Champion’s Spotlight

Get to Know Luke Wakefield

Senior Manager Marketing Operations, SAP Concur


photo of Luke Wakefield

Luke is an avid technologist with over a decade of experience in implementing the marketing and sales technologies that power ABM. He is the father of two young children and has a passion for long-distance running, yet his years maintaining trails on the Pacific Crest Trail shaped his indomitable attitude the most. Luke takes on arduous and complex integrations with fearlessness. He knows this is how sales and marketing teams develop true synchronicity, and he values the meaningful and lasting relationships he builds along the way.

Luke’s unshakeable dedication to implementing Demandbase One™ rests on the insight that teams that produce the most successful GTM strategies have learned the platform from A to Z. He has amazing data to share about the impact of Demandbase One at SAP Concur:

  • 60% lift in web visits after advertising to targeted accounts.
  • Increased account engagement from 51% to 95%.
  • Increased revenue by 52%, deal size by 57%, and pipeline by 59%.

As a Demandbase Champion, Luke looks forward to participating in the Demandbase community as a learner and a leader, as well as using the data and capabilities of the platform to inform the C-level strategic decisions that will drive adoption of ABX methodologies.

Want to know more about Champion Luke Wakefield? Check out the full interview below.

Demandbase: Can you share a bit about SAP Concur and any unique challenges you face running an ABM program there?

Luke: We have such talented professionals on our sales, marketing, and analytics teams. Currently, these business units and their teams manage ABM differently, applying strategies specific to their clients or market sector. For example, the sales cycle for an SMB prospect contrasts with the ENT sales cycle. This is also true with a client cross-sell or a retention effort. Our priority is creating alignment under the umbrella of one global ABM strategy.

Demandbase: How did you hear about Demandbase? Was your company already using ABM technology when you came on board, or did you help to bring in the technology?

Luke: I want to give a shout out to a former colleague, Jimmy Montchal, who first introduced me to Demandbase at the startup where we both worked. Jimmy walked me through the entire instance for Demandbase One™ and taught me foundational principles for the platform that I carry with me today. At SAP Concur, we were one of the lingering customers still on Demandbase Classic. So, from day one, my top priority was to drive the migration to Demandbase One and take it across the finish line. I’ve upgraded platforms my entire career, but with the enterprise size of SAP Concur, I would call this a full-scale implementation.

Demandbase: Why did you apply to be a Demandbase Champion?

Luke: For nearly ten years, I had been a power user and architect in Adobe Marketo Engage. Being in the Marketo community was a place to commiserate, grow, learn, and share ideas. To this day, I cherish the relationships I built with my colleagues during that time. Over the last few years, I have cultivated that same spirit of continually learning and growing with Demandbase One and the Demandbase community. Becoming a Champion presents a further opportunity to gain skills and strategies from the best in the business and bring those back to SAP Concur.

Demandbase: What have been the highlights of your career?

Luke: Besides becoming a Demandbase Champion, I would have to say the platform migrations I have completed. I don’t think there is a better way than undertaking migrations to understand systems, data flow, team strategies, consent, and security; the list could go on forever. I have probably completed 7 or 8 platform migrations with Demandbase, Marketo, and Salesforce, and each one offered lessons and challenges that have shaped me as a professional. Some of those migrations brought me to tears, quite literally, but they also created an open and transparent environment with my team members, resulting in powerful bonds. There is no pretending in a migration because, once you flip the switch, you instantly find out if the months of planning and building were successful.

Demandbase: What do you like most about your current role?

Luke: I enjoy my exposure to all the different teams throughout our company. SAP Concur has over 10,000 employees. It is impossible to work with everyone, but as the Demandbase admin, I have the privilege to connect with and support so many teams to learn how to leverage the product best to meet their strategic goals with ABM. That broad exposure brought a steep learning curve, as I’ve only been here just over a year, but I wouldn’t trade this crash course for anything!

Demandbase: Where do you want to grow from here?

Luke: I’m eager to finally make the switch from reacting to planning. To properly set the foundations of a Demandbase implementation requires time and effort. We have been going, going, going for six months now, and we finally have our predictive models built, engagement minutes solidified, customized assigned views, journey stages established, basic enablement set up, and now we are inching towards planning for next year. With the foundations in place, we can build out a roadmap and strategy that global teams can plug into.

Demandbase: Any advice for others who aspire to be an ABM superstar?

Luke: The best advice I can give is to learn the details of the platform. To fully execute a go-to-market strategy with your teams, you must truly and fully understand how Demandbase processes data, how often integrations make API calls, what the data sources are for Demandbase-specific fields, etc. Understanding those details will set you apart from others who skim the surface of the software’s capabilities. Knowing the platform’s specifics will make you the source of truth and voice of reason when internal clarity is needed.

Demandbase: What interests do you have outside of work? What do you do to reduce stress?

Luke: I am a father of a toddler boy and an infant daughter, so my focus outside of work revolves around cherishing my time with them. As any parent knows, every day is different, exciting, chaotic, exhausting, and priceless. They occupy so much of my heart and love. I am also currently training for a couple of different mountain trail races out here in Colorado. I’ll be “running” 16 miles in Steamboat Springs and 30 miles in Moab later this summer and fall.

Luke Wakefield

Demandbase: Tell us something unique and unexpected about you?

Luke: I have spent 6 months of my life doing trail building and maintenance along the Pacific Crest Trail. Our team of seven would spend 6-10 day stretches on different parts of the trail, all the way down to San Bernardino, CA, and up north to White Pass, WA. We slept in tents, sometimes outside of our tents, in some of the most beautiful parts of our country while working alongside local volunteers. This was the hardest work I have ever done and the least money I have ever made. We built and maintained miles upon miles of the trails that so many people enjoy every single day. I would say it was the best job I’ve ever had.

Luke Wakefield

Demandbase: What is your superpower? What aspect of your personality helps you be most successful in your job?

Luke: Ha! Let’s go with adaptability. I need to completely ground myself in operational standards first and then bring an attitude of adaptability to my work with teams throughout our organization. Every call I have has a different feel because of the personalities, comp plans, morale levels, approaches to ABM, respect for process, and so forth., that make up each team. Being adaptable helps me be diplomatic as we work towards a common goal.

Demandbase: Is there anything you want to add or highlight your ABM program, your success, and how Demandbase is helping you?

Luke: That’s about it!

Interested in becoming a Demandbase Champion?

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