How to Build 6sense into a 1:1 ABM Program Driven by Sales - Ceri Jones, Senior Director

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Kimberly Conklin
Kimberly Conklin Posts: 202 6senser
edited July 9 in Inspire 24

Ceri Jones, Senior Director of Global DemandGen & Operations at Taulia, shared insights on integrating 6sense into a 1:1 ABM program driven by sales. This approach focuses on balancing the priorities of both sales and marketing when adopting a named account strategy. 

 Setting the Scene 

 Jones noted that when transitioning to a named account approach, sales teams naturally seek support from marketing. Marketing's focus is on ABM, while sales is interested in the outcome. The key is how marketing prepares for the Target Account Group (TAG) and collaborates with sales in 1:1 account planning. 

 Taulia by the Numbers  

Taulia's business model emphasises long-term revenue and lifetime value by onboarding suppliers onto their network. The long sales cycle and high account value make the first-year ramp crucial. 

  • Revenue Dynamics: 85% recurring revenue annual target 
  • First-Year Ramp Focus: Average first-year order ≥ $450K 
  • Customer Lifetime Value: 5 years, $5 million 
  • Market Snapshot: Over 3 million businesses on the network, $250 billion in accelerated early payments, operating in 172 countries 

Go-to-Market Strategy 

 In 2024, Taulia shifted from a broad approach to a focused pipeline strategy, targeting named accounts in 12 industry verticals. They had a clear ICP, target view, and personas. The challenge was translating this into a harmonious GTM approach. 

 2023 vs. 2024 

 Taulia's focus required a philosophical shift in how marketing works. Jones summarised the key mindset changes: 

- Sourcing leads to influencing the pipeline 

- Handing over MQLs to joint understanding with sales of MQAs 

- Focusing on broad market segments to targeting 534 named accounts 

- Individual contact conversion/engagement to focusing on account buying teams 

- Primarily TOF to full funnel and intent focus 

- Quantity of leads to quality via leading indicators and understanding intent 

- Individual marketing tactics to buyer-led journeys and agile engagement 

 This shift required significant change management and relationship building with sales. 

 The Tech Stack 

 Building the right tech stack for ABM was crucial, with 6sense at the heart, ingesting data from all core systems. Without an account-based view supported by the appropriate tech stack, generating necessary intelligence for shifting to an account-based model would be challenging. 

 Marketing leveraged this intelligence to drive the right go-to-market strategies and conversations with sales. 6sense connected to Marketo, LeanData, Bombora, Hushly, Salesforce, SalesLoft, and an ad-serving platform. 

 Sales & Marketing Alignment  

Many companies follow a "throw it over the wall" approach, limiting marketing's understanding of on-the-ground dynamics. The move from sourcing leads to shared pipeline ownership transformed Taulia's relationship with sales, aligning goals and measuring the same outcomes. Establishing marketing credibility through a named account strategy and shared pipeline goals was a game-changer. 

 Sales Account Plan 

Sales and marketing needed to coordinate closely. Sales provided basic information on target accounts, and marketing developed a joint plan. The process included: 

 - Sales Account Planning: Sales completes the planning template. 

- Sales Books Marketing Meeting: Sales and marketing review the plan, with Q&A. 

- Research and Discovery: Marketing conducts qualitative research, gathers data, and gains insights. 

- Marketing Account Planning: Marketing completes the ‘Marketing Plan on a Page’ and content strategy. 

- Marketing Books Sales Meeting: Review the marketing activation plan, with Q&A. 

- 1:1 Campaign Launch: Campaign kickoff, monthly KPI reporting, quarterly performance reviews. 

 This process involved presenting insights back to sales and establishing credibility while ensuring transparency and accountability. 

Marketing 1:1 Campaign Plan 

Once marketing had initial inputs from sales, they built a plan to educate, create alignment, and gain buy-in with AEs. This included: 

 - Personalised Content: Industry one-pagers, dedicated landing pages, relevant content for targeted accounts. 

- People Strategy: LinkedIn personal brand audits, mutual connections research, leveraging CFO-to-CFO connections. 

- Channels: Personal LinkedIn, digital advertising, email, web, in-person and online events, executive sponsor/peer engagements, direct mail, and partnerships with Deloitte and SAP. 

- Events: Partner events, historically attended events, webinars, etc. 

- Operations: 6sense weekly notifications, bi-weekly engagement reports, monthly check-in calls, campaign planning in Asana. 

 Depending on the account's maturity, activities could range from sophisticated to generic but essential marketing touchstones. 

 Measurement: KPIs & Leading Indicators 

By adopting 6sense and an intent-based, account-not-individual lead view, marketing set performance metrics aligning with business objectives, prioritising engagement: 

 - Leading Indicators (Marketing): Account reach, engagement score, spend, click-through rate, view-through rate, content form fills. 

- Account Engagement (Marketing & Sales): New contacts, target account stakeholders engaged, meetings booked, calls with decision-makers, account contact engagement score (6sense). 

- Account Pipeline (Sales): Pipeline, deal size, number of deals, revenue, sales velocity. 

 These indicators focused on engagement with the group buying team, educating both marketing and sales on what success looks like. 

 Results So Far 

Taulia has seen significant results in just two months of their refreshed approach: 

 - Behavioral Analytics: Increased website visits from targeted accounts. 

- Influenced Pipeline: Accounts now have pipelines that didn't exist before, influenced by marketing. 

- 1:Many Engagement Impact: Achieved a 92% increase in opportunities, indicating successful reach to accounts and pipeline development. 

 These indicators show that efforts are beginning to pay off, driven by a shared focus on measurable outcomes. 

Sales & Marketing 'Playbook’ 

 Aligning sales and marketing involves extensive work, including numerous meetings, face-to-face interactions, and evolving strategies. Taulia developed an ABM playbook to guide internal execution in real-time, with three decks: 

 - The Discovery Deck: Captures the sales account plan and what is understood from sales input. 

- The Planning Deck: Where marketing details strategies and actions. 

- The Launch Deck: Includes creative elements, industry-focused landing pages, advertising, and integrating existing activities around events into the account strategy. 

 Integrating 6sense into a 1:1 ABM program has transformed Taulia, bringing sales and marketing together with shared goals. This collaboration streamlined processes and built a strong foundation for future growth, with promising early results. As Jones emphasised, constant communication, shared goals, and smart use of technology are key to driving meaningful engagement and achieving sustainable, scalable growth. Taulia’s approach offers a practical blueprint for other organisations looking to leverage ABM for substantial business impact.