A Conversation with Craig Rosenberg, Chief Analyst and Co-Founder of TOPO: Part One


TOPO Focuses on World-Class

In our first TalkingSense episode, Craig Rosenberg, Chief Analyst and Co-Founder of TOPO, and I discuss what is changing in the world of B2B and what these changes mean for marketing and sales teams. TOPO is a research advisory firm focused on studying the world’s fastest-growing B2B companies across marketing, sales development, and sales. And because everyone is interested in learning from world-class companies, TOPO’s focused approach is resonating with people, making them the go-to for the world’s best sales and marketing organizations.

We are in the Age of Account Based Everything

B2B sales and marketing are shifting out of “the age of digital” and into “the age of account buying.” Account based is not a campaign, technology purchase, or buzzword. It is a strategic go-to-market decision that requires a new alignment of people, processes, and technology to be successful. “You need to know who is in-market today if you want to build an account based go-to-market strategy across marketing and sales in order to get into deals ahead of the competition” explains Craig. This is a whole new way of looking at sales and marketing efforts – the buyers have changed the way they buy so we as marketers and sellers have to change.

Craig laid out some of these changes and key patterns they are seeing across organizations.

  • The first instinct for everyone is to sell high. We are wired to go up the org chart, but that person is not the most influential person for your deal. The most powerful person in a cycle is the person who has been assigned to evaluate the project/technology etc. Sales and marketing must key in on who that core stakeholder is – TOPO calls this person the entry point.
  • We are in an adjustment period and to be successful you have to ask yourself – can we reach multiple stakeholders? Can we reach them in the way that they want to be reached? How do we know we are reaching them (they are not filling out forms anymore or opening emails.) What is really happening out there on the internet? All of these things matter today.
  • Buyers are now buying in a completely different way. Traditional volume-based approaches we’ve been using for digital marketing are just not as effective as a comprehensive account based marketing and selling approach. And without the right technology, it’s impossible for sales and sales leaders to have visibility into all the things that happen in accounts across the buying team.

So How are World-Class Companies Adjusting?

According to TOPO’s research, leading companies are creating an account based go-to-market (GTM) approach – a coordinated, cross-organizational effort for driving engagement and sales progress in a set of target accounts. TOPO just released their 2019 Account Based Research Report where they studied 150 practitioners at leading Account Based organizations and there are some provocative findings on ABM Success – the most important factor being orchestration/coordinated programs across marketing, sales development, and sales. Respondents indicate that an account based approach improves customer lifetime value (80%), improves win rates (86%), and delivers higher ROI (76%) than a traditional go-to-market approach and for every five accounts targeted, account based organizations create a new sales opportunity.

We Won. Now We Gotta Win Big.

Early adopters and the fastest growing B2B companies have proven account based works and now want to scale by taking a data-driven approach. Data is critical especially in 2 areas – developing a strong Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and account prioritization. Companies with thoughtful data based ICP achieve 68% higher account win rates. The ICP is a critical element of an account based strategy that separates top-performing account based organizations from their peers. And companies achieve better results with a data-based intentional account selection processes – consistently selecting and prioritizing accounts in a repeatable way. This is a critical process to master, particularly for organizations with more than 100 target accounts. As Craig says, “You’ve got lots of data that can allow you to be really powerful today.” Find out how best in class B2B marketers plan to win big in part 2 of the blog.


TalkingSense is a collection of conversations with B2B industry trendsetters. We’ll cover topics like modern sales, marketing, culture, technology, career paths, entrepreneurship, and more. We’ll always keep it fresh and fun. Let’s talk some sense.

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