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I love new. New just feels good. Unfettered by all of the clutter and baggage of old, new gives us a chance to start over.
The problem with new is that it’s fleeting. The one-hit-wonder, the sensation gone overnight. New just doesn’t stick around in the morning.
When I first heard talk of account-based marketing (ABM) a few years ago, it seemed a bit nebulous.
Hell, it still does in some areas. What struck me immediately about ABM is that it wasn’t exactly new, it was the intersection of old and new. All the time-tested wisdom of relationship selling, which has fallen out of favor, combined with the new of technology and insights. Actionable insights.
The problem with relationships isn’t that they don’t work, it’s that they don’t work at scale.
With the avalanche of connectivity that has defined this last decade plus, relationships are at a critical juncture. Do we abandon deep connection in favor of superficial touch? Every growth projection will tell you that you need to, no matter what is contained in a pitch deck or marketing presentation. We simply cannot be all things to all people.
And that’s why ABM is so attractive, it simply states that you don’t have to. In fact you have to be all things to a very small amount of people, but they are the people that matter.
Now, before someone skewers me I’ll throw out the disclaimer – ABM does not work for all business models.
ABM typically makes sense for larger ticket, longer education-based sales models. Sound familiar? Yes, that’s almost the exact same segment marketing automation aims at, isn’t it? The answer is yes and no.
Marketing automation works great for what we like to call “marketing air cover” and many other repeatable tasks that can be automated. But if we’re all being honest, marketing automation was never supposed to replace human interaction, it wasn’t supposed to be a robot who sold for you.
If you need proof take a look at the results of a purely automated marketing and sales cycle. It’s often abysmal. The numbers game of the demand generation waterfall simply doesn’t justify the effort and spend we are putting into it. The solution is the coupling of marketing automation and ABM together in what some are calling the bowtie. We need to maintain a cadence of touches, we need to educate – but we also need our customer to feel like they are our only customer. Our buyer wants hyper-value.
And THAT is what makes ABM so powerful.
ABM is the old remixed for a modern world. In what used to take place solely in face to face interaction you can now scale to an effective conversation that doesn’t always need to be eye to eye. But sometimes it does. Frankly, that just makes sense if you look at how we actually build trust as buyers and that’s how I categorize ABM – it just makes sense. ABM is relationships that scale, yet don’t degrade in quality. ABM is how you wish you were marketed and sold to. At the end of the day, buying feels good, unless the seller screws it up.
So, armed with renewed vigor around the ability for relationships to develop and foster while still being led by technology… we made a few calls.
The sweet, sweet sounds of ABM must be heard, penetrating the halls of beanbag filled offices and the pains of high glass towers. The notes would carry aloft the message and free the listener from under their toppled waterfalls!
But who would orchestrate this wall of sound? Who better than those leading the charge? Who better than the instruments of change refusing to be muted by the closed ears and minds of waterfall thinking.
Who better than Monsters of Funnel? The band is back in town!
Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.