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ABM During Covid: Great Results When Sales Buys Into ABM

This is the fourth post in a series on how to do ABM During Covid. Here, you can find part 1 , part 2 and part 3. Or, for everything in one go––you can download our guide ‘10 Strategies to save your ABM program during Covid’.

We previously covered how Outreach re-invented its events in response to losing offline channels because of Covid, and how Gremlin created personalized ROI to immediately prove value to enterprise accounts. Now, we’ll look at how Segment created a holistic ABM strategy and got sales to buy in so that the sum of their ABM program was greater than its parts. Through this strategic alignment of sales and marketing, Segment was able to create more pipeline and do it more cohesively.

Segment is a customer data platform that helps teams collect and control data inside their organization. When the quarantine hit, they realized that they needed to evolve their in-person events strategy, but it was also an opportunity to uplevel their ABM strategy and collaboration with sales overall.

At the time, the typical acquisition process for Segment was that marketing would employ marketing-driven online tactics and field events, and then sales would work on a deal after hand-off.

“Pre-covid, ABM was nested within Demand Gen,” says Katrina Wong, VP of Product Marketing at Segment. “We had one head count for ABM and our efforts weren’t proven or scaled just yet."

And while marketing would create custom content that sales could use as collateral, there wasn’t true co-creation between marketing and sales that could drive a really targeted joint strategy. So Segment rolled out a new organizational structure with a larger team focused on ABM, a team that worked closely with SDRs, AEs and sales managers who had input into the actual ABM programs being created.

As you might imagine, this was a significant effort that took the buy-in of multiple stakeholders including sales leadership. Katrina continues, “The key to doing something like this isn’t just the strategy, it’s the adoption.”

So Katrina and Segment’s ABM lead, Jessica Cerami, embarked on an internal roadshow where they laid out the vision for their evolved ABM program that included investment in measurement, targeting and personalization tools that would allow them to focus even more on their ideal customer, plus new programs that would push those target accounts down the funnel. All of this was in service of enabling reps to build high-quality pipeline and drive more revenue. With that vision clearly expressed, they got the sales team on board. Below is a screenshot of one of the slides in their joint sales and marketing ABM strategy.

The vision clearly expressed: A slide from Segment's joint sales and marketing ABM strategy. 

As a unified organization, Segment went about executing this strategy. “We embedded ourselves into sales’ weekly meetings and talked about this kind of orchestration and provided examples from other companies. And we let them choose the industry; they were able to say hey, this is the prospect I actually want,” Katrina says of the collaboration.

And the results have been great. Segment was able to use the collaborative structure of marketing and sales to create a curated list of accounts that received personalized outreach from SDRs, viewed personalized content based on their function, and that eventually attended virtual events focused all around their specific set of challenges and use cases.

To better align with sales, Segment shifted from their historical product-driven developer-only personalized messaging to using the same messaging framework that sales used, a value-based framework called Command of the Message. They created new marketing landing pages that reflected this sales messaging and used Mutiny to personalize the page for each persona and vertical. Rather than talking about product features, their landing pages now reflect the value drivers that sales discusses with customers. This shift made it easier for SDRs to leverage marketing collateral since the messaging was now consistent.

The fruits of alignment. One of Segment's personalized pages. 

Segment has shown us that when sales and marketing truly work together and co-design plays, there are potent results that lead to high-quality leads and ultimately revenue.

Get more great ABM insights and stories in the guide ‘10 Strategies to save your ABM program during Covid’.


Evan Burton

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