How to Get Sales Excited about a New Vertical Campaign

Guest Contributor
February 26, 2024
How to Get Sales Excited about a New Vertical Campaign

It’s hard work for a SaaS company to break into a new vertical - there’s no brand awareness so the education step is time-intensive, not to mention these companies aren’t frequent buyers of software. 

Clari’s Tyler Pleiss tells us about his ABM strategy to break into new industries.

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Account Selection: 3 steps to selecting the right industry and target accounts

  1. Clari partnered with a consulting firm to understand which industry(s) Clari would have the highest product-market fit. This included a deep analysis of several industries, customer data and client interviews. Once the analysis was complete, Clari narrowed in on its top industries for expansion.
  2. Clari RevOps built a Propensity to Buy model to score accounts using both first- and third-party data. These are some of the main data points they featured : FTE, Sales headcount, Revenue growth, Number of champifys* , Tech stack, Intent (largely profile fit and decision stage)*
  3. Using our Propensity to Buy scoring model, with an emphasis on the number of Champify contacts, we worked with sales to prioritize accounts in our new verticals. Moving into this new fiscal year, the volume of Champify contacts within our industry accounts will be our main data point for prioritizing accounts.

*First party data

Building Sales Trust in the Scoring Model 

Sales can be very particular about the data they rely on for outbound. If it works once, they use it and trust it. If marketing comes in and introduces new data and it doesn’t work one time, game over. So, I incorporate the data sales loves as part of our ABM strategy.

The sales team loves Champify, if I can tell them that Champify was a piece of the puzzle, they’ll be way more excited to reach out to these accounts. Find common ground with sales by understanding the data they do trust and build around it

Plus, we can start with accounts that already know Clari, versus trying to develop a relationship from scratch.

Enablement: cross-functional strategy for a smooth rollout and continued support

For the initial roll out, I do two things:

  • Partner closely with the SDR and AE managers to align on the use cases and outbound strategy for each vertical.
  • Build out content that is focused on use cases and has a clear value proposition. We’ll have different messaging for each vertical and ensure this is reflected in the corresponding Groove flows. The SDR team coordinates with me as they build out the Groove flows.
For example, the industries we are targeting have Salesforce but don’t use it. Employees do a ton of manual data entry so their database is messy and not very accurate.

We’ll tee up the use case and value prop such that, Clari can automate the manual data entry in turn increasing productivity for reps and giving you real visibility into pipeline.

This channel isn’t just set it and forget it, you need to provide continued support to the managers and ICs to make it successful:

  • Sit in on the sales and sales development team calls to develop relationships with IC and managers and ensure the new verticals play is top of mind
  • Meet weekly with SDR managers to get feedback
  • Bring in industry subject matter experts ~1x a month as a forum for AEs to deepen their knowledge and ask questions
  • Leverage subject matter experts and influencers to expand your reach: post content through their channels and lean on them for referrals into top accounts
  • Watch prospect calls to tweak the assets and ensure they highlight the right things
  • Publish a research report or large piece of content with a 3rd party publisher to be seen as a thought leader. If you can include a current customer, that’s an added bonus.

Post-close: get people on the bandwagon! (internally and externally)

  • Celebrate! We have an internal Slack channel - we celebrate the wins big and make it a huge deal. This helps us (1) get reps excited about the new industry and encourages them to pursue it too and (2) drive excitement across the organization so we can get buy-in and prove out the need for resources.
  • Stay close to the post-sale teams. We are listening to their feedback and adapting the product to make it a good fit for this new set of customers. 
The real end goal is to be able to share our wins publicly; we need to make these customers successful because then we can put their logos on the site, partner on case studies, and get referrals to other target accounts.