We’ve explained in our blog before why Account Based Selling is a better method in today’s sales. Especially if you’re targeting big companies that have multiple decision makers and slow complicated processes when making purchasing decisions.
Using the very popular example of Market Republic, Alex, who is our Business Development Manager, chooses the most suitable companies, similar to the ones that are already Market Republic customers. Then he hands the Ideal Customer Profile to Anna and Marco (aka Marketing), and they then plan and create content that will suit the decision makers within the chosen company.
He can use that same content for his sales efforts, while Marketing uses it to target the same account across other channels like the blog, Google AdWords or social media.
Now we’re gonna take you through the very process, step by step.
1. Ideal Buying Persona/Ideal Target Account
Before you start your Account Based Selling, you have to determine your Ideal Buying Persona (IBP) or Ideal Target Account, as some like to call it.
Is the company large enough (preferably Fortune 500 company)? What is their revenue? What is the company maturity? Do they have an executive board that makes decisions about purchasing? How many decision makers are on the board? Are their purchases usually very slow and expensive? Do they buy from any companies similar to yours? How much do they spend?
Now that you’ve made the selection ask yourself some more questions. What are their pain points? What do they wish to achieve? Can you help them solve the problem better than your competition? Can you help them achieve their results?
Then look back into your own CRM history. Are there any companies that you worked with in the past? Can you contact your old customers again and offer them something new? How about some similar companies to the ones already buying from you? Do they have the same problems that you can solve?
Once you know the answer to all these questions you will have your Ideal Buying Persona or Ideal Target Accounts and you can start developing your strategy further.
2. Find Decision Makers of Companies That Fit Your IBP
You have your Ideal Target Accounts, next you need to know who are the decision makers within those companies.
For example, if you’re selling marketing services or software you should aim at the company’s CEOs, CFOs, CMOs or Directors of Digital Marketing.
Maybe you have this information already and maybe you need to find out. If you and your team can afford it, you can start the search yourself using LinkedIn, for example.
For those that do not have sufficient time to determine each and every decision maker within a target company – Market Republic has a long expertise in finding the exact people that are involved in the purchasing process. All you have to do is provide the list of your previous or desired clients and you will receive a highly targeted lead list.
3. Find Contacts Of Decision Makers
Once that you’ve determined companies and job descriptions that might be interested in your product or service, it’s time to contact them.
You probably don’t have their email addresses or you do have a few, but you need all of their contact information and you need them to be accurate.
You can buy your lists in bulk and waste time by cherry picking the ones that suite your needs, which is not recommended for any serious company.
You can buy some of the Account Based Selling tools and try your luck there by finding the contacts yourself.
Or you can contact a Lead Generation expert, such as Market Republic, to engage a dedicated team and find the contacts of those decision makers with 98% accuracy.
It’s up to you.
4. Find Tools for Account Based Selling
Either way, we recommend using Account Based Selling tools. If not for finding contacts, then surely for managing your accounts.
By using this AI and machine learning powered tools, you will have clear insight into your every account and contact within that account. You will know how far in the funnel they are, what are their interests and pain points, what you offered before and how many times you contacted them.
These tools can be immensely important in helping you determine the right time to reach out to those prospects.
There is also far less chance for you to be proclaimed a spammer simply by keeping track of your communication with decision makers.
5. Make Content for Decision Makers
While Sales aka Alex is determining those Ideal Target Accounts and setting up tools, Anna and Marco aka Marketing are creating content.
They are researching those companies’ problems and goals and creating content that gives answers to their questions. Marketing is also following them on social network and engaging with decision makers on their terms.
Content can be in the form of a blog post, a white paper, e-book, video, quiz, webinar or whatever else your Marketing can come up with.
The content shows your expertise and gives proof of your knowledge, so the prospects know you practice what you preach and you really have the solution to their problems.
6. Plan Your Email Messaging
Now that you’ve researched your decision makers, you know exactly what should be written in an email to attract their attention. Or you don’t, but we can help with that, too.
You need to pay attention to your subject lines, as well as your opening lines and CTAs. Personalization and putting your prospect in the first place in the email are obligatory.
Of course, you will probably need to contact them more than once and follow up emails are a good way to do it without being too spammy.
If you fail to align your value propositions with their pain points or you don’t recognize their KPIs – there’s a good chance that you will be ignored.
7. Compose Your Email Workflow
Naturally, you cannot possibly send all these emails manually, which is why you will need some of the email automation tools to help you.
Workflow is there to help you create a seamless process that will guide your prospects from their initial mail to the follow up emails and determine their position within the sales funnel.
You should also assign score for each action your prospects take with your emails (ie. for opening your messages, for clicking on links within them, etc), so you know which ones are most interested in what you have to offer.
These workflows can be quite complicated but you can imagine that not so long ago it was all done by hand using pen and paper!
8. Track Campaign Success
Each campaign should have a different aim and different messaging. Even emails within campaigns can be different and you can use A/B testing to determine which one of those are appealing better to your prospects.
These insights will provide you with valuable information about which companies are the most interested in your product or service. You will find out which one of your products or services are the most sought after. You will determine your best subject lines and CTAs or your most popular content.
All this data can be used to improve your services or products, discard the ones that are not selling, adjust your strategy and messaging in the future.
Each client is different and you cannot know all this information unless you try and analyze the results.
9. Determine The Best Opportunities
Once your campaign is done and you’ve seen the results you will know your customers and opportunities even better.
You can focus on the accounts and prospects who replied the most and showed interest in your offer and leave others for some other better time.
You can determine whether you chose the Ideal Buying Persona to target or do your IBP profile needs some adjustments.
10. Maintain Relationships
Sadly or luckily, this is not where your efforts end, but start. You acquired that client and now you have to maintain the relationship in order to make sure that their next purchase will also be directed to you.
You can send them your content every now and then. You can include them on your newsletter list so they know what is going on in your company.
Check up on their progress and offer help. Simply put, offer class A customer service.
You can upsell or cross-sell with some new services and products, because gaining new customers is 6 to 7 times more expensive than keeping the old ones.
Ready to start with Account Based Selling?
Account Based Selling is basically the strategic approach to selling which focuses on less accounts that are more likely to convert, hence choosing quality over quantity.
Account Based Selling is not complicated. All you need is an aligned Sales and Marketing team and a lot of effort to execute it, maybe couple of tools.
We hope our 10 step approach helped you. Should you have any more questions about Account Based Selling – let us know.