Goods to Selling High: How to Make ABM Actually Work with Snowflake Head of ABM, Hilary Carpio

Every SaaS founder dreams of conquering the market and growing at a record rate. But when you stick to traditional, siloed sales motions, you may prevent your goals from being met. Fortunately, with the right strategy, you can continue to grow with a funnel that stays fresh.

Hillary Carpio, the Director of ABM at Snowflake, shares her company’s account-based marketing (ABM) playbook and how it can dramatically scale business. 

Integrated ABM: Flipping the Funnel

Snowflake’s account-based marketing aims to engage key decision-makers at the must-win accounts through strategic, cross-functional campaigns. To execute this mission, they made sure to closely integrate their teams, especially their sales and SDR teams. Says Carpio, “The key to [successful ABM] at Snowflake is really, really tight integration with our sales development team and our sales team. We have to be in lockstep every step of the way.”

Additionally, Snowflake does not abide by the traditional lead generation funnel.

Traditional Funnel:

Generate Brand Awareness ––> Nurture and Engage ––> Identify High-Value Account ––> Convert.

However, Snowflake decided to flip the funnel to serve their ABM efforts better.

Account-Based Marketing Funnel:

Identify High-Value Accounts ––> Nurture & Engage ––> Convert ––> Build Long-Term Relationship.

This change in approach requires a significant mindset shift, and all relevant teams need to be on board and in sync.

Build Winning ABM Infrastructure

As you begin setting up your ABM strategy, you need to determine what makes an account a must-win. To prioritize your accounts, ask who is the ripest opportunity, and when will they buy? To find your priority accounts, examine your first-party data, third-party data, and general demographics. This information will give you your top targets, and it will also inform what marketing and sales content you should promote per segment.

Next, you should create and name your personas. Carpio emphasizes that your personas as the foundation of your ABM strategy. Consider each persona’s job description, the problem they’re trying to solve, and the value you can add to them. Sales and marketing must agree and be on the same page when it comes to personas. Carpio says, “We need to make sure that … we agree between sales and marketing, what are the problems that each of our personas are experiencing. Do we also agree on what the value add is?”

Once you’ve set your personas, it’s time to align messaging between all teams. There must be a core message for each persona communicated through your SEO strategy, ad copy, case studies, and prospect sequence. 

Generate Demand and Drive Lifecycle ABM

When you begin your ABM demand gen, keep in mind that you should minimize market waste and maximize your consistency. Depending on where the prospect is in their journey will determine how you market to them.

  • Problem Education: Does your prospect need to understand their problem?
  • Solution Research: Have they started searching for solutions for their pain point?
  • Solution Selection: Have they chosen their product to solve their problem.

Every piece of marketing collateral should be connected with a purpose to move leads through the funnel. Marketing and sales should coordinate to create content that operates within these funnel stages.

The ABM doesn’t stop after your lead moves through the funnel and becomes a customer. Your teams should drive full lifecycle ABM for optimal business growth. Consider champion programs, cross-sells and upsells, user groups, and training credits to build loyal customer relationships.

Key Takeaways

  • Start with data, follow with strategy, and focus on execution.
  • Focus on how you can add value.
  • Build a messaging strategy that is relevant to each persona.
  • Serve the right content at the right time for maximum impact.
  • Create a workflow strategy that works for you, and be flexible. 

Published on April 28, 2022

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