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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.

Organizations that lack robust orchestration often fail to successfully launch account-based programs or realize positive results from them. The main obstacle organizations face is an inability to perform the change management required to coordinate multiple entities. In fact, TOPO’s research on account-based organizations identified that sales-marketing alignment and orchestration are top challenges.

Conversely, account-based organizations that have met or exceeded their expectations within a year share one common trait: they leverage account-based sales development. In other words, the fastest path to launching orchestrated campaigns and driving strong results from them is to focus on marketing-sales development orchestration.

The timing for marketing-sales development collaboration is perfect. Sales development is already shifting from greenfield outbound prospecting to account-based.

ABM, SDR

Greenfield outbound prospecting means SDRs are free to choose the accounts they pursue and has been the predominant methodology for many SDR teams. As the data shows, the shift has been towards either account-based (SDRs are assigned accounts) or partial account-based (SDRs are assigned some accounts and can choose other accounts). As SDRs manage the change management required for this shift, they are open to support from marketing to help them achieve their targeted goals.

There are 4 key factors for marketing-sales development orchestration and for the overall success of your Account-Based programs:

Start with marketing-sales development, then proceed to full-scale orchestration.
The promise of the account-based strategy is aligned orchestration of all functions to the target accounts. The reality is that this involves a lot of moving parts. Our recommendation is to begin with marketing-sales development alignment. Once early success is established, sales can then be layered into campaigns, followed by customer success, etc. 

Focus on pipeline metrics over MQLS.
The two key metrics to focus on are qualified meetings and pipeline generated from target accounts (target account pipeline). This is a major shift for marketers who have judged their campaigns by MQLs or leads. Instead, both functions should align themselves to the same goal. For example, most companies are measuring the effectiveness of their orchestration by the lift in meetings with target accounts. Ultimately, a full-scale account-based program will drive strategic “win” metrics like deal velocity, close rates, and deal sizes. These metrics take time to manifest. In the meantime, focus on target account pipeline metrics (meetings or actual pipeline).

Transform the outbound SDR program to Account-Based sales development.
Account-based SDRs work exclusively on assigned target accounts. They outbound prospect and follow up with MQLs from these target accounts. For orchestration to work, sales development must be aligned to these accounts from both inbound and outbound perspective, and spend 100% of their time on these accounts. Marketing-sales development orchestration will fail if these efforts are considered “tests” or side campaigns. 

Design multi-touch, multi-channel coordinated campaigns around common themes.
Such campaigns can include a wide range of touches, such as fully-customized account campaigns, vertical campaigns or campaigns supporting field events. The key is to not make the orchestration too complicated and to focus on campaigns that can be stood up easily. Many organizations are using field events as the initial campaign to begin their orchestration.

Marketing-SDR coordinated campaigns will produce lift in target account pipeline. Organizations currently executing marketing-SDR orchestrated campaigns typically realize a 30-50% lift in ‘meetings set’ at target accounts, with some organizations reporting a 100% increase.

About the Author
Craig Rosenberg is the co-founder and Chief Analyst at TOPO.

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