Revenue Summit 2017: The Customer Evolution and Keeping up with ABM

Posted in: Sales Operations, Marketing Operations, sales and marketing, marketing, account-based marketing

Flip My Funnel and Sales Hacker teamed up to host the first annual Revenue Summit, an event focused on bridging the gap between sales and marketing teams.

Overlooking the San Francisco Bay, with a panoramic view of the Bay Bridge, more than 80 speakers (half of whom were women!) gathered to share insights and tips for optimizing sales and marketing.

The two-day SF event was packed with demo jams and sessions on tactical account-based marketing (ABM) strategies. For sales, the event focused on tactical tips for growing business. For marketing teams, the event focused on relevant insights for eliminating guesswork in the process of driving revenue.

Sangram Vajre, Flip My Funnel founder and CMO of Terminus, kicked off the event, highlighting some major trends in the sales and marketing field, notably account-based marketing and how the evolution of tech has impacted how we sell. Vajre set the stage for what would be the major themes throughout the event.

Here are the top three takeaways from Revenue Summit 2017:

1.) The tech has definitely evolved, but so has the customer

Since the early 2000s, sales and marketing teams have experienced a massive evolution in tools for automating their processes.

Email marketing fixed the problem of not being able to reach prospects en masse, marketing automation fixed the problem of not getting enough leads, and now predictive tools are fixing the resulting problem of having too many non-quality leads.

This plethora of tools and evolution of technology has left sales and marketing teams fixated on the technology and spending less time with the buyer.

Buyers have evolved, as well; they now expect targeted and personalized marketing and for sales to help, rather than just sell.

“Your customers want to know that you care more than anyone else,” Vajre said. “You almost want your customers to think about you in the shower.”

2.) This “customer” is more than one person

On average, there are 7-12 people now involved in decision-making. Sales and marketing teams are no longer selling to an individual, they are selling to an organization. And those buyers are increasingly demanding a different type of engagement from sales and marketing.

Buyer engagement is multi-faceted. Customers want thoughtful personalization and engagement on their terms. Once you’ve identified a target account, you must identify relevant potential customers.

How do you retain these modern customers beyond this initial engagement? Vajre posed the answer to this question early on, declaring “We must make customers our heroes.” To make customers a hero of your product, they must feel like stakeholders in the product.

And perhaps most importantly, with personalized engagement on their terms, also known as account-based marketing (ABM).

3). Change the status quo with ABM

While the focus of marketing as lead generation and the channels of emailing and calling remain the same, the revolution is in the delivery.

To be an effective, modern sales or marketing team, just doubling down on the same old tactics (more forms, more calls, more nurturing emails) won’t cut it anymore. As account-based marketing becomes the gold standard, sales and marketing teams must evaluate old processes and adapt to sell on customer’s terms, rather than how they want to sell.

For teams that find this process intimidating, Vajre has advice for you:

“If you suck at marketing, you will suck at ABM.”

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