Awards case study: How building an ABM programme that has $12m in revenue and $132m of pipeline won Gemma Davies the B2B marketer of the year award

Since joining ServiceNow in 2018 Gemma Davies has built an ABM programme that has $12m in revenue and $132m of qualified pipeline. It's just one reason why Gemma won the 2019 Marketer of the year award.

With over 10 years’ experience of B2B technology sales and marketing, Gemma Davies is an accomplished global marketer. She has experience spanning two continents and some of the world’s leading technology providers. 

Gemma joined ServiceNow – Forbes’ Most Innovative Company in the World – in January 2018. She immediately recognised the need to shift the company’s reputation, as well as drive growth and revenue. Gemma set about mobilising the teams and targets needed to execute a massively ambitious, scalable global ABM strategy that creatively blended a range of tactics, tools and techniques. 

Starting from scratch in 2018, that ABM programme has already delivered over $12m in revenue and $132m of qualified pipeline for ServiceNow. In addition to her work at ServiceNow, Gemma is passionate about sharing her knowledge and developing the skills of her fellow marketers and rising talent, and of transforming the lives and careers of those in even far-away communities. For example, Gemma travelled to Malawi with a group of other business women to teach, mentor and empower women-owned start-ups in the area. 

She’s a regular presenter, guest panellist, and Women In Marketing board advisor. In March 2019, Gemma was also Number 3 in B2B Marketing’s top 20 women making the biggest impact in technology.

About Gemma Davies

Gemma Davies is an accomplished global marketer, with experience spanning two continents and some of the world’s leading technology providers. She has worked both client-side and agency-side, and is adept at managing sales and marketing teams to beat targets – as well as mentoring and guiding her team members to their own successes.  Anyone who has met or worked with Gemma knows about her enthusiasm, attention to detail, and ability to motivate those around her. And 2018 was perhaps Gemma’s best year yet.

“Gemma is a well-respected ABM guru, both within ServiceNow and the industry. She is collaborative, passionate and always thinks customer-first.” 

Sarah Green, marketing director UK&I, ServiceNow

The brand she works for 

ServiceNow is a cloud computing company, established in 2003 with a focus on transforming old, manual ways of working into modern digital workflows. It has quickly risen to become the world’s most innovative company, according to Forbes.

Significant career achievements 

Gemma started her career working at a B2B marketing agency, where she worked in several teams and rapidly rose through the ranks, before moving to become marketing director at Apttus. 

At Apttus, Gemma was closely aligned to the sales team; she oversaw a team that delivered 117% of their pipeline goals and a significant improvement in lead quality within months of joining. Of the 200 enterprise accounts targeted, they engaged 28% of decision makers within two touch points and received inbound leads and direct dials from C-suite decision makers from several FTSE 100 companies. 

During this time, Gemma also became a board advisor and membership lead at Women In Marketing, and an editorial board member for B2B Marketing. Following her success at Apttus, Gemma moved to ServiceNow in early 2018.

Achievements in the past 12 months

Gemma’s key achievement in 2018 was the launch and rapid expansion of the ServiceNow global ABM programme. This programme brought ServiceNow teams together from different functions and different countries, right up to board level. It required a huge internal alignment effort, which Gemma was central to organising, and the setting up of a Global ABM Centre of Excellence. That ABM team now includes representatives from over 47 ServiceNow teams. 

The ABM team needed to:

  • Lead detailed research into individual organisations
  • Consider the external market dynamics that were driving each account
  • Focus on their strategic priorities, strengths, weaknesses, culture, and potential opportunities
  • Create account-specific value propositions, tying ServiceNow capabilities to the business outcomes the customer cared about most

Gemma built the ABM team from scratch, building the business case to expand from one dedicated person to seven within twelve months. She and her team:

  • More than doubled the investment and showed greater ROI than any other demand generation activity (excluding the Knowledge 2018 Conference)
  • Helped create great customer experiences in partnership with customers who also consulted on the ABM model and provided feedback on critical points
  • Created a model of cross-functional collaboration, with over 47 individuals from across ServiceNow involved in the ABM steering committee
  • Built a global Centre of Excellence with a central model and local delivery and impact 
  • Closed over $12m in revenue and created $132m in sales qualified pipeline.

“Gemma is a member of ITSMA's Global ABM Council, and is helping to shape the evolution of ABM with her peers from around the world. She has built a world-class ABM-as-a-Service programme delivering real business outcomes for ServiceNow.”

Bev Burgess, SVP, ITSMA

Strategic vision and/or impact on the business 

ServiceNow had an ambitious aim to raise the company’s revenue to $4bn by 2020, with 30% coming from a small number of strategic accounts. Gemma’s role was to build a world class global ABM Programme and create value for ServiceNow’s top 200 clients and prospects. 

Quantitative results

The ServiceNow ABM programme in ongoing, but has already delivered the following sales results: 

  • Closed deals in 14 strategic accounts (over $12M in net new ACV)
  • $132m of global sales-qualified pipeline
  • A further $18m from two must-win prospect accounts 
  • 73:1 ROI to date
  • Contract values 4.7x higher than average
  • Meaningful engagements in 75% of prospect accounts 
  • Over 120 C-level meetings.

“Account-Based Marketing was a game changer for us in 2018.”

Mike Rich, SVP sales, Americas, ServiceNow

Cultural outcomes 

The lasting impact of the programme on the ServiceNow brand has been much more nuanced, and although harder to quantify, no less important to ServiceNow’s repositioning efforts. More than 180 pieces of customised content were produced, much of it deeply researched with an evergreen appeal that still provides the foundation for meaningful customer conversations. Great alliances were developed between the sales, marketing, business value teams and customers, which are still delivering account insights and activities. An enduring collaboration model was created, with over 47 teams involved in the ABM steering committee. 

Impact on other employees and departments 

Gemma was a central figure in the organisation of the ABM Centre of Excellence – although it was truly a team effort, with contributions from sales, marketing, industry experts, solution consultants, the business realisation team, external agencies and even existing customers. 

Gemma helped ServiceNow create a series of ABM playbooks and a training approach to firmly entrench the principles and philosophy of ABM. 53 employees have completed the comprehensive ITSMA ABM training so far. The ABM programme is ongoing, with more than double the initial investment and seven new dedicated practitioners following its 2018 success. 

Outside of the ABM programme, Gemma is also a well-loved mentor for members of her team, and a strong advocate for empowering women in business. She is a board advisor for Women in Marketing, a member of the ITSMA global ABM council, and was named as #3 in B2B Marketing’s top 20 women making the biggest impact in technology. 

Her dedication to the cause of women in business also led her to take part in an entrepreneurial project in Malawi in 2018, sharing knowledge and skills with women running start-ups in the area.

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