The Key to ABM Success: Marketing and Sales Coordination

In this episode of Talk of the Trade, Michael McNary sits down with Nick Bennett to talk about Account-Based Marketing. As Director of Account-Based and Field Marketing at Alyce, Nick runs a successful ABM strategy to land new accounts for his company. The secret is not fancy technology (in fact, spreadsheets are mentioned in this episode!) but good old-fashioned sales-marketing alignment.

Listen to the episode to learn:

  • Why Nick recommends thinking of ABM as Account-Based Execution
  • Why Nick personally meets with each sales rep once per week
  • How to set up reports and communication loops that keep everyone on the same page


IntroMimeo’s talk of the trade: 00:00:00

sharing marketing and sales success stories.

Michael McNaryHey everyone, Mike here with another episode of Mimeo’s talk of the trade podcast where we share marketing and sales success stories. Our goal for the show is for our listeners to get some useful takeaways to apply to their own revenue missions. We’re now available on all major podcast distributors, including Spotify and Apple. So choose your favorite pod catcher and subscribe to the show. Today’s episode is titled The Key to ABM success: 00:00:06

marketing and sales coordination. Our guest is Nick Bennett. Nick is the director of account based marketing and field marketing and Alyce and host of the rep, your brand podcast. Good to have you, Nick.Nick Bennett: 00:00:43

Thanks for having me. Super excited to be here.Michael McNary: 00:00:45

Yeah, we appreciate the time we know you’re busy man lot going on at Alyce and a lot going on with your podcast. So you were very gracious to come on the podcast.Nick Bennett: 00:00:54

Absolutely.Michael McNary: 00:00:56

So for folks out there that are listening, it might not know much about Alyce, or about you specifically. Tell us a little bit about Alyce, you know, the company and your role there?Nick Bennett: 00:01:08

Yeah, absolutely. So So Alice is a corporate gifting platform. So our whole mission is delivering personalization at scale. And so we do that in a few different ways. And so my role specifically, as you know, the director of account based and field marketing is, I have a team that handles ABM for our expansion side and our customers. And then right now, I’m actually handling anything ABM in our named accounts for our net new side of the business as well. And just really working cross functionally with all the functions within marketing, working really closely with sales to make sure that we’re bridging that that gap, and that sales and marketing alignment, and ultimately driving what we all care about in both sales and marketing revenue in pipeline.Michael McNary: 00:01:50

Jack of all trades, it sounds like. You’re covering a lot of key initiatives on driving that pipe in revenue. So well done. It looks like some exciting times over at Alyce, you guys announced some Series B funding to the tune of 30 million in April. So first, congratulations in second. What does that funding mean for you and your team specifically?Nick Bennett: 00:02:13

Yeah, thank you so much. It’s an exciting time, ultimately, obviously, you know, more funding means the goals are going up. And so being able to have those additional resources to leverage whether it’s software, whether it’s the headcount or resources, like whatever it is to make sure that you’re leveraging to be able to hit those numbers.Michael McNary: 00:02:33

Yeah, it’s a, it’s got a lot of positives tied to it, it sounds like and, you know, I’d imagine everyone at Alyce is excited, your customers are probably really excited and sounds like it’s gonna give you guys some security on the team, some ability to really double down on some of the initiatives that you mentioned, and probably that we’ll talk about today. So congrats again. What about what about your job do you love most? I ask everybody this, or I try to when they come on the podcast, but what’s the favorite part of your job on a day to day?Nick Bennett: 00:03:04

Honestly, working with sales is probably my favorite thing. It’s, it’s funny enough, I actually started off in sales before I moved over to marketing. And I feel like many people that are in marketing should probably start off in sales before they go into marketing. It just gives you a- it gives you a better appreciation for what they do every single day. And like being able to say, you know, like, hey, when they say walk in my shoes, like, okay, I’ve done that, like I get it, I understand where you’re coming from and like being able to just realize that the programs that I’m doing is moving the needle at the end of the day and seeing the sales reps, you know, close these massive deals and obviously make a ton of money. I’m not making the big commission deals off of it. I wish I was but um, you know, that’s probably my favorite thing. Just being able to see you know, the deals, moving the needle and working with these reps who you honestly develop really close relationships with a lot of them.Michael McNary: 00:03:57

Yeah, I mean, listen, I think that’s the definition of partnership right there. If you’re saying your favorite part of your job is to support your internal customer and partner. They got to be pretty stoked about working with yourself and that’s probably a good sign for them and they’re probably in pretty good shape.Nick Bennett: 00:04:13

Thank you.Michael McNary: 00:04:14

Yeah. So today as I said before, you know our goal is to talk about the key to ABM success as it relates to you know, marketing and sales coordination. What’s one of the first things that comes to mind when you’re thinking about must haves for a successful ABM collaboration between sales and marketing?Nick Bennett: 00:04:32

Yes, I definitely think buy in is a big piece of it because I’ve seen this before, personally. Marketing says okay, you know, we’re gonna come up with this this ABM strategy, great. They develop the list, they develop the tactics, channels, everything that they want to execute, however, sales, they go to sales and say, Alright, I’ve got these 100 accounts I’m going to go after. Sales comes back and says, oh, okay, you know, where’d you get this list like 50 of these are trash like they’re just an opportunity that we wouldn’t even engage with. And so that’s where buy in from both sales and marketing kind of comes in. Obviously, it has to start at the top, like CRM, cmo, VP of Marketing, VP of sales, whatever it is, on both sides, they need to come together and like, maybe they’re not the ones that are coming up with like, Okay, let’s do an ABM strategy. Maybe that is someone like myself, but going to them in like bringing everyone together to say, Okay, this is we’re gonna align on all of these questions and all of these metrics that we need to answer. That’s how you succeed. But ultimately, you really want ABM to be a company wide effort. And so what I mean by that is like, sales and marketing are doing their things, but you ultimately should bring in customer success, like your account management team, like anyone that rallies around a revenue org, within the company should have some type of input or visibility into like, what’s actually happening for it to be successful.Michael McNary: 00:05:56

Yeah, I think that that’s huge. The buy in, you know, it’s true in other partnerships and missions within an organization. But if all the players are bought into the idea that it’s going to have an ROI, it’s going to lead to success for themselves, their teams and the organization. You know, you might lose a lot of great work by not having everybody on the same page. So I think there’s, there’s a lot there. And you talked about the collaboration across multiple teams and the participation across multiple teams. You know, how important is that to create the ideal customer journey, or at least the customer journey that you’re trying to take a prospect in an eventual account that has been won on over time?Nick Bennett: 00:06:41

Yeah, I mean, if you if you think about it, like ABM has been around for a long time, like you’re starting to see more companies use like an ABX or ABE, which is like account based everything in like, that’s where, like they’re getting across the entire lifecycle. Because yeah, like, you could have, say, 100 accounts that you’re going after on the net new side, and you’ve got that whole piece down, you land these accounts, what happens next? It’s like, okay, then they’re being passed off to CES. What happens comes like renewal time, like, how are you preventing them from churning, like, what goes into like that whole piece, and it’s like, they’re doing their own thing siloed, but they don’t have the same process that you’re using on the net new side. It just, it causes disruption. And like, if you’re looking to just get started, it’s fine to start on the sales and marketing side. But over time, as this develops, you should definitely bring in the other functions, too.Michael McNary: 00:07:37

Yeah, I completely agree. And I think, you know, that post sale element, you know, so much of ABM is, you know, using data to drive your decisions and engagement. And if the service and success teams aren’t collecting the right type of intel, right, getting you actionable stuff from their interactions with your customer base, then you don’t really know what the best move is, if you’re looking to cross sell, or upsell, or like you said renew. So it’s truly like an entire lifecycle, you know, collaboration that’s required if you want to drive the highest level of success.Nick Bennett: 00:08:13

Yep, absolutely. And I was gonna say absolutely, and so like, another piece of it is like, Alyce specifically is a very much like a land and expand model. And so, I mean, for us, we want to make sure that we’re targeting accounts on the net new side that will ultimately allow us to have them be successful all the way through on the customer side and expand into other functions, too.Michael McNary: 00:08:34

Yeah, how many? You know, you said the land and expand, you know, what’s typical of, you know, we’ll call it a middle to enterprise size org that you’re you’re going after? How many unique opportunities might your team be able to drive?Nick Bennett: 00:08:48

Yeah, I mean, honestly, like, you know, some of our larger customers, we have probably about 6 to 10 different business units and orgs using us. A lot of people will use Alyce on like the SDR, BDR side for net new like, they’re gonna say, Okay, I’m gonna use gifting to book net new meetings. Great. That’s, that’s 100% a use case. However, there’s actually like 17 different milestones or moments that you could use gifting for across the entire buyers lifecycle. And it’s like, okay, you know, events is a huge piece of it, like, when we call them like Wake the Dead campaigns like close lost opportunities that you can kind of bring back. Customer milestones like if you know, someone’s having a baby, or you know, someone’s birthday, hey, send them a little, something just kind of keeps you top of mind. And then you start to break into the customer success teams, you’ve got marketing using us for the events, you got sales using us bdrs. And so like it can get into so many different pieces, and then like the larger enterprises, you have all the different business units within those accounts. So it’s like, it can get really, really massive and that’s that’s a huge thing for us is like making sure that we’re targeting accounts that like will support that And then expand strategy.Michael McNary: 00:10:01

Yeah. And that’s, that’s pretty awesome, right, to have that much we’ll call it addressable market, within, you know, one organization, you know, depending on its size gives a lot of, you know, I think it’s encouraging to the sales team, I’d imagine to know, Hey, you know what, I won this, but you know, if I play my cards, right, and I collaborate with my marketing partners, and my success partners and service, you know, I could really double down and turn this into something that’s a, you know, a multiplier.Nick Bennett: 00:10:30

Yep, absolutely. It’s funny that you mentioned that too, because it’s like, we actually have a newer rep, that he’s been here for about four months now. And he’s actually our top performing rep, because he thinks exactly like that. He’s closed about nine deals in four months. And so he was, he was a previous user of ours to be fair, so he was very familiar with the product, which helped him in a sales role. But like, he’s, he’s absolutely crushed it because he knows how to, like leverage every function within us, but also how to turn that around, and then like leverage, like the value to these organizations that he’s selling into?Michael McNary: 00:11:08

Yeah, that’s impressive. And especially for a new new guy or gal coming on board, even if they know the product, you know, still a grind, right? You still got to be strategic and be hustling and kind of making sure your outbound engagement activity is where it needs to be in first four months, it should be through the roof. Right? You know, absolutely good for him. I love those stories, right, someone coming in and hustling out the gate and just kind of leaving some some of the legacy people in the dust. Right?Nick Bennett: 00:11:35

Yeah, absolutely.Michael McNary: 00:11:37

It tends to raise the game of everyone if they’re paying attention, so… So that, you know, talking again, about the customer journey, right? I imagine that it’s really important to you guys, when you’re talking about ABM because of that fact that you have these ongoing sales opportunities under one roof. You know how much do you guys talk about it, and how important is it to your day-to-day when sales and marketing are collaborating?Nick Bennett: 00:12:04

Yeah, honestly, it’s very important. And like, personally, like I get asked a lot. How do we do ABM at Alyce? Like, how do we do this? And so I’m actually putting together an ebook right now, that kind of walks through the whole process. And like, I tell this to our sales team all the time. Gifting isn’t a silver bullet in an ABM strategy, because a lot of times salespeople think it is, but it’s not. And so there’s so many – it’s just another tactic. And so there’s so many tactics that go into the overall pipeline strategy of building your actual pipeline. And it’s just figuring out how to leverage all of those pillars or pieces to pull up, pull it together, yeah, you know, giftings, at the core of what we do, but there’s so many other things that I’m doing in the background that are providing like air cover, but also as the kind of deals moving more down the funnel, we can do some additional things that will hopefully pull the right levers in pursuit further.Michael McNary: 00:13:02

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And I think it’s pretty powerful to think about, Hey, you know, gifting is something that we’re really good at, but it’s just one channel of many. And going back to the buy-in component, right, where we started here, if they’re not bought in, that each channel has its value and requires a certain activity from them on the sales side, or certain coverage from the marketing side, you know, you’re leaving dollars an opportunity on the table by not, you know, pretty much pulling every lever that you have available.Nick Bennett: 00:13:33

Yep. Yeah, absolutely.Michael McNary: 00:13:35

So, you know, last question on the on the buy-in side, you know, we all have heard, you know, I’m sure and maybe even experienced at one time or another, those horror stories, where, you know, sales and marketing might not be in sync, right. They think, on one side or the other that, you know, one’s holding up more of their end of the bargain or that, you know, the overall plan is flawed, whatever it might be right, you know, people get snippy and might have this contentious position towards their peers and colleagues. So it happens, right, sometimes to a greater extent than others. But in situations where sales might not be in sync with marketing’s ABM strategy, or at least as much as they need to be, how do you create or improve buy-in?Nick Bennett: 00:14:23

Yeah, I mean, honestly, I think it goes into showing what the overall strategy kit can look like. It’s, I’ll be honest, like for us, it was very much a spray and pray kind of mentality before we switch to like an account based notion and it was like, okay, people would just send gifts out and like they would book meetings from it. And that’s, that’s what it was, there was no rhyme or reason, but you can’t scale that and it cost a lot of money as well. And so like to get them to like buy-in, it’s like showing like a very targeted approach of like, Hey, you know, you were able to 5x, you know, this when you were doing it as like a spray and pray. But if we switch to this whole methodology of like how we’re going to do things, and this is how we’re going to do it. We could like 20 to 40x the ROI that we would get on it. And like if you can talk in a salesperson’s, kind of like, mentality like for them, they care about money, what’s going to drive them and make the most money at the end of the day. And like, that’s always been something that’s been key for me. It’s like talking like sales. And when I start talking about money, and like, Hey, I’m just gonna put more money in your pockets, they start to listen.Michael McNary: 00:15:28

Yeah, that’s a, that’s a that’ll get their ears perked up for sure. If they’re the right type of salespeople, you know, not everybody needs to be driven by money. But I, for one, do like to hear from my sales folks that they are driven by money in one way or another, right?Nick Bennett: 00:15:42

Yes.Michael McNary: 00:15:43

Yeah, building that equity and credibility with results. And, you know, showing them what’s in it for them goes a long way. So I think that’s a really good call out there, Nick. All right. So you know, moving on from the buying component, that’s kind of a baseline, right, getting everybody on board, that this ABM strategy is going to bring us the results that we’re seeking and give us upside that maybe we can’t even imagine, right. So a big part of that, you know, any ABM strategy is identifying the target accounts. Right, who you’re going to go after. How important is it for sales and marketing to work on this together?Nick Bennett: 00:16:18

It’s- it’s honestly it’s incredibly important. Like if if they’re not working on it together, you have you have a bigger issue. Because it’s going to go back to kind of like what I mentioned before marketing is gonna say, Well, look, you know, I got all these you know, based on these MQLs and everything I think these are the accounts we go after. Sales is gonna say – first of all, MQLs, I’m not a big fan of those anyways. And we don’t measure MQLs here. Now as we use marketing qualified accounts. But it comes back to like, marketing says, sales says this, there’s no, you know, coming out of together and so like, we have a very, we have a very kind of methodical approach of like how we go after enrolling accounts into an ABM motion. And so like, there’s actually four pieces of it that we look at, to make sure that we’re like hitting on in both sales and marketing came up with this. And then we evaluate their named account list. And then we kind of take from that named account lists, breaking it down and say, Okay, these are the three that we’re starting with, and then we build on that.Michael McNary: 00:17:23

Yep. So yeah, it has got to play a role again, you know, it’s going back to that buy in, if there’s a shared perspective on something being a good target, they’re more likely to follow up and execute on, you know, certain KPIs or lead engagements when they reach certain milestones. And I think that’s big. And I think that’s where some organizations miss the pitch, right, is they don’t work together on saying this is who we want to get business from. And these are the reasons why we think they’re good targets, right?Nick Bennett: 00:17:51

Yeah, absolutely.Michael McNary: 00:17:53

So you know, I know that when picking target accounts, you know, sometimes I know it’s a balance, right. But, you know, you look at I think, likelihood of conversion, and also, revenue potential are two main drivers of what would make up an ideal target account. Which of the two do you think is more important? At least at Alyce?

Nick BennettIt’s, yeah, it’s definitely a good question. Like, I think for us, it’s probably more revenue potential. And like, I’ll take a step back, like the four things, and I think this will help kind of like answer that question. But the four things that we look at, specifically when selecting ABM accounts is: 00:18:16

the first piece is accounts with the biggest potential for growth to complement our land and expand strategy. So that goes more to the revenue side. The second piece is accounts that are already identified on our named account list, which we can only pull from there. The third piece is best fit accounts based on our ability to service them and make them successful present day. And so that’s kind of an important one on the conversion piece, because it’s like, we don’t want accounts that are going to be you know, very difficult to work with, like we’re a straightforward kind of company, we have some integrations, great if you want to use gifting, gifting, awesome, but like when it gets really, really complicated, and we can’t make that as successful as possible, it just goes into like, you know, they’re probably going to churn at the end of the year, whatever it is. And then the last piece, and this is, this is a really important one for us. It’s accounts that add credibility to our brand and the enterprise space. And so like that we really target the accounts that will be like, you know, like the Oktas and the Adobe’s and Ring Central’s of the world and when other accounts, see, Oh, you guys are a user of Alyce, like maybe I should look out because I’m a company that is similar to them. And so we actually get a ton of inbound from our credibility in the space to,Michael McNary: 00:19:49

Is that a, you know, do you guys in marketing and as an organization, push your sales folks to try to secure things or, you know, use maybe negotiating leverage or trade options, things like case studies or the usage of a logo on the website or in marketing materials?Nick Bennett: 00:20:08

We definitely do honestly, a lot of our a lot of our customers have no issue like speaking or giving up like case studies like that. Like, we just I mean, I think like, last week alone, we released three case studies, it was like sales loft, like Webroot, and one other one other company. And so like, we released so many cases, just because these marketers come to us. It’s interesting, because we sell to marketers, but it’s usually the salespeople that are using us, but the marketers are running everything on the back end. So it’s like, they love to have like, talk about these stories, because we’re helping them crush their pipeline goals and revenue numbers and like, we just make them look good at the end of the day. So like, they’ll be like, yeah, happy to talk about it.Michael McNary: 00:20:51

Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s, and that’s probably a really good indicator that you guys are doing a lot, right? If your customers are that willing to kind of scream from the mountaintops “use Alyce” right, “this is what they’re doing for us.” And I think there’s also an element, like you said, you know, you’re impacting the revenue, and helping them accomplish their mission, but also makes them look good, right, to be able to kind of evangelize that, hey, we made this decision partnered with this organization. And look what happens. Right? You know, I think it builds off of you adding value and really driving results. And those things kind of tend to follow. Naturally.Nick Bennett: 00:21:29

Yeah. And then you kind of also, you know, kind of go into that we’ve – we’ve seen, like, people in marketing promoted from like, using us, because like, they’ve done so much in like being able to drive so much pipeline that they’ve been promoted into, like higher roles and like, stuff like that as things that I personally love to see. Because it’s like, Hey, you know, yeah, you know, there’s so many tools that you can pick out there, but like, how many of them actually, like, getting promoted at the end of the day?Michael McNary: 00:21:55

Yeah, that’s a fantastic call out because, you know, I can think of over the years here, similar scenarios, right? Where we are helping a stakeholder and organization drive it, whether it might be cost savings, or time savings, and improving logistics and their customer experience. And, you know, you see what that has led to for their career development and status of being the Hey, this was my idea. And look, what, uh, you know, we’re now bringing to the table because of it. That’s very, very gratifying.Nick Bennett: 00:22:25

Absolutely.Michael McNary: 00:22:26

Very cool. Now, you know, one more question about the identification of target accounts. Do you guys find that you’re doing you know, when marketing and sales are collaborating, do you do a lot of, you know, one to one execution? Or is it more of a one to many program that you guys see yourselves concentrating on more often?Nick Bennett: 00:22:48

Yes. So it’s interesting. So right now, because it’s still early on, it’s a one to one approach. And so though, the one to many is more of the like, for the named accounts. It’s more of like evergreen ads that were running in the background to hopefully convert them, putting them in nurture streams, like for the ABM account, specifically. It’s really one to one, like, we’ve got account-specific landing pages that are manually creating for each account that’s personalized to them. I’ve got display ads that are running in the background, you know, to these accounts, the bdrs have created custom cadences that they’re, you know, running an outreach that between these three things along with like a bunch of other channels, like it all plays into the overall strategy, but like, those three things are kind of part of like the core of that like one to one.Michael McNary: 00:23:36

Yeah, that’s great. Hit them with a one-to-one, as you called out, you know, it gives you that truly customized, and, you know, that individual prospect or customer experience, that all data pretty much points to as being a huge driver of success in closed deals, right. So the more you can personalize, the better, I think, for a lot of people, and you know, talking about sales, specifically, it’s finding the balance of scale, and personalization, right. But when you work with marketing, and you’re partnering, and you have that buy in, you have a shared perspective on what you’re going after, and why I think it’s much easier to find that balance.Nick Bennett: 00:24:14

Yeah, no, absolutely.Michael McNary: 00:24:16

So yeah, I think really great points, Nick, around, you know, the identification of target accounts, and then how you go after them. Once you’ve, you know, determined, hey, this is what we collectively think should be our top targets. So let’s move on to you know, the actual execution and the orchestration of ABM campaigns or ABM execution, how important is accountability? You know, driving accountability from both sides, you know, at the orchestration and execution stage.Nick Bennett: 00:24:47

Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s definitely it’s really important. So we use we use 6sense here to drive all of the intent on the back end within like the dark funnel. And that’s kind of like then our whole like intent platform of like being able to leverage that everything that we do to qualify accounts is off that data as well. Um, but it’s, you know, we have, we have dashboards that are built in sales for us, we have very segmented lists that are built in 6sense that we can get really targeted on, like, who we want to send stuff to, like the BDRs in Outreach have got their, like, custom cadences that we’re measuring, you know, what their whole kind of like success looks like, from from that piece of it. And everyone can just kind of like pop in and like, see where we are. And we’re fortunate- we’re – every month we do a monthly marketing metrics result meeting. And so like, senior leadership is there, anyone can honestly pop in, and we just, we have a deck. So each function within marketing goes over the previous month, you know, what were the successes, what were the failures? Where can we improve? And honestly, it’s been great. And even like, you know, our CEO, and CFO, like they pop in, they can just see all this information to kind of like one spot and walk away, say, Okay, I understand what the strategy is, I understand where we are, or where we could kind of push a little harder, or invest more money into it. That’s been huge for us.Michael McNary: 00:26:13

Yeah, I’d imagine. Right, you know, I was kind of going down the road of, you know, the visibility, you know, how important is it to have that visibility into the the metrics on the sales and marketing side, but getting that visibility at large within the organization, right, in the checkins, it sounds like a monthly interval for you guys, is a great opportunity to get everybody looped in on what you guys are doing, what’s working, and what’s not. So I think that’s definitely a best practice. Now you know, in terms of the, you know, if you have this buy in, right, and you guys agree on the target accounts, like we talked about on the sales and marketing sides, and you have these data points or metrics that are indicators for action, or next steps, you know, do you guys choose to make it something that’s available? And people can kind of proactively engage with the metrics? Or is this something that you push out to all the stakeholders to make sure it’s top of mind?Nick Bennett: 00:27:15

Yeah, it’s, it’s definitely that I push out in make sure that it’s top of mind, although, you know, being aligned with like, the the sales team, it’s helpful, because they all relay everything to then they’ll push it down to their sales team. And then I’m usually pushing it through to marketing, we kind of push it through different pieces. But we also we do have it, all of this information can be captured in our sales force, kind of like dashboard that we built. And so anyone that wants to could pop in there, and easily, kind of dive deeper if they wanted to, into like, where things currently are, and just have that visibility into like, okay, hey, we’ve got, say, 50 accounts on the net-new side, how many did we break into last month? Or last quarter? How much pipeline do we have? You know, what’s that? What’s that average conversion look? Like? It’s all just readily available information for anyone that does want to look at it.Michael McNary: 00:28:07

Good stuff. Yeah. And I think that visibility is hugely important, right. And if you, if you have a shared perspective, on success, or what success is, you can look every day to determine whether or not as a team, you know, as partners, you’re meeting it, right. And it can drive some good, you know, you want to think that everything is kind of proactive, and you’re out in front of it at all times. But sometimes you need to be able to determine, hey, we’re falling behind in an area or a channel that we need to, you know, pick up the pace on. And, you know, that’s what’s going to drive that that success. So talk about, you know, open communication and a feedback loop. And you know, how you’ve built one and you know, how it’s added value?Nick Bennett: 00:28:48

Yeah, it’s honestly it’s an important – especially for companies like our size, so like, we’re more of like that, like mid market. And so like being able to, there’s only two people on the ABM team there. So it’s a very small team. And so being able to have that open communication, a feedback loop with for me, thesales team, and then for my counterpart, like being able to have it on like the customer success and account management team. It’s been really impactful because like, you know, we’re just two people, like there’s things that could fall through the cracks very, very often, just because there’s so many like moving pieces, and we don’t have a bunch of different resources to help us with it. And so like just being able to I have for example, like I have a weekly one on one with every single sales rep. Is that probably excessive? Maybe some people will probably say yes, because I talked to some others in like ABM world and like, they’re like, I talked to sales like once or twice a month, if that, and I’m like oh really like how do you like how do you have feedback, and they’re like, honestly, like I just kind of like do my thing. And the programs have been running around for a year, two years. So like they’ve kind of established it. It’s still newer for us. So it’s having that feedback loop is important for you know, where we can kind of test and refine and get better. And so like having these one on ones having the one-on-ones with our, you know, sales, leadership, and then our CRO, kind of like. So you see all all different versions that you’ve got like that, like high level, what he wants to see our CRM, sales, measure what’s important to them, and then the actual sales reps themselves, who these accounts benefit at the end of the day, like what’s important for them, what – how they’re kind of communicating and keep keeping a flow of information going back and forth. We use, we use this thing called blueprinting. And so they used to be on Excel spreadsheets, we finally just moved them into Salesforce. But basically what happens is each account for ABM, they go through a blueprinting process of like, any digital breadcrumb that is out there about this company, the BDR, and the AE and myself, we all get together and we write all this information down. Whether it’s you know, hey, they’re doing webinars on XYZ, or they have a podcast about this. This is who from their leadership team has been talking about it or interviewing, like, we take all of that, and we put it into kind of a one spot, one-stop shop in Salesforce, that we can then leverage for content, like any programs that we’re running, and like being able to have a communication and feedback loop on that piece of it is definitely been important.Michael McNary: 00:31:25

Yeah, listen, you know, the data. You know, a lot of people think about it as being, you know, the quantitative side, right, you know, what can we measure? What are these key data points or metrics that we need to keep an eye on, that tells us you know, how we should engage or go after this account for this audience. But the subjective is overlooked sometimes, right? Finding the details that are out there for you to pick up and kind of say, Hey, you know what, this might be something that’s not necessarily measurable. But this could be a real good thing to draw your pull off of when we’re figuring out what our next move is. So absolutely, I like that. I also like, Listen, that cadence of feedback with sales, I think you’re on the right side of things versus the once every couple of months. So don’t beat yourself up too much there.Nick Bennett: 00:32:11

I know, it comes back. We’re all in a lot of meetings. We’re all in like, zoom fatigue world, but I don’t know, like, I want to make sure that I set people up for success at the end of the day. And like if I have to sit and 12 meetings for a day in, you know, I try to front load them to like Monday, so it helps. So like Mondays, it’s absolutely hell. But like, after that, like it’s a little bit better. It’s not as many meetings, but I think it really does go to like, be a bigger benefit to the alignment.Michael McNary: 00:32:42

Yeah, listen, you meet and you’re talking that often, you’re more likely to have an open dialogue, right. And that’s where the little tidbits come through, I find that you might not get otherwise, if you’re having some sort of more symbolic than productive meeting environment, you’re not going to get the actionable stuff. But if you’re talking to people really often, you’re likely to want to get the good stuff. One question about something you said a few minutes back, and I just wanted to get a little background on this for the audience. But you said here at Alyce, we don’t use MQLs anymore. We use marketing qualified accounts. Tell me more about that.Nick Bennett: 00:33:26

Yeah, it’s, you know, it’s actually so I’ve been wanting to preach this for about a year and a half now. And not many companies have adopted this model because you really need like an intent to like a 6sense or Bombora to be able to like help with that. But like we there’s for us, we would much rather score and account and then pass that over to the BDR team or AE versus like scoring individual leads in like we’ve had honestly a lot more success with it. And I’ve done I’ve done MQLs at many different companies in – like you’ve got like one of my last companies like we had like a three-page document of like okay, these are all the things that go into a lead scoring. It was a very convoluted like, process that like no one really wanted to do and like we had to because it’s like okay, hey, we got to get MQLs like, here the marketing is here’s you know, 50 MQLs, great! salespeople don’t care about MQLs. At the end of the day, salespeople care again, what’s going to make them help hit their quota, president’s club, whatever it is, and so like, if you can dumb that down, I hate to say dumb that down cuz it’s not a dumbed down process. But if you can switch that to a qualified account perspective, pass that over to the BDR team. Our BDRs roll up under marketing, so it’s a little bit easier. And so when you have that qualified account, it’s then up to the BDR to find contacts or leads on like a SalesNav or whatever, to then feed into the account. The account itself is qualified. It’s up to them to then find the key kind of like peopleMichael McNary: 00:34:59

Yep. Interesting. So when you talk about and I really like where you’re coming from there, it sounds like you’re trying to build a metric that people can believe in more than, say, the traditional MQL. Which, you know, listen, you can call anything, whatever the hell you want. But if it’s not really driving results, or giving people a warm audience to touch into, you know, who cares which calling, right. But yeah, so but marketing qualified accounts. So easy, I guess what, what would make or what drives in MQA, we’ll call it, if not an aggregation of, you know, we’ll call it contact need scores? How do you determine that it’s a legit and qualified account?Nick Bennett: 00:35:43

Yes. So it goes into it goes into a few different things. So like, for us, like 6Sense will tell us when these companies based on their date, the intent, date research or in a decision or purchase stage, and so when they – there’s four stages that 6sense uses, it’s like awareness, consideration, purchase, decision purchase. And so the latter half is really what we focus on once it hits a decision or purchase based on what we know about these accounts. So say 30% of the funnel is is known stuff. So like form fills, anything that they’re raising their hand, you understand that piece, 70% of it is what they call like, the dark funnel. So like, abandonment of form fields, like basically keyword searches on like a Google or something like you don’t typically see this stuff, because it’s not on your website itself. And so like being able to capture, for example, we have about 200 keywords that are important to us that we set up. And so when we have accounts that are searching specific keywords, we can see not who’s searching those keywords, but the account that searching those words, if we like if we get triggers that people are searching, our competitors, or people are searching, gifting, or different kinds of things are like one to one, it progresses them with a higher intent score, which then pushes them down to a decision or purchase, and then traps them over to an MQA. And then basically from MQA, it goes into an opportunity, and then to a sales accepted opportunity, and then closed/won. So it’s like pretty straightforward kind of path.Michael McNary: 00:37:17

Yeah, I like it, though. I think that’s cool. I appreciate you sharing that. And I think it makes a lot of sense in terms of, you know, how you’re determining that it reaches a certain threshold, and what that threshold means in what the next steps are for, you know, the BDR, that’s going to take that account and then get more granular and targeted with the outreach, you know, so yep. Very cool. And I like – I like the different take on it. So, in general, I really appreciated all your insights here, and I’m sure the audience has, as well, Nick, you know. To sum it up, I’m hearing from you that in order to have, you know, world-class ABM execution strategy, as it relates to marketing and sales coordination, you need to first have buy -in, everybody needs to be bought into the mission, bought into the terms definitions of success. And that’s essential, then they need to be collaborating on what is, you know, the fundamental, we’ll call it a foundation of a good ABM strategy, which is targeting the right accounts, identifying those target accounts, and believing in those targeted accounts and kind of going at them in parallel. And then finally, there’s got to be accountability around orchestration and execution, right, everyone’s got to do what they’re supposed to do not have to believe in, you know, what’s happening, by way of measurement of engagement, what are actionable data points, etc. I think a lot of great stuff and I’ve got to say we really appreciate you joining today. I think the audience is gonna love it. Before we let you go though, if somebody in the audience is heard this today once again touch with say you or Alyce or you know wants to find Rep Your Brand. How do they do it?Nick Bennett: 00:39:06

Yeah, absolutely. So you know, find me on LinkedIn, it’s where I spend most of my time you know, happy to happy to have any conversations if you’re interested in Alyce, go to to check it out. Or send me a you know, send me a DM on LinkedIn. I’m happy to demo the product myself to you. And lastly, if you want to find Rep Your Brand, just you know, subscribe or find it on Spotify or Apple. It’s on on those two pages as well.Michael McNary: 00:39:32

Thanks again, Nick for a fantastic conversation. Next month, we’re discussing what makes CMOS and CEOs legends. Listen now to a sneak peek from our conversation with Justin Shriver Chief Marketing Officer at