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Account-Based Events: Secrets to Success

Lattice Engines, like many B2B companies, has adopted an account-based marketing (ABM) approach for our marketing and sales teams. But unlike many companies, our ABM approach extends to our live events, too.

Events are a tried and tested technique to build relationships with customers and prospects. What our team discovered is that we can build those relationships so much more effectively by applying a more personalized marketing strategy to our events,turning them into account-based events that align tightly with our overall ABM strategy.

As an SDR (sales development representative) at Lattice Engines who consistently meets and exceeds quota, I’ve found that these marketing events play an essential role in our sales development strategy. With Dreamforce around the corner, I thought you would find value in learning about our process, best practices, and key learnings from how our team drives attendance to marketing events, and uses follow-up to build pipeline.

How Live Events Help Us Meet Our Sales Goals

When it comes to using events in our prospecting efforts, Lattice Engines is focused on two primary goals:

1.    Accelerate sales cycles. This is the primary focus for our sales directors, who are leveraging events to build relationships with prospects at companies that they’ve already engaged with and have a valid opportunity.

2.    Create new pipeline. This is the primary focus for our strategic account development team, which I’m part of and will be sharing more about in the rest of this post.

These goals guide our decision-making every step of the way, and this is how we’ve been able to build an approach to account-based events that drives sales so successfully for our company.

The Two-Prong Approach to Successfully Driving Event Attendance

With headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lattice Engines is competing with thousands of tech companies for prospects’ time. Therefore, attending an event can feel like a big commitment for many people, especially since they receive invitations to several conferences and events a week.

So how do you cut through the noise to get registrations for your event? In my experience, there are two things that are essential for driving attendance to events:

1.    Have a narrow, highly targeted contact list

2.    Adopt a multi-touch, multi-channel approach.

My team uses Lattice Engines AI to create predictive models that help us determine which accounts are a good fit for our solution. To determine who to target for each event, we layer in thousands of other signals(such as intent signals, technographics and firmographics) to narrow down that list to a few hundred accounts that are a good fit and in-market for our solution. (If you’d like a more detailed look at that process, check out this post.)

Once we have our list of target accounts, we run an advanced search in LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find local contacts. From there we expand our search to surrounding areas (we use a Boolean list of our target accounts for this). Finally, we filter by the personas that would typically buy our product or are part of the buying committee.

This final list is imported into a sales engagement platform (we use Outreach.io) and the contacts are dropped into persona-based sequences.

This is where the multi-touch, multi-channel approach really comes in. Our sequences include several touch points on different channels (email, phone call, LinkedIn) over the three weeks prior to the event, up to the day before. We personalize that messaging based on account intelligence from Salesforce powered by Lattice Engines AI.

Sales Success Is All in the Follow-Up

Getting people to meet at an event is only half the challenge, however. To build pipeline, you have to follow up — strategically.

After an event, we break down our follow-ups into 2 buckets:

1.    Prospects who met with us at the event

2.    Prospects who were scheduled to meet with us but did not

For those who met with us, we send out a one-off email on the day following the event, touching on things that happened during the event. This email usually gets very good response rates.

Those that don’t respond to that initial email then get added to a personalized sequence with more details on the use case they were interested in, including examples of how we help clients with similar challenges. Again, this sequence includes several touchpoints on different channels (email, phone call, LinkedIn).

The second group of people — those who were scheduled to meet with us but did not — are added to a sequence where we share content from the event and customer stories that are relevant to their persona. This sequence gets a significantly higher response rate and number of meetings set compared to cold outreach.

How Account-Based Events Can Improve YOUR Sales Success

Account-based events are a great way to build pipeline and create lasting relationships with your clients. While conference calls are a practical and effective way to conduct business, nothing beats meeting prospects in-person.

I hope this blog post gives you ideas on how to make the most out of your prospecting efforts for your next event.

Stay tuned for our next blog on how our SDR team is using intent data for timely, contextual outreach.

Written by

Andreea Oneata
November 13, 2019