In First Hand Accounts

By Sandra Freeman, Engagio

Marketing is changing faster than ever before. Among all of this change, there’s one thing that I know for sure — the roles and responsibilities of marketers are also quickly changing. Many companies know what ABM is, but we continue to hear that people really want to know more details on how to execute ABM.

We’ve given companies ample advice on how to align sales and marketing, selecting target accounts and hiring someone to lead your ABM efforts.

Today, I want to take it one step further and walk you through what a typical day for me looks like. For a little context, I run ABM at Engagio, and I previously worked for Jon Miller at Marketo directing and running events, like Marketo Summit. Needless to say, I eat, sleep and breathe ABM.

Ok, let’s dive in!

8:00-8:30 am: Commute To Work

I usually commute into work with a co-worker and catch up with what happened over the weekend. Bearing any unusually wild story, the conversation inevitably turns to brainstorming on an upcoming event or campaign.

Again, I can’t stop thinking about ABM campaigns! My daughter did something fun for her drama class … here’s how we can adapt that for ABM. I saw a fun street performer while in Austin over the weekend … here’s how we can adapt that for ABM. We got a fun giveaway at the Giant’s game … you get my drift.

8:30–9:30 am: Check The “Optimize” And “Progress” Reports And Take Action!

I leverage some of Engagio’s out-of-the-box reports to answer the questions, “How did we do last week?” and “What needs to be followed up on right now?” and “What can I do better?” I look at how accounts are moving through the funnel, as well as how many meetings, opportunities and pipeline were generated in our target account segments.

These reports are built from Engagio Selectors. For example:

  • [Progress] Meetings scheduled last week;
  • [Progress] Opportunities created last week;
  • [Optimize] Prospect engagement, no recent sales touches; and
  • [Optimize] Opportunities stuck.

9:30–10:30 am: ABM Standups

I can usually fit two ABM Standups in with two separate teams during this one-hour chunk. We have a 1:1 ADR to AE ratio, so it’s usually just us three. Occasionally, I’ll ask another member of the revenue team to join in to bring his or her expertise to the table, whether it’s our VP of Customer Experience, our Product Consultant or Director of Growth. Usually, you’ll find us standing huddled around the kitchen table or on a walk to Peet’s.

To keep this tactical and practical, let’s dive into a recent ABM Standup example. I was meeting with our Northeastern territory team, and we noticed that one specific account had high engagement but no exec engagement. We did some research and found that the decision-maker was into CrossFit, so we ran an “executive connection” play with a CrossFit theme, complete with some custom CrossFit swag.

10:30-11:30am: Flex Time

Often times, there’s bound to be unforeseen things that come up that need attention. I leave time for this. It could be anything from helping onboard a new rep, assisting a co-marketing partner, pulling reports for the board or providing feedback on a Marketing Operations process question.

11:30 am–12:00 pm: Sharing Success

A key to getting everyone onboard and excited about ABM is sharing success. This is also a great way to give newer reps ideas for how marketing can help them. Not to mention, you’ll stop getting the question, “What does marketing do all day?”

I’ll try to tell stories of how personalized research led to a creative play that got a meeting at a Tier-2 account. Or I’ll break down a campaign we did at a recent event and report on its performance. I’ll even share ways in which we used new features of our Engagio product to execute our ABM.

12:00–1:00 pm: Lunch

I try to go out to lunch with different members of the team. One of the great perks working for Engagio is if you go out with someone from a different department, you can expense the meal! This is positive for cross-department collaboration and overall great for the culture of your organization. This is especially helpful for me because it’s my job to be one of the most tuned-in people on the team.

1:00–2:00 pm: Territory Jump-Start Or ABM Focus Session

During this time block, I sit with new ADRs and reps in new territories to help jump-start engagement in their territories. We’ll spend a little extra time, energy and resources to get accounts in the new territory engaged. Some of the typical activities we do include increasing our direct mail sends for 30 days, organizing an executive breakfast or workshop, hosting a webinar or sponsoring a conference. This is all done with the lens of that territory. For example, if the territory is Texas, we may build a direct mail package around a country singer.

If I’m not busy jump-starting a new territory, I’ll take this time to drive engagement at target accounts for a different outcome. Maybe there’s a territory that is seeing low engagement — we’ll take a similar approach to the territory jump-start. Maybe we’re getting ready for an industry conference — in this case, we’ll take this time to drive meetings at the show.

2:00–3:00 pm: Customer Meeting Or Sales Call

At Engagio, we always put customers first, so you’ll frequently find members of the marketing team taking time out of their day to hop on a call and share best practices with customers. This could be anything from how we use Engagio, to how we do content for ABM, to how we think about analytics and attribution in an account-based world.

Other days, you’ll often find us on sales calls giving a prospect our perspective. After all, the marketing team members are the power users of Engagio — prospects love hearing from us and we love talking with prospects. These calls are also very important to us, because at the end of the day, we’re ultimately here to support sales.

3:00–3:30 pm: Break And Email Session

It’s about this time in the afternoon that we’re all ready for a quick break, whether it’s a cup of coffee or a bag of Popchips. Sometimes, the break you need is just going over and chatting with a colleague. Then, I head back to my desk to triage emails that have piled up throughout the day before getting ready for my next meeting.

3:30–4:00 pm: Product Feedback

Our product team is great at sitting down with the marketing team and giving feedback on how they’re building the product. Whether that’s going over product specs, showing us low-fidelity mockups or having us test new features before they go into beta, the product team is always collecting qualitative and quantitative data to improve the product.

4:00–5:00 pm: Weekly Team Meeting Or 1:1

Holding regular meetings keeps the flow of information going and focuses the team and its people to the main objectives. Weekly meetings open up opportunities to come together, reflect on progress and help each other.

At Engagio, we put a lot of emphasis on creating a Fearless Organization where people feel safe to take risks, where everyone feels heard and respected, and where everyone is empowered to do their best work. Regular weekly team meetings and 1:1s are a great way to reinforce and show these principles.

5:00–5:30 pm: Direct Mail Check-In

I manage interns to help with our hyper-personalized aspects of our direct mail operation, so I need to check in with them daily to make sure they’re on track. Do they have any questions or roadblocks? Are they following the proper processes and procedures? Do they have the correct lists? How is our inventory? 

In addition, we leverage Sendoso and PFL for high-scale direct mail.

5:30 pm: Wrap Up

This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 60 minutes. I use this time to tie up any loose ends, send any last emails and then prepare to do it all again the next day.

Of course, not every single day is as busy as this, but this is a good representation of what ABM marketers spend most of their time doing. If you’re new to ABM, this is a great start to model the work you do. However, there’s a ton of nuance depending on what you sell, who your customers are, your industry, your business model, etc., so take this info, learn from it and adapt to make it your own.

Sandra Freeman leads Engagio’s ABM strategy and programs and is energized by working with Revenue Teams and serving as an Advisor to other ABM enthusiasts. She is driven to create synergies through ABM + demand gen, partners + programs, and data + creativity for amazing results. Her mantra is #MakeItHappen!

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