Account-Based Sales (ABS) is the hottest trend in enterprise sales strategies now. It’s a strategy that focuses all of your attention towards landing that one whale of a client/customer (account).
The goal is to create unified and focused activity, ultimately aligning your sales and Account-based marketing teams working together in a joint effort
Usually, there’s a lot of confusion around what it means for marketing to support an ABS strategy and how sales should support marketing. Both the teams must work on specific accounts Intandemly.
What “Account-Based” actually mean?
From the sales perspective, account-based means identifying and targeting a specific individual in a specific company, with a specific role, pain-point, and title. ABS (Account-Based Sales) is hyper-focused and built around forming a person-to-person relationship
From the marketing perspective, Account-Based means identifying the right type of company in the right region, vertical, stage and size, to host individual whom the sales team is targeting. ABM (Account-Based Marketing) is a micro-campaign targeted to a micro-ICP.
We at Intandemly believe this Account-Based strategy will only work if ABM & ABS go hand in hand. Hence, Account-Based Alignment (ABA). Now, without further ado let’s dive in.
8 Ways to Kick-off Your Account-Based Alignment (ABA)
1 Identify Your Accounts
Marketing and Sales should work together to identify what accounts to go after, based on prior success and from data that outlines what customers are most likely to adopt. Focus on your most sought out customers as they have the highest potential lifetime value.
2 Segment your accounts,
- Tier 1: These are the biggest accounts you would dream to close. The approach quality should be very high, create a high quality and personalized outreach strategy.
- Tier 2: Segment these accounts by territory I.E, Every Sales director in the SAAS industry that uses Salesforce. This should be a quantity approach.
- Tier 3: The practice approach. “As long as you are not doing anything offensive, you can do whatever you want” – John Barrows.
3 Track Your Accounts
Once you have Google alerts is set up for your top accounts, set a reminder to check for insights to spark new conversation within each account, keeping your outreach personal and fresh every time.
Track only the important data within your accounts like:
- New Products
- New Clients
4 Planning Your Accounts
As you finish identifying your key accounts, the next thing to do is research your accounts on metrics like
- Account’s Market
- Company’s Growth/Fall
- Key Players in that company
Once we map out all the details for an account or a number of accounts our sales and marketing teams must collaborate with each other and come up with “plays” to reach out to the individuals within the target account using Account-Based Alignment Strategy.
5 Identify Key-Persons Within an Account
Account-Based Alignment is, Sales team and marketing teams coming together to target a specific account/company with content related to that company/account.
So, in regard to this if the marketing team can identify the key-players within an account the sales team can reach out to them with person-specific content which has 48% better response rate.
You can create an organization chart within an account and come up with a strategical outreach approach using ABA.
6 Check Social Activity & Engagement of Your Ideal ICP
Check-in on your ideal customer profile (ICP) activity on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, ETC. For example, if a senior sales director within your target account is in a specific group on Linkedin; join the same group to open a conversation, if a CMO is talking about a certain topic on Facebook; leave a reply that can start a conversation or that lets your presence felt.
Use marketing automation and/or CRM to see what your ideal ICP within a target account is engaging with on the website, use this information to either device a strategy for outreach or simply engage with him on the website.
7 Create Custom Outreach Messages
Once you have better insights on who you are contacting in an organization, you can now create custom emails to which most people respond to. Would you rather respond to an email that feels generic and automated? Or would you rather respond to emails that know who you are, what are your pain-points in your business and suggest a solution to solve that problem?
It’s not rocket science to answer that question, we all secretly like being important! Here’s a custom template we at intandemly use to reach out.
Subject line: What [X company isn’t doing]
I was reviewing [X company’s] annual report and noticed [Key insight that impacts the company]
Within [Key insight] it mentioned 3 challenges your business may face, it included X, Y, and Z. As you may know, these challenges can result in [Loss aversion]
Currently, companies like X, Y, and Z are leveraging [My business value prop] o hit their sales goals.
For example [Customer name] was able to increase pipeline by X in X number of months through [Business value prop]. I believe we can help your company do the same
If this is of interest to you, when are you available next week to chat further?
If you want more templates for your specific outreach, try OUTREACHGO.
8 Multiple Touchpoints with Each Account
Even if you send out personalized emails related to that individual’s interests, Paint-points etc. many-a-times we do not get a response right off the bat, hence, the multiple touchpoint methods.
We may not get a response from our target individual due to various reasons; he or she might not have checked an email or the timing was just not right, this is the sole reason why you should block off time in your calendar to perform multiple touchpoints with each account like
- Direct mail
- Video email
- New blog post
Keep in mind this is an integrated approach- not one method will win them all, so get creative without being intrusive.
Monitor and measure activities
Make sure that reps are doing activities at the designated level. You need to know whether reps are sending and making the right number of emails and calls. How do you know?
In the past, sales managers might cobble together multiple solutions to try to put together a picture of rep activities. The process is painful, the tools don’t work well together, and the data can be unreliable – causing friction between manager and rep. Today, there are sales platforms using engagement analytics that can provide a single pane of glass visibility so that you can easily and accurately monitor people, processes, and opportunities.
Intandemly helps you align your sales and marketing teams to focus on specific accounts and drive growth using ABA (Account-based alignment) strategy.
Why Account-Based Alignment Works
Account-based strategies work because they incorporate everything B2B marketing and sales teams do to target, close, and grow the best possible accounts. Account-based strategies are not only personalized, but they also leverage basic human emotions and group dynamics for more effective selling.
B2B purchases always close faster with organizational buy-in. Well-orchestrated account-based strategies share a few fundamental characteristics.