025 | Strategies to Build an Integrated Account Based Marketing Model with Jennifer Pockell Dimas, CMO of Gigster | Studio CMO

Podcast by | October 15, 2020 Automation and Lead Flow, Interviews

 

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The Episode in 60 Seconds

What is Account-Based Marketing and is it best for your company? If you deploy an ABM strategy, how does it affect the relationships between marketing and sales? What metrics do you need in place to make it effective?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas from Gigster discusses:

  • Where digital transformation resides best in your company
  • What Account-Based Marketing is
  • The Power of ABM
  • How the pandemic has proven the power of distributed and remote teams

Our Guest

Jen_Dimas_headshot2Veteran marketing leader, Jennifer Pockell Dimas, has led marketing teams at Polycom, Demandbase, and Plex. She was CMO at Egnyte, and now serves in the leadership role at Gigster. She’s also an advisor at Sendoso, a member of Revenue Collective, and she co-founded Women in Revenue

Gigster

Gigster has always helped their customers transform their offerings to their own customers. They have curated a global talent network made up of developers, project managers, technical architects, dev ops, machine learning experts, and more to help establish distributed teams to help your company build your solutions. (Jen goes in depth about Gigster at 4:20 and how they’ve developed a new platform to help you manage your internal and contracted talent.)

Find out more.

Women in Revenue

To empower current and future women leaders in technology sales and marketing roles with education, support, and networking opportunities. (Jen discusses how it has grown to over 3,000 members at at 2:30 in the podcast.)

Find out more.

Show Notes

Digital transformation happens best when there is joint ownership throughout the organization. Hear more at 

Remote teams are happening. If you don’t change the way you are behaving when you are a remote, distributed team, you will have less success. – Jennifer Pockell Dimas

What is Account-Based Marketing?

A company should focus its resources and attention on the accounts and people most likely to become customers. So it’s a way of creating focus and also of increasing impact. — Jennifer Pockell Dimas


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Transcript

John Farkas (00:00):

Digital account based marketing has come on super strong as a strategic initiative in the last several years. And it’s been an active process of evolving and growing ever since that point. When you’re bringing a B2B solution forward, that has a limited addressable market. It’s a must have in your arsenal. And if you, even, if you have a big addressable market and specific prospects, you want to get on the boat, then it has to be in there too. As we all know, the market is loud and the ability to cut through the noise with smart, well-targeted initiatives that show your understanding of the space and your specific knowledge of what’s going on with the companies you’re targeting is really important. But marketing can’t live by ABM alone. It has to be a part of a broader strategy. And our guest today knows this world and she’s passionate about it. So get ready folks today, we are diving into the world of integrated account based marketing here on Studio CMO.

Mark Whitlock (01:10):

Welcome to the Studio CMO. You’re listening to the podcast where we have real life conversations about the issues facing B2B tech marketing leaders. My name is Mark Whitlock and my fellow cohost is Angus Nelson Angus, how are you today?

Angus Nelson ( 01:24 ):

I’m doing great.

Mark Whitlock (01:27):

And our host is the CEO of Golden Spiral, the agency that brings you Studio CMO, John Farkas.

John Farkas (01:32):

Greetings everybody.

Mark Whitlock (01:33):

And as John alluded to, we’re going to be speaking to an expert on how to integrate ABM into what you are doing at your company.

Angus Nelson ( 01:44):

Well, today’s guest was introduced to us by one of our former guests, the CMO of Kenna Security, Caroline Japic. And you can hear her on episode 11. Thanks for that. Caroline, shout out to you. Our guest today is a veteran marketing leader, including terms at Polycom. She was at Demandbase and Plex. She was CMO at Egnyte, and now serves in the leadership role at Gigster. She’s also an advisor at Sendoso, a member of Revenue Collective, and she co-founded Women in Revenue. Please, welcome to Studio CMIO. Jennifer Pockell Dimas.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (02:17):

Hi, thanks for having me.

Mark Whitlock ( 02:18 ):

We’re glad you’re here.

Angus Nelson (02:19):

It is great to have you. Yes. And before we get started, Jen, can you take a moment and share about this nonprofit you co-founded called Women in Revenue?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (02:29):

I’m really proud of my participation in this organization, but a little bit more than two years ago, first Sherry Johnson had this wonderful idea for creating a space, a community in which women in revenue generating positions—so sales, marketing, or customer success—could help each other out. It was really a way that the cofounding board, which is a, you know, eight or nine women, we could all give back the things that we had accomplished in our careers. We had all done, um, the jobs that had done with the help of other, with our supporting mentors and sponsors. And so we wanted to give back to the next generation of women coming up in their own careers. And so we created this war, which has wildly exceeded any of our expectations and impact. We’re just about to start our third year and we just passed 3000 numbers.

So I know, and the sky’s the limit. Now we were focused on, you know, in-person quarterly events at the beginning, but obviously it was COVID that got blown up. And so they gave us a great opportunity, which is probably one of the things we should talk about in general, which is, you know, you need to react to whatever market forces are going on. And for us, uh, everyone going remote meant that we could reevaluate the boundaries of Women in Revenue’s impact. And since March we’ve been remote and we have decided to stay remote, we’re going to a virtual boundaryless organization. So we now have members from many other countries. I was in an event two quarters ago and had two women from Africa and someone from Europe and someone from Asia in my breakout rooms. So it’s a global organization meant to create room for conversation and support to help answer business questions, how to make sure that you are getting your seat at the table and that you have the support you need to answer.

John Farkas (04:19):

Super awesome. Jen, and something tells me that we are going to be talking to you more about that, maybe on a subsequent episode here in studio CMO, because that is certainly a critical and important conversation that we want to help amplify. So excited about your work there. Jen, before we dive into account based marketing, tell us about, Gigster tell us about what Gigster is, what it does and why we should care.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (04:46):

Okay. I’m happy to, it’s actually a really fun story. So Gigster is a company that has always helped their customers transform their offerings to their own customers. So as you guys are well aware, as everyone is aware, uh, customer digital expectations and are instantaneous need for gratification in a digital situation today has impacted many, many industries whose core competency is not necessarily technology. Uh, and so what Gigster does is we help enterprises globally to transform their offerings for their customers and employees. And we do that by it’s are super fun to market, but we have a global talent network made up of the most highly skilled developers, project managers, technical architects, dev ops machine learning experts, anybody that you would need to make these transformational solutions. And we spin them together into teams that are elastically staffed. We deliver solutions to our customers. So we’re not placing people, we’re actually placing whatever the solution is into our customer’s hands.

And the very cool thing about what I get to do every day is that Gigster has been doing this six years. And we created a platform that allows us to calibrate the talent in our network and to spin together these teams and manage their work through to closure. And we’re just about to bring that platform to market commercially so that other companies can use it to manage their own internal and contracted talent. So today I’m selling a service offering that delivers software outcomes. And tomorrow I will also be selling a platform that helps people manage distributed remote teams so that they have more effective use of their own resources.

John Farkas (06:30):

That is awesome. So just as a primer here, if you were to kind of distill the challenge that you have in bringing that, cause that’s not a simple linear solution at the end of the day, and it’s not a typical one. So you have some category formation, you have some education that you needed to do to the market because what you’re doing, isn’t a replicate of something else out there, right? Tell me your biggest challenge. What are you having to work against every day in the context of your work and pulling this pulling Gigster forward in the market?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (07:04):

Okay. There are several that I can tell you about.

John Farkas (07:07):

We only just one I want, I want the biggest one

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (07:13):

I’m going to give you two. One is this responsibility for digital transformation. It lives in lots of different places in enterprise organizations. Some people have that responsibility siloed and they have like a lab where people innovate. That’s not actually our best place to create solutions because sometimes those organizations are siloed from everybody else in their org. So part of our challenge is finding the people who are actually ready to invest in solutions that transform. But the other one is getting people to think about an approach the’ve never considered before. So, the way that we do projects, the way that we deliver outcomes, has proven successful. Luckily we have data that has been measured up against traditional methods that show how efffective our approach is and we have our happy customers. But getting people to understand and wrap their brains around the way that we do things that is different than how they do things toda, there is a heavy educational cycle in our sales process.

Angus Nelson (08:09):

Do you find in light of the pandemic and everything that’s going on? I know your ABM efforts have changed and your budgets have changed. And so you’re in a place where you’re having to see your world differently is that also a catalyst for what you’re describing for this new product is helping companies also understand. And I think this is pretty relevant for everyone to understand. Like we have to change

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (08:33):

Before March. Part of our educational cycle had to be in the enterprise companies where we were speaking, a lot of people said that they didn’t believe in remote teams. They had perhaps just implemented agile process and they had their scrums and they had their 12 people sitting together and they actually believed that co-location was required for their success. And we were saying to them, no, no, you should have the best people on these teams, regardless of where they are. And some enterprise customers just didn’t believe it. They were just like, no, even very innovative companies were like, no, no, no, everyone sits together.

John Farkas (09:05):

You’re about to be introduced to an existential crisis called COVID

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (09:10):

This bizarre way. It totally took that conversation off the table for us because everyone is living through the largest remote work experiment that has ever happened. And so I don’t have you anymore that remote teams can happen. Remote teams are happening and there’s a lot of data and people are living it. Now that supports the fact that if you don’t change the way you are behaving, when you are a remote distributed team, you will have less success. So there’s a lot of data to support that. So the Gigster way, the way that we do our work has proven effective for many years about distributed remote work. And so we can actually help people learn how to do their work better by informing them about the Gigster weights.

John Farkas ( 09:48):

Today, we are jumping in on the idea of account based marketing and just to level set. So we can have some context here and understand your point of view. How would you define account based?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (10:02):

Well, I don’t usually call it the account based marketing. I know that’s what it’s called. And I was happily part of the category creation of that back when I was at Demandbase, but I actually really think it’s a strategy. It’s a corporate strategy. It’s much broader than a marketing or sales strategy, to be honest. For B2B companies, it’s an imperative, as you mentioned in the opening, which is it’s the idea that

John Farkas (10:39):

As you’re looking at that whole idea in that mentality. How do you approach bringing that into an organization, building that sensibility?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (10:49):

Well, I’ve done it a bunch of times now, and I’ve done it as like a hundred percent. Account-based go to market strategy. I’ve also in some cases implemented industry specific account based programs. So as in all things in marketing, it’s an, it depends answer. It really depends on what you have to offer. Do you have a multipronged approach to market? You may have something that is highly transactional and has a different reach. My favorite thing is to build programs when product market fit has been established and the company is really ready to explode out its offering. That’s where I love to play. And so if there’s been some kind of repeatable success, like we’ve sold a thing enough times that we think we understand the value to the consumer and to the company, then I love creating a program that focuses on the amplification of that value.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (11:45):

So a lot of it is research, which I think, I don’t know if you guys know this, but like I’m a super nerd and my background. So my, but what you do is you look at the work that has been done, the successes and failures that your company has had in acquiring customers and retaining them. Frankly, if you’re in a SAS business, you need to think beyond the land and you need to think about your expand and retain strategies. And so you do a ton of research about what has worked well. If I think back to the first time I did this, it was actually at Demandbase and I was placing an account based solution. So I wanted to make sure that our account based strategy was tight. And we ended up looking at who are our most successful customers, and you have to throw out the outliers.

You know, you’ve always got really big fish and you’ve always got, you know, a 10% of the bottom that you’re like, why did we even acquire those customers that are not really our ideal customer profile? And they’re hard to maintain. So you need to really be honest with yourself about what’s been effective customer description. And then you look at what are the attributes that describe those accounts. And sometimes you have to be creative. It might be an attribute you don’t think of not just firmographics. What you do is you try and understand the attributes that describe your most successful customers and then build a targeted list that looks like that.

John Farkas (13:04):

Yeah. So you’re definitely looking for a very demonstrable success framework that you have that is clear and apparent to anybody looking for the common threads between that and other organizations out there that could have a clear need and then finding ways to bring that forward into those conversations.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (13:23):

One thing I think that is scary. A lot of times, for people who are thinking about a new program is they may not know how to do it exactly. Right? Sometimes you get analysis paralysis, right? You worry that like, I don’t know exactly who my perfect target is, so I don’t know what to do. And I can tell you from some of my experiences, the right thing to do is to choose and commit, but be ready to be flexible. So I can give you a very specific example of when we were at flex, when I started at Plex and they had three very disparate target industries that they focus on and the one that we knew the least about, but that we were really interested in growing. It was a manufacturing cloud based solution, but we focus. One of our target audiences was food and beverage manufacturing.

And that market is massive. So the first year that we implemented our program, we had any normous target account list. We created it and we implemented programs against it and we created demand against it. But as the year progressed, we watched our data, which by the way, you have to measure everything, right. This is how you know how to adjust. We watched how people were responding. And we were, we were very happy. We were like, Hey, we created all of this top of funnel demand. People are engaging with our content. People want to have the next conversation, but as we move those conversations forward, we realized that actually we were a perfect fit for a much smaller segment of the food and beverage industry, which is massive, right? So the next year, when we reconsidered addressable market, we really made it smaller and more focused. We understood, we could create demand and conversations in lots of those companies, but they did not progress to close for a variety of reasons. So we focused on the area where we could be most successful.

Mark Whitlock (15:06):

Yeah. Jen, we love data. We love to measure stuff and talk about KPIs, a great deal, and have weekly scorecards here within our organization and build them for our clients as well. So you said, measure everything. I mean, you can’t, well, you can’t measu re everything, but if you’ve got analysis paralysis and you’re looking at all of this data, how do you figure out what the key things are to look at? And then how do you make decisions? How do you specifically do those things?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas ( 5:36):

So, because an account based strategy is an Alliance strategy for all of the go-to-market function in a company, those metrics of health need to be jointly derived, right? Everyone needs to be looking at the same metrics across all of the different functions. And so one of the first things that I do when I’m implementing an account based program is establish what those metrics are and what the measurements are going to be. It’s both a language that you create a taxonomy, but also like what are the important touch points? Because when you’re measuring everything, it’s never Nirvana. Like you’re never, like I’m done my account based marketing program is wonderful and weird that there’s always something out. There’s always something that is not working in the way that you planned, or, you know, whatever your assumption based modeling was you had something not right or a market force change.

And so it’s very important that you’re all looking at the same metrics. In my opinion, again, everybody does this a little bit differently, but it requires at least weekly check ins on this data. We always have meetings with sales and marketing and depending on the offer and also delivery depends on who owns the bag for renewals and upsell and cross sell. But you’re always having conversations about the things that you’re measuring with those folks who influenced the progress there. So some of it looks like a traditional waterfall. Some of it looks like an account based waterfall. Some of it is well above funnel metrics. So are you getting engagement on your website from the accounts that you’ve identified as critical, that’s really signal, right? That’s a leading indicator of future demand. So are you even attracting the accounts that you care about to your site? And if we look at the same things week over week, you see a pattern every time

Angus Nelson (17:18):

I would love to get a little granular, if we could, uh, one is, you know, jumping into your stack, you know, what are you using for measurement? What are some of the things that are your go to tools? And then the second piece is, you know, how are you starting some of those cold conversations? What are some of the techniques that you’re using to engage those target clients?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (17:37):

Okay. So those are two very different questions. So I’ll, I’ll take them one at a time. The first question was what’s my tech stack. And I’m going to have a surprising answer for you because I just told you I was a nerd. I love technology. And there are 8,000 MarTech solutions literally out there. And they’re all wonderful in their own way. I actually really believe that technology is only a tool for accelerating a process, a business. And so many people have limited program investments and limited ability to invest in a tech stack. So for me, I’ll start by telling you, like, what do you need in order to do really good account based marketing strategy? You need a Salesforce automation solution. You need a marketing automation solution and you need a website. That’s kind of it. Now, there are many, many other things that you can layer on there. I always need one other thing, which is you need an account based solution. That’s going to allow you to track based on IP address, who are the visitors to your website, so that you can see exactly the question I asked you before, which is, are the accounts that I care about coming to my website.

John Farkas (18:43):

Well, that brings out a good point in here. And that is, yeah, that is the tech stack because there’s a lot of smart work that needs to feed this by human beings. You’re not going to be able to put a piece of technology in there. That’s going to say, we now have an account based marketing program, Presto. It’s about the research. It’s about understanding what your targets are doing, what they’re needing, what their objectives are, and then putting stuff in front of them that is so salient that they can’t help but engage.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (19:14):

So that speaks to Angus. His second question, John, which was, what do we do to get people engaged above funnel? And how do we know if that’s working? So that goes back to another. It depends. Uh, another is where you, you must understand your prospect and customer, and you must inform the needs that they have. And many companies, especially those that are product led. Those that come up from like, I made a cool thing. I want to tell you about this cool thing that I made. A lot of times the error is looking inside out. Like, I want to tell you about the speeds and feeds and the bits and bytes and the features and functions of this thing that I made. And no customer thinks that way. Every customer has a way that they spend their day, a business problem that they encounter, maybe, you know, a better way to do a thing that they don’t understand and you need to educate and inform them, but we all need to turn ourselves inside out and reconsider our messaging from the perspective of the people who are consuming it. So we need to be where they are and we need to speak their language and we need to create value wherever they are in their process. So every marketing and sales conversation is only a value exchange. So what is it that a person needs to know or understand, and how do we get involved in the conversation and provide some value?

John Farkas (20:28):

Absolutely. One of our Mo our most, our most favorite underscores to make here. And one of the things we see happen over and over again with tech companies is they just want to talk about the cool tech. We want to talk about what our thing can do and how, and what makes it able to do that because it’s so amazing. And I care, I don’t care. At the end of the day, I care about figuring out how to advance my business and solve my problem.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (20:55):

I mean, you’re trying to solve the problem for the business, but at the end of the day, even in an account, you’re selling to a bunch of people who spend their day in a certain way, and you’re trying to make their day better, their ability to meet the goals of their business easier.

John Farkas (21:09):

Yeah. And ultimately, and we say this all the time, ultimately make them the hero, right? We want to put them in a scenario that equips them with their Superman Cape so that they can fly into the boardroom and say, look at what amazing thing I just did. And when we can do that, everybody wins,

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (21:25):

Which is one of the pleasures of this program, really getting to understand intimately the way that these people spend their days and then celebrating their successes is such an honor and a pleasure. That’s why I don’t ever have a bias against who I am marketing to. A lot of people are like, I don’t want to market to this kind of a persona or that kind of, I don’t have that at all because I’ve, um, I’ve sold to many different kinds of people in many different industries and everyone, the way that they spend their days important, and you can have some good impact on it.

John Farkas (21:53):

So really when we’re looking at account based marketing, the big underscore here is know your customer. I was shocker spoiler.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (22:03):

We did talk about at a high level, identifying the attributes that describe the accounts, but there’s another really important step, which is getting to the people in every enterprise engagement. You know, you’re talking to eight to 13 different people, there’s usually a buying committee and you really need to understand all of those different people, those persona in that engagement and what is their role. And again, how do they spend their day? And what is their involvement in this decision? Why did they care and how does this solution make their life easier or harder? And then how do you impact their impression and decisions about the acquisition?

Angus Nelson (22:37):

Yeah. I was listening to, um, the CRO at gong, uh, yesterday at inbound. And he was talking about how decisions get made. And he was talking about those five different roles there, someone who’s, the recommender, someone who’s the approver, someone who’s the performer, someone who does the input and someone who makes the actual decision. And oftentimes, you know, in that process, we don’t pay attention to who we’re actually talking to and then strategize, how do we bring more people in the conversation? So we can flesh that out.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (23:06):

There’s also probably some other persona that you did. There were roles that you didn’t just mention. One is a detractor, right? You can also tell somebody, right. There’s going to be someone who like the implementation of your solution actually threatens their job or makes their life harder. And how do you overcome that person’s role in this conversation?

Angus Nelson (23:27):

Oh, you are going to work. There’s no easy, no easy way to do this. What does it look like for Gigster? What does it look like for you with, again, more of a limited budget and having to iterate how you’re doing your AMB ABM practices. Like many

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (23:46):

Companies, we have less resources from both a dollar and a human perspective since this whole thing started. So how did we, and the other thing is buying behaviors of accounts and persona, right? And so with all of that change, how did we adjust? So there are a couple of really interesting things. First off, right off the bat, certain industries stopped buying people shut down. They went into like, I’m not hiring, I’m also linked folks off. And so they absolutely any kind of exploration that they were doing about the future project stopped. So one of the things we did was we further focused our target account list. So even though we had a great target list of certain industries and company sizes, we actually made it more focused. So we went more deeply into the industries that we’re still doing a lot of investments. So financial services, insurance, and banking, we also pharma biotech, um, any highly regulated industry.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (24:43):

They don’t have the luxury of not investing in innovation. They must. And so we’re doing a lot more focused there. So we basically just took away the focus on accounts that were not in the habit of buying during COVID. So that created more focused on our list. And we also adjusted our message a lot. I’m a big believer in reusable content. You know what, we’ll make a big hero piece of content, and then we’ll chunk it up and use it in every possible way. We had some beautiful content that we had just created whose tone was no longer appropriate. So I’ll give you a very specific example. We had a campaign that was lovely, and I, it was kind of these little cartoon guys, but it represented either our buying persona or the customer of this persona or the Gigster talent network. And it was called non humble brag.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (25:29):

So we’d be like non humblebrag, no big deal. I just spun together a team of dev ops and MLAI resources and less than two weeks non humble brag, right. That tone felt way off in the hands of it. Right? So luckily what we were able to do was to reuse the content itself was still really powerful, but we had to reframe the message. So we did away with non humblebrag, we went more to more informational and educational tone to say, Hey, by the way, this is a problem that you’re facing. And here’s a way that you can potentially solve it, that you haven’t thought of. Like we stopped certain tactics altogether because my program budget was reduced, right? So we had to be very on purpose about where did we placed dollars and what tactics were most important to us. And luckily because I’m a nerd and measure things, I know which things have most impact on what, and we decided as a team, again, I never make these decisions in isolation.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (26:26):

I meet with my partners and we together sales, leadership and marketing leadership decided to place our dollars and attention closest to bookings, right? So we looked at the tactics that were having impact that were closest to booking. So for example, our SDR program hugely important, right? That incredible important handoff between marketing and sales, where you’ve warmed, uh, interest you’ve engaged folks. And then they’re ready to have a meaningful conversation with a seller that cannot be lived without. So we kept that we did away with some of the not because we don’t love them and think they’re important, but because we had to prioritize, we less than some of our above funnel tactics.

Angus Nelson (27:07):

And I was going to say the SDR team, you’re doing that in house or out of house.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (27:12):

We did have an in house STR team. We had to do a reduction in employees. And I had an open seat for a leadership role on that SDR team. And I did some straight math. I’ve always believed very strongly in an in house SDR team, especially when it’s an account based program, because the marriage like the daily partnership between the SDR and the AAE and marketing for continued conversation and success is incredibly important. But for financial reasons, I was led to test out an external SDR program, which, you know, dollar for dollar. I actually ended up saving about half the cost of every appointment set, which was very interesting. I was shocked when I did the math. I thought, Holy cow, like this is worth testing. Even with the risk that I knew was there. But what I found was I was lucky to have found a very wonderful partner that that company does an amazing job trading their resources with the skills that are required for aggressive SDR work, which is it’s such a hard and important job, but then I invested very heavily in their training so that they understood not only our offering, but also why we care about this addressable market.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (28:24):

Why do we care about these accounts? Why do they care about us and who are these people and how has their day spent so that they could be more effective. And I’ve actually found that program to be extremely effective outsourced. So that for me was one of the biggest learnings

Angus Nelson (28:37):

You’re drinking your own champagne.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (28:39):

For real, I already was doing that in many other places of my program. I have many partners that helped me extend my program beyond the human beings that I have on the team. But in this case it was a new experiment and I’m happy to say that it was successful. So I will definitely keep implementing this as part of any program.

John Farkas (28:57):

I’m a new CMO. I’m coming into an organization that is screaming for some account based initiatives. And I need to jump in, put a program together and make it happen because we’ve just got to get the attention of some critical customers in ways that we’ve not done before. How would you tell me to get started?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (29:19):

I would look at the places where you’ve been most successful to date. The biggest challenge that companies have is when they don’t have enough data to make those decisions. So if you have tons of customers and you can say, these are my favorite ones, what do they look like? And what was their buying process like? And what are my conversations like? That’s super helpful. Many companies don’t have enough data to hang their hat on. And so in that case, I think you have to do an assumption based program. You need to listen to the field, you need to go and speak with sales and say what conversations progress and which ones don’t, because they know they’re the ones having the conversations. And so, um, I would do a bunch of research internally. I would work, I would say with the delivery team and customer success and ask, you know, which customers expand, which customers are most happy and why, who are the people that you’re talking to at that account?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (30:04):

What other roles, what problem did we solve for them? So inform yourself whatever way you can by using data or internal interviews. And then I would say, make a decision, build a list and start your efforts, and then measure because you’re going to be wrong. I promise you’re going to be wrong. You’re eating. And so you need to be able to measure success and failure, and then you need to adjust to whatever happened. And with an account based program, I’m going to say something that I feel like is important management of expectations. If you’re starting with a cold list, for example, if I’ve determined that I want to go after this segment of a market, and I’ve never ever spoken to them before, and they don’t know who I am managing the expectations of your executive team of sales, of marketing, of customer success of your CTO is insanely important because it’s not a light switch, right? You don’t get instantaneous impact when you’re talking to brand new accounts. So you need to really have people understand that you’re going to be warming accounts, teaching them who you are getting into their consideration set so that they even know that they want to have a conversation with you that takes time. So those are some things I would do. I would move and measure. And then I would for sure manage expectations really carefully so that people aren’t expecting instantaneous results because that’s not how it works.

John Farkas (31:23):

The integration between marketing and sales and the context of an account based program has to be step. Tell us about how you’ve achieved some of that in the context of the organizations, you’ve been a part of, how do you bring that tight integration, the right hand, knowing what the left hand is doing really clearly and feeding the Intel information back and forth in a way that really helps build synergy. What does that look?

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (31:49):

I love that question. Some of it has to do for me with the selection of my partner, right? The most important person that I have at the company who is my work partner is the person who leads the sales organization. So even when I select the job, that’s important to me, right? I need to make sure that that person understands. I don’t personally believe that marketing and sales should exist separate of each other, right? It’s an aligned process that exists for the same reason. And so I want to work with a partner who acknowledges that there are certain things that marketing can achieve in that process, more effectively than a salesperson. And I, 100% had acknowledged that the sales process is something that sales uniquely can accomplish. It’s not a thing that marketing could do. Instead. One of the things is having that respect, but literally being a partner to that function.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (32:38):

So one of the things I think even when people give lip service to alignment, what ends up happening is sometimes marketing success is measured by top of funnel, engagement or appointments that are created. And so you get into a situation sometimes when I’m marketing leaders, success is being celebrated while a sales leader is missing booking targets. That should never be, if we have an ultimate goal of bookings and revenue, that’s my goal. And so I stand there on the firing line with the sales leader, when they’ve missed their numbers. I miss that number two, it’s not something that they do on their own selling his only job or being there when, when you’re celebrating successes is good. But also when you, when you don’t have success, which happens all the time, you need to let them know that you’re really a partner when things are good. And when things aren’t good and now you need to have a really open and honest conversation. I talked to my sales leader many, many, many times a day. Like he’s someone, one that I have on constant Slack, we’re back and forth constantly.

Angus Nelson (33:38):

We try.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (33:40):

You’re right about the two of us, but my whole team is aligned up and down with it.

John Farkas (33:43):

That is super critical and definitely an important ingredient to success. Like we said, the market is a really loud place right now. And the cut through that noise, you have to have a clear understanding of who your target is and how your solution can uniquely knit into what some of that problem set looks like to bring a real solution, not how you’re going to bring your tech to bear and make amazing things happen. It’s about how you are going to clearly solve a problem, and then understanding a really well-formed narrative of how you’re going to tell that story to them, because it’s not just about, Hey, here’s what we can do. It’s about the interaction. It’s about the understanding. It’s about the communication and putting that into a beginning, middle end framework that can help them see what happens if they have the opportunity to engage. Jen, thank you so much for lining that out for us. I think it’s really some tremendous insight. And as I mentioned earlier, we’re going to look forward to another conversation with you and talking about what you are doing with your nonprofit as well, and helping women come forward in the revenue universe and dominate.

Jennifer Pockell Dimas (34:54):

Well, this was really fun. And I look forward to the next conversation too.

Mark Whitlock (34:57):

Jen Pockell Dimas has been the guest on this edition of studio CMO. When you come to studio cmo.com/zero two five, that studiocmo.com/025, you’ll have an opportunity to connect out and see what Gigster is doing. And we’ll give you a snapshot of some of the content that Jen referred to and allow you to get in touch with her and see the platform that’s coming down the road from Gigster. So we’re excited about that. And while you’re at studiocmo.com/025, be sure to subscribe to our podcast. So you’ll be sure to catch the next episode that we record and air with Jen. We’re so grateful. Have you on board

Mark Whitlock (35:38):

And as always, we’re going to leave you with things that you heard echoed throughout today’s edition of the podcast,

Angus Nelson (35:44):

understand your buyer’s problems.

Mark Whitlock (35:45):

and lead out of that empathetic understanding.

John Farkas (35:48):

and make your buyer the hero.

Mark Whitlock (35:51):

We’ll see you next time on Studio CMO.