crawl, walk, run with ABM

I’ll never forget my first experience surfing – it was the tail end of surfing season in Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. I was 19, in prime shape, and I thought to myself “how hard could it be? I’ll just rent a board and hit the waves.” With no training but plenty of hubris, I was ready to become a surfer.

After hours of flailing around and getting tossed like a ragdoll by the 5-foot swells, I realized I bit of a little more than I could chew. Exhausted, I went ashore and rested. A boy sitting next to me got my attention: “Hey, you’re not from around here, are you?”

“Did my killer surfing skills give it away?” I sarcastically riposted.

“Let me give you some pointers.”

I was making all the typical rookie mistakes: being impatient, choosing the wrong surf breaks, poor posture, popping up too late, the list goes on.

After a 10-minute crash course and some dryland practice with this 13-year old local (who I later learned was a surf instructor), I hit the waves again. Lo and behold, I caught my first wave and rode it all the way in. The big lesson I learned that day was don’t try to walk before you crawl.

We see this happening to many organizations in ABM. Today, I sat down with Nicole Draa, a Senior Account Executive at Engagio, and she explains how to take a crawl, walk, run approach to ABM.

Here’s Nicole!

(Watch on YouTube)


Brandon: Hey guys, Brandon Redlinger here, and I am joined today by Nicole Draa, a senior account executive here at Engagio. Welcome, Nicole.

Nicole: Thank you! Hi everyone.

Brandon: So, I want to get your take on the state of ABM. So, ABM has been this hot new buzzword over the last five, six, seven, eight years. But where are we actually at right now?

Nicole: You know, that’s a good question. I’m talking to about 2,000 marketers in the past year and a half. And the idea is that ABM, there’s technology, finally, behind it, but people are still having a hard time getting started.

I think that they’re trying to find vendors that they can lean into, that can help them with the crawl, walk, run stage, but sometimes they started to walk, and realized we needed to take a step backward and start crawling first.

Brandon: What does crawling look like?

Nicole: I think crawling really means to get all your information, your ducks in a row, and make sure that your systems and your teams are set up for success. A lot of people want to check a box and start running with Account Based Marketing, but it’s a strategy that takes an approach of making sure everything is in line, and then you start to build on top of it, by layers.

Brandon: Got it, love it. And then, once you get crawling, what does walking now look like?

Nicole: I think walking is really aligning the two teams and making sure that we can get some quick wins in there, and they don’t have to be closed-won revenue, which is great and everybody wants, but I think really starting to measure engagement within the different personas in an account, and maybe just winning some new engagement and getting people on your side to start with brand recognition.

Once you have, then, some of these key target accounts, especially in the bigger ones, I think you can really make a splash and build a relationship there. To earn the right for the business.

Brandon: Nice, I love it. And then, finally, what does running look like?

Nicole: Running is really probably the attribution piece. Understanding what’s contributing to your success and what is not, and being able to measure everything outside of sales force campaigns, including sales force campaigns, everything that marketing and sales is doing to touch an account. I think that’s the biggest difference that we’re seeing right now, is attribution is not just marketing attribution or sales, it’s both, it’s one revenue team.

Brandon: Nice, I love it. Thanks, Nicole.

Nicole: Thanks, Brandon.