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ABM & pursuit marketing for nine-figure deals with Nick Panayi

#ABM, #Podcasts, #FlipMyFunnel

How do you close massive deals when nobody knows your name?

Nine-figure deals are extremely challenging under the best of circumstances. You’re asking buyers to put their reputations, perhaps even their careers, on the line.

There are dozens of stakeholders. A great many requirements, risks, and often competing objectives. And ultimately, there’s a leap of faith that this is the exact right path forward.

It’s one thing if the seller is a global brand that garners immediate recognition and respect throughout the buyer’s firm. But if they don’t know your name? You’d better out-think and out-work your competitors at every turn.

This isn’t the story of a small company punching way above its weight.

This is the story of a two-year-old firm with 135,000 employees.

It’s the story of two 60-year-old industry giants merging to form a fast-moving digital transformation powerhouse.

It’s the story of DXC Technology, and my guest on this episode of #FlipMyFunnel is Nick Panayi, DXC’s VP of Global Brand, Digital Marketing and Demand Generation.

Note: Shortly after recording this episode, Nick made the move to a new role as CMO of IPsoft, a leader in cognitive, conversational AI solutions for the enterprise. He has already begun to put some of the best practices he describes here to work at his new company.

A few highlights:

  • Why did Nick embrace ABM more than five years ago, well ahead of most marketing leaders? “Because that’s where the money is… in big, big deals with big, big customers.” When success is built on a small number of enormous sales, dedicated marketing resources are essential. ABM was born out of this opportunity, coupled with the necessity of financial prudence in a world where marketing budgets are always being squeezed.
  • Nick and his team’s first foray into ABM “fell flat on its face.” He digs into why, and how they regrouped and got on the road to success.
  • DXC takes pursuit marketing very seriously. Pursuit marketing is a time-limited deep focus on a specific account to support a large deal currently in play. They employ a wide range of online and offline tactics and tools to micro-target and surround an account with branding and with more solution-specific messaging during this critical time.
  • “Free your content,” Nick says. He’s firmly opposed to gating content, and he acts decisively on this philosophy. DXC has “turned off every single registration wall on [their] website.” This is a controversial move, and not all of his colleagues agree. He provides an eloquent defense of this stance and puts forward a number of considerations for others embroiled in this debate.
  • He also has some strong opinions on what sorts of skills and experience to look for when hiring for your ABM team, so they don’t “get eaten alive by sales.”

Check out the full episode for this and much more.