In my recent interactions with colleagues and prospects in B2B high-tech, I am seeing a couple of emerging trends. One of these trends is “born in the cloud” companies that are experiencing impressive double-digit growth and doing so almost exclusively from inbound marketing and expansion of revenue in existing customers from robust investment in a customer success model. As a result of this growth, these companies are being rewarded with additional rounds of funding. Along with this new infusion of money come expectations for predictable and sustainable growth.
The other trend I am seeing is that a significant number of these companies realize they need to transition from a “our processes have been good enough so far” mentality to implementing “professional grade” models and operations mindset to support the new and aggressive growth objectives put forth by senior management and their new financial backers.
One department that gets a lot of the new attention is the sales development team (inside sales, business development, outbound sales, etc.). These companies typically have robust inbound teams and a fledgling group focused on outbound prospecting. In most cases, these companies have been focused on SMB. and/or mid-market companies but have been newly tasked with going upmarket to large enterprises (to get bigger deal sizes and lifetime values, etc.) – while doing it in a predictable and scalable manner.
To help support the effort of this new emphasis on larger enterprises, some of these companies turn to account-based marketing (ABM). Most of us have heard about ABM and its importance, but there is another complimentary model, account-based outreach (ABO), where SDRs initiate outreach but use explicit and implicit information about target accounts, without losing sight of relevant industry and solution-based information/insights. This process is being touted as one of the most successful methods to generate qualified leads/appointments by many experts in the field of inside sales.
There is a lot of overlap with traditional ABM regarding the successes and pitfalls that I will not get into here, but I will share a few tidbits that I have seen work at my prior companies and recent clients:
These are a few nuggets that I have found to be helpful in my journeys that should not only apply to “born-in-the-cloud” start-ups but can apply to any B2B organization trying to get better results from existing outbound efforts with IT and LOB contacts in medium to large enterprises.