Account-based BizOps: Begin with the End in Mind
A group of BizOps professionals got together at Serafina Boston last night for networking, refreshments and a panel discussion about the impact of account-based marketing, account-based sales and account-based everything on the business operations, or BizOps, function. From people to process to systems, we covered quite a bit of ground.
Our panel included:
- Nandini Karkare, Global VP of Sales & Marketing Operations at EnterpriseDB
- Will Rus, Sales Operations Manager at Toast, and
- Jeff Harrelson, Sr Manager of Sales Operations at Buildium
At EnterpriseDB, account-based strategies are a major focus for 2017, and Nandini and her team are in the thick of it. In larger global businesses, achieving account-based success at scale is key, so getting BizOps right is critical. Nandini addressed the challenges of large enterprises moving to an account-based model, including gaining agreement at the management level about which business segments should adopt the new account-based model, developing account plans and territories, managing the rollout, and keeping the rest of the business going without interruption. One of her EnterpriseDB colleagues even has a new name for the program there: account-based revenue.
Like EnterpriseDB, a hybrid model, where some teams will follow an account-based approach while others follow a more traditional lead-to-close approach, makes the most sense for Toast. Will emphasized the importance of getting everyone in the company on the same page about what account-based efforts really mean, both at the strategic level and the tactical. Until everyone in operations, sales, marketing, and customer success can agree to the same definition for fundamental terms — what is an account, anyway? — it can be difficult to set goals and measure progress toward them.
Jeff’s prior experience at Rapid7 prepared him for his team’s efforts to lay the groundwork for an account-based model. Like Toast, some teams at Buildium focus on larger accounts that are suited to account-based marketing and account-based sales efforts, while smaller accounts may be better served by existing go-to-market methods. Jeff recommended that BizOps teams at companies that are just getting started with account-based efforts focus on the alignment between sales and marketing. He stressed the importance of using something as simple as Excel to build early dashboards. Once you know what metrics really matter (and they always change once things get started), you’ll be better prepared to invest time and effort in creating more visually appealing dashboards.
All of our panelists agree that account-based strategies hold great promise for their businesses. Getting early alignment among leadership and within the lines of business about program-level objectives and expectations will go a long way. While account-based marketing, account-based selling and account-based everything are getting all the publicity, the business operations teams are quietly working behind the scenes to ensure that these efforts yield results.
Many thanks to our co-sponsors, Cooley LLP, for their generous support of this event and our growing community of BizOps Hackers.
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Steph served as Rekener’s Community Manager and CMO. A Rekener co-founder, she was previously Senior Director of Marketing at CCC, a $300M+ recurring revenue business, and served in marketing leadership roles at Vertical, @stake, Informio, DotContent and Meridian. Her first recurring revenue role was as an inside sales rep selling real-time stock pricing subscriptions.
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