Change Begins at Home: Delivering High-Touch ABM Campaigns in a Virtual World

Momentum ITSMA Staff

April 8, 2021

A discussion with award-winning ABM-ers from Infosys, Qlik, and SAP to understand how they are delivering ABM campaigns today.

Change Begins at Home: Delivering High-Touch ABM Campaigns in a Virtual World

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At the Marketing Vision Conference in October 2020, I sat with three award-winning ABM-ers to understand how they pivoted their programs in response to the Covid-19 Pandemic. I also wondered which of these new initiatives will stick even after the crisis passes. A recently published ITSMA Viewpoint offers a summary of that discussion.

Nancy Harlan from Qlik, Eric Martin from SAP, and Navin Rammohan from Infosys were generous with both their time and their insights on how they are Delivering High-Touch ABM Campaigns in a Virtual World. Our conversation covered a number of topics, including ABM Centers of Excellence, how to gather a full view of the client, creative ways to engage with client executives in a virtual world, and more.

What was particularly interesting to me is that all three pointed to internal solutions that were just as important as external activities in keeping their ABM programs on track.

According to Eric Martin, the pandemic accelerated SAP’s adoption of custom communications to clients. However, just as important was scaling ABM internally. To do this, his team created a slimmed down playbook that could be adopted by anyone outside the core ABM team and they also “deputized” a number of field marketers who could conduct discovery calls with sales, learn more about the account plan, and quickly apply some of the ABM playbook tactics.

Similar to SAP, Qlik immediately went deeper and more customized with their messaging to clients. Nancy Harlan also described how the ABM team added a new internal stakeholder—customer success managers. Now, customer success and sales teams can align their plans under a single ABM program to drive renewals as well as new sales. This integration will help Qlik present a cohesive and aligned message to clients going forward.

The conversation took a really intriguing turn when Navin Rammohan divulged that Infosys’ ABM team is shifting from being problem solvers to problem finders. By this, he means that customers are coming to Infosys to find other potential issues and to understand what they can do to get ahead of them. In response, Infosys is adding more “problem finders” to the ABM team who have diverse backgrounds and different industry experience to bring a fresh perspective to clients, anticipate their future needs, and potentially co-innovate solutions. That’s a surefire way to deepen your relationships with your clients!

Through these internal actions and other ways they pivoted, Nancy, Eric, and Navin described how the pandemic accelerated the adoption or scaling of ABM and may be a contributing factor to these organizations’ growth in a difficult time.

All three go into more detail in the Viewpoint, sharing their perspectives on how the pandemic shaped their programs and previewing what they see for the future of ABM in their respective organizations. Growth Hub members can download the Viewpoint at no cost and, if you prefer a visual medium, the video of the entire session is also available.