B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange: Sangram Vajre’s Keynote

August 12, 2019 by Abhinav Sahai

It’s my second time in Boston attending the FlipMyFunnel conference, which is now under the banner of B2B Sales & Marketing Exchange this year. Last year was about powerful stories of companies coming into ABM maturity. This year? It’s more conversations around sales and marketing alignment, and even the customer experience team too. There’s the move towards revenue operations too, within companies. And yes, it’s high time we behaved, as Sangram Vajre, CMO, Terminus puts it, behave as #OneTeam.

That’s what the Sangram Vajre keynote was about: ABM Is B2B: Why B2B Marketing And Sales Is Broken And How To Fix It.

Sangram set the context of his talk by referencing Jim Collins ’book, Good to Great. He pegged his keynote on the transformation of companies from B2B 1.0 to B2B 2.0. 

Parallels between Parenting and Marketing!

Taking off from the title of his new book, ABM is B2B, he spoke about focusing on what really matters to the business. And very interestingly, drew parallels between Marketing and hold your breath, Parenting. Thrown into a situation where he had to look after his 7yo son on his own for a month, as his wife and daughter were away, he started observing similarities between parenting and marketing. About overdoing something his son liked causing the son to ban it for a long time (email overdose, anyone?). About creating fantastic new experiences that took the son away from his usual fare. About his son saying, I love you to him, and meaning it. Chew on it for a bit, and you’ll see the parallels, if you haven’t already.

The TEAM Framework

B2B Sales and Marketing is broken. If that’s news to you, you are late to the party. And probably need to take a good hard look at what’s really going on in the organization. Once you figure that out, how do you fix it? Use the TEAM framework, says Sangram.

Before you take a guess what that stands for, let’s be clear about one thing. The M doesn’t stand for marketing. Here’s what TEAM stands for:

TEAM - B2B SMX 2019 Sangram Vajre Keynote

T: Target

Be clear about the accounts you want to focus on, and let the sales and marketing teams align on that.

E: Engage

Create the right messages: ads, content, outreach, social selling, to engage the right accounts.

A: Activate

It’s the marketer’s job to really activate the sales team. “They do not care about your leads, they care about the accounts they want to close. If you can activate them on their stuff, then it’s better. No salesperson we ever hired had a title ‘lead executive’. The title has always been ‘account executive’. They care about the accounts.” said Sangram.

M: Measure

Are you measuring the right things? If you want to measure website traffic, you need to be measuring how much traffic are you getting from the right accounts. 

Sangram gave four quick stories for each of these stages. In the Target stage, he spoke about how Masergy focused on a hundred target accounts, and saw so much traction that their CEO sanctioned them to run an always-on ABM program on the Total Addressable Market.

In the Engage stage, he talked about Pramata’s ABM strategy to engage with the right accounts, instead of considering all website traffic as equal. This led them to lose traffic by 70%, but the traffic they had was just what their business needed, from the right accounts. That’s B2B 1.0 for you, and this had them using 22 tools to be operational. With the renewed focus on the right engagement, they are down to just six tools: that’s B2B 2.0 for you!

Good to great marketing - B2B SMX 2019 Sangram Vajre Keynote

The Activate stage focused on a story from Thomson Reuters where the company saw win rates of 95% on their chosen 250 accounts. Ninety five percent? I need a moment here!

Good to great marketing - B2B SMX 2019 Sangram Vajre KeynoteThe Measure stage story was about Snowflake’s ability to now predict which region needs more sales people, depending on the engagement and buying intent displayed across campaigns.

I look forward to now catching some of these stories in detail: they are sessions by themselves at B2BSMX! 

B2B 2.0

So what’s B2B 2.0? And are you there yet? See for yourself:

Sangram talked of Status Quo as Average Marketing which is equivalent to Inefficient Growth, and B2B 1.0 as Good Marketing which is equivalent to Efficient Growth in Isolation.

TEAM B2B 2.0 - B2B SMX 2019 Sangram Vajre Keynote

What about B2B 2.0? It’s Great Marketing, or Efficient Growth at Scale!

And there’s diagnostics right here in this Maturity Curve chart. Find out for yourself where you belong.

But really, what does B2B 2.0 really entail? This curve that draws parallels between parenting and marketing has the answer. 

Parenting and B2B - B2B SMX 2019 Sangram Vajre Keynote

You go from basic sales and marketing alignment to sales and marketing behaving as OneTeam. And you go from using a huge number of tools to just a few. That’s a lot to think about, isn’t it!

Niswey’s account based marketing services are built on these very same principles. If you’d like to chat about scaling your ABM efforts, I am at B2BSMX. You can tweet to me @abhinavsahai or email me at abhinav [at] niswey [dot] com.