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TOPO Marketing Council #11 – A Recap

Over 25 demand generation leaders from the Bay Area’s fastest growing companies gathered last Friday for TOPO’s eleventh Marketing Council. These Councils offer a unique forum for marketing leaders from high growth companies to learn from each other and share best practices. Each Council features three speakers who share the processes, plays, organizational elements, and technologies they use to drive key revenue metrics. As usual, we started Council with a lightning round of introductions and asked attendees to share a “hot-button” issue. Some hot-button issues that were raised include:

  • Attribution for touchpoints in multichannel orchestration.
  • Balancing metrics for success dependent on different market segments.
  • Scaling back MQL language and measurements while implementing Account-Based programs.

Highlights from Speakers

TOPO Senior Marketing Analyst, Eric Wittlake, started off the council with a deep dive into TOPO’s recently published Account-Based Funnel. Takeaways from his session include:
  • How to measure success at an account by replacing the MQL with the Account Engagement Score.
  • Using Target Account Pipeline and Revenue Based Metrics when forecasting.
  • There is no such thing as a simple handoff between teams anymore, and processes need to be adjusted to reflect that.
Discussion points included the following:
  • The challenges of measuring engagement objectively and developing a system of attribution that works for all teams.
  • How to orchestrate between sales development and marketing for more effective prospecting messaging.
Our second set of speakers were Beth McCullough, Director of Demand Gen, and Avi Bhatnagar, Director of Digital Marketing, from WhiteHat Security who walked us through their phases of ABE implementation in their team. Discussion points included:
  • The challenges of measuring engagement objectively and developing a system of attribution that works for all teams.
  • How to effectively build your technology stack to minimize function overlap and ensure high quality ROI.
  • Build an account-based workflow in order to ensure the organization is on the same page about which teams own which touchpoints and handoffs
Our third speaker was Maria Pergolino, SVP of Global Marketing at Apttus, who led a highly interactive session on the challenges of implementing ABM at Apttus. Discussion points included:
  • Building better attribution models by source to help understand marketing ROI for target accounts.
  • Changing rhetoric around success by measuring Life Time Value and Target Account Pipeline based on Target Account List.
Thank you to our speakers for presenting and giving the group several helpful insights into operationalizing account-based strategies for marketing teams!

A Very Large List of Account-Based Pitfalls (and How to Avoid Them)

In nearly every TOPO engagement with clients who are launching an account-based GTM strategy, a common question we hear goes like this: “How can we learn from others’ mistakes so we can realize the benefits of account-based (e.g., higher ACV, LTV) faster?” We love hearing this question because we have, indeed, observed the habits of many clients as they implement their account-based programs. We’ve seen them get awesome results and we’ve seen them struggle, too. Here is a summary of their struggles, with recommendations for how your company can overcome them.

The “No Top Ramen” Rule (or 4 things we did when we started TOPO)

I get asked quite often for my learnings in launching TOPO. With 3 years of hindsight, I believe there were 4 critical tactics that allowed us to launch quickly into the market and grow our business out of the gate. For some context, TOPO was bootstrapped and Scott and I (the founders) made a “No Top Ramen” agreement, which meant that we would build this business to make money immediately. This pact drove urgency to get out into the market, and forced us to make quick but solid decisions that were also realistic since there was only two of us. There were some bad decisions, but there were four that stood out that any business starting out can execute.

Sales Development Council #15 – A Recap

Over 30 sales development leaders from the Bay Area’s fastest growing companies once again convened last Friday for TOPO’s Sales Development Council #15. These Councils offer a unique forum for sales development leaders from high growth companies to learn from each other and share best practices. Each Council features three speakers who share the processes, plays, organizational elements, and technologies they use to drive key revenue metrics.

The TOPO Account-Based Funnel: Official Launch

Over the last year, account-based go-to-market strategies have become the hottest topic in B2B sales and marketing. This shift is occurring as sales and marketing leaders realize the shortcomings of traditional, volume-based, lead-centric demand generation programs. While these programs have, in some cases, delivered a large number of leads to sales, key strategic metrics, such as close rates and lifetime value, have not met expectations.

The 2017 TOPO Summit

The 2017 TOPO Summit is less than three months away! This year’s Summit will build on the success of last year’s, where over 650 sales leaders attended 33 different sessions and workshops to learn how the world’s best companies grow as fast as they do. This year, Summit will take place April 12-13 at Pier 27 in San Francisco, where you’ll be able to learn from, and collaborate with, over 1,000 sales and marketing leaders.

Achieving Account-Based Orchestration via Marketing and SDR Collaboration

Orchestration is the sequenced coordination of different activities, programs and campaigns across marketing, sales development, sales and customer success to drive engagement with multiple stakeholders in target accounts. Orchestration is key to a successful account-based strategy.

Using Buyer Personas to Enable Buyer-Responsive Selling

There is a movement underway to deliver more valuable engagement with buyers. TOPO’s ongoing research on sales organizations shows that sales leaders overwhelmingly rank “improving the quality of engagement with buyers” as their top priority. The key to achieving better quality engagement is to arm the sales reps for buyer-responsive selling.

Content Enablement for Sales

In an earlier post on the TOPO blog, Sales Enablement Best Practices: Sales Process is the Foundation, author Robert Koehler describes the TOPO Sales Enablement framework. One of the key elements of the framework is content enablement, which will be the focus of this post along with the different types of sales content.

Sales Development Metrics: Assessing Low Conversion Rates

The ultimate measure for sales development success is closed won business. If SDRs are not contributing opportunities to the pipeline that result in closed business, it’s hard to justify the effort. That said, looking at other key conversion steps in the overall sales and marketing process can highlight needed improvements to sales development process and execution.

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