Shikha Pakhide Digs Deep to Build a Dynamic ABM Program

Global Marketing Director, X0PA AI


Shikha Pakhide image

When Demandbase Champion Shikha Pakhide, Global Marketing Director at X0PA AI,

talks about building a program or a team from scratch, her enthusiasm is infectious. She was the first marketing person hired at X0PA AI and is developing both her team and the company’s go-to-market strategies. We talked with Shikha to learn more about how she tackles new challenges, her tenacity, and her creative pursuits.

Where did you develop your passion for building new programs?

My first opportunity to lead a new initiative and team came when I was working in marketing for Bentley Systems, an enterprise software company. Bentley needed someone to head up a new lead management program — a program which would sit independently between sales and marketing. I faced a steep learning curve and there were failed experiments along the way. But I learned from each one, kept moving forward, and ultimately led our team to surpass the targeted goals.

This experience gave me a taste for working in a startup-like environment and sparked an interest in joining a smaller organization. When I had the opportunity to work for startup X0PA AI, I jumped. Being the first marketing person at the company was the very definition of building a program from the ground up.

How did you get your start in ABM?

When I started out in my new position, I looked at our company’s target markets and quickly determined that we needed ABM to effectively scale our marketing and sales efforts. I wanted to know how this three letter word brought magic into demand generation. I started by comprehensively researching everything I could find about ABM. I gathered all my data and presented it to our executive leadership in a way that would resonate and convince them that ABM and Demandbase were a perfect fit for us.

How are you driving Demandbase adoption?

Once I received nods of approval from the leadership team, I set out to educate the sales team. I’m really passionate about ABM, so I met with every sales person individually to discover exactly what they need from marketing to sell more effectively. Then, I encouraged them to leverage Demandbase and gave them a safe space to learn. I frequently sit with salespeople to help them understand how they can use things like intent data to warm up their cold calls. I say to them, “Let’s do this together. I can help you save time. I have tools for that.”

I’m utilizing Demandbase to create separate subscription reports for each region to further encourage sales. Each person receives the data that is most relevant to them and the personalization ensures that the report makes sense to them.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I unwind by immersing myself in a good book. My love for books extends to writing them as well. I have published four books out of which one is a novel. Each day, I wake up early before the rest of my household, and take time to center myself. Instead of forcing myself to get a long list of things done, I pick one important task each day and make sure that one gets done, and done well.

What are your superpowers?

I never give up, so my superpower is tenacity. When beginning a new project, I dig in deep and learn absolutely everything I can about the topic. I get my hands dirty. And, I’m unphased by a failed attempt at a new initiative. I see it as a learning opportunity.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in ABM?

  • Establish a solid ideal customer profile — and make sure everyone agrees on it.
  • Decide which industries to target and when is the best time to approach them.
  • Sit down with your sales counterparts, make sure you understand their goals, and then work together to achieve them.

About X0PA AI

X0PA is an AI-powered end-to-end B2B platform that helps in streamlining hiring and selections, from sourcing potential candidates, screening objectively and at scale, virtual and asynchronous interview/assessments, and final selections and onboarding. The sophisticated built-in automation helps in scaling efficiencies multi-fold. However, the biggest advantage of X0PA is the power of objectivity in selections. Using AI and ML to “screen candidates in rather than screen out” by eliminating biases both from humans as well as from the process that truly helps in making hiring equitable.

Recognized by IDC as AI-Innovator of APAC, X0PA has additionally won many other accolades and awards.

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