, you know, like you said, if you fill the funnel, it's still going to be, it'll be overflowing.
But if none of them come and trickle down to revenue, then what's the, you know, they're just going to basically pumping more into the top. So it's just going to churn anyway. So you're spinning your wheels in sand. So we really have to figure out where those little gaps are that you can't. Figure, and that can be fixed.
That's why you have to really work so closely with sales and business development, customer success teams, and especially rev ops, because they're going to know exactly what's going on and where you can get tweaked. And like you said, just a little bit small incremental growth. If everyone makes a small step forward in the right direction, it's going to add up to a bigger, and then you'll, you'll be able to go as a team to the next goal and the next KPI.
So if you're reworking your KPIs to align. Multiple departments of you know, who are customer facing and prospect facing, it's really going to help. And that's, that's what we'd like to help our organizations that we work with so they can achieve their goals.[:
Totally love that. So as I think about really the revenue engine, you know, this podcast, I always hope that others are going to be able to learn some things, to help accelerate their revenue growth and really power that revenue engine. So I think you've gone through a number of tips and a number of things that folks should be thinking about.
But from your perspective what are some of the top things I think marketing that you think marketing should be thinking about, right. And doing to successfully help to drive right. Are there maybe like one or two things that you're like, Hey, you should be thinking about this today and do this now.[:
Are you as a marketer, are you in sales calls? So you can get those infer insights, those valuable insights. Are you in pro customer calls? So you're getting the insights that you can write about them, cause I'm sure, you know, if one, if one of your customers is having a challenge or is experiencing great success, I'm sure there's multiple ones that you can either write a case study on or write an article on or whatever it is just to, to fuel your.
But being aligned with them doesn't mean you're checking in quarterly. Cause that's not alignment. It has to be on a monthly basis. And I'm talking leadership where I'm not obviously sales reps and SDRs BDRs. Can't be meeting with the CMO, but the head of sales and whoever's running the marketing really need to be moving almost like they're one unit as much as possible to support the sales conversations as opposed to.
Were, you know, marketing loves to play and has been traditionally thought of as brand awareness and lead gen. We really have to evolve past that in order to be culpable for revenue because we stay in that position. We're never going to. You're never going to really evolve to be influential on revenue.
And I think that is where the future of marketing is going to be. And it's going to be more and more important as we go on. Oh[: [:
You know, it's, especially with ABM, account-based everything, whatever you're actually, whatever acronym you're giving it. I really found that it's the greatest impact. But gets the least attention is this middle and bottom of the funnel and journey. And I really think that that is a really great place to, to put your effort on and, you know, most companies, for the most part, if you're a well-oiled marketing machine, you've got demand down.
You've got the top of funnel down for majority of companies. Obviously there's always more work and improvement to be made, but middle of the bottom of the journey, that's where the money really is. And that's where the deals were either having. We're falling through the cracks or becoming stale or stalled, and we need to figure out why that is.
So that's what I would tell my younger self.[: [:
And I worked there for like eight months. Hell and fun and exciting all the same time. I have tons of stories to share on that. So that's something that most people don't talk about it anymore. It was fun. And one thing that I really think I want people to know about me is that you know, if you want to reach out to me and talk to me, I'm always open, but if you don't make it relevant to why it would benefit you, why it would benefit me and why we should connect, then it's going to be a lot more.
Whether that's email, LinkedIn, whatever way you try to get to me, think of it, put yourself in my shoes. We all have really busy lives and schedules. If you don't make it relevant for both of us and why it's mutually beneficial, then it's going to be really hard to open up that door of conversation.
Even if it's just to have a conversation, let alone a sales conversation. So I think salespeople could also. Finger to about that, but that's another conversation.[:
You know, it's been just such a pleasure to chat with you, and I'm just very, very thankful for your time and for sharing all of your insights and expertise.[: