How Devo Mastered ABM for Sales-Marketing Alignment
ABM/ABX 05.17.2024

How Devo Mastered ABM for Sales-Marketing Alignment

Subscribe and listen

Shownotes

This episode discusses how Devo implemented account-based marketing (ABM) and aligned its marketing and sales teams. Greg Aquavella from Devo shares how they overcame challenges through Demandbase training sessions with sellers and weekly one-on-ones. He emphasizes the importance of aligning sales and marketing efforts through collaboration and providing insights that matter to sellers. The episode also covers identifying opportunities for pipeline acceleration and integrating demand generation tools into existing sales workflows to streamline processes. Overall, it focuses on best practices for ABM success through effective alignment between revenue teams.

Best Moments

01:44 –  Why Devo implemented an ABM program, noting their complex buying cycle and large deal sizes.
03:07 –  Challenges in aligning with sales.
06:42 –  A funny story about a "light bulb moment" Greg had aligning a sales rep through Demandbase training.
09:08 –  Greg discusses a rep bringing their ideas to leverage Demandbase data, as the definition of alignment.
11:37 –  Advice for marketers in an MQL mindset on starting to think about the pipeline.
15:07 –  Greg emphasizes integrating tools into existing sales workflows to streamline processes.

About the guest

Greg Aquavella is the Director of Marketing at Devo. With over 12 years of experience in marketing and 6+ years focused on account-based strategies, Greg is a leading expert in aligning marketing and sales for ABM success. At Devo, Greg spearheaded the implementation of their global ABM program to better target large enterprise accounts. He is responsible for building revenue and delighting customers through global ABM, Digital, and Field marketing strategies and supports Devo’s programmatic account intelligence engine.

Connect with Greg Acquavella

Key takeaways

  • ABM is a holistic approach that requires aligning marketing, sales, and customer success
  • Aligning sales and marketing is crucial for successful ABM implementation 
  • Schedule weekly one-on-ones with individual reps to understand account priorities
  • Leverage Demandbase training to help sellers apply insights in their sales approach
  • Identify opportunities for “pipeline acceleration plays” based on open opportunities
  • Integrate demand generation tools into the sales workflow to streamline the rep experience
  • Aligning tools and insights with existing sales processes provides quick wins

Quotes

“ABM encompasses so much more than marketing because if you’re doing it well, you’re working across the org, across multiple functions, and getting everything bought in at the right time, and getting everybody aligned to a singular goal and output.” -Greg Acquavella

Highlights from this episode

Please tell us about Devo’s experience launching your account-based strategies and helping the team move from a lead-driven world to ABM.

Greg explained that when Devo first launched its account-based strategies, one of its goals was to help folks move from a lead-driven world to an ABM model. He noted that Devo had a complex buying cycle with many committee members involved in large deals, making ABM a better fit for their go-to-market motion compared to focusing only on leads. Greg also mentioned that ABM allowed them to get more targeted and determine where they could make the most impact within key accounts.

What was Devo’s biggest challenge in aligning with sales and how did you work to solve it? 

Devo’s biggest challenge in aligning with sales was getting buy-in from the sellers, as their ABM program would not be successful if the sales team was not on board and following the right processes. To solve this, Greg implemented Demandbase trainings where he would meet one-on-one with sellers for an hour each day to help them understand the value of the data and insights for their sales approach. This continued until Greg saw that “light bulb moment” where the sellers understood how to apply it themselves.

What kind of results has Devo seen from aligning marketing and sales?

Greg mentioned that some key results Devo has seen from aligning marketing and sales include:

  • Sellers now bring their ideas for leveraging demand base data to marketing, like custom report requests, which shows true alignment 
  • The sales and marketing teams have developed an easy cadence where they regularly meet to discuss accounts and collaboration opportunities
  • Streamlining tools and insights into the sellers’ workflows through integrations like Salesforce has provided quick wins for both teams

What would you say to teams that may not be fully aligned with sales or think they’re doing true ABM without communication?

Greg explained that it is crucial to have ongoing and direct engagement with the sales team. He would recommend scheduling weekly one-on-one meetings with individual reps to truly understand their priorities, challenges, and feedback. Greg would emphasize the importance of communication over simply sending reports or emails, as meaningful collaboration and dialogue is needed to achieve true alignment between the teams. He would encourage marketers to solicit ideas from reps and look for opportunities to directly support them in their selling process.

What advice would you give marketers who may be looking at success as MQLs on how to start thinking about the pipeline, even if there are measurement challenges?

Greg advised marketers focused on MQLs to start thinking about the pipeline by taking a look at the open opportunities and accounts in their CRM. He suggested identifying potential “pipeline acceleration plays” targeted at specific accounts, industries, or opportunity stages that could help move deals through the sales process more quickly. Even without direct pipeline measurement, this exercise can help marketers understand how to better support sellers. He also recommended leveraging intent and account activity data to provide insights to reps on the accounts they are working, on to reinforce the marketing efforts.

Do you have any thoughts on changes the account-based tech industry could make to align revenue teams better?

As per Greg, the account-based industry could better align revenue teams by focusing on streamlining tools and technologies to fit seamlessly within existing sales workflows. He believes integrating demand generation capabilities directly into platforms like Salesforce, rather than separate point solutions, can significantly reduce friction for reps. Greg suggested pushing for more standardized data sharing between marketing and sales systems so insights are easily accessible to both functions. Overall, he advocated for changes that simplify the seller experience and make it easy for marketing to support reps in their daily activities without adding extra steps or logins. The goal should be optimizing the buyer’s journey, not internal handoffs between teams.

Resource recommendations

Books

The ABM Effect– A good intro book for anyone getting started with ABM.

Websites

Fullfunnel.io– They break down marketing concepts visually and share case studies.

Newsletter

Dashdot newsletter by Strategic ABM that highlights global ABM programs and use cases.

Shout-outs

Andrei Zinkevich, Co-founder of Fullfunnel.io

Vladimir Blagojević, Co-founder of Fullfunnel.io

Demandbase image

OnBase

Bridging the Divide, Between Sales and Marketing

This article was published in:

More like this
Demandbase image
Demandbase image
Demandbase image