When a Marketing Ops Opportunity Knocks, Mickaël Bizouati Pivots

Director of Marketing Operations, WalkMe


Michael Bizouti image

Demandbase Champion Mickaël Bizouati, Director of Marketing Operations at WalkMe, isn’t afraid of tackling the unknown. In fact, he embraces it. Only two days into his job at WalkMe, leadership introduced him to Demandbase One and asked if he’d be up for driving ABM adoption across the organization. His answer: “Absolutely!” We chatted with Mickaël to hear about his path from finance to ABM, how he’s aligning marketing, sales and customer success behind a new go-to-market strategy, and his feelings about the importance of an open mind.

How did you get into ABM?

I spent my early career in finance. But when I started a company, my business partner took on the finance side, so I pivoted to a new role in sales and marketing. I quickly learned the marketing world from scratch while on the job. I actually got into ABM through an unplanned chain of events. WalkMe recruited me for a specific job and right after I joined they asked me to take on implementing and managing ABM for the company. I accepted and haven’t looked back.

How do you make Demandbase sing?

We’ve taken Demandbase to the next level since its initial implementation at WalkMe. We’re working to align internal teams and to ensure all are moving in the same direction with shared goals of driving pipeline and revenue. Our CMO and CRO are seasoned go-to-market strategists and new to the company. They know that if sales and marketing are not aligned, ABM will only be a marketing driven effort, one which is not designed to succeed.

Our work, from a marketing perspective, has evolved significantly. We now educate prospects and warm up accounts for the sales team. Instead of handing over leads, we deliver accounts. As marketers, we have the opportunity to impact the buyer’s journey long before we used to. We don’t wait for people to raise their hand to tell us they are in market — early indicators allow us to engage with prospects because a specific action is happening. It’s a competitive advantage and a total game changer.

Along with sales, another important stakeholder in our ABM program is the customer success organization. Account-based strategy has less value if you have churn and lack proper retention. It’s cheaper to maintain an account, and to cross sell and upsell, than to acquire a new logo. So, we leverage our intent data to find out when current accounts are searching specific keywords or comparing us against our competition. This helps us raise a red flag to customer success with optimal timing and encourages them to proactively reach out to the account.

All of this is a very deep change for the organization and it didn’t happen overnight. But because we’re scaling from being a small company to a bigger, public company we needed to adjust our strategy. This has been a welcome and dramatic pivot in our operational strategy — crucial to paving the road to success.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have two young children and I love to spend time with them. I also enjoy playing squash as a stress reliever. It’s an intense sport and very effective. If I play for an hour, that’s it, my stress is all gone. Travel is another passion. Just this summer my family and I visited the Seychelles and Corfu in Greece.

What is your superpower?

I’m not afraid of learning, quite the opposite. I’m open to new things — whether it’s languages, technologies, or a new role at work. When someone asks “Why don’t you take this on?” I say “Why not?” That’s what makes B2B marketing so exciting. Whatever you know today won’t be what you need to know tomorrow. Many of our jobs didn’t even exist a few years ago. The only way to learn them is by doing them. You build the job as you go.

What advice do you have for ABM newcomers?

  • Ensure your leadership is fully on board and agrees with the new go-to-market strategy. Success with ABM can require significant change if it’s new to the company. Sales and marketing need to deeply consider things like the effort required, sales compensation, and how the teams will be measured.
  • Secure resources. You need internal people to support and drive change. It requires support from almost every single team from marketing ops to sales enablement to IS.

About WalkMe

WalkMe’s cloud-based digital adoption platform enables organizations to measure, drive and act to ultimately accelerate their digital transformations and better realize the value of their software investments. Our code-free platform leverages our proprietary technology to provide visibility to an organization’s Chief Information Officer and business leaders, while improving user experience, productivity and efficiency for employees and customers. Alongside walkthroughs and third-party integration capabilities, our platform can be customized to fit an organization’s needs.

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