It’s taken me a long time to actually verbalize these words:

The value of marketing is defined by sales. By dollars coming into the business. By revenue.

If you’re not supporting your sales team by helping them meet quotas, why are you in marketing?

I recently talked about this idea with Yaagneshwaran Ganesh and Manish Nepal, the co-hosts of The ABM Conversations Podcast.

Here’s what we’re unpacking today:

  • The evolution of ABM and #FlipMyFunnel
  • Two things marketers need in order to contribute to revenue
  • The metrics that marketers should care about

ABM is a strategy, not a tech solution

Sangram: This idea of going from email to marketing automation, to predictive, hopefully, it shows that they were all technology evolution. None of that was about strategy: email, marketing, marketing, automation, predictive. They’re all tech.

ABM, on the other hand, is a strategy. So regardless of what you do, it’s a strategy. Go back to the table, thinking about the right things to do, as opposed to what are the right tools to use.

Attracting leads that matter

Instead of going after everybody, as if you’re standing on a street corner with a sign, you actually can go and stand in front of the right people who you want to do business with.

My definition is that it’s just a better marketing and sales process.

Marketers should drive business

Talking to so many people on the FMF podcast is that your traditional vanity metrics — like traffic to the website, number of downloads, and number of eBooks — all these things that we as marketers would hail at the top but if they’re not the right people from the right account, it doesn’t count.

So ABM has allowed business outcome-oriented conversations, and then you talk about business outcomes. Now you have the attention of your CEO, or CRO or CFO, and that changes your ability to drive business.

Skills marketers need to develop

Sangram: I feel one of the most important skills that one is going to need is empathy for a marketer to understand that sales is one of the hardest jobs.

Skill #1: Empathy

They don’t have the luxury like marketers do of sitting in an office and coming up on a whiteboard with a strategy and then follow some sort of checklist of things, like three webinars a month and an eBook.

They don’t have the luxury of that. Their job depends on the meetings, a quota.

“Marketers celebrate the things that actually have no consequential impact on the business. And that rubs sales the wrong way.” — Sangram Vajre

Most marketers do not have the empathy it takes to be a salesperson. So the number one skillset if you really truly want to do it is empathy.

The way you develop that is you go sit down with a salesperson. Work hand-in-hand, try doing some calls with that person. Walk in that person’s shoes and actually do some customized campaigns for that particular current.

Skill #2: See past vanity metrics

Number two, you gotta let go of vanity metrics. And we touched on it a little bit, but marketers celebrate the things that actually have no consequential impact on the business. And that rubs sales the wrong way.

If you have the empathy for it and you are prioritizing and customizing the experience around the sales process and celebrating the business outcomes, not your value metrics.

If you can’t let go of the vanity metrics, it’s going to be extremely hard for you to be in that role.

Marketing should be looking at the number of how many appointments are getting generated. What is the pipeline? What is the velocity, how long does it takes to close a deal? What were the costs? Are we doing better at what is ever expansion conversion?

Bringing sales and marketing together

Sangram: You can see what marketing is supposed to do.

It’s to bring in the menu of options from the buffet table to say, ‘Hey, we can do it, all these things. We can run events, we can do webinars, all these things,’ but don’t pre-decide that for the sales team and say here’s what we’re doing. But rather come to the table and say, all right, here’s the situation.

“That’s really what ABM is supposed to do: help marketing and sales team to work together and drive business impacts.” — Sangram Vajre

You can imagine how much more buy-in you’re going to have from the sales team. It’s not one person. I think it’s an organizational thing and marketing as an entire organization, their bonuses and their jobs should depend on the same scorecard and the same number.

Unless these two teams work together as one team towards one goal, it’s definitely not going to result in anything meaningful.

That’s really what ABM is supposed to do: help marketing and sales team to work together and drive business impacts. It should make you feel extremely proud to be a marketer, to be able to have this level of impact in your organization.

Contribute to business outcomes

As a marketer, you can start driving revenue by…

  • Understanding that ABM is a strategy, not a tool.
  • Developing empathy for your sales counterparts.
  • Dumping vanity metrics.

Until next time!