An account-based strategy is only a strategy until marketing and sales come together to hyper-focus on their top-tier accounts.
Patrick Lencioni’s fundamental business book, The Advantage, says, “Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare.”
Lindsay Gates, Sr. Manager of Demand Generation at Limeade, believes that executing on an account-based strategy first requires establishing good organizational health. In fact, there should never be a handover between marketing and sales once a prospect becomes a lead. Marketing has a huge role to play in supporting sales throughout the sales cycle.
In our interview with Limeade, Lindsay shared best practices based on how the marketing and sales teams at Limeade are working together to hone in on their top-tier accounts and provide an authentic, white-glove buying experience.
Account-Based at Limeade
Salesloft: How have the various departments at Limeade come together in the context of COVID-19 and our new ways of working?
Lindsay: When COVID-19 hit in late February, Limeade created a five-person cross-departmental team across sales, marketing, and customers. We named the team the “Care in Crisis Taskforce.” We met three times per week to align on our go-to-market strategy.
Salesloft: How did forming the taskforce help you align as an organization?
Lindsay: We set a common goal. The clarity that came from this was imperative. We agreed brand awareness was our initial focus, and that once the new normal of working from home set-in, we would pivot to a more consultative approach to selling.
Salesloft: How did the marketing and revenue teams come together to focus on brand awareness? What were the deliverables?
Lindsay: We know we have to be one voice to the market. Every interaction a prospect has with us has to have a consistent, relevant experience and message. Relevance is key, and to get there we have to message to our personas. We created persona-based Salesloft Cadences with the “Care in Crisis” message, full of Limeade resources to give to prospects.
For those industries impacted by COVID-19, we created industry-based Cadences offering our help.
Salesloft: I imagine that Limeade was also being impacted by the new ways of working. How did you help your sellers focus on priority accounts?
Lindsay: Our total addressable market (TAM) at Limeade is about 8,000 accounts. We have three account tiers based on priority, and we allocate the resources we spend on marketing tactics (i.e. ads, direct mail, personalization) by the account tiers. We select ABM accounts quarterly based on fit, behavior, and intent. Hot accounts are automatically selected via Engagio and prospect accounts are manually selected by our reps.
Salesloft: The current environment has brought new buyers into the buying committee. How is your team collaborating with reps to identify and engage these buyers?
Lindsay: Given the diversification of our product portfolio, we had already conducted a brand awareness study to identify additional buyers in our sphere of influence. When COVID-19 hit, our reps were booking fewer meetings. We reallocated their time to prospecting via ZoomInfo and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This gave reps a list of prospects to import, and we had Cadences ready in Salesloft to launch them into.
Salesloft: How are you maintaining this level of collaboration across your marketing and sales teams?
Lindsay: We are laser-focused on performance metrics, and we celebrate our wins. We are constantly A/B testing tactics and formats to understand what works to book meetings. Our leadership team is officially aware of Salesloft Hot Leads, which is an important KPI especially when we were focusing on brand awareness.
Salesloft: You mentioned wins. Congrats! Can you share more?
Lindsay: We landed a couple of whale accounts due to our consistent testing of tactics and throttling those that worked. For one of these accounts, we leveraged a gatekeeper to encourage awareness of Limeade with our target buyer. Our CEO sent a follow-up email and, one month later, the company’s benefits department contacted us directly for a demo.
Looking for more account-based insights?
Watch the on-demand ABM Leadership Alliance Virtual Summit. It’s packed with guidance on how to evolve your account-based strategies and features speakers such as James Clear, author of Atomic Habits.
Or, check out the ebook, Your Account-Based Strategy Playbook: How to Build “Sales First” Account-Based Programs.