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SAP’s Eric Martin – How a single 1:1 play reached 300 accounts

#ABM, #Podcasts, #FlipMyFunnel

ABM is often used to go upmarket. But can a company that normally sells huge enterprise deals employ account-based marketing to capture multiple smaller, mid-market deals in an efficient and effective way?

SAP’s Vice President of Account-Based Marketing for North America, Eric Martin, shares the story of how he and his team did exactly that.

It’s one of the more innovative approaches to ABM we’ve seen, and I was excited to share Eric’s story in a recent episode of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast.

Some podcast highlights:

  • The focus was on a large private equity firm with 300 or so portfolio firms, mostly small and midsize tech companies. All portfolio companies were significantly smaller than a typical SAP customer, but together they represented billions of dollars in total IT spend.
  • Senior SAP leadership had existing relationships with senior leadership of the PE firm. This laid strong foundations and facilitated the signing of a master service agreement that gave each portfolio company access to the same buying power as a much larger firm.
  • The team directed their attention to the three or four foothold solutions (among SAP’s portfolio of 4,400+ products) most appropriate to the targeted firms.
  • SAP did some solid account prioritization work within this 300-account universe, utilizing intent data, engagement data, proprietary propensity models and other analytics to narrow the focus in on 30 best-fit organizations that were to receive special attention.
  • The other 270 accounts were not overlooked. They received a lower-touch, more inbound-based treatment that still leveraged smart personalization, tailored content, direct connection with the correct account director and more.
  • Engagement tactics included customized webcasts, participation in the PE firm’s CIO Slack channel and participation in the PE firm’s in-person events (even hosting them at SAP’s offices in one region).


I’ll let you listen to the episode to hear the outcomes, but (spoiler alert) SAP far exceeded their already ambitious goals.

Next steps?

SAP now has a proven way to penetrate other PE portfolios, Chamber of Commerce members, partner communities and more.

Check out the full conversation with Eric Martin below.