Customer Story

Fivetran Account Executive Calls Demandbase His “Sales Detective”

The Head Scratcher

Fivetran, a provider of data integration and data pipelines, is in rapid growth mode with no signs of slowing down. Prior to implementing account-based marketing (ABM) and Demandbase, they focused exclusively on traditional demand generation tactics, pushing inbound leads (MQLs) into the top of the funnel. With a desire to win certain accounts and move upmarket, they decided to add ABM to the mix.

Casey Patterson, Manager of the ABM team at Fivetran, was brought in to build Fivetran’s new ABM program from the ground up. One of the first things she did was establish a strategy and principles to guide their decisions and execution. A key principle was this: ABM exists to serve sales. As Casey put it, “ABM is nothing without sales, and the ABM team at Fivetran is here to bring sales strategy to life.”

Only there was a problem. They quickly discovered they had a knowledge gap in both sales and marketing. They didn’t know what was happening at an account level. The demand gen team was doing a great job at bringing in hot leads, but oftentimes sales was targeting lists of accounts. These lists were sometimes based on MQLs, but sometimes not. To support both sales and marketing goals, they needed a tool that enabled them to 1) report on every single activity that happened at an account, 2) serve that information up to sales in a prioritized way that was also easy to scale, and 3) set the ABM team up for success with account level targeting and reporting.

Demandbase image

Technology — Software as a Service

Company Size
1000+ employees

Global with headquarters in Oakland, CA

Demandbase One with abx

"With Demandbase, I get real-time updates and triggers, highlighting exactly what my prospective customers are interested in, allowing me to frame each and every interaction with them based on their desired outcomes. It’s like having a crystal ball into their goals without me having to pry it out of them… truly life-changing!"
Jonathan Roberts Fivetran
Jonathan Roberts Account Executive at Fivetran

What’d They Do?

Fivetran chose to work with Demandbase and, with the help of their RevEx team, they stood up Demandbase One ABX Cloud within a month, integrating all their martech and CRM tools — Salesforce, Marketo, Uberflip, Drift, Bombora, Slack, Google Analytics, Salesloft — to realize value quickly. They tested each of their integrations, with the help of Max, their Onboarding Manager, and customized the journey stages to Fivetran’s very specific needs, so they could confidently roll out the tool to sales and the broader marketing teams.

It was love at first click! The sales team immediately embraced Demandbase One and began using it to prioritize their accounts. The account execs work in teams with business development reps (BDRs) and the insights from the platform quickly became a part of their planning sessions. They also learned to use the insights to tailor their conversations and help them stand out from the typical sales person.
As Jon Roberts, an Account Executive known as “the Closer” put it, “When I saw Demandbase the first time, I was like, this is literally all the data I’ve ever wanted about my accounts — every piece of information I could want to create a differentiated experience, finally all in one place!
Demandbase is like a command console…a single pane of glass. And I use the Slack notifications to trigger me and my BDR into action. I’ve also set up custom reports that are generated on a weekly basis, which round out what we see in the platform. That speaks to the beauty of the technology that it can meet each seller where they are versus asking us to rework our process, which we all know is not going to happen.”

Tina Pluff, Enterprise BDR uses it similarly to spot the right accounts to target — those who are most engaged. She sees when an exec, or anyone from a target account, is looking at their website and clicking on her emails. “It’s instrumental on many fronts,” she beams.

"I find that the customization is beautiful because you don't have to pigeonhole all of your salespeople into a specific way of looking at information. We’re each able to read the information we want, where we want to see it… it's amazing."
Tina Pluff Fivetran
Tina Pluff Enterprise Business Development Representative

Why Demandbase?

Fivetran was eager to implement an ABM tool, but they took time to evaluate four offerings against a list of must-haves:

  • Sales insights embedded in Salesforce
  • Slack alerts to sales based on territory
  • Account and contact level reporting
  • ABM advertising capabilities
  • Custom KPIs
  • A Chrome extension that sales could use to quickly send contacts into Salesloft
  • Pricing that fit their budget.

“Demandbase ticked all the boxes and more,” said Casey, “…we also received the best sales and customer service experience from Demandbase throughout the buying process.”

The ability to customize journey stages was another key driver for Fivetran. They have very specific needs and wanted to align the stages with their business priorities. Casey liked the fact that Demandbase is not a “black box.” She knows exactly how each account is moving through every journey stage and why. If sales asks, she can point to known activities that moved the account through their journey.

"I think if I took Demandbase away from the sales team, I’d have an uprising on my hands."
Casey Patterson Fivetran
Casey Patterson Manager, Account Based Marketing

How’d they do?

With Demandbase One ABX Cloud, Fivetran is living their ABM guiding principles.

  • True sales and marketing collaboration
    When Fivetran purchased Demandbase, Casey was adamant that they would not buy, “just another marketing tool…There are so many marketing tools available, and they are rarely critical to both sales and marketing success. Demandbase breaks that mold. As a true ABM tool, it is just as useful to sales as it is to marketing. Sales can see exactly how marketing is engaging with their accounts and marketing can see the same. It makes breaking into each account a true collaboration between the go-to-market teams.”

    As a prime example of this, the ABM team at Fivetran meets regularly with BDR and AE teams. With Demandbase, a typical scenario now looks like this: an ABM team member pulls up their territory’s activity. They look at a heatmap based on contact titles, select the activity type and title they want to follow up on, and send the contacts into Salesloft in 30 seconds. By the time they wrap up the meeting, everyone’s action items are already in their queue because of Demandbase. “It’s huge,” says Casey. “Demandbase doesn’t just tell you what’s happening, it empowers you to take action on it in real time.”

    She half-jokingly added, “I think if I took Demandbase away from the sales team, I’d have an uprising on my hands.”
  • Giving each sales exec and BDR exactly what they want and need
    Each sales team member is unique at Fivetran. Some want granular insights on each movement that happens in their territory every single day. Some want a monthly summary of Pipeline Predict accounts with a high likelihood to close. With Demandbase, they can get as granular as who has clicked on a display ad within a territory within the last day, or as broad as the accounts Demandbase’s AI predicts are engaged, have high intent, and high qualification. “With Demandbase, the ABM team can provide each rep exactly what they need to tackle their territory,” says Casey.

    And Casey’s not the only one who appreciates the flexibility. Tina added, “I find that the customization is beautiful because you don’t have to pigeonhole all of your salespeople into a specific way of looking at information. We’re each able to read the information we want, where we want to see it… it’s amazing.”
  • Building pipeline with a virtual “sales assistant”
    “We’re growing unbelievably fast, and when you’re trying to grow as quickly as we are, you can’t guess at where to focus time and invest. We invest a lot into different programs to acquire new customers, and if we’re focusing our time and energy in the wrong places, it’s truly a waste for our business.” asserted Jon, “and I don’t have time to do the kind of groundwork that’s typically needed to build pipeline for the next three….next six months. We’re all focused on today! But in sales, you always have to think about the next three to six months. So having a tool to help me understand what’s happening in my territory in real time is beyond powerful. It’s like my sales Assistant, coaching and directing me to the appropriate accounts and the right people on those accounts…like having a third person on my team. Really!”

    Jon didn’t stop there, “If you were to take Demandbase away from me,” he cringed, “it would be like having to drive a car without my eyes…or flying a plane without being in the cockpit. Demandbase really has become foundational to understanding what’s happening every single day.”
  • Differentiating themselves in a crowded market
    The sales and BDR teams are also using insights from the platform to grab their prospects’ attention and earn their trust. Tina says buyers open up when she mentions an article or case study they were engaging with on the website. It makes the conversation so much easier.

    Before Demandbase, her talk track might have sounded something like this, “I’m calling you because you’re the director of engineering and ….” But now that they know when a prospect is downloading something around, say, migrating to cloud and what cloud data warehousing does, she can say something like this, “We’re reaching out to other directors of engineering like yourself, discussing cloud migrations and what a cloud data warehouse can do for your analytics operation. I thought this might be an interesting topic for you to discuss.” Now she doesn’t sound like a salesperson, she sounds like a consultant!

    Jon views it similarly, “We work in a very saturated market — doesn’t every tech company these days? It’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. And the way to do that is to customize the way you reach out, the wording you use, the language, the message that you’re creating for the account you’re trying to acquire or target, and Demandbase layers in the information that allows us to differentiate ourselves in the market. I tell all of our sellers here at Fivetran that in a space where we’re constantly fighting commoditization, the only difference is you as the rep, and Demandbase really creates that differentiation.”
  • Growing existing accounts and warding off competitive threats
    With products that can be used in so many different ways, it could be easy for sales reps to miss opportunities to cross-sell within existing accounts. Demandbase changes that. It shines a spotlight on contacts within an account who are exploring new use cases, so reps can bridge across business lines and widen the conversation within the account. In the same way, Demandbase intent signals surface potential threats when reps see an account researching a competitor’s solution. “It’s like having a sales detective on my staff, or eyes in the back of my head,” winks Jon.
  • Supported in their exponential growth
    The team at Fivetran relishes the pace at which the company is growing, but it also means they’re challenged with constantly onboarding new sales team hires. Thanks to Demandbase, the ABM team can easily enable new sales team members to hit the ground running, with new reps getting daily or weekly insights on their accounts. They see exactly who’s coming to the website, who’s trending, who’s engaging with their brand.

    The team wrapped up their comments by saying to anyone considering buying an ABM platform, “Think about the people you’ll be working with as well. Some vendors will only contact you when it’s time to pay up, but Demandbase will partner with you — whether you’re building an ABM program from scratch or you’re an ABM expert. Katie, our customer success manager, is the BEST. She’s part of our ABM team, proactively consulting with us on new and exciting changes coming, helping us understand how we can make better use of the platform. And if we ever have an issue, she resolves it speedily,” says Casey.

About Fivetran

Fivetran is the global leader in modern data integration, delivering ready-to-use connectors that adapt to change. Fivetran prides itself as a great place to work and grow your career and was recently awarded six Comparably awards for culture, including Best Global Culture. Fivetran is Great Place to Work Certified, and named one of the best places to work for parents. Passion, innovation, and diversity are at the heart of everything they do.

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