We’ve already discussed the pros and cons of account-based selling (ABS). If you think the pros outweigh the cons, read our suggested tips to help you plan, execute, and maintain a top notch account-based selling strategy.
Leverage Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics uses a combination of statistics, data mining, and modeling to help draw conclusions about current and future states.Tapping into these technology solutions can take a lot of the leg work out of honing in on your best prospective clients. Not to mention you’ll get more accurate results.
Build a Focused Target List
While predictive analytics can help you sift through buyer journey information and demographic data, it’s up to you to build your list. The most common pitfall in building a targeted account-based selling list is making it too large. Remember, the entire point of this strategy is to focus your sales reps on key accounts. Make sure you consider what your team can realistically handle when executing highly customized sales strategy efforts. The magic number will all depend on your organization, but Salesforce.com recommends starting with around 10 accounts per rep.
Create Accurate Buyer Personas
While account-based strategies focus on organizations and whole accounts versus individuals, buyer personas will help your team build inroads and contacts. With ABS it’s very likely your sales reps will contact and deal with several different individuals and roles within their targeted account. Help them streamline their efforts by providing a clear definition of who they’re going after, and sales collateral geared towards each persona.
Train Your Sales Team
Before launching your ABS strategy, your sales reps will need to switch gears into a more targeted, personalized approach, and it’s up to your to help them get there. Instead of starting from scratch, use readily available online learning technology to help get your point across. You’ll enjoy using a more efficient vehicle to deliver your message, and your reps will be happy that you’re using a forward-thinking and engaging solution.
Align Sales and Marketing Efforts
You can leverage your marketing team in nearly every step of the ABS strategy. Keep them involved in the decision making and content creation processes so they can tailor their efforts to match your initiatives. Getting sales and marketing teams to work towards the same high-value clients could increase your close rates by as much as 67%.
Leverage Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
Your sales reps are going to be highly focused on booking meetings and demos with prospects within their target accounts. Help them brush up on their skills by collaborating with your SDRs. Have them share best practices, trends and help create a highly personalized strategy for each specific targeted account.
Use Lead Nurturing Strategies
Creating an effective lead nurturing strategy will help guide your targets through the sales funnel. Your strategy should help prospects understand the problem you address and how you solve it, show data that proves your claim, and also create a sense of urgency. Incorporating video is a smart way to stay ahead of competitors who might only be using traditional strategies. Testimonials and case studies are great ways to present evidence in a meaningful way.
Create processes and guidelines to keep your reps in line. It will be easy for them to get distracted by other new opportunities that seem like they might close faster. Since shorter sales cycle organizations may only re-evaluate their target lists once a quarter, and longer cycle companies only once or twice a year, it’s imperative that your reps don’t lose focus.
Get Ahead of Account-Based Metrics
New selling strategies mean new metrics. Have you heard of potential account revenue (PAR), account engagement score (AES), engaged accounts (EA), target account pipeline (TAP), and total account value (TAPV)? If not, you may already be falling behind the metrics you data you should be tracking. Check out this summary of new account based metrics to find out what your team may be missing.
ABS might be an entirely new concept for your organization, but there’s no reason why you can’t launch this new initiative successfully. Follow the tips above to plan and execute your account-based selling strategy effectively so you can start focusing on quality over quantity.
Want More on Sales Enablement?
- Are You Considering Account-Based Selling?
- Sales Effectiveness Starts With Messaging
- 13 Ways to Help Your Reps Give Better Sales Demos