How to Shorten Time to Revenue with Account-Based Everything, with Jon Miller [Episode 365]

Joining me on this episode is Jon Miller, Founder and CEO of Engagio. Among the many topics that John and I discuss, are how Account-Based Everything (ABE) is not marketing automation but human engagement, methodically orchestrated, assisted by data; how ABE breaks down silos and aligns marketing and sales; and, how ABE shortens the time to revenue for the large, complex sale.

Key Takeaways

  • Jon’s BS is in physics, studying fusion. He was accepted by MIT into a Ph.D. program, but, instead, followed his friends into management. Engagio is Jon’s second startup. He cofounded Marketo — recently bought by Visa Equity.
  • With Marketo, Jon fished with a net for whatever they picked up. They tried reaching out to spear big fish with outbound marketing tactics, but Marketo was not a fit for that. Engagio was built as a platform for account based marketing.
  • Until recently, marketing has been a lead-centric business, not an account-centric platform, as sales has been. When marketing and sales work together on the same accounts, they are more relevant, focused, and personalized.
  • TOPO says marketing alone will only get about 15% penetration into the target accounts. What does penetrate better is the account based sales development function.
  • Account based sales development, working independently from account based marketing, builds silos. Engagio works to build all functions together under the same tent: Account Based Everything, a phrase borrowed from TOPO.
  • ABE is a strategy for aligning and orchestrating marketing, sales, sales development, and customer success, into personalized interactions across the account — both for new business and existing customers.
  • How does the ABE approach gives a shorter time to revenue than marketing alone?
  • Account based outbound lets you target big fish, reaching high into those accounts, using the challenger model to create the opportunity, which puts you in a strategic place.
  • The traditional sales model for large account has many hand-offs. The ABE model involves everybody in an orchestrated process. There are no marketing deals or sales deals, but team deals.
  • Jon uses two analogies for Engagio: the orchestra conductor, making sure the right people come in and out at the right time; and the football play mapped out in a diagram, emphasising the elements of the team.
  • This is not marketing automation, but human engagement, methodically orchestrated, assisted by data. Jon explains how it is the opposite of sales spam.

More About Jon Miller

What’s your most powerful sales attribute?

I come across very credible, as both a domain expert in my space, and also as a SaaS executive who has done this before.

Who is your sales role model?

The analyst firm TOPO, led by Craig Rosenberg; Trish Bertuzzi; Jason Lemkin at SaaStr.

What’s one book that every salesperson should read?

The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer Conversation, by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

What music is on your playlist right now?

Hamilton soundtrack.

Episode Transcript

Andy Paul (0:35)

It’s time to Accelerate. I’m your host, Andy Paul. Join me as I host conversations with the leading experts in sales, marketing sales, automation, sales process, leadership, management, training, coaching, any resource that I believe will help you accelerate the growth of your sales, your business and most importantly, you. 

(2:20) Hello, and welcome to Accelerate. I can’t tell you how excited I am to talk with my guest today. Joining me is Jon Miller, founder and CEO of Engagio. Jon, welcome to Accelerate.

 

Jon Miller (2:32)

Thank you very much. I’m very excited.

 

Andy Paul (2:35)

So, take a minute to introduce yourself. You’ve got a great background that people should hear about before we start talking about Engagio.

 

Jon Miller (2:44)

Well, sure. I’m a marketing technology entrepreneur. And I think some people might say a thought leader. Engagio is my second technology startup. Previously, I was the co-founder and original CMO at Marketo. Many of you probably heard of that.

 

Andy Paul (3:03)

Which was a great success.

 

Jon Miller (3:04)

Yeah, a leader in marketing automation. Went public and recently sold to its equity for $1.8 billion.

 

Andy Paul (3:12)

Not bad, that would count as a success and most people’s book. So, how’d you get in the market?

 

Jon Miller (3:21)

It’s funny, my undergraduate degrees actually in physics. I spent my summers doing the fusion research at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. And I actually got into MIT for a Ph.D program. But I sort of looked at a bunch of my peers who were going off into the “business world” and thought that at least I should give that a shot. So, I ended up deferring MIT for a year, got a job at a management consulting firm, which quickly led me into a company that was doing consulting back in 1994 around what we would have called CRM today. And that company called Exchange Partners, spun out a marketing technology tool that eventually became known as Exchange, which was the leading marketing technology of the mid 90s. So, fast forward a couple of years when I was graduating for Business School, looking for a job, it just made natural sense for me to go to a place called Epiphany. It ultimately ended up being a leading marketing technology of the internet era. So, I was actually at Epiphany for little over seven years, until we finally sold it. And coming out from Epiphany, that’s when Phil Fernandez and I decided to start Marketo. Kind of fell into marketing technology. But I think that analytical quantitative way of thinking that I got trained to do with physics has really helped me to kind of learn marketing and just operational discipline.

 

Andy Paul (5:03)

Well, it’s become much more about data than madman arrow, about instinct and gut instinct on creating a great tagline.

 

Jon Miller (5:12)

Yep, that’s exactly right.

 

Andy Paul (5:13)

So, all right, you disrupted one industry with Marketo. And now, what was the impetus for starting to Engagio, and what was the disruption you were trying to occur this time?

 

Jon Miller (5:23)

Yeah. Well, I think it’s best explained with an analogy. The kind of marketing that we were good at Marketo was what I call, fishing with a net. And we’d run our campaigns and we didn’t care which specific fish we would catch. We just cared, “did I catch enough fish?”

 

Andy Paul (5:45)

So, like dragnets by Alaska? Right. We don’t care what we catch. We want to get tuna, but if we don’t get tune, we’ll take whatever we got.

 

Jon Miller (5:52)

Well, obviously you do have bycatch, when you kind of use that strategy, but even if you’re just catching the kind of fish you want, it’s not about going after the big fish, it’s just kind of getting lots of them. What happened at Marketo, though, is we tried to start selling more market, we tried to sell the enterprise, and we had a list of named accounts. And to use the analogy, we realized that these big fish didn’t just happen to swim into our net. Now, if we wanted to go after the big fish, we had to reach out to them with more specific targeted outbound tactics. And we started using those tactics. But I realized that Marketo as an application for everything that it does, it wasn’t really built to support this kind of account based outbound activity. And one of my friends was struggling with the same thing. When she knew I wanted to start thinking about a new company, she suggested, what about a platform for doing account-based marketing? And so, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. So, in a nutshell, what we’re doing with Engagio is, we want to be the platform for fishing with spears, just like Marketo is the platform for fishing with nets.

 

Andy Paul (7:06)

Got it. Alright, so let’s talk some terminologies for a second. So, account-based marketing. I know there’s some still people out there that the hear it, but they’re not really sure what you mean by it. So, why don’t you explain account-based marketing?

 

Jon Miller (7:21)

Well to be really simplistic about it, salespeople have always been account-centric. At the end of the month, they don’t talk about how many leads they closed, they talk about how many accounts they closed. And when they ring the cowbell, they write a company name on the board, and not a person’s name. The problem with marketing, up until pretty recently, has been a lead-centric discipline. And to be honest, tools like Marketo are partly at fault for that. Because in Marketo, you log in and you see lists of leads. So, we’ve been in this world for a long time where salespeople think about accounts and marketers think about leads. And that’s not the only reason marketing and sales don’t get along, but it definitely doesn’t help. At its most basic, simple level, account-based marketing is the marketing team kind of standing up and saying, “hmm, okay, salespeople, can be account-centric too, let’s all kind of agree on focusing our efforts on to a certain set of accounts.” You put it another way, tt’s sort of just like the fishing analogy. I think a lot of marketers got drunk on inbound. In the last 10 years or so, we were generating all these leads, and it was amazing. But at the same time–

 

Andy Paul (8:48)

The new sales aren’t doing anything with these leads.

 

Jon Miller (8:52)

Well, yeah. Sometimes marketers have complained about that, but I think what was going on is sales was saying, “all these leads are fine, but like I want to go after that guy. All the things that you are doing isn’t helping me go after them.” Account-based marketing is just sort of aligning, saying, “we want to go after these accounts, let’s find a way to actually go after them.” And it’s therefore being more relevant, more focused, more personalized, and all your interactions.

 

Andy Paul (9:24)

So, in the last year now, I think large part shaped by you in some respects, is the conversation shifting from account-based marketing to term that the you use, which is account-based everything. So, what’s that evolution? It has been very rapid evolution. So, what is account-based everything then?

 

Jon Miller (9:42)

Well, it’s funny because I was one of the proponents of this whole idea of account-based marketing. And now I’m trying to say that’s an impasse.

 

Andy Paul (9:49)

Yeah, last year is outdated.

 

Jon Miller (9:52)

What happened was, I spent the last year really thinking about this idea of fishing with spears, and what does that mean? And how do you actually do that? And what I realized is that marketing as a set of tactics is maybe necessary but insufficient if you really want to reach out to the right people at the right accounts. Because think about this, what are your marketing tactics? You can buy ads that target those accounts. You can send them a direct mail package, you can hold a dinner, steak dinner, or invite them to a seminar or something. Maybe you can personalize your website, if somebody from that account comes to visit to the site. Practically, those are all good things, and people doing those things say that they’re doing account-based marketing, but you’re not really going to reach out and connect with somebody. According to Topo analysts’ firm, they say that marketing alone will only get about 15% penetration into the target accounts. But what is working to really reach out and connect into a decision maker target account tends to be the sales development functions. And we’ve seen a big rise in outbound sales development in the last few years, right alongside with marketing being drunk on inbound, “hey, marketing, if you’re not going to go get me the lead in the accounts I want, we will do it ourselves”. And, and the best sales development teams are thinking about it in an account-based way, where they have a list of big accounts they’re going after, and they’re reaching out to them with relevant human emails, and relevant voicemails, and they’re touching them socially. And they’re doing that in a thoughtful way across the account.

 

Andy Paul (11:56)

Yeah, we recently had Lars Nelson from Cloudera on the show.

 

Jon Miller (12:01)

He was one of the big proponents of that idea. So, I’m like, “alright, if you’re going to fish with spears, account-based sales development makes a ton of sense.” But now what happens we’re creating more and more silo. You got account-based marketers saying, “hey, this is the best thing ever.” But by calling it account-based marketing, you’re saying to sales, “this is my thing, this is not your thing.” And by having account-based sales development, you’re sort of saying, “hey, we got this marketers, you go do your thing over there.” And I ultimately realized, “okay, we need a bigger tent. We need a bigger phrase that sort of works for everybody.” And I basically tried to agree to adopt—frankly, Topo came up with this, they were calling it account-based everything. And I really think that’s the right name. It is a strategy for aligning and orchestrating marketing, and sales, and sales development, and customer success, into really personalized interactions across the account. And by the way, that’s for new business and for existing customers.

 

Andy Paul (13:25)

And it’s something that’s very much targeted to the enterprise market. It seems like it.

 

Jon Miller (13:31)

that big fish.

 

Andy Paul (13:32)

Yeah. It doesn’t have to be but when– and you talk about this, and the materials you put together, as you look at leveraging the cost of acquisition and the lifetime value of the account, then this really makes sense on enterprise sense.

 

Jon Miller (13:46)

Yeah, again, let’s just say, all in you’re going to spend approximately one year, your first year of annual revenue from a customer on sales and marketing. At least for software and service businesses, that’s a pretty good rule of thumb. So, I don’t think, by the time you take account sales reps, payments and salaries, commissions and all that kind of stuff, this is not a strategy for $10,000 deals. But I think depending on how you practice it, how much personalization you put into different accounts. I think these ideas can apply, a 25K-deal is enough.

 

Andy Paul (14:28)

Well, yeah, I think so. Because I think one of the things I see is that sometimes the complexity of the sales deal doesn’t necessarily map to the dollar value. In which case, this makes a lot of sense.

 

Jon Miller (14:38)

But of course, the juice needs to be worth the squeeze. If you put a lot into it, you should be able to get a lot out of it. My point is, I’m not saying that this is the strategy for the enterprise, but the fish has to be big enough to be worth the effort.

 

Andy Paul (14:56)

Okay. But I think the other thing you point out, which is really important– and this is something I think that sort of counter. It’s not logically it, for some people might appear to be counterintuitive, but it’s actually not, which is that the account-based everything approach is actually a shorter time to revenue than saying, “yeah, let’s go do our traditional inbound oriented fishing with nets-type approach.”

 

Jon Miller (15:19)

You’ll certainly see results probably faster. No doubt about that. And I think the other key benefit is that it’s easier, it’s easy to think about scaling it. And one of the things happened to me at Marketo is when we’re ramping up towards the IPO, they’re like, “alright, we’re growing X percent. Jon, we’d like to grow x plus y percent. How much more budget do you need to make that happen?” And, to be honest, it was a hard question to answer, like, “I don’t know, if I publish more blog posts can I get a that we’re going to grow faster? If I create another eBook, is that going to make that happen?” It was like, as great as inbound is, it does not have a direct connection between investment and outcomes. Whereas an account-based everything, it’s a much more linear relationship. If you double the amount of effort, you’re putting into your target accounts, you will probably get double the amount of pipeline on the backside. And that’s very attractive for a lot of people.

 

Andy Paul (16:29)

Yeah, it’s very methodical. It’s one thing that makes it so appealing, I would think for somebody that really looks at it. Especially if you look at it, sort of in the vein of similar challenges for enterprise sales you see on the challenger customer, and some of the CB data that is coming out down in terms of breadth of stake, or breadth and diversity of stakeholders and so on with enterprise accounts. Yeah, reaching out to those people you need a tool like this.

 

Jon Miller (16:54)

Yeah. Well, here’s the other thing, enterprise salespeople get this, but it’s probably worth pointing out for the broader audience. The other problem of inbound is that you don’t know who you’re going to get, you might get a small company. But even if you get a bigger company, you may not get the senior person. And more likely than not, you’re going to be gotten somebody who’s searching, because they have an existing project in place, which means that you are best going to be off column B. The other advantage of this account-based outbound model is you’re targeting the big fish, but then you’re also reaching a high into the organization with relevant commercial insight. And you’re ultimately using that in a challenger sale or solution-center model to create the opportunity. It means that you’re creating much larger, much more strategic deals. So, the value of the deal, even at the exact same company, is often going to be much larger.

 

Andy Paul (18:01)

I think another thing that you referred to earlier, started playing about earlier was, you do start breaking down the silo that even in sales, you start having much more of a team approach. I look through Cloudera, it’s not, “hey, we’ve got SDRs in one silo, we got account exec, we got this precarious handoff thing, they’re working concurrently on the same opportunity. It’s not a serial approach, it’s concurrent.

 

Jon Miller (18:25)

Great point. The traditional model, I think is too much about handoffs. It goes from marketing, down the funnel, to sales development, down the funnel, to sales, and there’s lots of effort expended and trying to figure out who gets credit for what.

 

Andy Paul (18:43)

And a lot of friction involved.

 

Jon Miller (18:45)

With this model, everybody is involved throughout each step, and what’s hopefully an orchestrated process. Now, that doesn’t mean– there isn’t credit. Right? There isn’t “oh, great that deal, that’s a marketing-driven deal. Well, that one over there, that’s a sales-driven deal.” All these are us-driven deals, because we are using team selling tactics to kind of drive this whole thing forward. That’s why this whole idea of orchestration becomes so important. Because, if you’re going to start to do this team selling at scale, you’ve got to have some process for making sure that all the right people are doing the right things at the right time. That’s what orchestration is all about.

 

Andy Paul (19:30)

Yeah. An orchestration to me it’s like a further evolution of sort of sales process engineering. And the increased specialization of the sales function. learning what you’re doing, it sort of calls to mind a little bit if you read The Machine by Justin Ross Marsh. Interesting book about how to engineer the sales process. It sort of seems like starts dovetailing a little bit with what you’re talking about here.

 

Jon Miller (19:52)

I haven’t read that one. But it actually sounds really interesting.

 

Andy Paul (19:56)

Yeah, you should. I think you’ll enjoy it. He’s been a guest on the show, you can listen to the episode we did, it aired a couple months ago. So last point before we jump into your eBook, just one thing I just want to make really clear because one thing I hear a fair amount is– I’ve been a major account manager, I’ve always been doing this type of thing. But I think I spoke someone just a week ago, someone at IBM saying, “oh, yeah, we practiced on this for a long time, but it’s not the same.”

 

Jon Miller (20:33)

You know, there is an element that is and an element that isn’t, right? Parts of this are just doing what a really good enterprise rep would do, right? You think of enterprise reps, they know how to use their company’s resources. They know when to pull in the executive, and they know how to brief that executive to be effective. They know when to bring in marketing to support them.  The know when to bring in their sales executive on top of that, and they will manually orchestrate those interactions.

 

Andy Paul (21:07)

Yeah, that’s the point, though, right? Is, they have to do that manually. They’re the coordinator. They’re taking their selling time way, as opposed to– and we’ll talk about Engagio– putting together and orchestrating a play that involves multiple people with multiple responsibilities, do it more efficiently.

 

Jon Miller (21:24)

Exactly. So, what’s new is, first of all, the ability to orchestrate it with the technology and do it at a much greater scale than you could do before. So, more accounts, get that “orchestrated love”, that a great enterprise would do for a small set of accounts. And the other thing that’s new is like, any kind of sales methodology type of tech technology, it lets you take the process that your best folks are doing and then apply it in a more scalable way to all of your folks. So, you can make an average rep as good a prospector as your best one.

 

Andy Paul (22:11)

Right? So, when you look at Engagio, and we’ll talk about what Engagio does—I’ve been struggling a little bit with the metaphor, but somebody serves like a control panel that sits on all these communication channels you have. But you call it an orchestration platform, I like that description.

 

Jon Miller (22:31)

Yeah. We use two analogies, and the first one is the orchestra conductor. There’s the wind instruments, and your percussion instruments, and your brass instruments. And that might be your marketing touches, and your sales-development touches, and your executive touches. And the orchestra conductor makes sure that all works in harmony with the right people, coming in and out at the right time. So that’s the analogy number one that I think about. The other analogy I like to think of it as a football play.

 

Andy Paul (23:02)

Everybody loves the football plays.

 

Jon Miller (23:04)

When you think about it, we’ve talked about team selling. I’ve got all the people on my team, whether it’s executive or the account development rep. Those are my X’s on the on the chalkboard. And we are talking about account selling here, so, there’s multiple people involved on the buying committee. I’ve got all the O’s, on the board. And what a good coach is going to do is, they’re going to map up a play that says, “okay, you do this, and you do this, if this happens, you do this.” And it’s really sort of saying who’s doing what kind of interactions with which kind of people at which point in time. One of the things I like best about the football analogy, it really does highlight the importance of the team selling component of this. You wouldn’t have a football team that just had 11 wide receivers because they just get crushed, nobody would throw the ball to them.

 

Andy Paul (24:07)

Or just 10 people standing around with one person running with the football.

 

Jon Miller (24:06)

That wouldn’t be good too.

 

Andy Paul (24:08)

That’s why I like those. If you look at the intricacy of football plays at a college or a professional level, everybody has an assignment. If one person fails on it; the whole thing falls apart.

 

Jon Miller (24:21)

And they have different roles. You have your linemen doing this, and you have your wide receivers doing that, and so on. And that’s the exact same thing that’s true, I think, for sales plays. They’re going to work best when you have people in all the different positions doing the right thing.

 

Andy Paul (24:39)

Right. And then you provide the analytics platform and insight similar to looking at game film to say, “okay, this worked or didn’t work”, or, “how did the opponents react?” In this case, how the customers react to it? And what do we need to do differently or better the next time?

 

Jon Miller (24:55)

It’s exactly right. And it’s not just that the game fell, obviously. Yeah, there’s the actual orchestration of the process. It’s funny because, I come from a world at Marketo that people call it “marketing automation”. And I think one of the problems with the word marketing automation is almost by definition, automation is taking the human out of the process. You know, it’s an automaton. And the stuff that we’re talking about is essentially human at the core. It is it is a human sending an email to a human, it is a human making a phone call. You know, automation. If you look at what our technology does, we’re not automating anything. But what we are doing is we’re orchestrating it to make sure that every person knows what to do at each point in time.

 

Andy Paul (26:05)

Yeah. I read your book to educate myself about account-based everything. And I I’m a huge proponent and everything, I write about the importance of the human element and sales. I think this accentuates the human or gives the opportunity to accentuate the human. You just look at a simple example you have in the video on the start of your website, which I encourage you to go see, is a clear example of what you’re talking about. Example of a play of sending a bottle of wine to a CEO of a prospect. And there’s like, three or four different people involved in doing that. And in the past, and in the past if you turn to a good AE, a major account was going to go do that, that would take a lot of coordination, right? Because, you turn to an SDR to actually send the wine, and you’ve got to get to the CEO to send the follow up email. And so, you have to coordinate with the person’s assistant to make sure that happens and then the AE has a he has to send his own email. It’s like, wow. But instead you got this play that you can set up that helps make that happen and much more. The thing we were talking about, automated fashion, orchestrated fashion.

 

Jon Miller (27:17)

I think that’s all right. And if I can, I just want to make one point about, what is the opposite of this look like. Because the opposite of this is what I started calling sales spam. And this has become I think a real problem with, whether it’s salespeople or sales development reps, sending these basically generic emails, but because they’re coming from an individual, they kind of get around the spam filters.

 

Andy Paul (27:51)

But we all recognize them for what they are. You receive them, I received them. Yeah, we know what they’re.

 

Jon Miller (27:56)

As much as I love and Ross I mean, he sort of kicked off this whole thing? Yes, it worked really well, five or six years ago, especially when all the spam filters learn how to block marketing spam, and this other stuff will get through. But I think the reality is, the technology, the spam filters are pretty smart, and they’re going to figure out how to start blocking this unwanted sales spam pretty damn fast.

 

Andy Paul (28:25)

We just look at the curve of adoption. And the fact is, up to this point, it’s been the real early adopters when doing that. You’re taking the early adopters and innovators over to account-based everything was, still 90% of the market is still thinking, “oh, let’s start sending emails”.

 

Jon Miller (28:39)

Yeah, let’s send more sales spam, right? It works less and less. So, what are these people do? They don’t think about doing better. they think about sending more sales spam.

 

Andy Paul (28:49)

Yeah, that’s the answer to everything, not doing better, just do more of it.

 

Jon Miller (28:53)

Exactly. I point out like, that’s the opposite of what we’re talking about, about doing well. And I think that people who are trying to make their quotas and their numbers, just do it by sending out more robo-spam, they are going to find themselves wondering why nobody’s responding anymore, pretty, pretty soon.

 

Andy Paul (29:16)

And I think the key thing of what we are talking about ,you think about this and selling to the enterprise, if we just accept it as a basis of discussion, accept some of the assumptions that are in, let’s say, the challenger customer, right about now 6.7 that’s the number goes I think it’s 5.7. in the book, they are saying 6.8, stakeholders in every decision, and there’s incredible diversity among the stakeholders in terms of the desires, needs, wants, decision-making processes, and so on, is as always, a really complex task to manage. But now you’re providing a tool to simplify that to some degree, simplify the orchestration of it. And so I think what it does for me is, if I were in a company that was useless, I’d be so excited because now it enables me to get back to the human element that I talked about before where I can really focus on delivering the value to the prospect to help them make a decision, as opposed to spending 60, 50, 60% of my time orchestrating what needs to go on.

 

Jon Miller (30:25)

I mean, having selling time, actually be selling. I mean, like your salespeople time actually selling that’s so valuable. Right. And so anytime that you can sort of help them streamline the process to have more selling time in, the better it’s going to be.

 

Andy Paul (30:45)

Well, especially if it’s selling time that’s devoted to selling, as opposed to actual selling to the customer.

 

Jon Miller (30:50)

Yeah, I agree.

 

Andy Paul (30:52)

All right. Well, good. Jon, we’re in the last segment the show. I’ve got some standard questions I ask all my guests, and the first one is a hypothetical scenario. And in this scenario, you’ve just been hired as the VP of sales by a company whose sales have stalled out. And the CEO, board want to hit the reset button, get things back on track quickly. So, what two things would you do your first week on the job that could have the biggest impact?

 

Jon Miller (31:19)

Well, I’ll go back to– remember, I’m a physics undergraduate, so, I’m pretty analytical. And it’s funny, because I am looking at this from the perspective of the CEO, but the first thing I would do is, I would want to really diagnose, where is the problem? So basically, is this a top of the funnel problem, because there’s not enough marketing or sales development to help the team create pipeline? Is a sort of middle of the funnel problem, where we’re not converting the engagement and the activity that we’re generating into sales opportunities? Or, is the bottle bottom of the funnel problem, where we’re not actually tracking the deals that we have and winning them? Now, in reality, it’s probably some mix of all three. But that’s the first thing I do– before I even tell you what I’m going to do, I got to understand where the problems are. And then the second thing I’m going to do is I’m going to look at the team and, is this a situation where everybody across the board is not achieving their number? If so, that’s probably a product market fit problem, where there’s something more fundamentally wrong with our offering. But if it’s varied, where I see some people making the number and some people not making the number, then I know that’s a performance and execution problem with those individual people. So, I can narrow in focus on that.

 

Andy Paul (32:56)

Okay, good answer. So, some rapid-fire questions you can give me one-word answers, or you can elaborate if you wish. So, when you, Jon, have occasionally to be out selling, Engagio services or Engagio the company, what’s your most powerful sales attribute?

 

Jon Miller (33:19)

I think I come across very credible. As both a domain expert in my space and also as a just software and service executive who has done this before. Little bit that means I get to, rest on my laurels, because no matter what I do, I’m going to have some credibility as I go out to people. But I certainly try to take advantage of that and lean into it by embracing thought leadership and other things that are about credibility.

 

Andy Paul (33:58)

So, who’s your sales role model?

 

Jon Miller (34:05)

Not being a sales executive specifically myself, I’ll answer that, like, where do I go to learn about kind of selling and sales best practices? And, one of the places that I personally find the same, some of the smartest stuff out there that I’m reading is the analysts from Topo, led by Craig Rosenberg, and some of the other folks that he’s built with the analyst firm. Looking at him, looking at Trish Petuzi in the sales development world, obviously Jason Lumpkin of SaaS, these are the people I’m going to kind of learn and think about of cutting edge in sales.

 

Andy Paul (34:54)

Yeah, most of those, except for Jason, have been guest on the show. One book, you recommend that every salesperson read.

 

Jon Miller (35:03)

Every salesperson would read. Well, Challenger Sale. That’s probably a pretty common answer you get on the show.

 

Andy Paul (35:16)

Not as much as you think, actually.

 

Jon Miller (35:18)

Really? One of the things that’s just so inherently true about this whole idea of account-based everything, is at the end of the day it’s about trying to engage these target executives in valuable conversations that bring commercial insight, where commercial insight teaches them something new in a way that’s really tailored to their business. So, in a nutshell, the challenger sale is at the core of a good account-based everything strategy.

 

Andy Paul (35:45)

So, good answer last question for then. What music is on your playlist these days?

 

Jon Miller (35:53)

Ah, so my family’s gotten pretty obsessed with the Hamilton musical.

 

Andy Paul (35:59)

Yes. Have you seen it yet?

 

Jon Miller (36:01)

We did actually. My wife and I decided to splurge and pony up the ridiculous amount of money for tickets. But we’ve also listened to it a whole bunch of times, and the music so fast that you really do need to listen to it a couple times to pick up everything that’s going on.

 

Andy Paul (36:17)

So, did you see it before Lin Manuel Miranda left?

 

Jon Miller (36:22)

No, we actually saw it a couple months ago. So, it was about half of the original cast. But it’s still a pretty amazing show.

 

Andy Paul (36:29)

Yeah, we saw with him but yeah, fantastic show. All right. Well, Jon, thanks so much for being on the show today. Tell people how they can learn more about Engagio or connect with you.

 

Jon Miller (36:41

Probably the best thing to do is grab a copy of my books. So, you can go to engagio.com/guide. And from there you can download my book I wrote last year, The Clear and Complete Guide to Account-Based Marketing, as well as my new one, The Clear and Complete Guide to Account-Based Sales Development. And obviously you put them together and you’ve got the manual for account-based everything.

 

Andy Paul (37:07)

Perfect. Excellent. Well, good. Well, Jon, thanks very much for being on the show. And remember, friends, thank you for making it part of your day to join us. And make a part of your day to deliberately learn something new to help you accelerate your success and an easy way to do that is to take a minute subscribe to this podcast Accelerate. And that way you won’t miss any of my conversations with top business experts like my guest today, Jon Miller, who shared his expertise about how to accelerate the growth of your business. So, thanks for joining me. Until next time, this is Andy Paul. Good selling everyone.

Thanks for listening to the show. If you like what you heard and want to make sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes, please subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or stitcher.com. For more information about today’s guests, visit my website at andypaul.com.