ServiceNow Roundtable: ABM Orchestration Is Key to Transform Business Intelligence Into Sales Results

October 04, 2022 | Blog, Resources

There’s more business data available than ever for B2B marketers to tap into, but using it effectively remains a challenge for many revenue teams. 

This is especially true for enterprise companies with multiple units, regional divisions, and lines of business, whose customer account profiles contain an array of data points collected globally from dozens, if not hundreds, of marketing activities.  

In order to connect customers and prospects with the optimal products and content for their needs, account-based marketing (ABM) practitioners rely on transforming this stream of data into true intelligence. They’re getting an assist from technology thanks to advancements in AI and machine learning, but still need to institute organization-wide collaboration and B2B marketing best practices to ensure their programs are effective and measurably impact the bottom line. 

These challenges were the subject of an online roundtable hosted by DemandGen Report with Heather Rath, Director of Field Marketing West at ServiceNow and recipient of a 2022 B2B Innovator award, and MRP CMO Mark Ogne. 

Rath discussed how she and her team have embraced strategic ABM to transform sales and marketing into lock-step revenue teams. Among the insights Rath and Ogne shared:

 

Success Starts with the Right ICP

Before launching ABM campaigns, marketers should use business intelligence to select  which accounts to target in the first place. A thorough understanding of the company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) is crucial, including specific attributes such as industries, geographies, budgets, and buyer personas, Rath said. Marketing teams should utilize more advanced AI and ML to tap into multi-dimensional views of their accounts and buyers in real time. With the right ICP in place and technology doing the heavy lifting to score accounts appropriately, marketers can  differentiate approaches to ensure they’re honing in on the right conversations, she added.  

 

Moving Beyond the Reliance on Intent Data Alone

Contextualized account intelligence can help companies avoid the pitfalls of over-reliance on intent data to identify prospects, according to Ogne. Geography is one key attribute that intent signals often don’t convey; if interest is surging from a large company, it’s crucial to know which regions are active and what they are interested in, to determine which products are the best fit and where they are in their journey, as needs can vary by location within a single account. 

Another reason to avoid relying solely on Intent data is timing. It can take weeks for an account to accrue enough intent signals to surface as a prospect, by which time buyers may already be gravitating toward competitors. Branded advertising campaigns can encourage potential buyers to “raise their hands” and trigger speedier identification as prospects, Ogne said. 

 

Relevant Orchestration Boosts Mid-Funnel Results

Rath’s team specializes in one-to-few campaigns that deliver highly relevant content to prospects in the mid-funnel. Marketing messages are honed with a high degree of specificity based on potential buyers’ recent upper-funnel activities, as well as deep account-based intelligence. As a result, ServiceNow’s field marketing teams are armed with relevant materials and empowered to define their own clusters and deploy content that is tailor-made for specific target personas. 

In addition to precisely targeting the content prospects receive, Rath and her team coordinate messaging channels, from issuing invitations to live events relevant to the prospect’s industry or role, to sending direct mail pieces that promote complementary new products or introduce new product lines to existing customers. 

Ogne said this targeted approach across channels is especially important at the enterprise level, where millions of marketing messages are being deployed in multiple formats. B2B buyers expect to engage across five or six channels – but in meeting that expectation, companies must also avoid duplication of campaigns or, worse, contradictory or confusing messaging. 

Constant communication with sales is especially key at this stage, Rath said, with marketing teams sharing information on why prospects have been identified for targeting and recommending specific campaigns to deploy. In short, orchestration occurs not only with  data and channels, but between internal teams as well.

“We’re seeing better results, higher conversion rates, because we’re able to build content and meet our buyers where they are in that journey,” Rath said. 

 

Holistic Goals Capture End-to-End ABM Impact

Once campaigns are in play, careful measurement is a must to ensure that results are tracked and opportunities for improvement identified. Rath said ServiceNow uses net new growth in Annual Contract Value (ACV) as a chief performance metric, ensuring the focus is on new account acquisition or growing existing customer relationships through new regions or lines of business.

In addition, Rath’s team monitors not only the sales pipeline derived from their specific campaigns and activities, but also the total sales pipeline, as a way to measure both direct and indirect impact of their campaigns. Ogne added that capturing this “marketing influenced revenue” is crucial for companies to gain a comprehensive understanding of ABM’s impact; layering new booked revenue data with the number of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) within the account can also indicate how orchestrated campaigns are working to produce cumulative results. 

With meaningful metrics in place, companies are well-positioned to learn from campaigns and continuously improve ABM operations. For ABM beginners, starting small and iterating on measurable results that track effectiveness throughout the sales cycle can ensure better performance over time, Rath said. 

“Insights are critical to any ABM strategy and building your list,” she advised. “Really keep in mind the flow, the funnel of what you’re trying to achieve from a higher level and then how you’re bringing that down through the funnel is important.” 

Read the ServiceNow success story to learn about the results Rath has driven using MRP Prelytix or contact us to speak to an ABM expert about effectively using account intelligence to power account-based sales and marketing success.

About MRP

MRP Prelytix® is the only enterprise-class predictive account-based sales and marketing platform. For organizations that serve multiple partners, lines of business, geographies, or industries, MRP Prelytix empowers sales and marketing teams to simplify their environment’s complexity and produce measurable and high-performance conversion, pipeline velocity, and closed revenue. Applying the industry’s only real-time predictive analytics and data management, we fuel over 1,000 ABM engines across six continents to coordinate, execute, and optimize their ABM programs using eight channels produced in 20 languages. Powered by KX, MRP Prelytix sits on top of the fastest streaming analytics database in the world.

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