B2B Innovator Awards


Account Targeters

Ari Echt

Director of Account-Based Marketing

When the Invoca marketing team needed a way to provide target accounts with a better experience — one with fewer gates — that encouraged as much content consumption as possible with each visit, Ari Echt jumped in with a new strategy that was less about gating and more about the customer. Now, with a better sense of what the sales team is working on and what their needs are, Echt is able to provide the right content and even explore how content activation can help elevate ABM efforts via other channels.

After partnering with PathFactory and implementing the company’s Content Insight and Activation Platform, Invoca achieved a 3X lift in target account engagement with their nurture programs. And by using content tracks to promote a recent event, the company generated 137 new meeting requests and 37 new opportunities from target accounts before the event even started.

Can you share any particular achievements you are most proud of in your current role? 

I’m most proud of helping our company make the shift to a more targeted account-based approach to sales and marketing. That has required change on a lot of fronts and hasn’t always been easy. But the results have been a three to four times increase in average deal size. I don’t think our company could have made the strides without that transition.

How have you helped try to foster a culture of innovation within your team and organization? 

Innovation can be a buzzword that’s a bit vague. So I just looked it up in the dictionary and it says, “A new method, idea, product.”

New methods and ideas are great. But innovation that doesn’t resonate with your audience isn’t likely going to get the greatest results. So I try to keep pushing myself and my teammates to understand our buyer and their buying process.

That might not sound like something new, but I find very few companies are doing this well. The ones that do and apply that understanding to their marketing and sales efforts really shine.

Do you feel like B2B marketing needs to shake things up a bit to avoid being boring and dry and how have you tried to address this?

B2B marketing has become too formulaic. I think we need to shake things up by putting less emphasis on marketing technology on its own, and more emphasis on people who are doing great marketing that buyers actually appreciate.

The need for attribution data and pumping out a constant stream of marketing campaigns has at times suffocated the exploration of ideas that are required to do inspiring, fresh work.

I wouldn’t say we’re dramatically shaking things up. We are trying to create customer experiences, both online and in direct mail, that are hopefully a bit more enjoyable for the buyer than your typical landing page with forms.

Any fun facts/interesting personal notes you would share that other B2B peers may find interesting?  

I’m kind of obsessed with my cat Gladys Knight. Even though she could probably care less about me.


Sherrie Mersdorf

VP of Marketing

Sherrie Mersdorf kicked off her tenure at Evariant by working closely with sales and third-party vendors to implement a full Demand Unit Waterfall (DUW).

What’s made Mersdorf successful at Evariant is that she didn’t just solve a marketing pain point, she solved a revenue problem. By surrounding buying group members with consistent, orchestrated messages prior to onsite meetings and other key stages, Evariant is seeing an increase in funnel velocity at later stages. While the company is still early in its adoption of the full DWU vision, its BDRs have a 100% adoption rate.

In addition to being an early adopter of the DUW methodology, Mersdorf has developed an impressive, account-based tech stack behind the scenes.

Can you share any particular achievements you are most proud of in your current role?

In March of 2018, we were one of the first organizations to go live with the Demand Unit Waterfall. This has changed the visibility into what campaigns are moving the needle (we recently discovered that ~40% of our syndication leads become Prioritized Demand Units!). It’s also uncovered new issues in the greater sales and marketing funnel that go back to alignment, such as what it means to “be a sales opportunity.”

Another significant change in 2018 was changing where the BDRs report. They were moved in late Q2 from sales to marketing. Since the move, they’ve increased the number of meetings by 57% and moved their meeting to sales conversion by nearly 40 percentage points. This is due to closer collaboration between the teams, better process and tools, and improved alignment to company goals.

How have you helped try to foster a culture of innovation within your team and organization?

One of the things I love about my job is the freedom to test. Our mantra for 2018 is “Dare Mighty Things!” We expect that we are record breakers. We expect that we will win. We expect that status quo and “it ain’t broke don’t fix it” will be our failure.

One of our core values at Evariant is “disruption.” Because this is a top-level core value, it becomes easy to reinforce within the marketing department, which naturally lends itself to being able to test new ideas.

Do you feel like B2B marketing needs to shake things up a bit to avoid being boring and dry and how have you tried to address this?

I’m not sure I think about it with quite that intention, “We must shake things up.” No. I think we need to continue to iterate on what works, while always keeping an eye to the horizon for new ideas. And, does that new idea pass the “gut check?” The martech space is booming with new vendors popping up every day. VC money is flowing. One of the worst things a marketing team can do is get caught up in the new shiny ball because it sounds cool. We should try new things as they make sense for our business and our buyers. One thing we are trying right now is introducing video into our outbound communications. Instead of just an email inviting you to a webinar or to download an E-book, we’re recording various SMEs discussing the value of the asset in a short 90 to 120-second video. This is driving new engagement with our audience and introducing fresh life into our campaigns.


Nagaraja Javvaji

AVP, Demand Generation & Inside Sales

Targeting larger-than-life accounts is no small task—the right team and processes are required to appropriately engage Fortune 1000 size accounts and make progress. Nagaraja Javvaji of Cigniti Technologies helped his team adopt an agile approach to targeting potential accounts that were fueled with a healthy amount of personalization, consistent messaging and deep insights into what influencers and decision makers needed to do their job well.

Javvaji and his team have seen notable results from going after the top Fortune 1000 accounts. The company generated over 230 prospects in nine months that resulted in 12 new Fortune logo wins.

Can you share any particular achievements you are most proud of in your current role?

Getting a qualified lead in the current times where every prospect is bombarded by spam, requires a fresh approach that includes innovative campaigns, customized mailers, the introduction of AI/ML techniques, a partnership with the sales team to acquire regional intelligence, and use of new tools and processes. Here are a few methods we have used that I’m most proud of:

For acquiring qualified leads from the Fortune 1000 list, we initiated a new campaign i.e. “HUNT FOR FORTUNE 1000”. We took an agile approach, created 4 sprints, with each sprint focusing on a specific vertical within Fortune 1000. We worked closely with our Delivery, Sales, Solutions, and Marketing teams on crafting custom messages for these companies.

Every email was customized for a specific person within the target prospect organization. Custom messages were crafted and sent to defined designations based on their technology upgrades, M&A, CXO movements and other factors. We sent very short and crisp follow-up emails periodically to grab the attention of decision makers. We built and maintained detailed campaign report for measuring the effectiveness of the campaign and reported the same with higher management using our analytics engine. Based on each sprint results, we tweaked the campaign for better output.

Can you share any details about how your team, or individuals on your team, have helped drive innovation? How has your whole team helped achieve results?

We are a team of 65 with diverse skills and their experience level reflects a typical resource pyramid with a large base of young and fresh talent from regional business schools. They are well trained in Inside Sales Process & Business Development. We distributed the Fortune 1000 prospects to team members based on the regional mapping

We use LinkedIn & DiscoverOrg and third-party tools for gathering account intelligence to dive deep into these accounts. Each member followed the Fortune account, influencers, decision makers on LinkedIn. Based on the updates, we sent customized emails to them requesting for meetings/intro calls. Short follow-up emails with relevant content like a case study, white paper or blog yielded great results. We conducted daily stand-up meetings and exchanged ideas about the strategy and discussed what’s working and what is not. We shared best practices among team members and this yielded good results.

Any fun facts/interesting personal notes you would share that other B2B peers may find interesting?  

I would love to conduct team building activities and fun activities with the team. The team always feel fresh when we do extra-curricular activities and it motivates them to achieve their targets. My interests are Reading Articles, Attending Webinars, Tech Talks. I am humbled to be awarded as Top 25 Most Influential Leader of Inside Sales Leader by AA-ISP in 2017.

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