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Let's talk ABM: 6 tips for personalizing ABM at scale

In a recent episode of Let's talk ABM, Decland Mulkeen sat down with Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake, to discuss the secret to personalizing ABM at scale.

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Declan Mulkeen

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Feb 17 2022 - 9min Read Date published: Date modified: 2022-03-14

https://linkedin.com/in/declanmulkeen

2.7x meeting rate. 50% uplift in pipeline. 

Compelling numbers, right? So what’s the secret to Snowflake’s success? 

Snowflakes’ powerful Sales and Marketing machine and its impressive Account-based Marketing strategy. 

From mastering execution to developing your tech stack and acting with a Sales-first mindset - scaling ABM is no easy feat, but it is possible. 

As part of our Let’s talk ABM podcast series, I recently spoke with Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake, about how to take personalization further within your ABM program.

In the interview (full recording here) we discussed:

  • How Snowflake personalizes ABM at scale

  • Why strategy comes before technology 


  • What is the hardest part of ABM and why


  • Advice on how to succeed at Account-based Marketing


So let’s take a look at some of Hillary’s top tips to packing a personalization punch:

6 tips for personalizing ABM at scale

1. It's all about the execution

ABM can be a challenging journey at the best of times. But when it comes to trying to scale your program, you could be in for a bumpy ride.

Account-based strategies rely on deep personalization and a thorough understanding of your key decision-makers. 

Which, when working on a One-to-one or One-to-few basis, is easily maintainable. 

But when it comes to scaling your program, it’s a different story. 

 

The key is execution. 

You can have the most advanced tech stack, the most engaging content, and the most extensive budget, but if you haven’t got the right execution team in place to put everything into motion, then your efforts will be wasted.

 

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“Execution is the hardest part, right? We can think of strategies. We can go to a conference and say, hey, this ABM platform does everything. But when you get back, you've got to have the people on the ground all executing against the same vision.”  - Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake

This means coordinating and orchestrating the program across your organization, aligning on processes and tactics, and understanding how to execute at scale for maximum impact.

“You can talk about Sales alignment. You can talk about personalization. You can talk about orchestration. But actually doing it at scale is what's challenging.” - Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake

2. Consider the level of personalization needed for each account

The art of ABM is all about creating personalized and engaging experiences for your most important accounts. But that doesn’t mean it’s a one-size-fits-all approach.

 

Each account that you’re targeting will have different needs, desires, challenges, goals. And they’ll also have a different value to your business. 

So it makes sense that not every account will require the same level of personalization and special attention. 

It’s up to you and your team to decide on the best approach for each account. 

Generally speaking, you’ll usually find that your One-to-one accounts will require the highest level of personalization and customized content. 

They will require a deeper understanding of their precise challenges and pain points, and you’ll need to dedicate a significant amount of time and resource to make an impact. 

Since these will be your highest value accounts, you need to put in the extra effort to reap the rewards. 

Your One-to-many will still need a degree of personalization - after all, without it you’re not really doing ABM! But, as you scale a program, the less customized it can realistically become. 

“You've got to prescribe the amount of personalization to what the account needs. So our layer where the AEs are nominating very boutique one-off accounts, that's all hand-curated. So the content is hand-curated one by one based on the conversations that reps are having within the accounts.” - Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake

 

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3. Ensure data drives your tech stack

Who doesn’t like the idea of new, transformational tech? 

But don’t let yourself get sucked into the world of ‘bigger is better’. When it comes to ABM, you’ll usually find that the opposite is true: ‘less is more’. 

 

Your tech stack is only as strong as your data - so rather than focusing on getting your hands on the latest gadget, prioritize getting the necessary insight to fuel your decisions and feed into your existing tech.

Scaling personalization isn’t easy, and having the right tech in place will certainly help enhance and streamline the scaling process. But it isn’t the be-all-and-end-all. 

Look to incorporate tech that will boost your strategy and support your processes - whether that’s intent data platforms like Cyance or personalization tools like Intellimize.

It’s a simple case of working smarter, not harder. 

You don’t need to spend a fortune on your stack to get where you want - you just need to ensure you invest in the right tech from the outset. 

“In terms of selecting a technology, I would say start small, right? You don't necessarily need a giant platform to start. You need one thing that you can master and you're building a machine. So you get one cog working really well before you add another one and then integrate another team that is going to use a technology.” -  Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake

4. Adopt a Sales-first mentality

Like it or not, your salespeople are your secret weapon. 

We all know that Marketing and Sales teams have a bit of a reputation for clashing occasionally, but if you want to succeed with ABM, it’s time to push your differences aside.

 

From account selection, all the way to messaging and booking meetings with the account - your team should be acting with a Sales-first approach.

That means really getting into that Sales mindset, thinking in an account-centric manner, and looking to get input from your Sales reps at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

After all, nobody knows your accounts better than your salespeople, so use it to your advantage!

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“We're Sales first. So Sales gets to make the final call on anything we do, any accounts we tackle. And so our job is to inform them with intent, with competitive data, with an MQA model that our team builds, a customer MQA model.” - Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake

5. Take it one step at a time

As with any long-term strategy, your foundation is going to be what determines your overall success. Rush the first steps, and you’re bound to fall.

Before you can think about scaling your strategy, you need to know you have the foundations in place to support any expansion, growth, or changes to your approach. 

 

This means making sure you’ve mastered the basics of ABM. 

Do you have a solid ICP? Are you going after the right accounts? Do you have the right team in place to help you reach your goals? Is your tech stack advanced enough to support a more scaled program?

Once you’ve built out these processes within your team, you know how to run the program, and you’re confident that you have the resources in place to scale further, that’s when you can take the next step.

With ABM, it’s all about baby steps.

“The lesson I've learned is one thing at a time, take our ideas for the future, write them down. They don't need to happen right now. We don't need to buy more technology right this second. Master what we have and build just one step at a time, knowing the direction you're going and piloting.” - Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake

6. Find a quick win

Securing and maintaining buy-in across your organization is no easy feat - especially since ABM is a journey, and you’re not going to have immediate results.

So how can you maintain buy-in and keep your team motivated?

 

By starting your program with a bang!

Find an easy target, an account that fits your ICP but would be relatively quick to turn around a program for, and close the deal. 

If you can show your team the potential of ABM from the outset, give them something to chew on, then they’ll be that much more invested in the long haul.

“My advice is find a quick win. Find a way where you can show the Sales team specifically, get something in their hands that they can action and they can see the results of.” - Hillary Lupo Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake

 

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