In ABM By All Accounts

WITH THE RECENT closing of $88 million in funding, and ranking as one of the fastest-growing technology brands by Deloitte, chances are you will hear more about Apttus.

A leader in the quote-to-cash solution space, it is hard to fathom that Apttus was doing very little marketing only a few years ago. That changed when Apttus recruited former Marketo executive Maria Pergolino to build a revenue-focused marketing team.

A widely-acknowledged thought leader in the demand generation and marketing automation space, Pergolino’s first priority was validating the role of marketing within an organization that had previously been sales-driven.

To align quickly with the sales organization, an account-based marketing strategy was one of the first initiatives Pergolino launched. The ABM initiative started with a manual process of building a target account list, based on companies that were users, as well as specific company sizes and industries.

While Apttus thought it had adequate coverage of its addressable market, Pergolino says they uncovered significant insights into a wider target audience through a pilot project with predictive analytics vendor EverString.

“Based on the Marketo plays we ran and our knowledge of the space, we knew a lot of the people we wanted to sell to, but EverString has allowed us to identify other companies we could have missed,” Pergolino said.

After providing EverString with their initial target account list of 3,000 organizations, and API access to its Salesforce account, Apttus received 400 additional suggested target accounts.

“We have a really balanced marketing mix. We are investing in growing the Apttus brand, so we are still doing broader demand generation.” Maria Pergolino, Apttus

The EverString predictive pilot not only identified new target companies, but also added relevant titles based on the companies’ buyer personas, so Apttus could begin sending campaigns to them.

The impact of those 400 accounts was significant, driving 37 opportunities representing over $6 million in pipeline in 6 months.


Beyond identifying additional accounts and roles, Pergolino said the company also adapted its campaign approach. In most campaigns, the company now uses EverString’s predictive scoring tool to identify new targets, then sends direct mail offers via PFL to decision-makers with a link to a personalized landing page.

Upon delivery of the direct mail, Apttus uses Marketo to deliver personalized email to those executives and then uses to schedule an automated task within Salesforce to follow up with a call.

Another critical ABM tool for Apttus has been Engagio, which Pergolino said the company has been using to orchestrate targeted plays that extend consistent messaging from outbound campaign offers through to business development reps. Pergolino said the Engagio platform is a key part of the company’s initiative not only to acquire new accounts, but also land and expand with top accounts.


While Pergolino is a frequent speaker and emerging rock star in the ABM circuit, she is quick to credit her marketing team for the company’s success and recognition for innovations. “I get a lot of credit for their amazing work, but all of the marketing and branding we are doing is a group effort executed by really talented people.”

She also stressed that ABM is a part of the overall marketing strategy at Apttus, not a wholesale shift in focus. “We have a really balanced marketing mix. We are investing in growing the Apttus brand, so we are still doing broader demand generation.”

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