Is it time to flip the funnel? No, it doesn’t mean anything bad, it’s simply a marketers’/sales’ term for Account Based Selling. We’ve explained on more than a few occasions why account based selling is good for your company and your sales team, but how will you know when to actually start?
There are a few situations when switching to Account Based Selling is simply inevitable in order to keep moving forward and keeping the peace between marketing and sales.
1. Your Sales Team Hates B2B Leads Collected By Marketing
This is especially common in those companies where Sales and Marketing departments are not aligned. Marketing goes about their own business, creating content for certain audiences and then forwards randomly collected leads to sales who just can’t convert most of them. Your marketing and sales teams are both frustrated, because they believe they’re doing a good job, but the number of clients isn’t growing.
Once you’ve noticed this miscommunication between the departments, focus on aligning their efforts. Let Marketing consult the Sales about the specific Ideal Buying Persona that Sales needs so that marketers can create bespoke content for them.
This will save time for both departments, meaning Marketing can focus on what’s really important for Sales and improve quality of content. On the other hand, Sales will be getting highly qualified leads that can actually be pushed through sales funnel and converted.
2. You Have Only One Contact Per Account
In the business environment where people change jobs like underwear, you cannot afford to have only one point of contact per account. Bigger companies have more than 5 decision makers for every purchase and convincing only one to buy your product is not the way to success.
With B2B Inbound or Outbound lead generation (not that there’s anything wrong with it), you will usually get only one contact per account. What about the other 4? Or even more? Who are they and how can you influence their decisions?
You can do the research yourself or ask a B2B lead generation company to do it for you. Just deliver your list of current and potential clients to the B2B lead generation specialists and they will find all the decision makers for you.
Then your Sales can focus on establishing and maintaining relationships with people within those accounts and Marketing can create tailor-made content based on the input from sales.
3. Your Leads Are Not Converting
Your B2B lead generation strategy is outstanding, the leads are coming in tens and hundreds, but most of them are not converting. What could be the problem?
Maybe you’re casting your net too wide, catching the fish that doesn’t really need your service or product. Maybe the range of topics you’re covering is not relevant for your target accounts. Maybe you’re overproducing content, which leads to its poor quality. Maybe the majority of leads are just not of much use for your sales team.
With Account Based Selling your chances of missing potential customers are reduced to a minimum. Sales briefs Marketing about what kind of content it needs in order to attract buyers and Marketing can focus on delivering that exact content. You are basically catering to your targeted account, acting as a consultant, guiding them step by step and building relationships.
And who wouldn’t buy from a trusted advisor?
4. Your Marketing Is Creating Too Much Content
If you see your Marketing team working day and night to create amazing content, but the majority of leads are not converting – something must be off.
Maybe your Marketing didn’t target precisely enough or they are choosing the wrong communication channels. Maybe Marketing still has beef with Sales and don’t know what content to focus on, creating content based on instinct and not data. Maybe their messaging is not attracting the right people with relevant job titles.
The quantity of created irrelevant content, soon becomes a hole in your budget, draining sources without reaping benefits. Stop creating videos, if no customers are watching them. If the amount of created content is largely disproportional to the number of new clients, you obviously need a new approach.
Make sure your Sales and Marketing are cooperating and that marketers are getting all the input they need. Help them focus on what is really important to the Targeted Accounts and create perfectly bespoke content for them. With Account Based Selling they will have more time to research, learn and deliver content that really matters.
5. Your Sales Have Plateaued
Your B2B lead generation is bringing revenue, but just the right amount for you to say that your sales team is meeting their quota. But it’s been like that for months, maybe even years. Did you ever wonder, could you be selling more and why aren’t you? However, you can’t just send more emails and hope that more people will reply. It doesn’t work like that.
Maybe it’s time to change your approach and see how much more you could earn by taking the Account Based Selling road. Let your sales team focus on old clients as well as new ones. Find more decision makers within your former client companies and see if you can establish a relationship again. Try to find an opportunity for an upsell or cross-sell with your current clients.
But How To Actually Start Account Based Selling?
It’s really not that complicated, we’ve even explained it in our blog how you can start Account Based Selling in 10 easy steps.
As soon as you establish your Ideal Buying Persona or Ideal Target Account, get some tools for Account Based Selling to help you on the way and compose your messaging so it fits your target accounts perfectly – you’re good to go.
Everything else (content, decision makers and their contacts, campaign success, etc.) will be the by-product of those first parameters you determine. Monitor the data closely, find out what appeals to your Target Accounts and tweak your strategy and content accordingly.