At the SiriusDecisions Summit 2014 in Orlando, we recognized six organizations that exemplified best-in-class account-based marketing (ABM) programs. Recipients of our inaugural ABM Program of the Year awards were (in alphabetical order) Adobe, Ariba, CSC, EMC, Oracle and Siemens PLM Software.
In earlier blog posts, I highlighted why Adobe, EMC and Oracle were selected as winners and provided background on the growth of ABM and why this year’s inaugural ABM Program of the Year awards are significant. In this post, Siemens PLM Software is featured.
Siemens PLM Software, a Plano, Texas-based business unit of the Siemens Industry Automation Division, is a provider of product lifecycle management software, systems and services that enable companies to optimize their product lifecycle processes from planning and development through manufacturing and support.
Siemens is a large, multifaceted company with numerous solutions that have been growing aggressively – especially through recent acquisitions. This recent expansion of products, brands and solutions presented a new marketing reality to the organization. The management team recognized that a more customized approach was needed to engage the company’s largest and most strategic customers and prospects in order to grow and retain the business within these valued accounts.
Siemens PLM Software developed an ABM pilot consisting of nine large strategic accounts across the globe. Executive management shared what it wanted to accomplish via initial communication to selected marketing and sales leads, and it dedicated resources to support this vision. Part of the strategy included establishing a point person (a marketing operations director) to spearhead the pilot. This ensured that all teams were on the same page and were aimed at delivering on the ABM vision within a condensed timeframe.
The marketing operations director enrolled the team in online training; led a day-and-a-half-long in-person workshop on developing joint sales and marketing plans for each of the accounts in the pilot; provided additional educational materials via monthly recorded webinars and research reports; constructed a detailed collaboration and communication plan; established processes for data gathering and reporting; and created templates for account planning, measurement and reporting.
These activities put key tools in the hands of team members and made the pilot requirements clear to all involved. Siemens PLM Software leadership provided additional ABM funding for account-specific programming in order to execute on its one-to-one plans.
Best Practices Exemplified
- ABM sanctioned by leadership and supported with additional resources (e.g. personnel focus, programming dollars)
- Communicated extensively throughout the organization, initially to describe ABM and how marketing could better contribute to sales, then to share pilot status and best practices, and to explore solutions to executional challenges
- Enrolled sales and marketing participants in mandatory ABM online training to build a shared foundation and commitment, and to provide a common vocabulary
- Provided standardized tools and templates and established clear accountability, which enabled teams to execute quickly
- Established interlock via joint account planning sessions with a sales lead, a marketing lead and various other cross-functional team members; each member delivered insight into the account and/or was given responsibility for delivering on the plan
- Number of internal “ABM Certified” sales and marketing employees has grown significantly from six in the second quarter of 2013 to 48 in the fourth quarter, and 143 in the first quarter of 2014.
- Eighty-nine percent of the pilot program accounts received additional funding after successfully sharing their account plans with senior management.
- Sales and marketing alignment has solidified. Sales has provided positive feedback, describing ABM plans not as “a marketing plan,” but as their own plans.
Congratulations to Dannielle Beaupré, marketing operations director, and the entire team at Siemens PLM Software for creating great alignment, collaboration and communication and for being selected as a 2014 ABM Program Winner!