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

Scale, Technology, and Being Bold

When I sat down with Craig Rosenberg in our first TalkingSense episode, we covered a lot of ground on how the world’s fastest growing companies are leveraging ABM strategies. In part one of our blog, we discussed what was changing in the world of B2B, how it is affecting marketers and sellers, and how world-class companies are adjusting. Now let’s look at how these companies are winning big by scaling their ABM efforts by using the right technology and being bold.

You Can’t Scale Without the Right Technology

According to Craig and TOPO’s recent account base benchmark report, where 150 practitioners at leading account based organizations were studied, the number one challenge for marketers, going into next year, and probably for a while, is building a scalable approach. And the TOPO report found, technology is key in order for your ABM program to scale.

So what should you be considering when looking at technology and platforms for ABM?

  1. Account based is more than just marketing. TOPOs report and pretty much any ABM research discuss the need for marketing and sales alignment. What’s interesting is that when marketing picks solutions they often DON’T consider the sales user in the selection criteria. Huge gains can be made just by providing one interface, source of data, and common workspace for ABM.
  2. ABM success or failure is all about account selection. TOPO states a strong Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and using intent data as winning strategies. Ensure the platform you pick excels at this- it’s not an afterthought or throw-in feature.
  3. You will hear a lot about “plays” – a multi-touch cross channel campaign. Leading account based organizations use orchestrated account based plays across every stage of the funnel – plays that drive engagement, plays that result in new meetings, plays that increase the velocity of a deal through the funnel, and plays that expand an existing footprint in an account. With the right technology, you can create an orchestrated automated engagement by setting up a daisy chain of triggers, “if this, then that” scenarios. This is how you start to scale.
  4. Make sure your platform ensures you are engaging the ENTIRE buying center. Not surprising, top-performing account based organizations target 33% more contacts in each account. Your technology should have a way to easily enrich buying centers.

Moving From Traditional Tactics to Bold

To wrap things up, I asked Craig to give me an example of a person or an organization that did something bold. He went on to tell me about, a Director of Demand Gen, who came in and said, “I am going to change everything here.” He started with traditional tactics – hosting a dinner – but he wanted to take this one thing and do it really well. His goal was to get 40 executives from target accounts to attend, which is a substantial number. To entice the executives, he chose a trendy restaurant in New York and offered free Uber rides – an interesting touch and one that worked. He got the 40 executives to dinner.

Craig goes on to explain, once he had the foundation of doing “one thing” really well he went all in on targeting the right accounts and then added creativity and boldness to his tactics. His team is trying all these really cool, out of the box campaigns now because they’ve built confidence and proved that what they are doing is working. But the most profound thing he did was putting aside his ego and what he thought he knew. He listened to what was changing in B2B and embraced making a big change from quantity to quality.

As Craig summarizes, the data is providing you with the ability to figure out who the target accounts are and who is highly engaged, which makes them a potential conversion. This wasn’t the case before. “Throwing it out there is bad for the brand, bad for the experience, and it doesn’t get who you want. If you batch and blast an event, you’re gonna get consultants, Lookie Lou’s, and Frank’s Pizza.” With the right technology allowing you to have a targeted approach that focuses on quality, not quantity, you can knock it out of the park.

Don’t forget to watch the full interview with Craig Rosenberg at TalkingSense. And tune in to our newest episode on March 6th, where we talk to Tom Pisello, Chief Evangelist at Mediafly.


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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