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How to Win ABM Budget

According to Forrester, the average ABM budget has risen to over $600k, excluding headcount. This is up from $350k in 2019. However, there are still many internal obstacles for marketers to overcome to win budget for ABM pilots and program expansions. We are hosting a webinar to share how B2B marketing leaders like you are building consensus and getting funding for ABM.

Tav Tepfer (00:12):

Okay. So thanks everybody for joining our webinar today on how to get started with ABM and how to get budget for ABM. Today, I have Doug Yeamans with me. He's one of our directors of strategy and really focused on enterprise clients and helping them get an ABM program not only started, but then the value from it as we continue. So thanks for joining me, Doug.

Doug Yeamans (02:50):

Yeah, it's great to be here. And thanks to everyone for taking time out of their busy days to join this webinar this morning.

Tav Tepfer (02:58):

Yeah, great. Okay. Let me share my screen. So yeah, we keep hearing from all of the experts out there, all of the analysts, whether it be Forrester or Gartner, that that ABM is really a must for this year or for 2021 and 2022. Let's see. Not letting me move to the next slide. There we go. Okay.

Tav Tepfer (03:27):

So we're getting amazing statistics from everybody really around now's the time, ABM is a must invest, and it's something that is on everybody's radar for B2B marketing. So account-based marketing is the direction that everyone is going. In fact, analysts are so bold to say that all of B2B marketing will eventually become account-based, which makes a lot of sense. But we're seeing it harder to roll out because of the difficulties in getting budget. So what are you hearing from companies you work with, Doug, and how are they tackling this problem or feeling about account-based marketing?

Doug Yeamans (04:14):

Sure. No, that's exactly what I'm hearing, Tav. And I would say 99% of the global manufacturers and life sciences companies that I work with are interested in implementing an ABM program, or at least planning to implement an ABM program. And I think it stems from the fact that these companies recognize buying cycles have changed. They've gotten more complex. I think we all know COVID has contributed to that to some degree, and they know that they need to take a different approach in terms of engaging their key accounts in a more targeted and more digital way.

Doug Yeamans (04:50):

But without question, I'm seeing that marketers really struggle when it comes to securing budget. And part of that is the pandemic, part of it is COVID. Certainly it's impacted topline margins for large manufacturers out there. And many of these companies, they responded by slashing budgets, and certainly marketing budget was a big part of that. But what we're starting to see now is that budgets are returning back to pre-COVID levels, but it hasn't changed the fact that it's still difficult for these marketers to get budget when it comes to new programs, new ABM programs. And it's almost as if they get pushed back from every level of the organization, hence the cartoon or the chart that you're seeing here.

Tav Tepfer (05:37):

Yeah, I agree. It's really frustrating. It just seems like it's easier to say no than yes these days, and takes a lot more, a lot more convincing, which is why we're here to help. And what we did was we surveyed a bunch of our clients to see how did they overcome the internal obstacles to get budget, because they're hit from all angles. You guys are hit from all angles. So here's what we learned. So, first, they said let's start with ROI metrics. Really use industry metrics to shape the discussion and frame what your going to do with your program and how it's going to impact your company and your business. You want everybody to understand the ultimate ROI for the program, and then also all the metrics along the way to convince everyone that the program is successful. What are you seeing, Doug, from your clients and how they've gotten approved?

Doug Yeamans (06:46):

Yeah, it really does start with metrics tab. And the good news is the research has been done, right? The big analyst firms, the Forresters, the Serious Decisions, the Gartners, they've been doing research on this for the last several years, specifically around the business impact associated with ABM programs. And so, we always encourage our clients to utilize that data, take advantage of the research, the third-party data, that's out there and use it in their presentations as they're making their case internally.

Doug Yeamans (07:24):

This slide is a perfect example of that. This is actually a slide from one of our customers. They put this together and used it as part of their "pitch deck" to secure budget for an ABM program, and they were successful in doing so. And they shared this with us, which is why we're able to share it with you all today. But you can see that the metrics, the third-party metrics, were front and center here. They really leveraged metrics from serious decisions in some of their research specifically around the lift that you can expect from an ABM program, but specifically around engagement, around win rate.

PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:08:04]

Doug Yeamans (08:03):

Specifically around engagement, around win rate, around deal size, and even overall ROI. And what I like about this is that they answered the how as well. So how does ABM drive these metrics and these results? And it really does come from a couple of things. One, I think we all know that ABM allows us to educate and influence our target accounts digitally, during that first 70% of the buying cycle before they're ready to engage with your sales teams. And ABM also allows you to reach all of those different stakeholders that are involved in purchase decisions now, not just those that you know that have maybe opted into your email campaigns, but those that you don't know as well. And so I think this slide is a great example of the type of slide we recommend our clients use as they make their case internally.

Tav Tepfer (08:59):

Yeah. And we know you have to keep it front and center of every deck you do, because you have to say it over and over and over. I do like how this combines both the key metrics for the entire program, but then the how. How are you going to get there, and why does it matter?

Doug Yeamans (09:19):

Yeah, exactly.

Tav Tepfer (09:20):

This was really nice. So advice number two that we got from our clients was don't go at it alone. I know that sounds really obvious, but what does that mean? What have you been hearing, Doug, and what did they do to not go at this as a one-person silo?

Doug Yeamans (09:40):

Right. No, it really is important, don't go at it alone. It's not easy within large organizations to go and secure budget. And the clients that I've worked with that have been successful in securing budget, these are some of the things that they've done and that I think you all can can leverage. And the first one is absolutely get buy-in from your boss or from a senior internal stakeholder, and don't present the case yourself, present the case jointly. And Tav said it, you're not presenting one time. In many cases, you're presenting this three, four, or five times competing against other projects. And this one client in particular, she presented with her boss four or five times to two different stakeholders, but they always presented the case jointly, and I think that is one reason why they were able to have success and secure budget. Align these ABM programs with your company goals and objectives.

Doug Yeamans (10:42):

ABM is a very strategic program. And don't think so tactically about how many contacts or form bills will this get us. I would venture to guess that for everyone that's on the phone today, or on this webinar, your organizations have lofty goals when it comes to revenue, when it comes to margins, when it comes to maybe growing certain sets of accounts or verticals, certain product lines, or product categories. That's what ABM is great at, and so the more that you can align ABM programs to those types of company goals and objectives, the better chance you have of getting that budget. And this next one might sound counterintuitive, because we at Jabmo always talk about the importance of involving sales and getting sales alignment, but we feel like it's too early to involve sales before you've actually secured budget for an ABM program.

Doug Yeamans (11:38):

Meeting with sales and getting them really excited, they could start to take this in a lot of different directions. And I think as you're looking to secure budget, you want to be very focused on a certain business case or use case. So once you get that budget, by all means, sit down with the sales team, get their buy-in, get their support, work with them on target accounts and so forth, but it's a little early to do it here. Align ABM value with other budget requests. This was something that I thought was very interesting when Tav and I talked with one of our global manufacturing customers, and she shared with us some of the things that she did to secure budget. And one thing that she did is... She was actually competing with a couple of other projects. One was around growing a certain portfolio of products, and another was growing a certain set of accounts within a vertical. Rather than competing with those programs, she actually said, "Hey, you know what? With ABM, we can address those same things." And so instead of competing, she really partnered and brought those programs underneath the ABM umbrella, which helped her secure budget, and I just thought that was really smart and really interesting. And this is not new, but grab future budget from other campaigns. I think we've all read a lot and seen a lot about trade shows going away during the pandemic, events. Look to grab dollars from those buckets to apply to ABM.

Tav Tepfer (13:08):

Yeah. I think those are... I mean, all of these are great steps, I think, to secure budget, but I do think it's interesting to think about any campaign, any new product launch exactly like you're saying, because all you're doing is now making it account-based, which means you're focusing it on the real account's potential revenue that matters. So it's kind of thinking about it differently [inaudible 00:13:36] account-based lens over the top of your initiatives that align with your company, opposed to, "I'm going to try this crazy program over here on the side and see what happens."

Tav Tepfer (13:49):

It's just making your current campaigns or your future campaigns more valuable, more focused on the accounts that really matter. So yeah, this is really good advice. Okay, number three, ask for big money. I think this one, when we heard it from a couple of clients, kind of shocked me to be honest, because it seems like they try to go in and ask for the lowest amount of money that they can get away with, and then fit the program into it. And instead, we heard from quite a few people that you should go in and start big, and ask for big money. So I'll let you expand on that a little more, Doug, from what we heard.

Doug Yeamans (14:32):

Yeah, it surprised me too. I mean, what I've seen with a lot of clients that I've I've worked with, and some marketers, is that they've wanted to take the path of least resistance, if you will, and maybe try to use some discretionary money that they still had available, or maybe partner with someone else to try to get some additional dollars, but really looking to start as small as possible in some kind of small pilot for a quarter or two quarters, or maybe starting with just a few accounts. And the fact is, ABM is a long-term program. And what I've seen, what we've seen is that those types of small one-off projects and pilots, while you might get some results from them, you're still going to have a big sales job after you do those, because you still have to convince the organization that this can work in a bigger, more broad way across the organization.

Doug Yeamans (15:31):

So what we say is do that heavy lifting upfront. Fight for the bigger dollars upfront, because that's really what it takes to drive a successful ABM program, because they are longer-term programs. We shouldn't think about a one-quarter campaign or a two-quarter campaign. ABM is a multi-year type program. And if you think about it, for most manufacturers, buying cycles are really long. So if you run an ABM program for one quarter, how can you expect to see-

PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:16:04]

Doug Yeamans (16:03):

For one quarter, how can you expect to see a lot of new opportunities or see additional revenue? It's just not enough time. And the same goes with target accounts. If you only apply this to a few target accounts, that just gives others within the organization a chance to say, "Yeah, but that was in that region, and yeah, but those accounts were part of that vertical so I can understand why maybe it worked there, but it won't work here." So again, think broad, go in and fight the fight early to secure that budget because really getting dollars to run a longer term ABM program that addresses more target accounts is really how you're going to see the value and improve it to the organization.

Tav Tepfer (16:47):

Yeah. Even if you go in and ask for big money and it gets whittled down, at least you've set yourself up for success, that they know to roll out into a bigger program, it is more money. And again, it's going and moving campaigns into an account-based program all along the way, which is interesting. We typically see people start with about 20 target accounts, but for one year, they want to see those 20 target accounts. But you'd be amazed. I mean, after the first quarter, they're adding as many accounts as possible or adding campaigns for another set of target accounts because you do see that value so quickly, which brings us to number four which is, make sure that you align the right success metrics at each stage of the program.

Tav Tepfer (17:42):

I think this is the one that everybody's had the most learning, I think, in the last two years around is because people want to go from awareness, stage number one, all the way to decision without realizing actually you're leading them through that journey. Marketing is really digitally selling through this journey, and that's what ABM allows you to do, which is great. So, I mean, what are you hearing, Doug, about programs that you've seen rolled out and these different stages?

Doug Yeamans (18:20):

Yeah. This is really, really important when it comes to ABM, is aligning the success metrics, excuse me, because it's not just important as you're thinking about securing budget, but it's important as you think about running an ABM program because once you have an ABM program in place, you will be meeting with leadership and sharing results. And it's really important that you've set the right expectation in terms of what results are we going to be seeing at different phases of the program? Now at Jabmo, we've really adopted something that we call the challenger methodology. There are some books out there that corporate executive board wrote that they're now owned by Gartner, but one was "The Challenger Sale." The other was "The Challenger Customer" and we've really embraced that methodology, which is not starting with product or solution, but starting more with problem centric messaging, and then walking an account through a journey to then getting to more product centric messaging.

Doug Yeamans (19:23):

And we really think about these programs in three phases. So we think about awareness, to consideration, to decision and the metrics really do change at each stage. As we think about awareness, this is really where we're really just trying to reach these accounts. We want to make sure we can get the message in front of them. We want to make sure that we can get them to engage, but once we get 100% reach and we're getting all of the accounts to engage with the message, this is where we want to move beyond that to that consideration phase, and this is where we start to measure things like meeting set and how many opportunities were opened.

Doug Yeamans (20:04):

And then as we get beyond that and the program matures, and we get more into the decision phase, this is where we want to start to see that all these opportunities that have been open, how many deals have we actually closed? So again, this is really important as you present the case internally, is to think about it over the course of a longer period of time, and the metrics will change as you move through these different phases.

Tav Tepfer (20:31):

Yeah, that's really great advice. I think having an organized plan and understanding where you are in this cycle, understanding where your accounts are in this cycle really helps you start to become relevant to your customers and prospects, and move them through the journey. I think this is great. Number five, last but not least is be brave. This is not for the weak at heart, for sure. What are you hearing from our strong sponsors, because they are strong to get these programs started for sure?

Doug Yeamans (21:17):

That's exactly right, Tav. And while we've showed you quite a bit of data so far today, this is probably the biggest piece of advice that we can give you all today is to be brave. And we know, we've seen it, that it's not easy. It's not easy fighting for new programs. It's not easy trying to secure budget for new programs within your organizations. But the thing that you all have to remember is that, and we've talked about it this morning, is that the research and the data is there, the analysts have done a lot of this. So leverage that data where you can.

Doug Yeamans (21:52):

Forrester actually just put out a report that said, "More than 75% of B2B marketers have seen positive ROI from their ABM programs." And in many cases, the ROI was greater than any other marketing program or technology they had implemented or had used. So if you think about that, you should be confident. You should be confident that you can be successful with an ABM program, and the last thing I would say is partner with someone. Partner with someone that is going to work alongside you to make sure that you do achieve those results that you're after, and that you are successful with these programs.

Tav Tepfer (22:29):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we do hear the initial budget is the hardest to secure since you are competing against any idea that might come in, but to align to your company goals, so that's usually the hardest. And then once you get the program going, trying to get ongoing budget is typically easier when you're aligning those metrics properly to where you are and showing the success in the program.

Tav Tepfer (22:58):

So I think that's really the point in making sure that you're aligning the program, understanding how to ask for money upfront, and then you'll keep the ball rolling because success will just keep coming, which is great. So with that, I'm going to open it up to questions. Let me see here. Okay. So you can put questions in the chat, I think. Let's see. Yeah. Let me look one more... Okay. So I've got one question that is, "Do we help with putting together the ROI deck?" Absolutely. We actually get involved and help you assess the readiness of where you are with content in an ABM program, potential use cases. We do even a use case workshop to help you think about how to apply ABM to-

PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [00:24:04]

Tav Tepfer (24:03):

Help you think about how to apply ABM to campaigns that you might already have, and then even helping you shape that deck, that slide Doug shared that had, was actually a customer deck, came from bits and pieces that we'd been sharing all along. So, we definitely help show that.

Doug Yeamans (24:27):

That's right. And when we say, you don't have to go at it alone, you don't have to go at it alone internally. You don't have to go at it alone externally either. I mean, we're more than happy to partner with you to put some of these things together. One of the more challenging things is to narrow some of this down. We have lots of great research and data, but you don't want a slide deck of 15 or 20 slides. You want a slide deck of three to five slides that really makes the point and we can help with that. We've done it for many of our manufacturers and we can certainly help you all with that as well.

Tav Tepfer (24:58):

Yeah. So another question here is, "Where is the best place to start your program?" So, I mean, it again, depends on where your company goals are aligned, but I would say the biggest one we see for manufacturers in life sciences companies, is usually a new product launch. You're launching that product for a reason, you've seen that it's going to potentially have big revenue or big margin opportunities for you as a company. And you need to get yourself out there and known for something new. I mean, a new product is just that. We're used to your salespeople would be out there, meeting with your customers or key prospects regularly. That's not happening anymore. So, being able to lead them through that digital selling and explain why this new product or new solution is so important in the challenger methodology is a great way to really hold that price point for your new product and hold the margin that you're trying to achieve. I mean, that is the very point of it.

Tav Tepfer (26:14):

Another one is, when you acquire someone, because you acquire again before the cross-selling opportunities or increased margin opportunities, so higher margin products, we see that as a good use case. And then a lot of times we see manufacturers in life science companies put together a bunch of products into a new solution, and adding services on top of the solution. Again, higher margin. That's a great one too, that decision is usually much higher in the executive decision-making because it's a set of solutions wrapped around consulting. So we definitely see that as a great opportunity as well. Okay. Another one is, "I'm not clear how ads are being targeted to an account. Can you clarify the process?" So, sure. So, with what we do at Jabmo, we do account-based advertising, so we have IPs that are tied to a particular account.

Tav Tepfer (27:23):

So, not a device IP, but actually an account IP. And we're able to deliver that ad anywhere they might go across the internet to that one account, when they pop up anywhere. They could be watching something on their computer, they could be reading a sports article, they could be reading a local news article on their computer. And we recognize that it's that particular company. And we deliver that account-based ad and message to them, from you. So, and again, it's anywhere they go. We don't have to guess where they're going. We don't have to try to guess the profile of who's reading the newspaper. We can just follow them if you will, with knowing that they're there. So, we don't have to guess at that.

Doug Yeamans (28:18):

And we can do that globally as well. So, those IPs that Tav talks about, we can reach these accounts, not just in North America, but we can reach them and Europe and Asia-Pac as well. And we can identify exactly that location, where they're engaging and coming in from, so very much a global program. But to Tav's point, using those IP addresses, we can ensure that we're reaching those specific accounts, which allows us then to be very targeted, very personalized with our message.

Tav Tepfer (28:44):

Yeah. And different people within those accounts, so we can do different messages that will resonate to that group of people that you want to target. And then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, basically. So, the ones who that ad does resonate with them, if you're going after a researcher or whatever their role might be, then we start really leading them through that journey and retargeting them as well. So that they start seeing that same thread of messaging and we can move them. And we show you, I mean, that's also the great thing about account-based marketing, is then we can show you how they move through your website, how we're leading them through there, and really show that buyer's journey.

Tav Tepfer (29:35):

How many people are interested, from where they're interested and help you really pinpoint how to go after them and close that deal. Well, great. Well, this has been a great discussion. Thank you guys for the questions. Thank you for joining and participating. And we will send this recording to you and we'll follow up with you to see if you want any help on shaping your ROI deck to fight the good fight internally and get budget for ABM.

Doug Yeamans (30:13):

Yeah, thanks so much everyone.

Tav Tepfer (30:14):

Yeah.

Doug Yeamans (30:14):

Have a great day.

Tav Tepfer (30:14):

I appreciate it. All right, bye-bye.

Doug Yeamans (30:22):

All right, bye. (silence).


What Will You Learn

How to get leadership buy-in for ABM

Measuring and proving ROI for ABM

Overcoming internal obstacles and idea killers

Webinar Speakers

Tav Tepfer

Tav Tepfer - Chief Customer Officer at Jabmo

Tav has worked with many of the world’s top 100 manufacturing and life science companies in building successful account-based marketing strategies.

Jonathan Alves

Doug Yeamans - Global Key Account Director at Jabmo

Doug helps global enterprises get the most of their account-based marketing investments by implementing proven ABM methodologies. He regularly works with B2B marketers in life sciences and pharmaceutical companies and helps them grow their key accounts.

About this event

This 30-minute live presentation is part of a webinar series aimed at demystifying ABM. We’ve helped hundreds of B2B marketing leaders in complex sales organizations win budget and build successful ABM programs to grow key accounts. Tav and Doug will share their experience, provide tips, and take any questions during the webinar.