We always have a good time at the SiriusDecisions Summit, and this year was no different. We spent four days in Austin, sat in on expert-led sessions, ate some incredible food and closed out the trip with a performance by Leon Bridges.
But the best part by far were the dozens of conversations we had around booth #324, where we got some real-world insight into what people launching and running ABM programs within their companies are struggling with every day.
Since the last time we came to the SiriusDecisions Summit, the conversation around ABM has evolved. A lot of companies have tried to implement technology and artificial intelligence to digitize certain aspects of their ABM programs, and now they're finding the real need is for intelligence.
Some of the businesses we spoke with are fairly new to account-based marketing and came to SiriusDecisions to learn how to pilot the program, select their accounts, set their goals and, ultimately, scale. They were staring down the barrel at 100 accounts they needed to penetrate, and they understood that was going to require research — lots of it. But they didn’t understand the best way to do it. Was the solution to hunker down as a team and start Googling? Or was the research something they could outsource, in favor of spending more time working to engage those accounts?
Some of the companies with more established ABM programs told us they had started building out internal programs to train the members of their sales teams to do that research on their own. They were investing significant amounts of money to teach them how to find key details in 10-K’s and earnings reports, essentially adding “business analyst” to the job descriptions of seasoned account executives. They just didn’t realize there was a service out there that could do it for them, saving them time and money and allowing their account executives to do what they do best.
And then there were the companies who are outsourcing the research process to other members of their team, typically to their sales development representatives. What they’re getting as a result is a spot on the very long to-do list of a junior employee who lacks the experience and insight needed to uncover information that provides value in a C-level conversation. Quality research doesn’t come from a cursory Google search; you need a deeper understanding of business news, trends and analysis to turn random pieces of information into business intelligence you can use to close the C-suite.
We walked away from all of those conversations invigorated — not because we saw people struggling to shepherd their ABM programs to success, but because we saw ample opportunity to help. We have an experienced team of researchers that is building a vast database of Executive Profiles that offer critical insight into the leaders of Fortune 500 countries across the U.S., and that’s a service people need. We have built a solution to a very real problem. Now we just have to educate more people on how it can transform their ABM and C-suite sales programs for the better.
Selling into the C-suite is a big job, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’ve been looking for support when it comes to collecting vital C-level intelligence, schedule a free demo to see how we can help.