B2BSMX: That’s A Wrap. Top Takeaways & Highlights From the Event.

August 15, 2019 Kristi Park

The B2B Sales and Marketing Exchange took place in the Encore Hotel & Casino at Boston Harbor. The venue was beautiful, and some of the best sales and marketing folks in the industry came together to talk about RevOps, ABM, Growth Marketing, and tactical advice on how to master it all through GTM alignment. 

Our Marketing team made the trip, and we were not disappointed. Sure, the giant carousel made of flowers in the lobby of the hotel and the unexpectedly perfect weather didn’t hurt, but (of course) it was the content that really stood out
For those who couldn’t make it, here is a rundown of some of our favorite moments. 
No Value Prop, No ABM - Hermi Ruiz, Snowflake
This was the first session we attended post-keynote, and it really primed us for the day. By now, it’s probably safe to say that most companies are at varied stages of ABM implementation—us included. So, it’s no wonder that Hermi’s session really hit home for us. 
One sentence in particular, “No business value, no ABM,” is still ringing in our ears more than twenty four hours later. Needless to say, a large part of a successful ABM campaign is the content; however, it’s not enough just to send a hundred emails’ worth of clever copy and blog post links. Knowing and owning your value prop at an individual account level is the only way to  consistently convert opportunities, full stop. Buyers need to see that you not only know them and their pains, but that you are actually invested in their success—not just your bottom line. 
This means that not all the content you’re sending out should be directly about you or your product. Show your prospects that you have real solutions to their real problems. If you can’t articulate a value that’s specific to them, you’re not doing ABM. 
It should also be noted that this was, allegedly, Hermi’s first-ever breakout session.
She killed it. 
Feeling Flawsome - Todd Caponi
We’re assuming Tyra Banks made up the word “flawsome” sometime in her America’s Next Top Model Days. Regardless, we absolutely love the sentiment: Embracing the fact that, yes, you have flaws, but knowing you are awesome anyway. 
Todd wrote the book The Transparency Sale, which basically builds on the idea that transparency sells better than perfection. There is research to back this up; while 96% of people look at reviews before making a purchase, 82% look for negative reviews first. When it comes to actual numbered ratings, things with a score of 4.2 - 4.5 actually sold better than things with a solid 5. 
As Todd said, humans are wired to resist influence. For this reason, perfection makes us suspicious that we are somehow being tricked. When presented with both negative and positive reviews, the sense of autonomy we get from making our own informed decision wins out. Todd's anecdote about a time he started an ultimately successful sales meeting by talking up a direct competitor was particularly inspiring. 
Know Your Superpower - Sandra Freeman, Engagio
If you're a fan of Stranger Things on Netflix, you'll likely appreciate the comparison to ABM, drawn by Sandra during her RevTalk. Being that the Upside Down is the show's version of a dark parallel universe, Sandra's tips on how to avoid ending up there with your ABM strategy were welcomed with open arms. 
To quote Sandra, “Our Upside Down is not knowing how our accounts are doing, and our sales reps not knowing what’s happening with our ABM program." 
We couldn't agree more. 
Touching on several of the show's core themes, Sandra stressed the importance of working as a unified revenue team in order to drive success with ABM. This was a much appreciated theme throughout the event as a whole, since often one of the toughest hurdles to overcome when implementing an ABM strategy is to get Sales and Marketing on the same page, with the same level of commitment. 
She also encouraged us all as Marketers (and beyond!) to know our superpower, and stay focused on the right (big) thing--the one that's really going to move the needle. 
We're still waiting on the slides, audio, and video of the event to be available on the B2BSMX website, but when it is, we highly recommend checking it all out! 
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