Incorporating pursuit marketing to ABM: Insights from Nick Panayi, CMO at Amelia

Our second Spotlight event of the series centered on SaaS marketing is fast approaching, and before we introduce you to the company leaders and speakers who will grace the event, we will first give you an overview of another concept related to ABM, one of the key themes of the conference. 

Winning Deals through Pursuit Marketing

More businesses are taking the big leap of understanding and applying pursuit marketing as an integral part of their overall marketing strategy. Pursuit marketing is defined by SalesOutcomes as a “hyper-focused technique used to develop critical understanding of and rapport with decision makers.” Pursuit marketing is basically used as support for when there is a potentially large deal about to be made. That said, specific tools and tactics are used to boost a brand until such a deal is made such as strengthening brand messaging and the use of brand-exclusive promotional tools.

But pursuit marketing is not for the faint of heart – business leaders must first make sure that their organization is strong (or at least improving) in terms of its ABM capability. Speaker Nick Panayi of Amelia gives us a headstart about his upcoming talk on the emergence of ABM in the modern world, and how businesses can prepare before adding pursuit marketing into their ABM sales and marketing formula. 

  • So pursuit marketing beyond ABM – could you give us a 30-thousand-foot view of what you’ll be discussing?

ABM has been around for a long time, and it’s something that makes logical sense to people[to really focus on a single account at any particular point in time. So think about a single account as a market of one – the more focused you are, the better your marketing will be, because you are guiding everything towards a single decision committee, or buying committee or company, and that makes all the sense in the world. 

But at the same time, we always have a challenge of getting the attention of the sales team. The attention of the sales team is hard to get except when there’s a deal on the line, which is why in the past, I’ve kind of guided my teams to think about ABM as really pursued marketing, which means if there’s a deal on the line and it is strategically important, sales is paying attention – and when sales is paying attention is when you can do your best marketing. So ABM is good conceptually, but I think it gets sharper and sharper as you get closer to a deal, because the sales people are paying attention to you.

  • I noticed one of your talks about pursuit marketing around nine-figure deals. How does it change when you go from, say, a seven-figure deal to a nine-figure deal? And how does that change the process?

It doesn’t. It depends on the company. It’s all relative. So if you’re in a small company, it may be a five-figure deal, but it’s the most important deal. You have a month, a week, a year – it depends. So the most important set of deals is usually the handful of deals that the sales team is trying to close that month [or that] quarter. Those are the deals you should focus on. I am talking about big, big deals because I was with a very big company, and you know, it was a multi-billion-dollar situation. Sure, that gets people’s attention. But even a smaller company has a handful of deals that they have to close in a quarter or even a year, and a handful of deals that would make a salesperson’s quarter or year. That’s when they’re at their most attentive, and that’s when you would want marketing and sales to work together.

  • So you’ve been in charge of brand, in charge of demand, in charge of digital, all marketing aspects. In a smaller company with a limited budget, where do you start? 

If we’re talking about step number 1 – meaning there’s nothing in place or whatever you have in place – step number 1 is really building that relationship with sales because I think that stage between sales and marketing is the most important stage in business. But also, this concept of pursuit marketing in ABM is important as well. I would start there because that’s where money gets made. That will, in essence, start to impact other areas because when you want to do good marketing with the sales team in a pursuit type of opportunity, this causes you to do better content, because you have to do better targeting and better analytics. So that will have a positive side effect in pretty much everything else that you do.

But I would start with the sales and marketing relationship – and that should be one with respect, which is very hard to get between the two entities usually. But once you have respect and communication, everything else can work from there.

  • Is there anything more you would like to add about pursued marketing?

A lot of people ask me when I talk about pursuit marketing, “what should we do” or “how should we handle it”, and I always say to just start now. Even if it’s just one pursuit or one deal. You have to prove to the organization that sales and marketing can work together to do a bespoke campaign and close a deal. But all it takes is one deal – once you do that, you can prove to yourself that you can expand it to two or three deals. So you don’t need a big ABM team or a big-person marketing team. You just need one strategic deal and one smart marketer working with sales – just get started, is my point.

See all of the Spotlight on Marketing speakers and save your spot for May 19th.

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