My 7-step ABM playbook for following your raving fans to generate new pipeline & alleviate pipeline anxiety

Here's Corrina Owen of Gong's most effective ABM playbooks for generating new pipeline
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Corrina Owens is an ABM practitioner and B2B marketer with years of experience creating people-focused experiences that drive revenue. In this post, she shares one of her most effective playbooks for generating pipeline.

Want a play you can replicate that helps to alleviate pipeline anxiety? Then swipe this pipeline acceleration play that’s become the new favorite with our go-to-market teams.

Every marketer knows there is no one better equipped to speak to the value of your product than your customers. 

I’m fortunate enough to work for a company that has an incredible product that our fans literally cannot stop raving about (I’m one of those fans 🙋‍♀️).

And as you all know, in this economy, your customers are changing jobs like it’s going out of style. Your raving fans are making moves sometimes 2x+ in a year! There is no doubt that this directly impacts your pipeline health. 

The reality is not only could you be losing your stakeholder at a newly established account. But you could also be losing them at your legacy accounts (especially those that maybe weren't receiving care and attention as you were looking to scale your company into new industries or personas). 

The scenarios are endless.

Disclaimer: This playbook was designed with the 80/20 rule in mind. In other words, 80% of the results are coming from 20% of the effort. As an ABM practitioner, I recognize I could spend most of my time trying to engage 80% of our less-engaged audience. Or I could spend that time engaging with the 20% that are raving fans. It’s important to find your 80/20 and create a playbook that suits your organization and audience needs.

Get ready to steal my pipeline generation playbook. But before that, let’s talk about one rule all ABM marketers must live by.

Be a steward of account data

The most successful ABM marketers are the ones that act as stewards of account data. 

From 1st to 2nd, to 3rd party data…we have a plethora of data for anyone to try and surmise. But if marketers can't make sense of it all, why would it be any easier for sales leaders?

To be the most effective data steward, we must also understand what data signals matter most to sales about the accounts you're *both* pursuing. And then, you must act on this data so that you can provide timely and relevant information to the account when they are signaling to you they need it most, together.

When you're driving an ABM campaign, you become an extension of the deal team. A dedicated resource for sales to leverage. Sales must understand you are committed to those target accounts for better or worse, till death do you part.

 And even then, we may act like stage five clingers not ready to let go of our commitment to serving them. 😂

When marketers act as stewards of account data, they inevitably become seen as the go-to expert for all account and person-level data, making marketers the trusted partner for revenue and go-to-market teams.

Now to the ABM playbook.

Use this proven ABM playbook to reach past customers

So, you’ve spent all the time and energy building these relationships with your customers. Don’t let that be for naught. Make sure you have the mechanisms in place to stay alerted and engaged as your fans will inevitably travel. 

As raving fans travel, here’s the play I use to make sure I’m following those raving fans:

1. Track users at current companies & get alerted once they move to a target account. (Thanks, UserGems 💎!)

2. Connect with their former company's customer success manager to learn about their experience & usage of our product, as well as gain a better understanding of the individual's interests. 

3. Follow/connect with the individual on LinkedIn (if not already). 

4. Craft outreach to congratulate & offer relevant resources to set them up for success in their new role, such as a 90-day checklist for revenue leaders. 

5. Connect with the internal account team at the individual's new account to align on outreach strategy & help to forge new relationships for the individual with their new account team.

6. Send meaningful gifts directly to the individual for a human touch. Maybe that’s a personalized send or a unique code for them to choose and purchase their own gift from your merch store.

7. Record a LinkedIn voice message once the gift has arrived. Hint at what they’re about to “unpack” and congratulate them again on their move! Remember, keep these short and sweet. You have a 60-second limit to get your message across in one LinkedIn voice message.

Here is some real feedback I’ve received and anonymized that demonstrates the impact this playbook can have:

⭐ "I've used your product in the past & would like to use it in my new role here at my new company. Let’s schedule a time to meet so I can fill you in on the team so we can plan our pitch to the broader group." 

⭐"I am familiar with your product from my former company and appreciated the solution and would be happy to chat. Also, thank you for sending me an incredibly thoughtful gift. It made my way!

⭐"This is a brilliant strategy, well done! I am stealing this and sharing it with my team. Thank you for the thoughtful outreach. I can make time to chat on the week of the 14th.

Why this playbook works

Your raving fans understand your product better than most, and they travel. They’ve used your product successfully to scale their organizations and think of you fondly when they move on to new ventures. 

A playbook like this is designed to treat your best-fit customers as if they are still your customers, even if they leave the account you originally earned their business from. 

It keeps the relationship reciprocal, by valuing and honoring them for all their work with you prior. And all that they will have to accomplish going into their new organization, quite possibly, with you.

Across the seven steps, you’ll notice nothing is asked of them. 

Everything is for them. Your company is more than your product or services. It’s made up of people who make human connections with your customers. 

We underestimate too often in B2B that value is only received by our customers through business outcomes, yet it’s these human connections that we foster with our customers that will imprint on them forever.

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