(light digital music)We got one lead from a companynot just focusing on that one person but the broader set of who we have identified as stakeholders in that account, and targeting them, trying to convert them and get more traction to build a project, but also leveraging third party intent sources to maybe people that don’t even know about TimeTrade but have a need for appointment scheduling and are searching for that type of tool. (blows loudly)Whoo!Fall is in the air in the world of B2B marketing. The springtime era of advertising and promotions is now decades behind us. The summertime era of digital marketing, social media, and inbound was warm and wonderful. But its effectiveness couldn’t last forever. And with fall comes more change and the introduction of new strategies like conversational marketing, rich media content, shows and podcasts, and of course, account-based marketing. ABM is a critical approach in this new era of B2B where one to many, spray-and-pray tactics are no longer generating results and inbound marketing is incredibly competitive. And while many marketers out there are talking about ABM, very few are executing on it in a way that’s generating real results. Welcome to “Creating Connections,” the show that explores the human element in an increasingly digital business world. I’m your host Tyler Lessard, and today we’re speaking with Lauren Mead, the CMO of TimeTrade who has implemented a comprehensive ABM program that’s helping their marketing and sales team identify and convert bigger deals faster.I am a career B2B marketer.I spent the last fifteen years in B2B marketing kind of getting my chops, starting out with demand gen, and working my way up through the ranks. Today I am the Chief Marketing Officer at TimeTrade. TimeTrade is a B2B enterprise software company, and what we do is we work with B2B and B2Bs companies, helping them create better custom connections with their customers through intelligent appointment scheduling. So whether it’s a BBR at a tech company looking to schedule an appointment with a prospect, or a leading retailer looking to schedule an appointment for someone coming in to learn more about a digital camera. Those are the company that we help create better customer relationships.So can you talk a little bit aboutas you joined TimeTrade as the CMO, how were you seeing the go to market in a marketing and sales motions at that time, and what are some of the things that you were looking at to really sort of take the marketing and sales strategy to the next level?Yeah, so I joined TimeTrade a little over threeand a half years ago, so when I joined here, it was really kind of in what was almost a bit of the end of the hype of inbound marketing and really looking at how do we do massive scale marketing to everybody and everyone, and looking to drive people through the funnel in that way. And as I came into TimeTrade, one of the things that we I think struggled with a little bit as a company was that appointment scheduling. If you have customers that you wanna meet with, technically you could use our product and really benefit from that. But with a direct sales model and a somewhat limited team, we were kind of a little bit all over the place and had trouble focusing on really delivering the right message and being as effective as possible in converting people through the funnel. So that’s where we kind of, I think at the time we didn’t even know it was ABM, but took that account-based marketing approach where we really said okay, let’s look at some data and say where are we winning, where are we losing, what are the accounts that are most successful with our technology, the most profitable for us, and let’s really focus there and look at how can we covert these high-value accounts.Yeah, it’s such an important thing right nowfor a lot of companies in business to business, and we’re seeing more and more that are augmenting their inbound and broader kind of one to many demand programs with an account-based marketing and account-based selling, or just generally account marketing strategies to make sure that they are going after A, the organizations that are a best fit in their ideal profile, and being more focused on sort of building relationships and driving engagement with those accounts. As you’ve started to do this in practice, this world of account centric marketing and selling, what have you found as any of the challenges as you start to bring this to your marketing and sales team? Did you get any pushback, or did you find any things that were really more difficult things to get over, or to implement, or to maybe even change from a culture or process perspective?I would say the two biggest thingsthat we struggled with in adopting account-based marketing, one was like the measurement. So you know, from a board perspective and talking to our leadership team, everyone’s really used to reporting on the traditional funnel, but if you’re really going to effectively measure account-based marketing, you have to look at it in a completely different way. So starting out, there was a lot of education we had to do with the team in terms of how do we measure this, and we’re still working through how we best measure this. We actually continue to run and measure from a traditional funnel perspective, and then now we’ve also supplemented that and measure ourselves on the demand unit waterfall from serious decisions. We can kind of compare from those two perspectives. I think part of it, too, was prioritization of accounts and who were the accounts that we were gonna really focus on. When we started out, we basically looked at the universe in kind of three major categories, so, and I kind of visualize it as a triangle. So when you start out at the triangle, the most people fall into account, that’s like anybody that could have an appointment scheduling need, right, that’s any company in the world, and part of it’s like, we’re not gonna turn companies away if they come to us inbound if they have a good use case, but we’re not gonna spend a lot of effort going pro-actively outbound trying to target those companies. The next tier going up there is what we call our target accounts, and that was where we’re doing kind of one to many type of marketing, industry-specific or use-case persona specific marketing, and we found about 10,000 accounts in that segment that we really focus in on, and that was really the marketing team that was going off and focusing on those accounts and running campaigns, trying to generate leads for the sales team to then take. And then at the top of the pyramid were what we kind of deemed as our strategic or priority target accounts, and those were the ones that we’re gonna really focus one to one, BDR, and sales outreach supported by marketing that we knew were gonna be kind of the most lucrative accounts for us. And that 400 kind of rotated at any given time based on traction on account and how successful we were converting them, and I think one thing in selecting that 400, we’ve gone through a lot of evolution as a company in terms of how we pick those, and I think we’re getting smarter and smarter as we go because that’s really like the key, is like where do we focus our time? When we started it was kind of just sales and BDRs together. You know, they’re paired up as teams choosing the accounts. Obviously marketing would give some input into some of that, but they were kind of left to decide what were the best accounts for their territory. And we created reports and things for them to look at, but then we just found it’s a lot of work for them to go through and spend the time in picking those accounts, and it wasn’t maybe the best use of time. So then we layered on account scoring, mostly demographic and technographic information where we found, and we scored accounts based off of that, and that was, we got great feedback from the team in terms of helping us prioritize and pick there, and now the latest iteration is we’re adding intent on top of that, so looking at bold people that have explicitly expressed intent to TimeTrade and prioritizing those accounts at an ABM approach. You know, if we get one lead from a company, not just focusing on that one person, but the broader set of who we have identified as stakeholders in that account, and targeting them, trying to convert them and get more traction to build a project, but also leveraging third party intent sources to maybe people that don’t even know about TimeTrade but have a need for appointment scheduling and are searching for that type of tool.Yeah, it’s a fascinating time as head of marketinghere at Vidyard. We’re doing some of similar kinds of things, and I’ve actually reflected on that a little bit to think what a time to be alive as a marketer.Right?
(laughs)Where you can actually build scoring modelsand prioritization models based on not only the business demographic information, you know, their size, their geography, their industry, but also based on activities happening based from people in those organizations, both on your sites as well as third party sites, social media sites. I know we, and I believe you, as well, use resources like G2, which is a third party review site where we can actually get intent data there to know which organizations have people that are researching our company, or researching our competitors, and therefore we get a sense that oh, they must be interested in this market, and much like you described, we can prioritize those for our outbound programs because they have a more likely chance of converting because they’re actually active in the market and looking, not just to people we want to sell to, but to people that are also looking at that time, and it’s pretty wild to think about bringing a lot of these data points together and then being able to surface the smaller set of companies who are both fit your ICP as well as seem to be active in the market for what you’re doing.It’s, I remember when marketing automationwas really starting to get traction. We were talking to the sales team, and it was like, you can’t have a BDR calling me, like I saw that you clicked the link in our email ’cause people are so freaked out about it. Now I feel like if people understood that marketers even know what they’re searching for on Google, not them personally, but you know, their company, there’s so much information out there, and you gotta use it with care, and also make sure you’re enabling the right people with it cross-organization, from marketing all the way to sales, and think about how you utilize that most effectively.Yeah; so let’s talk about that,and I think that’s a great segue into the theme of the show, which is really creating connections with buyers and companies on a more meaningful level. And I think at the end of the day, we’re pulling in all this information about key target accounts, for one reason because we wanna figure out and qualify who should we prioritize, but it’s also so that we can follow up with them and connect with them with very targeted, personalized, and relevant messaging and information. Right, so those two things go hand in hand, and what I love about it is, as marketers and sales reps, we have so much more information about these accounts that we can create a much richer experience for them, a much more personal experience for them, and something that makes them understand, we actually, we’re not treating you like a number, like one of 10,000. We actually honestly believe we can help you, and we can be a lot more personal in how we reach out and in how we connect with not just one individual, but with multiple people at those accounts. So let’s talk a little bit about that and how do you think about that next stage of knowing okay, we know who we’re going after. Now what kinds of programs, what kinds of outreach, are you doing, or you’re seeing in the market, that are really helping to connect with those potential accounts that may not, again, have hand raised already?Yeah, and I think to your point,it’s actually a great thing for buyers, all this data, because as marketers get more sophisticated, hopefully people aren’t going to be harassing and going after companies that maybe aren’t a good fit, right? We’re targeting them, like you said, with the right message at the right time. If I’m in the market for technology and those companies are coming now to me, it’s making my life whole lot easier, actually, as a buyer, so that’s hopefully a great thing in terms of creating even a better buyer experience, not just equipping marketers and sales people to be more effective. So for us, I think there’s kind of one ABM, one by being more focused has opened up for us some new channels in terms of how we have been able to try and get attention. You know, for us, some of the digital channels, we look at them as important in terms of creating influence and brand awareness, but we don’t see from those, like people aren’t gonna necessarily hand raise out of those immediately, and it’s a little bit harder to get attention. One of the things we added to the mix with the ABM, which was really effective for us, was direct mail. So leveraging that, and we’ve run all different campaigns, testing it out in different stages, but we definitely have seen a lot of success using direct mail to get attention and be able to secure meetings to talk to those key buyers. You know, you talked a little bit about the different stakeholders, and some of the most effective direct mail and ABM campaigns we’ve done are where we actually leveraged those tools to hit multiple personas and hopefully try and drive conversations against them. One of the campaigns that we did that was most effective, so we were targeting sales leaders at technology companies. What we identified was that it was the head of sales that was usually kind of saying okay, we need something like this driving the initiative within the organization, but they weren’t the actual person that was doing the evaluation. That was either a sales ops or sales enablement, sales force administrator, so we wanted to make sure we were driving a conversation between those two personas. So we sent the golf, the kit was golf themed, talking about all the tools that you need to equip your team to play. So we sent the head of sales a golf mat, branded golf mat, and then we sent the sales op, sales enablement golf balls, and we said okay, go have a conversation. If you take the meeting, we’ll give you the putter to complete the set. And that was, we got some really great feedback from prospects, really great results from our sales team in terms of putting it out there. I think it was, one of the things we learned about that one, it was like a massive, physically massive piece that we sent out, so it’s kind of hard to ignore it. And even if they weren’t that interested in appointment scheduling at that given time, if they had maybe too many other things on their plate, we, chances are they still put that putting mat out in the office for their sales team to utilize, so we got some great brand awareness, as well. So hopefully when they are in the market and we’ve seen some of those companies come back for sure, they know our brand and they’re gonna think of TimeTrade.Yeah, I love that.It’s such a fun example, and I think one of the great things about a campaign like that is, kind of to your point, it has a tie in back to the business messaging you’re trying to deliver, right? It’s not just, you know, golf balls for the sake of golf balls. You can rally that around the conversation you wanna have, but it’s something that connects with them on a more human, personal level, right, when they see the golf balls, the putter, the putting green. You know, those are things that I think develop a more visceral emotional reaction and start to open them up in terms of the kinds of conversations or how they’re going to respond. Have you had any examples, have you heard from your sales reps or your marketing team of interesting responses that you’ve gotten from people beyond the usual like, oh, okay, I’ll take a meeting? Has there been any kind of fun reactions that you’ve gotten from people?I mean, we definitely have gotten,like I remember with that golf campaign specifically, like we got a response from, I think it was the sales enablement person that responded, but they were like, I got the balls, this person got the mat, like in all seriousness, though, like we are really interested in your product. We think you can solve a problem for us. Let’s talk. And so the BDR for that response who wrote to us, that was like your dream as a marketer, right? When they hear that. So we have had some pretty good feedback. I think sometimes people, like they’ll ask like what did you think of what we sent you? And I think sometimes people literally think you’re asking for feedback on the marketing, not like what do you think of TimeTrade? (laughs) So we’ve gotten some interesting I think responses from that, as well. (laughs)Yeah, well when it comes to those key accounts,anything that’s a conversation starter is going to help, right? And I actually, one of the recent episodes of “Creating Connections,” we spoke with Stu Heinecke who wrote the book “How to Get a Meeting with Anyone,” and he shared some brilliant examples from his own experience of sending, you know, he’s a cartoonist, and where he would actually do personalized cartoons for target accounts and send it to them in the mail, and then also follow up with digital communications around that same idea, and so some brilliant examples of that same notion of things that you know, people A, they just, they can’t really ignore because it is so interesting and different, but also just you know, even if it were in a business context, it’s fun and novel. But again, you’d have people responding back, talking about how much they love the comic, whether or not they actually understood what he did, but it was always a conversation starter, right?Yeah, you definitely need to jump out,like from what we’ve seen in some campaigns, the ones that are creative, talk about their problems, really put them first, are interesting conversation starters, have definitely been more successful than, you know, some other ones, and don’t get me wrong, we have a lot of success with video and it’s a really important part of our marketing strategy, but like it was just a product video that we sent in a video card. It wasn’t super personalized. That one, while very expensive, did not necessarily get the best results because it was perceived as like, okay, that’s a marketing piece, move on, versus a conversation starter.Yeah, yeah.No, no, I agree. I think there’s the form and function of it, but at the end of the day, you’re right. If the message isn’t something that’s gonna get somebody to feel like you’re trying to connect with them in a different, broader way, they may know at the end of the day it’s marketing or selling, but if it’s obvious that that’s all it is, then you know, it’s not gonna go very far.Yeah.Can you talk about sort of, there’s the direct mail piece.You talked a little bit about digital and advertising to some of those accounts. Can you share any examples of how you do multi-channel account-based campaign to again hit people in multiple ways and the kinds of sort of you know, I guess success or maybe not success you’ve seen with some of those?Yeah, so actually the, one of the campaignsthat we’re running right now, so we’re going after a particular vertical market, so we went through and we said okay, there’s 500 companies in this vertical market that we don’t have engagement with that we have identified as top targets. And those accounts, we’ve all put through a multi-tier campaign, so the marketing team has really kind of owned the strategy in terms of choosing the accounts, fully populating them with the right personas and contacts that we’ll be targeting. We kick the account off with digital advertising, so leveraging LinkedIn and ad rule, we’ll send out both people specific as well as account specific ads, mostly brand awareness, but industry specific to those accounts. Then we’ll start hitting them with marketing emails, then all of those people were enrolled in BDR, persona specific email cadences where they were targeting them all in conjunction. And then at the culmination of a three week cadence, if we haven’t had traction or had success, kind of generating some interest from that company, we then push them through the direct mail campaign kind of as a last like, hey, let’s do something here where there’s an incentive based offer trying to get us in front of them to get that meeting and hopefully get the opportunity to talk to their team. So that one, and the ads are running through the whole time, and we’re switching those up, so it’s really well-coordinated, and there’s a lot of moving parts and timing, and to say like okay, like ad kicks off this day, the email kicks off this day, the BDR call, the BDR email, and making sure those are all working together pretty seamlessly.Yeah.Yeah, and when you have the tools in place to make sure some of that automation and coordination and kind of cadencing can happen in sequence, it makes all the difference in the world, and I know our team here does similar things in using tools like ad rule to automate the advertisements and Terminus, and we use a few others, as well. And of course the cadencing, and we use tools like Sales Loft for our BDR team to have scheduled cadences. And then again, Marketo for email campaigns, and I’ll sort of go back to what I said earlier. What a time to be alive–Right?
(laughs)As a marketing and sales teamwhen you can orchestrate these things and create personalized experiences that scale. Let me ask you about the, you talked a bit about the measurement side earlier, and in the context of what we just talked about, I’m curious, how are you tracking the impact and influence of these kinds of campaigns that you’re doing, and are you looking at really sort of the micro level success of specific activities? Are you looking at sort of reducing the overall deal cycles? Is it meetings booked? What are some of the key metrics that you think about when you’re putting a lot more energy into specific account-based marketing and selling?Yeah, so our sales cycle is usually aroundlike 180 days, so definitely taking that in consideration. Sometimes the overall measurement, it takes a little while to fully flesh that out. So for the campaign I just mentioned where we set, had that specific set of accounts, we actually have kind of run almost a funnel specifically on those accounts to say this is the success of this campaign. So we said okay, we’re starting at the top with 500 companies. These are the number of companies where we’ve been able to get some sort of marketing engagement from, or sales engagement, responses to an email, call connects, things of that nature. These are the ones that we were able to schedule calls with. These are the ones that became sales accepted opportunities. This is the pipeline that’s been generated out of this campaign, and then hopefully these are the one deals that we’ll see, you know, turning into revenue.Yeah, yeah.And it’s interesting, you mention when, you know, going to the board and your internal executive team, and I think having those kind of separate reporting structures to say, are our overall marketing programs, sort of here’s what we’re seeing in terms of conversion and pipeline, but I think it’s really important to maintain that separate set that understands these target accounts, this is what we’re seeing here, because they can be, you know, at the end of the day, you care about pipeline and revenue, of course, but I think if you can be explicit in how, you know, the progression of those opportunities of your biggest potential buyers are happening I think is a smart thing to do and something that I think will help the whole team, you know, understand what’s really going on behind the scenes.Yeah.One of the most important I think reasons for us to look at it from an account perspective and look at it holistically was actually, you know, marketing, we’re so focused on like what did marketing generate? What are the marketing qualified leads, right? And then sales, they wanna know like SQOs and going back, you said some of the challenges that you had, we had rolling out ABM, it was like understanding no, it’s not MQOS, QOS. Like, we are working these accounts together. You’re kind of like almost removing the ability for sales to do an SQO because marketing’s continually hitting the same exact accounts and people, so attribution becomes really difficult. So for us, it was really about looking like, as team, we had the success from these accounts. It wasn’t like we, I mean, if marketing, you know, it’s hitting them, but without the BDR, we didn’t do anything. So we’re taking a lot of the cold calling away from the sales teams and really looking at it as a team to say this is what we did as a whole, and the success we had I think for us was really important to make sure everyone was thinking about it as a team effort.Yeah, yeah.It’s the evolution. It’s the SMQA, the sales and marketing qualified account.Yeah.Like getting away from, I mean qualified leadsare still important for other aspects, but when you’re going after these that, to your point, it’s like is the company getting an account to a level where they’re having conversations and we’re moving them through qualification, and I couldn’t agree more that having aligned goals between marketing and sales goes so far with that. And if you don’t, and if teams are fighting over well, who gets the attribution, then you know, it’s just not set up for success because people will have their own vested interest in how they approach those accounts, and that’s never good for the business. (chuckles).Exactly.So let me wrap up by asking you,as you’re out there thinking about this world of targeted account programs, and you’re evolving your own account marketing and sales strategies, are there different resources out there that you look to? Is there inspiration out there that our listeners and viewers, that you would recommend they take a look at if they’re trying to figure out, how do I really operationalize something like this? Or if they’re looking for inspiring examples of account-based campaigns. Is there anything you refer to or any resources out there you’d recommend?I mean, I kind of just pull from everything.I think as a marketer, I love being marketed to, right? Actually like one of the ways that we decided to do direct mail is because Engagio sent us an awesome direct mail campaign, and I was like, I love this. We should do this, right? So where I’m often not responding to some of the things I’m marketed to, I’m always looking at them to say what’s good about this, what’s bad about this, what made me, caught my attention? So I’m always kind of one, I’m reading industry publications. I love Demand Gen report and some vendor content, but also just looking at, it’s not necessarily someone who’s trying to educate you, but you can be educated kind of from a third party to see, okay, how are people being successful in selling to me?Yeah, yeah.I totally agree. I know Engagio, Terminus, Demand Base, they’re a few of the ones that I follow, as well, and I think they do an amazing job of creating content to educate and inspire, and I think one of the great things about actually looking to some of those vendors is they’re always sharing examples and stories and use cases from across their client base, and I think that’s again, in this world of account centric marketing and sales, I think the theory and the practice is important, but more and more, it’s like let’s see examples, let’s get inspired by what other people are trying and doing. We may try the golf club program now, I don’t know, but I think there’s so much to that of getting creative, and there’s a ton of great, very practical take aways here, and I love how you’ve approached things. I know a lot of marketing teams are talking about these ideas, but I don’t think enough of them are really starting to implement them in practice and seeing what’s working and seeing success. So kudos to you and the team for really getting behind it, and I know you’re probably still in the very early days of your ABM and account-based selling strategies, but it sounds like you’ve made some really good progress and I’m sure that the results are coming from it, which is great.Thanks.Can you just let our listeners and viewers knowwhere and how they can connect with you or follow you if they’re interested in learning more, asking you questions, sharing ideas back with you, or learning more about TimeTrade?Sure.So the best way to connect with me is definitely LinkedIn. Feel free to shoot me a LinkedIn invitation and we can open up a conversation from there. If you’re looking to learn more about TimeTrade, the best place would be to hit up our website and at TimeTrade we drink our own champagnes, so if you’re looking to talk to one of our sales reps, you can actually schedule a live meeting right from our website to learn more. (soft music)If you’re ready to get goingon an ABM strategy, stop procrastinating and just dive in. Despite what some will say, you don’t need any new tech to get started, but rest assured there are lots of tools out there to help you perfect the craft once you’ve determined your strategy and approach. So don’t wait until the fall is over to start diving into ABM. Otherwise, winter will come sooner than you’d like. (soft music) Thanks for joining us on “Creating Connections,” brought to you by the fine folks here at Vidyard. If you enjoyed the show, give it a like or a share. Hit that subscribe button for future episodes, and check out the podcast version, now available on our favorite podcast platform. (soft music)