Trish Bertuzzi

At Engagio, we offer ample advice for Marketers who want to work more closely with their Sales team, but a question that we’ve been getting more frequently comes from the other side of the table. As Sales feels the market changing and sees the benefits of companies successfully implementing ABM, they want to know how they can approach their Marketing team.

In today’s vlog, I revisited a conversation I had with Trish Bertuzzi, CEO of The Bridge Group. I asked her, “If you’re a Sales leader, what can you say to your CMO to get aligned?”

In typical Trish fashion, her answer is no-BS. And I’d bet her answer is not what you may think or expect. Here’s Trish:

(view the video on YouTube)


You’re a sales leader. You need to get more aligned. You want an account based strategy. What are the actual things that you can actually say to your CMO, your Chief Marketing Officer to get on the same page?

Yeah, so I actually have some questions for you because I do this on the speaking tour. I do this role play scenario with Patrice Greene from Inverta where I’m a CRO and she’s a CMO and we’re having this question about how do we talk about ABR. So let me sort of hit just a few highlights. So the first conversation you have to have is how are we going to pick our target accounts.

I’ll tell you what you don’t do, you don’t get the list from your AEs, right. I’ll tell you what you don’t do, you don’t put on that list those accounts you’ve been trying to get into for two decades and it never worked, right. You want to use some level of intelligence based on, yes, your customer base but also where you want to go next. So I’m a bit fan of predictive technologies, I’m a big fan of technologies that show buyer intent. You want to use a combination of subjective and scientific to create that target account list. So that’s the first conversation you have.

The second conversation you have is, okay, cool, now we have them how are we going to segment them based on messaging themes. Because account-based strategies are all about telling those accounts a very personal story. So you can’t have 22 verticals on your target account list that require 22 different stories. You wanna start off with a couple of critical segments that have a consistent story that you can tell about how you helped build a better business.

Then from there, you want to decide what plays you’re going to execute. There’s a million different plays. Do I want a door opener play? Am I going after new logos? Do I want a cross-sell, up-sell play so we get more out of our customer base? Do I want a competitive play where I’m totally just going after my competitors? Customers are very different plays.

You have to decide that as well and then you come up with your stories at the account level, at the buyer persona level. You figure out what media, what channels you’re going to use, what role is everyone in the organization going to play? Lots of conversations have to happen. It’s not just, hey, I’m going to run this campaign. Let’s hope it works.