Dreamforce – The Themes, Truths, and Untruths We Learned

Dreamforce-2019-Opstars-Intelligent Demand

So, that was exciting!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Dreamforce week for the very first time. A few colleagues and I were representing Intelligent Demand at Ops-Stars, a complimentary event that tags onto the crazy that is Dreamforce. For the first time, ID was a sponsor at a major industry event, and as a sponsor led two ABM workshops, which we affectionately called, ABM Flight School.

But enough about that.

Let’s talk about some of the themes, truths, and untruths uncovered during Dreamforce. And, since we’re on the topic of account-based revenue programs, let’s start there.

1. ABM is still a mystery to many

As I roamed the hallowed halls of the historic San Francisco Mint, hit the parties and the after-parties, I probably spoke with hundreds of people over the course of the week. And in doing so, one thing became clear — there is plenty of need for education and discussion about account-based approaches among sales and marketing professionals alike.

At ID, we talk about alignment being just one part – one important part – on which to establish your account-based program. And as much as I want to dismiss that as table stakes, it’s still a very real issue that must be confronted.

2. Account-based programs and account-based tech are not one-and-the-same

At Ops-Stars, there was a lot of discussion about marketing technology. However, a lot of that discussion began blurring the lines between what tech is and what marketing theory is.

As I write this, I can hear the question being readied – “isn’t ID a Gold Partner with Demandbase?” Well yes, that’s true.

And, as much as the software companies would like you to believe their tech is the only way to do account-based, it’s simply not true. As account-based approaches, frameworks, (and yes) tech continue to be all the rage, it’s easy to see how a new technology solution can be conflated with what A-B is.

The problem with this is that if salespeople and marketers are looking for a way to keep up with the competition, they may think that a software solution alone will lead them to the promised land. The truth is, you need a comprehensive A-B strategy mapped to your business objectives. Only then will you be ready to pull executional levers such as the acquisition of software to accelerate your A-B program.

3. Very few organizations have the ability to deliver across the entirety of their revenue program

Whether it was strategy, creative, data, or media, I spoke with many marketers who – often by virtue of being asked to do all the things (typically excluding actual marketing) – can’t effectively scale their account based program to deliver on its promise.

Further, while they may believe they have the in-house support (e.g., “we have someone who knows marketing automation and Salesforce”), that support often can’t deliver complex revenue marketing, and especially not account-based approaches.

The need for integrated and strategic RevOps for marketing organizations became abundantly clear.

At ID, we’re working with our clients to deliver on some of these truths, while debunking others. One way you can be sure to understand your readiness for account-based revenue is to take our ABM Maturity Assessment. Designed by our ABM consultants, the 8-minute assessment provides an in-depth realization of where your organization is today and begins to provide insight into what you need to do to move toward your desired state.

 

Reach out if you think you’re ready to take that assessment.

Let us know if you have questions about ID’s account based services or if you want to talk to our team about hosting a personalized version of our ABM Flight School at your office. We’d be happy to help. 

Mike Swainey is the Director of Business Development at Intelligent Demand. Initially an economics major (for one semester) at Miami University, he quickly discovered he would not be the next Adam Smith. But he has always been curious about marketing and connecting businesses with buyers of all sorts. And after 22 years as an account guy, Mike is using that knowledge to help connect client needs with ID’s transformative capabilities. When not doing all the connectings, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and camping throughout the West.

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