In this episode of Demand Gen Chat, I spoke with Hillary Carpio, Director of ABM at Snowflake. Hillary leads an ABM team of 18 marketers that support 100s of sales reps across North America and Latin America. We talked about how her team works cross-functionally to drive success with their ABM programs, how they measure ABM at Snowflake, and why ABM is no longer just display ads and direct mail.
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About Demand Gen Chat Demand Gen Chat is a Chili Piper podcast hosted by Tara Robertson. Join us as we sit down with B2B marketing leaders to hear about the latest tactics and campaigns that are driving pipeline and revenue. If you’re looking for tactical ways to improve your marketing, this podcast is for you!
Welcome back to another episode of Demand Gen Chat. I'm your host, Tara Robertson and I have a very fun guest for you today. I'll be speaking with Hillary Carpio about all things account-based marketing. Hillary is the Director of Account Based Marketing at Snowflake. Snowflake's platform is the engine that powers and provides access to the data cloud, creating a solution for data warehousing, data lakes, data engineering, data, science, data application development and data sharing. So, basically all things data. If you're in B2B, you've probably heard of Snowflake by now. Hillary, you welcome to the show.
Yeah, thanks for having me, I'm excited to be here.
Okay. Why don't you tell us just a little bit about your role and what your current focus is at Snowflake?
Yeah, so I lead an account based marketing organization at Snowflake that's, uh, all encompassing full-funnel ABM. And I often consider if ABM is really the right terminology because what we do is really integrated marketing across multiple district teams to help our sales team really hit the goals that they need to hit, uh, to meet our business needs.
So we align into the demand gen organization, and we align very similar to a field marketing organization while we don't do field marketing. Uh, we support our sales team, so I have 18 people on our team today across North America, with counterparts and EMEA and APAC as well, uh, split into our verticals and enterprise teams and they each support different, uh, RVPs across, uh, North America and Latin America, uh, well, North America, including Latin America and Canada to support Snowflake sales as a whole. So we work with, uh, over a hundred STRs, several hundred sales reps and then cross-functional teams as well. They create cohesive messaging into our top accounts.
Wow, that's scale is just huge to hear those numbers of 18 marketers, hundreds of sales reps. I'm really curious... I know you mentioned working with sales, help them hit their targets, but what are the main KPIs that your team is focused on hitting?
Yeah, we really look at the golden market function as a whole and how we're multiplying the KPIs of those functions. So we look at our, uh, sales development team and how they're able to book meetings within the accounts that the sales reps are nominating. There's a higher account to completed meeting, uh, rate. Is there a completed meeting rate to being passed off to AEs opportunity rates? We're also looking at the number of campaign responders in a single account. So while we are not measuring ABM by leads, we're looking at how we impact the demand generation and lead generation function to see if the engagement that we're creating is helping create, um, larger engagement on that side. We're looking at how we engage with partners and when we go to market together top accounts, what those metrics look like as well. And then we're also looking at things like deal size and velocity as we work with our sales team.
A lot of the feedback is actually anecdotal as well, which is a little bit more difficult to, you know, put on a dashboard.
But we get a lot of feedback from sales saying, "Hey, the CIO or the CEO of this company mentioned that they saw our ABM page, or saw our ABM ad, or saw our ABM thing or attended a one to one event, uh, with our field marketing team." So we get a lot of feedback that way as well to determine how things are working.
It's funny, sometimes working with sales, that anecdotal feedback is almost better than showing them a dashboard. I mean, it's great to have numbers-
... but getting that anecdotal feedback of, oh, this account said they saw us everywhere that's probably the best you can get in terms of a relationship with sales. So it's good to measure both-
... or track both at least [laughs]. Can't really measure anecdotal, but you can track it.
Um, and in terms of just key metrics or conversion metrics that you're looking to improve, is there anything that's always top of mind for you?
Yeah. One of the key KPIs we focus on is how we are aligning with our sales development team and how we're aligning with sales is a three legged tool. So the percentage of accounts that are go- being sought after together, the percentage of ABM accounts being touched by SDRs, and the percentage of meetings in ABM accounts. So we s- slice and dice those in different ways, across different segments, across different teams, inbound, outbound, that kind of thing. Looking at a lot of different angles.
And is your SDR team inbound and outbound? Or is that two separate teams?
We have one team. Yeah. We have a few dedicated-
... SDRs to inbound, but the majority are outbound.
Great. Yeah. I feel like everyone I talk to lately has a different mix. So it's always interesting to hear how that split-
... is changing things a lot. And just speaking of working with sales, you highlight some really amazing wins on your LinkedIn profile. So you launched a field marketing and demand generation integrated program driving up to 300 attendees in a single fortune 1000 account and three X your registration goal to corporate flagship event. So those are really impressive numbers at a fortune 1000 account. Can you walk us through a little bit about what the campaign goal was, and also just kind of how you had to work with other teams to hit that?
Yeah. So I love talking about this one in particular because it's not just digital. And oftentimes I hear, "Oh, well, ABM is just digital." Right. And it doesn't have to be digital. It can be a very large component, but there's touch points outside of digital. So we work really closely with our field marketing team, and we work hand in hand. So they do all of the setup, the event, the logistics, the getting the speakers, that sort of thing. And then we pair together to figure out who should we be targeting? What is the message and how do we get them there? And we work with sales on that as well.
So there's a particular series we started doing one-to-one events that are over a course of three weeks, probably in the three by three. Uh, so you have uh- an event one week we invite a, a portion of the buying committee. We talk about one thing and we have a follow one and a follow one. So over the course of time, they get a different messaging and, and a full cohesive view of what we do at Snowflake and how we can help that specific company. One of our targeted accounts, we had 300 attendees from that single account.
When you think about the power of a, of a very large fortune 100 fortune 200 company, that there's so many subsidiaries that you can be, they can be a customer in one subsidiary or provide a business and not in another. So there's a lot of power from an account based perspective to let the individual sell to their own organization and support them with executives from our organization. That helps us help them tell their story. Um, I think many of us, if we hear from our peers on how something is working, it's a lot more helpful.
So, uh, we are really proud of that in- because it's a really cross-functional program, right? There is partner speakers at some of the different events, not all of them. That's the- that's the SCR team, helping get people there. That's the ABM team helping get people there. And that's the sales team helping get people there. It's a very, very integrated function. So that was awesome. And then the three X registration gold R flagship event, we leveraged some really pro tactics on LinkedIn, and really allowed our sales development organization to personally reach out to different folks that they thought would be a good fit.
So ABN doesn't have to be an account based ad to an account based page, right? It's a cohesive group of tactics that all reach out and surround the account in a way that really helps them meet their needs, as opposed to targeting the account and- and shoving Snowflake messaging on them.
Yeah. It's not just display ads. Like it was a couple years ago where-
-that was the go to tactic for everyone kind of dipping their toes in AVM. I'm curious for something like that event registration goal, where you're working with SDRs and working with reps. What do you provide them from the marketing side to get them... first of all, to do that outreach, but also just to make that successful?
Yeah. So we only use our sales development team- is actually a hot topic right now- We only hear a sales development team for invites for very specific things for very specific accounts. So we like to say, they're not a mini Marketo, right? They're not just blasting out invitations for the sales reps. We want the sales reps to invite when they have a personal relationship and really reach out to the higher level executives. But for this flagship, we got event- for example, uh, we use LinkedIn event. And so we enabled them with the messaging, with the different links, with the tracking, et cetera. So they had everything they needed to pull together. And we also provided them with some pre approved different copy in each cases that they could use as well.
Oh, that's so interesting. We just tested out LinkedIn events for the first time last week.
So we're looking to do more of it. Um, do you know if you put any paid spend behind that as well, or was it purely-
... reps inviting prospect?
So that one- so the LinkedIn event portion is not- there's no paid behind it, but we do promote the event in different ways to different people, just in a very personalized way. So we'll make sure that if we're promoting any event, not just that one to, you know, data scientists, we'll have a data science specific message and we'll make sure that we're, uh, that they understand why the event is relevant to them. Otherwise our demand gen organization as a whole, it- uh- is my- my counterpart. They do a great job of promoting events, webinars, white papers, et cetera. They have the demand gen engine down. So we've got that air cover set. So my team really steps in and does the next layer of personalization. Um, in our top accounts,
That's really neat. I would love to get there with our events, but we're just scratching the surface. So that's a really good goal.
To follow up on that note. When we talk about like the events part or big part of why we've been successful. And- and this is an example of it, is really taking what these really innovative, creative SDRs ABMers sales, et cetera, they're coming up with a lot of ideas. So we're taking what they're coming up with and saying, "How can we leverage that idea, build it out and scale it for everybody else to take advantage of?" So we had a few people on the team actually try LinkedIn events and say, "Hey, this is working really well." Then we pulled it up and said, "Okay, let's try- try scaling it out." So I think that's really important as we think about ABM, when we think about demand gen programs as a whole, it's not necessarily about sitting at the- at a desk. Right. And thinking about all of these things that might work, it's taking what is working from the ground- feet on the ground and taking it and- and leveraging it.
Mm-hmm <affirmative> yeah. Reps know how to personalize and they know where their leads are hanging out. So it makes so much sense to learn from them.
Um, going back to the event, I'm curious because your- your buyer's much be fairly technical. So having that right CTA and a reason for them to attend, I'm assuming must be a little bit tricky to- for you guys to nail down. Have you had any trouble with that in figuring out how to really sell your events to a more technical audience?
Yeah. I've been in technical marketing for a long time, so that's what I'm actually most- most used to. But in any case, you know, back to what I was just saying a second ago, the sales team knows who they're talking to. We need to be talking to them about who they're talking to and really supporting them. Um, we do have the broader demand gen message. And we work as an entire organization. Our product marketing team is phenomenal with the resources they put out of what the needs are of the different personas that we sell to. And we also have sales enablement resources as well. So that's really taking care of in a broader marketing function or fashion, uh, the- that side of it. Uh, but we just work really hands on with our sales and SDR team to make sure they have what they need.
Yeah. I think more of us could be listening to sales and benefiting from that because yeah, they're the one talking to prospects and customers all day. So we should do that much more. So working with sales is obviously critical to success with ABM. So how do you recommend... say someone's new to working with sales or new to ABM. How would you recommend they get started on just making sure that that's a really tight knit relationship and that they're kicking things off on the right foot?
Yeah. A strong ABM program is really based around solving problems for sales, right? So if we're creating all this marketing that's account based, but it's not solving any problems for sales, the impact is not likely to be high and the adoption is not likely to be high. So if you have even a single sales rep, who's very marketing forward. And I just got off the call a few minutes ago with- with the sales rep, from another company who said, "Hey, you know, I'm a sales rep looking to help engage my ABM team, my demand team, what do I do?" Find a person like that.
There's- at every organization, there is a salesperson who is interested in marketing and has ideas, find them, partner with them and sit down and say, "What are you trying to accomplish? How are you trying to accomplish it? What are you doing already?" And see how you can compliment each other, right. It doesn't have to all be from scratch. It doesn't have to be reinventing the wheel or ground up, or it's totally scale the program. It can be just taking one thing and doing it.
And doing it well before you add another component, another tactic. it doesn't take long before showing that success, that another sales rep, another marketer, another whoever, uh, sees what you're doing and they wanna be part of it too. And it also gives you the ability to fail fast and experiment. So if something doesn't work, great, scrap it, move on and try something else. But I think we- we don't do ourselves any, uh, great service as marketers when we try to build the world all at one time, right. We need to start small and then, uh, and grow, but, and grow quickly, but grow smart, uh, in a smart way.
Yeah. I think a lot of marketers, especially myself, I'm more of like an ops type of marketer versus creative. So I think, I tend to think about like, how will this scale, how can we do this for the whole hundred sales reps we have versus let's learn from this one rep, what are they doing that's really working? And how can we make that just a little bit flashier with maybe some marketing support or maybe there's something we can do on our side to just help this one rep and go from there.
Yeah. You make a good point about being kind of an ops minded person, cause I'm an ops minded person also. But when we- like one of the great values that I- I love at Snowflake is to make each other the best. And if we look around our team, there's probably somebody opposite of you, either in marketing and or in sales that you can partner up with who is, you know, on the more creative side, if you're on the more op side and when you put those two together, you could probably create really awesome stuff and come up-
... with a great way to go scale it and pilot it. Uh, so I think that's like one of my greatest pieces of advice is like, don't hesitate to partner with someone who has different strengths than you. And if you're a leader, to be hiring people who have different strengths than you. Hire people that are- that are good at what you're weak at, right. And then that's how we build a really, really strong, innovative team.
I don't think I've ever worked with such creative sales reps as I have at Chili Piper. If you've seen some other fun LinkedIn posts, you probably know what I mean. But there's so much that we learn from them on the marketing side on just how to have a little bit more fun on social. What we can do. Even on paid it can be sometimes a little dry, the messaging we use. And now I'm trying to mix in some of the lessons we're seeing from sales. So. Lots-
Yeah that's awesome.
... to learn on both ends for sure. On the same note of working with sales or could be another team. I know you work with fields marketing as well. Have you made any mistakes working with another team that you feel comfortable speaking about and what did you learn from that?
Yeah, I think a recent mistake, and I don't really wanna call it a mistake. I almost wanna call it a learning instead.
Cause it was with- with good intention. Uh, you know, we get a lot of requests for sales. We try to be responsive and- and problem solving just like I was saying. And there was a request that was coming up regularly. So typically, and in a specific layer of pro- of a program that we do, each region chooses the theme. And then we create a cohort of accounts for each of the RMEPS of sales in that, you know, in that region. And in that way, we are able to take an infrastructure, but apply it and then layer on something that's really relevant for that team and for that area. So typically they're all different.
This time if I'm getting so much feedback about this single topic, it's a big initiative for the company. Let's do the same topic across the entire north America.
It'll be a big push, looks good for the marketing side, we're all in on this thing. Well, we went to launch it right? And the [inaudible 00:14:18] goes, "Hey, I don't wanna do this. Hey, I don't wanna do that. I- I don't wanna be focused on this thing." And it was a really good reminder that, uh, while we try to be responsive, sometimes we don't always get it right. And that's okay. You know, we have good intentions, but we have to fail fast and move on and quickly pivot. So, uh, we were reminded that the power of our programs, even at the one to many level is still having the sales led, sales chosen topic from the start, uh, for their region at- at that quarter. So that's a- that's one that I think is fresh on my mind. That is a- a great example.
Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And were you able to kind of pivot that program and make work? Or did you have to kind of pause and think about it and come back to it at a later time?
We followed it through to the end of the program. And then we- as we were preparing- we prepare our next program before our current one is over. So that there's a constant stream for the sales team. So we immediately pivoted to the next one and we'll just take that into our learnings. Now it wasn't bad. Right? We still got the message out. We still created many, many meetings. We still hit our goals. It was just a good reminder that when we're focused on responding to sales, we- we need to listen.
And that was one of the things we had to listen to, is say, "Okay, we try this, it wasn't their favorite. Now we have to pivot and try something else."
Right. Yeah. And they're the experts again on the customer. So makes so much sense that they would know their region and their customers the most.
And if you're getting it right every time, then somebody's not being honest. Right.
[laughs] Yeah somebody is just-
If- if everything you're doing-
... sugar coating it.
Exactly. Either we're not listening as marketers as to what the feedback really is. Or the sales team isn't comfortable telling you what is and isn't working, but we should be aiming to get things right every time. But we are going to try things that may not work and we need to be able to adapt quickly to that.
And have you done anything to get that feedback kind of flowing a little more freely? I've definitely been on teams where there was great communication, everything flowed. We knew what sales was thinking and on teams where it was a total opposite, where it was a little bit of a mystery. Have you been able to crack that?
Yeah. I mean, it's all relationship based, right? So each ABMer within our region has a very strong relationship with the AEs, with the DMs, with the RV VPs. And so that's where that communication flows. And then we also have it at the leadership levels as well. And then E R CMO has relationship with the CRO, our VP of marketing, everybody's interconnected and- and listening and we'll look out for each other cross functionally as well. The field marketing team is hearing something. If we're hearing something, we'll make sure the feedback is shared, uh, on a daily basis. And then through QPRs as well.
Mm-hmm <affirmative>. That's great. And how often are you doing those QPRs? Just outta curiosity.
Yeah, we do QPRs once a quarter, uh, with-
... with our internal marketing teams and our sales teams, but then our conversations with sales are on a biweekly basis, uh, for the most part with our ABMers.
That's great. That's a really good cadence to keep it kind of- I'm sure there's a lot to cover biweekly too, but that's a good, [laughs] a good time to check in quarterly. Um, one of the more, I guess, kind of flashier aspects of ABM is direct mail. And I think a lot of people just jump to direct mail as kind of an easy win to get started on ABM. But what do you think marketers get wrong about either their first direct mail campaign or just how setting up direct mail should work in general?
Yeah. I have a lot of thoughts around direct mail because I'm a huge fan.
[laughs] I figured.
I love direct mail. I think it's a really important tactic, but you're right. A lot of people do jump straight to it because it is flashy, because it is cool.
I hear it a lot in interviews of like, what is, you know, something cool you did. Oh, I sent this thing. And then if you follow up, well, what- what is the thing for, what is the expected action of sales? Oftentimes all of those answers come back blank, right?
So before we send a piece of direct mail, we need to think about what is the overall campaign and what is this a touch in a campaign? Or is it the campaign? And we want it to be a touch. Uh, if we send a piece of direct mail without other touches, then one is not gonna be as effective because the messaging isn't surrounding it, right.
This shouldn't be the first time we're hearing the company. They should be seeing in digital. They should be seeing, um, out of home pack perhaps. Uh, so this is one touch. The second is why are you sending it? So I think there's a time and place for, I like to call gifting, right? Which is, "Hey, thanks for meeting here's- here's something," It could be personal. It could be not whatever. "Here's something to say Thank you." I separate that as a different category from direct mail. So gifting, no expectation, just a nice gesture. Direct mail needs to have an ROI component, um, attached.
So I think the items in the- in the package, if they're not personalized to the person need to be relevant to the messaging because that is their value. Right? So if, uh, I'll use an example, we had our snow day event. Last October in the box we sent out afterward was cozy up by the campfire, right? It relates to the snow day theme. It had, um, a Goggle theme that see your data through the storm in 2022, which was going into this new year. So when you use these items as a recipient, they should jog the idea or the message that came with the box. Otherwise you just have items that are a gift.
So we wanna tie the message to the box and there's gotta be- we like to include a postcard of some sort that has a link or QR code to somewhere to get more information. So we never want a box to land on somebody's desk and then go, "Well, I'd like to learn more, but I don't know where to go or what to do or how to talk to somebody." Uh, we don't wanna have to rely on a SDR calling them or salesperson calling them follow up.
So we wanna make sure that they can go somewhere to digitally consume information. And then the best case scenario have something like Chili Piper on that page where they can book a meeting with the rep right then and there. So I see no reason in today's day and age, and especially as a customer of Chili Piper, why you wouldn't allow somebody to book a meeting on their own time. And it said, "make them wait to try to connect with an SDS," trying to cold call them, essentially. It just doesn't make sense.
So know what your purpose is before you send it, connect the insides of the box to the message. So it actually jogs that memory and then provide follow up with an option to book a meeting on their own time. And then there needs to be a follow up sequence as well. "Did you receive the box? Would love to talk more." And whatever the collateral is, should start a conversation, right?
So we should give them something to think about that could improve their business in one way or another.
Yeah. That's a great way to think about it. I love that it isn't just like- to your point, it's not just a send, like that's not a campaign, that's a gift. Or maybe it's not even a gift. It's just something that you're sending and that's not a campaign. [laughs]
It's not a program. Um, I'm curious on the kind of gift side of things. Do you ever get- I'm- and I'm sure you have, but do you ever get reps coming to you and just saying like, "Look, I just need to send this thing. They really got excited about it 'cause they saw it somewhere else. Can we just like do a one off?" And how does your team kind of handle those requests?
Yeah, totally. So we get that all of the time and we do have what we call the snow store, where they have a budget that they can send things from. So we point them that direction and say, you know, "You can use those resources, go ahead and send that."
But from a demand gen perspective, our- our tools are expected to be used to generate meetings and opportunities that- that shows some ROI on the book. So that's kind of our, our standard.
But, um, giftings important. And I don't wanna dis- discount that, it's just not part of what we're counting in our account based marketing programs for demand gen.
Mm-hmm <affirmative>. And when you're setting those gifting... kind of like the budget that a rep gets, how is that budget allocated? Does that change depending on the companies a rep is selling to, or is it just a set amount for each rep?
Yeah. The gifting in particular comes out in an entirely different team.
So I actually am not involved in the gifting allocations.
In terms of the direct mail allocations. We've actually adopted kind of a first come first serve mechanism.
Because we're in the day and age where somebody, you know, at one point you could just send the box and that was- that was it. You know how many you're sending. Now it's how many are claimed because they have to put in their address of where you want them to send- where they want us to send it to, which I don't think is gonna go away because people are having the type environment might be working remote, et cetera.
Um, so we're doing first come first serve. Cause if we have a rep or an SDR, who's willing to do the follow up, have the conversation, "Have you received the address confirmation," and really leverage it, then we want them to have- have the boxes. We don't want any sitting around in inventory, just not being used, be- for whatever reason. So.
Yeah, we let the rep say, "Hey, if you're going to use, 'em send them, follow up on 'em, we'll keep track of the meetings." And then we've also found that it's a really great mechanism for taking existing people in our database and actually getting them to respond as first time responders where they've been passive in the past.
So moving on, I do have a couple quick fire questions to wrap up with. So quick, first one, is there another marketer that you follow that we should go check out? Maybe they have a book or a podcast?
Yeah. I follow a suite of marketers on LinkedIn, mostly. So I- I love to have-
... a different- different, um, marketer kind of popping in my feed. So I don't have a specific one to point to, but uh, I love to see who else is tagged in comments, who else is being tagged in posts of the people and the vendors that I work with. And I think that's really important as we network. And that's what I tell my team. When we talk about innovation is, interact with the people who are using similar tools as you.
Because if they're using similar tools as you, then you can get ideas of how they're using something you already have in a different way. So you're not constantly being, "Oh, now I need to buy this tool. Now I need to buy that tool. Now I need to be a different tool." It's creating an ecosystem, uh, with other people that- that you can really connect with and- and really, uh, innovate from there.
Mm-hmm [affirmative]. That's a really good type, especially for ABM, because I feel like there's so many tools. You could spend all day researching different tools just for direct mail or just for display. But if you're looking within kind of your tech stack already, and just seeing a little bit niche there that- that could help out a ton. And what's an under the radar channel or tactic that your team is loving right now?
Yeah. So not necessarily a tactic, but more so a strategy is really being tied in from all- all angles. So coming at it, like I mentioned earlier from SDR sales, product marketing being involved, uh, partner marketing being involved, field marketing being involved, having that cohesive strategy is, um, underutilized. But it's also because it's really hard to do, right?
We- it's- it's hard to build and it's hard to scale. So, uh, it starts with a single relationship and building that relationship from there. But I think it's often overlooked in terms of building out uh, an ABM campaign. They hire an ABM person to do an ABM campaign and that's it. As opposed to building an ABM function and organization that's integrated in the broader marketing team.
Yeah. I would say it's something that is talked about a lot, but not done a lot. If that makes sense. I hear everyone saying-
Yeah, it's hard to do.
... You should do it.
But it's a lot of moving parts. So I'm not surprised that not a lot of people get it done. And lastly, where can we go to follow you and follow your content?
You can find me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/hillarycario. And you can also find me at thehillarycarpio.com where I have a lot of, um, interactions like this posted. You can find a lot of my content there as well as how to get ahold of me.
Well, thank you so much for your time Hillary, really appreciated having you on the show. And everyone else stick around for our next episode. It'll be coming out in two more weeks.