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How Snowflake Structures Their World-Class ABM Program

Stewart Hillhouse
Posted by Stewart Hillhouse|Published on April 10, 2024
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Snowflake is the perfect example of what a mature account-based marketing (ABM) program looks like.

Casey Patterson, Sr. Manager of ABM for Snowflake, shared behind-the-scenes of how they structure their program, responsibilities of each team, and how ABM becomes the bridge connecting marketing and sales.

Whether You’re Big Or Small, Structure Matters

Boasting a headcount of 21 ABMers, Snowflake is an example of a very mature ABM program. But don’t be intimidated if you’re in the early stages of building your program—it all started with a single person to prove the concept.

Casey shared the team structure they use to divide and conquer all their target markets: Emerging Markets, Enterprise, Industries, and Center of Activation.

Snowflake ABM Team Structure

Each has their own unique list of target accounts, making sure that each list of target accounts is being given the right resources.

One other thing to mention is that Snowflake has formed a Center of Activation team that is responsible for managing and innovating across all other teams. This team is also responsible for the management of the tech stack.

This makes a lot of sense because data hygiene is critical for a well-executed ABM strategy. By keeping the tech stack under the responsibility of a single group, there are fewer risks associated with duplicates or incorrect data in the CRM. 

💥 Tip for small ABM teams: Apply this takeaway by creating a centralized pod of people who are responsible for managing the tech stack. Borrow time from colleagues on your operations team to get help connecting your CRM properly and continually improving your data hygiene. 

💥 Tip for large ABM teams: Divide up your target accounts by region and industry. This will help with resource allocation and regional limitations (language, time zone coverage, regional norms).

Become “Unreasonably” Aligned With Sales

Casey believes that “ABM is the bridge between marketing and sales.” This sounds nice, but what does it look like in practice?

Well, the ABMer will host a meeting every 2 weeks with the Account Executive (AE) and their assigned Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) to make sure that all their accounts have good coverage. They review the territory rundown, account engagement, and insights from sales calls with these accounts.  

The goal is to be "unreasonably aligned with sales," as Snowflake’s CMO Denise Persson, likes to say.

This alignment is not just about strategy; it's about building trust and understanding between the two teams. The marketing team needs to have the sales team’s back, and vice versa. This gives Snowflake’s target accounts the best possible sales experience and helps to improve retention, as well.

💥 How To Apply This:

Have a check-in call every two weeks with the AE and SDRs to make sure the accounts have good coverage.

Stay focused on shared goals: Make sure that both sales and marketing are targeting the same key accounts and working towards the same objectives.

Personalization Should Never Be A Distraction  

Personalization is an important aspect of ABM campaigns. But Casey was quick to mention that there is such a thing as too much personalization.

“Personalization should never be a distraction.” 

What does that look like in practice? It means striking the right balance between being informative but not overstepping by appearing too knowledgeable about the company's internal challenges.

For example, mentioning the account name is a must. Mentioning relevant pain points is recommended (so long as the information is public or mentioned in sales calls). But mentioning the contact’s first name is not recommended (unless it’s contextually relevant). 

Snowflake ABM Personalization

💥 How To Apply This:

Create a landing page template that can be personalized for every one of your target accounts. This personalized ABM page can then be used to connect your target contacts with their assigned AE, and share relevant information and resources in the copy. Snowflake even does this with their event attendees, giving each attendee relevant content summaries from the event. 

Learn ABM From Those Who Have Done It Before

These insights are only a few from Casey's full ABM class she taught as part of ABM MBA.

ABM MBA brings together the best account-based marketing plays being used by B2B companies to grow. Learn from the best and apply them to your own company to hit your pipeline goals.

Watch Casey's full class here, and explore the other classes from companies like 6sense, Qualtrics, Vendr, and more.

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