Claire Darling, CMO at Skybox Security says her company’s marketing and business strategy is 100% account based, which means marketers need to think about top of the funnel awareness all the way through the customer lifecycle. To that end, everybody in marketing is measured on pipeline and revenue impact – aka, growth.
Skybox Security’s account-based approach, however, is not the typical one-to-one ABM approach; instead, Darling explains “It really is account based everything. To focus and scale, we’ve transformed our go-to-market approach and brought in account-based everything across the company.”
When Darling joined, Skybox Security marketing was “all about events.” She is changing that mindset deliberately and methodically and has:
- Identified an Ideal Customer Profile
- Worked with sales, customer success, and the program management organization to do account tiering
- Developed a go-to-market strategy that leverages all marketing tactics to drive engagement and turn leads into qualified opportunities
In addition, Darling focused heavily on training and marketing enablement. She refers to the business development team as the “revenue development” team and describes them as “the critical connection in pipeline qualification.” She moved this team under the regional marketing leads, who are considered the CMOs for their regions.
This shift required reskilling. Revenue development team members were, in Darling’s words, “phenomenally strong” in terms of traditional field marketing tasks. But moving to an ABM focus meant changing from a “spray and pray” or volume-based model to something far more targeted. Darling made sure the team learned the narrative and could easily talk to sales and to customers. They had to find out what the account is interested in and what their key initiatives are, and then show how Skybox Security can add value.
Marketers also had to learn how to follow up, which required knowing the content and the messaging – something they hadn’t been tasked with before. They trained for hours on the narrative and products to understand not just what content was available but also how to use it. This was the foundation of the marketing enablement effort.
Team members became certified on ABM through ITSMA’s Account-Based certification, which helps marketers focus on the potential revenue and impact and pivots the discussion with sales away from talking about tactics. The mindset changed from, “I scanned 10,000 people from this event” to “What’s happening in my accounts? What do they care about?”
Darling admits that the focus on education petered off as they got closer to execution. But she wishes it hadn’t: “We were busy building a team, executing programs, and launching things. The lesson learned is to keep going with the education because you have to tell it, tell it again, tell it yet again, and then show the value of this account-based strategy.”
Marketers continue to train on technology because, as Darling notes, “You can’t just turn on Demandbase and Bombora. You have to keep learning.”
With a changed mindset and a relevant skillset, marketers have become a key partner to their regional sales leadership and essential to delivering to delivering on the company’s growth goals.
This article is a brief excerpt from a three-part series, How One CMO is Focusing on Whole-Company Enablement, which is available to members of The Growth Hub. Check here to see if your company is a member and if you have access to the full documents.
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