ABM & COVID-19

The ABM Leadership Alliance Webinar Question Responses

What do you get when the ABM Leadership Alliance and ITSMA team up for a webinar? An hour-long session jam-packed with important insights and key findings centered on ABM best practices and advanced strategies. What you don’t get is enough time to answer all the questions submitted from your webinar attendees.So we’ve created a blog series where ABM experts representing the members organization of the ABM Leadership Alliance answer questions focused on ABM & Covid-19, ABM 101, ABM Tactics and ABM Strategy. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the webinar, you can check that out here.

In our first installment of the series, we’re answering all of your questions regarding ABM and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Q: If you only have a few customers right now, how do you handle trying to prioritize retention over new accounts? We can’t really sustain ourselves financially without still seeking new customers.

A: It’s important to strike the right balance between retention and closing new business. The best way is to have your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) clearly defined for both upsell and net new accounts. This will allow you to rate accounts quickly against that criteria to ensure they are a good match for your efforts. I would suggest creating a target list for both your current customers in terms of those most likely to upsell as well as your target list for net new accounts and divide your efforts between them based on your anticipated ROI off each set of accounts.

Jesse Walsh, Segment Marketing Manager, Vidyard

Q: I come from a healthcare industry and with COVID-19 we want to still engage with our accounts however we don’t have the budget for tools and want to be mindful of people’s inboxes since they are dealing with COVID things. What approach do you suggest as our next steps to still keep accounts engaged.

A: The approach I’ve taken here at PathFactory is this: be helpful.
Ask yourself: what’s changed among these customers? What are their biggest challenges today that they weren’t facing yesterday? Do we have the expertise to help them with those challenges?
If the answer is yes, it’s incumbent on us as marketers to create net new content and resources to address those unique challenges…
…AND/OR curate a short list of existing content you already have that can support them and prioritize distributing that content.
Start at the very tippy top of the funnel by bringing in subject matter experts, peer customers, etc. so they don’t feel like you’re always pitching them. In my opinion, this content should be pulling them toward you rather than pushing your solution at them.
That’s kind of where I’ve started. I don’t profess to get it right 100% of the time, but I think we’re headed in the right direction here at least.

From there, our marketing and sales teams use PathFactory (obviously!) to pay attention to people’s buying behavior, and prioritize increasing marketing communications and sales follow-up to people who are consuming more content.

Cassandra Jowett, Sr. Director of Marketing, Pathfactory

Q: One of our key segments is Providers in Healthcare. (Healthcare system leaders) They, naturally, do NOT want to be reached out to right now. Any examples of how to address this?

A: The key is to follow the lead of your customers. Ask yourself, “what do they need, and how can you provide it?” whether it’s financial relief, supplies or other direct help. Their definition of “value” has drastically changed in the last few months, and the name of the game is providing value, and value doesn’t have to come from your product. Customers will remember that you helped during this time, and you will build up goodwill for the future. This also goes a long way with your own employees having confidence in your company.

If you’re not in a position to provide that direct help, then consider two options. First, see who is still engaging and seeking information (using your first-party engagement data) or who is out in the market looking for information (using third-party intent data). If there’s a true need, they may slow down in the buying cycle, but they won’t stop completely. If they’re not showing buying intent, keep them in a useful-content nurture cycle and focus on directing content development to topics of interest now. Be helpful.

Second, focus on retention and providing value to your current customer page. Retention is the new growth, especially for software and recurring revenue companies. Right now, customers are looking to get the most out of what they already have. Shift your attention and leverage your pre-sales team to help with engagement and value post-sale. When signals show that buying is starting up again, you’ll be building on a solid foundation. You also may also find it easier to grow existing vendor relationships than to add new ones, so cross/upsell signals can be tracked to find growth options.

Brandon Redlinger, Head of Growth, Engagio

Q: Any engagement suggestions or opinions on communication (email frequency) with clients and prospects during COVID-19?

A: Since the beginning of COVID -19, we at Bizzabo, see that our prospects and customers want to be informed and have a real need for thought-leadership content. They want guidance on how to manage their event strategy through uncertain times. We believe that with valuable content that provides our audience with tools and valuable data, weekly engagement is a recommended cadence to keep customers and prospects informed. We see high open-rates (above 25%) and click rates (above 10%) from our emails, which indicates to us that there is a real need for thought leadership content.

Moran Harpaz, Demand Generation Director, Bizzabo

Q: Has working from home stretched your working hours? If yes, how are you dealing work-life balancing?

A: It has, Rich. Historically I have been good at separating my work life and home life. That is not an option right now. I have heard many times over the last few weeks from my team that they feel a greater level of fatigue at the end of the day which I attribute to this “always on” feeling. We also need to think about the fact that most of us are not used to staring at our computer screens for 8 or 9 hours a day.
The tactics that we are using, and refining daily are:
Stick to a schedule. Make sure that you impose something that creates a hard stop in the evening. Shut that laptop down and don’t be tempted to look at your emails on your phone.
Don’t intermingle your house chores with your work chores. If you wouldn’t normally do a load of laundry in the middle of your workday, why start now? It blurs the lines too much.
Take breaks away from your desk. I can’t emphasize this enough. Our eyes can’t handle staring at our screens as much as we are. Walk around the block (if you are allowed). Go sit in the sun, or the snow if you are in Montana like I am.

Marne Reed, Chief Evangelist, PFL

Do you want to continue to learn more from these amazing and insightful panelists? Make sure to follow the ABM Leadership Alliance on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with all things ABM right in your inbox.

Stephanie Blackwell

Channel & Partner Marketing Coordinator, Demandbase

Stephanie Blackwell is the Channel and Partner Marketing Coordinator at Demandbase. In this role, she works directly with the partner team at Demandbase and as coordinator for the ABM Leadership Alliance.