May 18, 2022 - smart marketing for B2B companies with complex sales cycles - smart marketing for B2B companies with complex sales cycles

Andrei Zinkevich is a Pro when it comes to Full funnel marketing strategies for B2B companies. Andrei started his career as an Area Sales Manager for Kimberly Clark before switching to marketing and working as a CMO and B2B marketing consultant with 50+ B2B Companies across Europe and North America.

He now consults growing B2B companies that have long and complex sales cycles.

Andrei and I discuss:

  • the thing that companies should stop and start doing when it comes to ABM
  • the sales problems that he and his team solves for B2B companies
  • and the most important things he learned when it comes to ABM over the years.

​​Hey, ICL fans today, we're talking about executing smart account-based marketing campaigns with Andre co-founder of full-frontal dot IO. Andre is a pro when it comes to full funnel marketing strategies for B2B. He started his career as an area sales manager for Kimberly Clark, before switching to marketing and working as a CMS.

And B2B marketing consultant with over 50 companies across Europe and north America, Andre now consults growing B2B companies that have a long and complex sales cycles and Andre and I discuss. And this conversation, the thing that companies should stop and start doing when it comes to ABM, the sales problems that he had his team saw for B2B companies and the most important things he learned when it comes to ABM over the years.

If you're wanting to get a better understanding of ABM and be smarter about influencing the decision making process when it comes to sales, then this episode is for you. And if you want to listen to this on YouTube, you can find my channel. Innovators can laugh and check out episode 46. Let's dive in Andre.

I like to start off with a recent LinkedIn post that. You shared, step-by-step how to identify great accounts for an ABM campaign, how to qualify them, how to do account research, to identify the potential needs, identify the buying committee. How to warm up the buying committee and build a relationship before outreach keywords here before outreach.

When did the idea of doing all of this account-based marketing pre-work first occur to you? So that's a, that's a fantastic question. One of the problems, one of the. Final question on salmon as soon as, how did you get into IBM digital learn from any vendors? And I'm explain. And look, I started my career in 2006 aunts, fast five years.

I spent in sales and then switched to market. And then basically I was in charge of key accounts and our market was limited to 50. Retail chance. So you have no chances to the NSM ELLs, then account-based marketing. Right? So I learned that the hard way there were no technical vendors like HubSpot terminals, Demandbase.

So it was just a normal sense of the market. And then you realize, okay, you have this 50 core chance and you sign contracts, right. So it's not like you negotiate that reminds you. And now we're dealing with this. There is no staff like lead generation that you can send the, and automated emails to. Let's say the buying Camita have this chance and gets some booked, you know?

And then you see. Contracts, because these are multi-million contracts. You have it, you know, you have not had the chances. Then, then you work properly. So to get, when it comes to the oppressions, just wanted to give you some context and background and then you'll understand my approach. And so the logic, when you sign this contract, you are always negotiate.

So called shelf share basically how much space on the shelves in the supermarkets you'll get for your goods. Right? Because I was working for Kimberly-Clark. So now the most space you have the demo items you can sell, right? The off costs. Different things to be considered, but just to give the, the idea, so to influence these, you need to explain the benefits, you know, of different because in Kimberly-Clark saw different product categories was baby diet that was feminine care, you know, all of that stuff.

And you need to explain this, the different for chairs and managers, and then you have the. Of the buying community and then your health marketing department, who cares a lot of how you are going to promote, you know, your products, how you're going to stimulate sales and all of that stuff you say that the buying committee comes from.

Right. And all of them have different needs. So while the category managers, they care about the, let's say, oh, why from one, let's say one square meter. So they want to get maximum revenue from the space they have for that specific. Now the head of the buying committee or of purchasing department has cares about the total revenue that you can print while marketing team cares a lot about your marketing budget and basically how you are going to boost the sale so completely different needs, completely different KPIs set Senator.

Now, when it comes to countries about your question, you need to follow with the news and press fundraisers of these different chance for they want to be, are they going to acquire, you know, Are they going to expand that business as if he has to what regions? Right? Because all regions are not created equal, right?

In some regions you have lower chance. And follow-up, which means that for this region, you probably should come with different assortment. Right? You can't sell premium goods, you know, in the region was the . So you need to see, like, if they are going to, you know, to often huge hypermarkets or they are go into open the so-called, you know, Traugott race.

So maybe the small shops, and again, it influences what exactly the south of the street. And then that's, that's the power of the contraception, because if you, if you know this information, right, then you can come up with personalized proposal and Jago and explain, Hey guys, this is a certain in that area command for this for this shop's right, for this format of shops.

This is what I'm thinking to do with this format. Okay. Then you mentioned that you are going to do this and that, and to help you to immediately, you know, boost sales were going to allocate this market and budget to this specific region. And then this is my forecast. This is what we can expect in sales, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Right? No, that's the research part and the warmup part, right? You can't just come at random. Of course they know the man. Right. But the question is that we have much bigger competitor thought, which is Proctor and gamble. They lead them random in the viral five doesn't matter in lunchtime three, at least PNG.

Exactly. Doesn't matter what country leaves they will believe in, in your car. That in Europe. Yeah, exactly. So in Europe we have SC, which has a huge Swedish company, and there's the main competitor for Kimberly-Clark for being number two. Let's say then we have Polish manufacturer called tizzy mill, and then some audio now dependent on the regions.

We have some other. Okay, good call combat. And then you have huge competitor, which has private label of the supermarket. Right. And they are going. From all of that private label promote them. Absolutely. Yeah. Now the question is basically you can't just send one, call the mail and say, Hey guys, I want to, my staff.

I'm gonna get seven, two per cent of the shelf space, you know? And in, in. I think it doesn't work, unfortunately. So the question is also what is really important. You have public press releases fright, but the key insights you can get from inside that are so-called Chen guns, right? They fill your state. If, if we'll use ABM vocabulary, right.

Champions, these are the people who are usually in our case, this category managers. Cool can give you the insights about insights. Sorry about what's. What are the main initiatives? What they are going to do what's happening is the category and it sent it to her plus some core insights about the company's initiatives.

And that's why you need the have. Warm up, play it, right? This is so crucial in our case, right. We didn't the lag, all that stuff that I'm promoting now, like podcasts or Linked-In salt leadership or fall of that stock, but they did completely different things. So what we did with my. Barbie in white at this car buy house.

Right. We've had like one-to-one emails.

so-called like at dinner discussing the transgender, it turned out, right. This is the way how we build this relationship. Quite often, it could be a norm, like, no. Business around. So let's say if I'm a final, let's say that you are a big fan of football in us. We have soccer, right? We call it soccer. I used to play, I used to play football all my life.

I'm still playing. So I was symptom and never saw that I will be in market. And I saw that I will have professional football players. Korea, but what is nice here that I had just to give you a precise example at one point at one of my biggest clients, right? I knew that their cabinet of purchasing department is also playing football and big fan of the local teams.

So my next step was. Hey, so can we play it together? You know, they're having a training on, so maybe if, if I, if you can call me enough, just a friendly game, I would capital a journey. And then he invited me. He saw, oh, so you are so good at football, you know, and then you have this relationship non-business related.

And then I say, Hey, by the way, they attempt the games of this local football team. He said, yeah, So let's, let's go together and back basically the next time high just purchased, you know, VIP tickets, sober Rams. We had some fun, you know, treat cancer, get on some VRC, you know, and it was like, now it was more friendly relationship, but at the same time, I will say, well, you know, the chat a lot, I'm get this insider insights.

And that's exactly the warmup play pride because then when we had this year, let's negotiate. It was way easier for me to come up with the personalized research. It was way easier for me to personalize it to different buying committee members come up with this contract. Right. And with the good program I'm calling this program because it's like he had the program adopted to the needs of different, you know, shops of this, of this chain.

I am sending this to them. And of course now the part may be the last part of the following. Miss other larger, like the creative outreach. I used always, you know how it's usually the aunt of the year. And everybody comes with like different gifts, you know, per chairs and like bottle of, I don't know, we scale whatever.

Right. Samsung like Simon. Yeah. Instead of this, I knew exactly. That interests, their hobbies. And I signed that. We are curious, what we are doing right now is to, is direct mail, right? So it was feeds from it the same, but it was personal life with country, the load by me, you know, and that was fantastic. And people always fill out that.

And that's why. Like, that's why I found so much success sell successful career and then led the, was able to switch them. The consultant side of the business saw cried. This poem started gives you mock sands and low context. What we had learned with account based marketing. Yeah, it does. There's a couple of things you mentioned, you said back then in 2006, You didn't have the kind of tools that you have today.

You didn't have HubSpot like you do today. So today, what are like three of your favorite tools that if you're doing account-based marketing, you know, these are the tools that I highly recommend that are going to allow you to be organized, you know, have all your contacts in one place and be able to make decisions based on the most current information than you have.

So got to them, the tools, you know, I would have a sharp as your problem. Again, it's not, not, not popular peanut, right. I'm always saying that you can do ABM was out and a software calling us late. So it's still, like, I just explained to you, you can still do it that way. Right? The first step is basically before purchasing any software and build on the tech stack is developing the product.

Until you'll develop the process. You want understand what software will help you? HubSpot is not a silver bullet terminal says not a silver bullet for you. Now, the Demandbase has not a silver bullet. So start building the processes and then you'll say, okay, maybe if your company heavily users, you know, Salesforce, then you need to find Samsung.

Integrates with Salesforce and foot bear. Fantastic. Add-on so you don't need the spent lots of time, you know, to train people to. And new software. So that's, that's the way, but basically I will print you. I will share with you several categories of software that you must have in your stack. That would be potentially if I could have this, you know, in the past, that's even accelerated all the results that we had at Kimberly-Clark so fast, the fall it's interim data software, and when it comes to internet, the are, so my November, I will just give you a.

T E Providence street car category does that you need to maybe have software purchase or softwares. So the first one is website IP identification, software that. The website, visit those companies that are visiting your website, that's cruise shop, right? So you can track the wellness. You can understand what content was consumed, try it.

Where did they come from to find the core channels? And then you can connect with the bind Connita again, if this. Feeds your ideal customer profile. So the second one is mentioned it's we have like There are again, so many alternatives, but the key idea here is that you attract the key words in your space.

It could be your print manager. Well, it could be, you know, the keywords that are related to your product in our case account based market. Right. And then you see all getting feeds or credits or whatever, right? So then you can engage with this content. You can see who exactly posted this. And again, quantify the account and this account, one of your Indian place and find.

They sought. One is the interim search software. So Bombora provides training to create service where you can see companies that are searching for a specific URL, like a Congress market. So these are three categories, right? That belongs to intern data. The next one is sales enablement, or I love to call it buying and enablement because it's about helping our PI.

To make the decision and basically select us as the vendor. So in this space, we need to have so called content hops, right? Again, there are so many windows we use pay per flight. And what is create here about this category is that you can create a dedicated content couplets, say content hub for. Well, it can put, if you are, let's say, if you are interested in account-based market and I can add our top case status, I can share with you our framework, like how to go from zero to pay PBM, how to scale ABM, explain how to work with us.

What's the difference of working with full funnel about IO? Regeneration and marketing or digital marketing agency, Sharon, the benefits for marketing team, Sharon benefits for sales team making the campaign pilot campaign for a cost. Right? And you don't, and the father of this dedicated content FAP is that now you have everything in one place and they try to address all your potential questions, concerns, or doubts that you might have.

Right. And. This was, I found this question on, I find that here, right? I have this question. I find that here. And that's the way, this is how we can accelerate the purchasing decision. That's crucial aunts aside, this of course, LinkedIn, if you're on B to B space, you need the family, including sales navigator, because it's well, accelerates the account.

Please build them process and CRM. That's that's pretty it. And now when it comes to running ABM campaigns, what do you think is something that everybody should either stop doing or start doing? I know you mentioned that before you even get into the tools, you want to come up with the processes, but in your experience, what is something that people are doing that they should really just stop the fall stock, build them.

Oh, shame accounts. Everybody wants to have Microsoft or Apple's log on their website, but the throw says, yeah, Microsoft or apple. If they don't have an intern, if they have zero interest in your product, then you're just wasting your time and budget. So that's the false. Casey, Casey. I don't know if you're listening to Andre here, but stop asking me about Salesforce.

Okay. He's asking like, what are we going to integrate with Salesforce? I'm like, I'm working on it, but come on. Okay. So stop building. Stop doing wishlist. I was Trump's cleared Sam that's. That's the number one sign, right? I assume that this came from. Hey, Ben, I'm Martha granddaughters, basically that propaganda.

So there's Paul lot that you can, you know, build this list, use these fancy companies, add them to our platform and boom. And that's basically the second mistake. Simplifying ABM, ABM. Nice and new, but adjust, explain to your call. We either that Kimberly-Clark right, this is a mess of the lodge where you're going to prospect and activate specific accounts.

But the truth is that these accounts should have a buy an infant and should feed your ICP. And when it comes to ICP, it's not. And that's potentially another mistake not having an peer. Right? So it's not everybody that feeds your thermographic data company that is New York. Let's say New York based I don't know, one K in place.

And the revenue is like 1 billion, whatever. It just it you'll end up with a prod category of companies. But eventually it have zero income to buy it. Right. Then you need to have good account qualification criteria and account just qualification criteria. What makes this account good feeds, right? And then you start nailing it down, add on some important things and most important account.

This qualification, if you'll apply Arabic. Right. If there is anything else that will tell us that these accounts will never buy from us, just to give you a precise example, one of our clients enterprise Findex software that helps to catch financial area. Caused by currency fluctuations. It's mostly for European companies that are exporting a lot and filed price and income in contrast was the local countries could started currencies like Romania for principal, et cetera.

So a good disqualification criteria is that if we'll look at CFS profile on LinkedIn and CFR as demand decision-maker and in this product, Yes in his first year in this company, they're usually never going to purchase this enterprise software because they learn a lot about the interest industry, the company, they build the team operations, et cetera, am there.

I'm not just creating this process as I'm there. I'm not dealing with Cajun. Next one. If this person spent more than five years in this company on this position, It means as well that they have established the process and they have a vendor ants, they are not willing to change. So our sweet spot is the CFO who is in his second to his.

Yeah on the position in this specific company. And how did we, how did we learn this? You might be wondering from customer interviews and this has mistake, number three, it's not related to ABM, but it's just general market and mistake. Most companies are now adult into the accomp clients and they have zero clue.

You know, about this insights that I have just shared because you find that finally about again, ABM, simplification. It's not that complicated, but still it's not the, you know, a fence, a name for applaud and accounts to LinkedIn or any ABM software prospect, and then there's display ads. Some of them, you know, The gifts.

We have some dolls or jobs bombarded taking them, you know, here's an outreach or SalesLoft for like multi-channel cadences, no way. And you asked me if at Fox, now it doesn't. So it just lets let's call it straightforward. It's just a mass spam. It's not an account based market. And so when it comes to ABM, you have several stages, right?

You have. The fundamentals you need to nail the verticals, the ICP, you need to understand the buying process. You need to understand the buying committee, right? How do they buy, what influence, what influences that decision-making process Australia? Well, what channels do they use that these are the fundamentals.

Next one, you adapt your value proposition and position in a mass market and messaging in general to this specific segment. And then you start working on ABM. Number one, step number one account is built on, right? So we mentioned several times how to do this stack number two, account research. And when it comes to account for search, you need.

The research, the company insights, as I mentioned, right. And then you need to research, what are the goals, the needs, the initiatives of everybody and committee member. That's crucial because finally you'll be selling them to people inside the organization. And this is what most companies don't realize.

Right? You have different buying committee members, maybe that's something. Exactly. That's maybe another mistake that lots of companies are making. They're just focused. Cavilon decision-makers ignoring other buying committee members. So step number three is define and how to watermark these companies.

That's crucial if you farm up this company is the goal of, you know, that part is basically building the relationship. Get. Insights from this company that you can use. And I'm not saying peach and them later, but basically understand them, but how to feed your offer, how to fit your product or service to them, need some goals and present it to them in the right way.

So that's the part of the formula for also then you have the activation where basically you present this, right, and you want to generate an opportunity. And the last step is follow-up process because let's say you do the outreach, but then you need to do like several four ups to get the insights and find.

Activate the account. So more or less, this is what we just poked so far about the, let's say about the campaigns where the goal is generated, met your evidence. And that's potentially, if, if you'll ask me again about the mistake, the companies that they're making the stadium is just focused on online net new revenue, because then.

You have shown them prevention, campaigns, deal, expansion campaigns, contract renewal campaigns by applying acceleration campaigns, etc. So fight that as much as possible. Yeah. So you made the leap into the consulting side a few years back and you started full funnel in 2017, which helps companies with their B2B marketing.

What is the, what is one of the biggest problems that you and your team helps? For these companies. Yeah. So we felt a bit, a bit that companies with high ACV and long sale cycles to install full final account based market on which means that the down, the online, this net. Revenue campaigns. Right. But with help them to influence top of the funnel to create enough awareness on specific vertical, right?

The create the right go to market strategy. So they would be positioned as a niche expert, not leader, but the niche X fault, right. That's that potential prospects can reach to next one, creating the demand. That's crucial demand generation topic is exploding, right? But the question is what does demand generation means for me, basically, demand generation is generating bond opportunities, companies that become interested in your product or services and the best way to do it is basically Shannon.

Yeah. Expertise, Sharon, the case status, practical case status. And. Capturing that demand right? Next step is installed on this warm enough campaigns, because the truth is if you are not, if you are silent, maybe to micro business society, if you are selling low ticket product, then maybe it's not that relevant for you.

You can stick to mass market fans, but if you are selling, you know, highest, so your product now that's much better. You need to connect with this buyer and can meet. Next one is where we usually work with companies is operationalize them. This take him different warming up campaigns, but because the truth is that the best part, the best outcomes, the best results from.

Your company will be get on when you are stuck in this campaigns. It means like if you, if this account let's, let's pretend you are my target account, you have give them gauge with Swan of my campaigns. I'm simply adding you to the next one because the time might not be the right for you. Right. They'll have multiple, multiple sense and steal.

I know that your company is a perfect fit and I can help you. Next one is. Activation. And usually most companies stop here, but we have two more stages. We have the client success stage and deal expansion stage, and that's why we call it full funnel market. Why? Because when you close the deal, when you won the deal, right, the real relationship starts, you need to do the right onboarding.

And in our case, I'm not talking about the product onboarding. Most people seem concise. That's a different story. I mean that now you need to train, if you are, let's say if you are sat on two meter on software, right? So the organization, you need to explain people how to use it, how to get maximum of it.

You need, you must make sure that they are satisfied. Everybody gets VNO your product and start using it because if you are not doing this in situation, when you receive an email, sorry guys, which has decided not to renew our contract, and then you got to have a new stream can, right. Nobody wants to be no one.

No, nobody wants to get that in mouth. So that's why I spoke about contract renewal campaign. So that right. So you need to, also, this is a place for customer interviews, Samsung, that I mentioned in the beginning, this is where you can ask this questions about their needs goals. Why did they decide to purchase the product?

Dog is full of speak to different buying committee members, speak to the ante users, right. And help them get maximum on the product track and the satisfaction, et cetera. Checking the milestones when it comes to milestones. I mean, if they got any value of this product, If they didn't get anywhere, how can you get the referral?

How can you get the case study? How can you upsell sell to this company? What most companies are doing? And it's, for me, it's like, it's an obsolete tactic when they sent to me, you know, NML, Hey, what do you like to leave a review on G2 crowd or Capterra, you know, and you can fill in $25 Amazon card. Well guys, thank you so much.

I was just going in, you know, to cancel my subscription. So it's, it's it's it's they can incentivize me to prevent the charm no way nobody was Canon for me for the last three or four months now. And you adjust ration out and, and see, you know, trying to add that's that's really absolute solid. When it comes to cannabis market and we have three tiers, right?

So we have tier one companies with the fast revenue, but then shell, then tier two median revenue potential in tier three, the lowest revenue potential. And when it comes to market. And does it make sense to prospect this company the same way? Of course now, right? That it makes sense to set up the same cost of acquisition for each of the.

Of course, no, but most companies are doing exactly the same. They try to prospect all of them the same way. And the same was client success. Right. If it's true, one company that just protein to me loans, right? It's should you onboard them the same way? Basalt Symantec emails makes no. No, no. We're yeah.

We're, we're talking about that. Like our best customers, you know, we should give them like a dedicated slack channel. You know, we should make like a, a dedicated slack channel or, you know, phone number hotline whatever's that they can get in touch with us immediately if they need to Andre, you know, very good examples here of how you should approach these different teams.

But a struggle that most companies are doing is that they're, they're doing it all the same. When one tool that I've become interested in is called Crosby, which allows you to see the overlap of customers and non-paid customers with other brands. What do you know about this tool? If you know anything about it, and what is your thoughts on it?

Honestly, it's hard to say because I have never seen that. I have never used it. So. It's it's, it's straight like how to not to provide any feedback Ms. Allen, Karen, any prior experience. Okay. And now in regards to marketing and sales, are you reading, reading anything lately or listening to anything lately that has blown your mind or change your perspective when it comes to.

Account-based marketing or sales. What clause my mind is talking to our customers. That's out at time. You'll know you say you catch them and then they had these. I had the proofs, what you are saying, can you now or gives you like new perspective and they're all wild. So I didn't think about these and then, okay.

literally the same that I just explained. It explained to you. So I'm not, you know, shoemaker's was out shows, so. That's quite often, you know, I use this insights because we do the account research beforehand and I'm like, okay, this probably some that I missed. Right. Okay. This is a Samsung that I could do better next time to refine the process and potentially accelerate the sales cycle.

So customer insights is the best. Same for me aside, this it's our community. Quite often, I say the questions that people ask in our. Better understanding of like the meat and the market needs and Pierce conversations. So chatting with people like Chris Walsh, pride Elon here speaks mobile, the demand generation C.

It's highly aligned with account-based marketing. So basically talking to my peers for me, the biggest inspiration was the full final assignment. The south edition that we, because the last week with all this, you know, star lineup, I got lots of practical insights. I want to say that I learn something new, but also as you know, you hear.

Different people saying about the same, so from different angles and that helps you to refine your own processes on now? I just, I honestly feel asked me, I stopped freedom blocks. I stopped trading new sweat or assigned me in market, the middle lane that, that said fast, what I'm reading, I'm reading a lot, or now I'm reading lots of historical books, economy, books, et cetera, because they.

Given me this information, you know, that you can use to, to you. And you always have, you can understand the bigger picture, right? And mine, you have like a straight counter at 60% decree, you know, owns sort of strict 160 degree overview of like one specific problem. You understand it from different angles.

It's way easier to help your clients get better. Awesome. Now, before we go have a couple of fun questions for you. So the audience can get to know your personality, personality a little bit. First question for you, Andrea, what attractive celebrity would you say your phone's wallpaper to? Okay. If you had to set your phone's wallpaper to an attractive celebrity, who would it be?

But thanks to that. That would be a

my favorite football team. You can still say, I am glad in Dakota. Big fan of, okay. Okay. Second question for you. What is something weird that you obsess about?

That last unexpected Samsung. We are at that I'm obsessed. Maybe, maybe understand them, you know, this like different historical trends and how they influence how that influences, where are we on right now? So I'm trying to, you know, dive deeply and get this practical, get this difference. You know, insights and say, okay, so right now we are dealing with SWAT.

Like, I don't know, Austrian Hungarian empire was dealing, you know, 200 years ago. So it's a similar situation. And then they did this. We don't have this empire anymore. Something like that. Should I need to do something different? So just to give you a maybe precise example, so this, this, are there things that, yeah.

Don't know if we can call it. We are quite, yeah, I am real obsessed. So I am trying to see all the circumstances and understand, and you're not as well when it comes to, let's say our business dollar clients understanding the behind the scenes. Why people are doing this or why they're not motivated to do Samson, right.

Why they are traveling right now. So getting these different perspectives. Okay. Interesting, Andre, thanks so much for being on the show for everybody listening. Thanks for tuning in. If you enjoyed the episode, feel free to give us a review. All right. Thanks Andre. Cheers. What a great conversation with Andre.

There's so much to benefit from. If you are trying to reach and influence decision makers in the sales process. My favorite takeaway here is that positioning of your product is not suitable for everyone at the same company. Every department has their own goals. And so how you warm them up as a little different for each person, but before you even get to this point, you have to qualify your leads first and build a relation.

And there is no better step-by-step resource than Andre's blueprint. I've included links from the show on the innovators, collab, website, and newsletter. It's number 46, if you forgot. And if you enjoy this topic, feel free to give us a review as always. Thanks for watching. He personally out there. This is Eric signing off.

Thanks for listening to the show. If you enjoyed it, I'd really appreciate it. If you could give us a review and star rating, also, don't forget to sign up for the ICO newsletter at innovators,, where you can get the bio and details of each guest. Thanks.