Tag Archives for " Account Based Selling "

Account Based Selling, Account Based Marketing, Smart Prospecting, New Clients

TSE 448: Why Your Account-Based Sales Strategy Is Failing And How Data-Driven Sales Can Help.

Account Based Selling, Account Based Marketing, Smart Prospecting, New ClientsSo I’m bringing in Vicki Godfrey on the show today. She is the Chief Marketing Officer at Avention, a B2B data company that helps sales and marketing professionals with company and contact information so they can be successful in growing their businesses.

Today, Victoria shares about what you can do to help your sales and marketing people come into alignment so you can turn your account-based marketing and sales machine up and running.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Vicki:

Victoria’s coolest sales experience when she was the customer of a car broker

Vicki’s definition of account-based marketing:

ABMS or Account-Based Marketing and Sales is a process in which marketing and sales target key accounts.

This means selecting and prioritizing accounts to go after, working with marketing and sales in an integrated fashion to target those accounts, coming up with messages delivered at the right time, aligning sales and marketing in the way they go after their accounts, and using data in every step of the way, which is a critical element of success.

Why ABM has now become a buzzword:

  1. The buyer is changing.

Statistics shows that 57% of buyers wade through the process before even talking to a sales rep.

  1. Technology has allowed ABM to scale.

ABM takes a lot of resources and technology allows companies to easily and efficiently select accounts, go after them, and measure those accounts.

  1. ABM is working.

Marketing and sales both have limited resources so targeting accounts basically leads to results and growth.

Reasons your ABM strategy could be failing:

  1. Lack of alignment

Solution: Make sure marketing and sales are aligned throughout the entire process.

Marketing and sales have to be aligned for ABM to successful. There has to be a way for marketing and sales to work together to prioritize which accounts to go after and work flawlessly together to execute the program.

  1. You’re too impatient

Solution: Don’t go straight to execution just yet.

Oftentimes, companies go right to the execution piece of it rather than marketing and sales working together with the use of data to determine which are the highest priority and opportunity accounts, select those, and work hand in hand.

  1. Failure to do the upfront work

Solution: Do the Art of the Start.

Data is a thread that should go throughout all ABM. Do the upfront work, which is the art of the start –

  • Select customer and prospects.
  • Identify key accounts.
  • Understand customer strengths and weaknesses.
  • Align sales and marketing around target customers.
  • Make sure you’ve got the right data analytics.

What kind of data should you look for:

  1. Understand who your customers are and who your best customers are.
  2. Develop ideal profiles so you either go after incremental new customers or understand which ones you should be targeting to expand your programs with.
  3. Make sure you’ve got easy reporting in an analytics kind of way so marketing and sales can quantify what’s going on to the program.

The Step-by-Step Process of ABM, Simplified

  1. Analyze your account. Segment them and determine the best accounts.
  2. Develop the ideal profile.
  3. Replicate that and work in a collaborative method.
  4. Using data, understand the quantitative and qualitative input from sales.

How to address a dysfunctional ABM process:

  1. Data as a critical element throughout the entire journey

Data is the source of truth in both marketing and sales. It is therefore critical to have one source of truth so you can have one set of goals and one way to measure the funnel.

  1. This has to be done in every step along the way.
  1. A combined effort between marketing and sales

ABM is about getting the right message to the right person at the right time. This message must be come from the combined effort of marketing and sales.

Does ABM work in a small business?

This matters more because small companies have less resources so the risks are greater. There is less flexibility so you can’t make mistakes. Therefore you have to plan it out correctly, do your work upfront, and you can’t go to the end and do the execution. The selection of companies is even more important.

Episode Resources:


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Engagio, Donald Kelly, Jon Miller, The Best Sales Podcast

TSE 438: Account-Based Everything!

Engagio, Donald Kelly, Jon Miller, The Best Sales PodcastAccount-Based Selling Development or ABSD may probably be a buzzword these days but it is definitely changing the way sellers are selling. Our awesome guest today is Jon Miller who has another term for ABSD where he calls it Account-Based Everything so listen in to find out why.

Today’s guest is Jon Miller, The CEO and Co-Founder of Engagio, a platform that helps people orchestrate human connections. Prior to this, Jon was the Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Marketo where he spent about 9 1/2 years before he started Engagio.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jon:

What is Account-Based Selling Development (ABSD)?

A real, coordinated strategy combining a personalized, multi-channel, multiplayer outbound activities to ultimately develop high-value opportunities in both new and existing customers.

Elements of Account-Based Selling:

Goes broader than just the sales development team and reaches out to pull in marketing executives and sales teams.

Personalized and focused on the big strategic accounts to figure out how are you going to connect and engage with them.

Different roles reach out to multiple players of a target account because there are different buyers and different influencers. All avenues are lined up so the right person is doing the right thing at the right time. 

Account-Based Selling vs. the Old School Cold Call Model:

Cold calls:

  • Relying on hitting a lot of people hoping that a small percentage may be interested in your products.
  • Executives of large companies don’t respond to your generic unsolicited messages.

How to get across to senior executives at large companies:

  • Raise your game and do better than high volume spam.
  • Do something really targeted, researched, and personalized.
  • Reach out across channels and use all of the resources on your team.

Quality over quantity

You need to recognize that this is a process that is about building big deals so it takes time. There is less emphasis on short-term calls to action. It’s not about the number of emails you send during the day but how many meaningful human connections you have with the right people on the right accounts.

Metrics for ABSD:

  1. Opportunities/pipeline created

Are you able to help get a meeting with the right person at the right company?

  1. Connection to inbound qualifications

How does ABSD connect to inbound qualifications in terms of the Marketing Qualified Accounts (MQA)? Take a list of accounts you’re interested in and understand accounts. Are you seeing engagement from the right kinds of people? Think about the best way to follow up with that account strategically and leveraging the fact that you’re seeing engagement across different people.

The Challenger Sale

The core is to teach something and tailor it so that it is relevant and specific to their business.

Find and engage with executives in a way that shares commercial insight and do it in the most effective way.

Changes in the Technology Landscape:

  1. Today, technology lets you orchestrate different interactions with human touches at a much greater scale.
  2. RoboSpam

Technology caught up with Spam Filters, they can figure out how to block most unwanted spams.

Important note: Find a way to raise your game because, soon, anything generic is going to get blocked.

The 3-Step Process of ABSD:

  1. Who

Who are you going after? Which accounts and which people?

  1. What

What can you say that’s going to be relevant to those people of those accounts.

  1. Where

Where do you start to orchestrate so you can reach out the right people on the right accounts?

Strategies for a Highly Effective ABSD:

  1. Do the work to understand who the target accounts are.

Spend time to understand the people in the accounts and make sure you’re being relevant.

  1. Group these accounts into tiers.

Put a lot of effort into the account list to make sure the entire company is aligned on those accounts. Tier the amount of effort you put into different kinds of accounts.

For example:

First tier: Take out marketing automation completely and only send human touches based on deep levels of account level research.

Second tier: Lighter level of personalization.

Third tier: Allow some generic automated touches personalized to the industry.

  1. Build your database
  2. Bring in the marketing team.

ABSD is not just about a job for the sales development team. You have to be able to bring in marketing, for example, for support. The words “sales” and “marketing” are pushing the groups apart. What you need is a bigger umbrella to describe the process. Hence, this brings about “Account-Based Everything.”

Account-Based Everything is the process of orchestrating interactions across departments and channels to reach their targeted accounts.

Jon’s Major Takeaway:

Why risk the most important people from your most important companies hitting the spam button because you sent them the generic templated message? Find a way to raise your game to stop RoboSpam and do it by making sure that every reaction to your key people is personalized, reviewed, and approved by humans.

Episode Resources:

Check out Engagio and watch their awesome video there!

Grab a free copy of Jon’s book, The Clear and Complete Guide to Account-Based Sales Development packed with actionable details and worksheets.


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Sales, Marketing, Account Based Selling, Jeffery Davis

TSE 436: The Moment I Knew Sales+Marketing = Genius!

Sales, Marketing, Account Based Selling, Jeffery DavisToday is the day of the Do Big Things Conference happening in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. Wherever you are, even if you can’t make it to the event, be in the know and follow us at #DoBigThings16 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Moving on to our episode today…

Recently, we have been talking more about the idea of sales and marketing which is rapidly changing. Today’s guest, Jeffrey Davis talks about how you can recognize how sales and marketing can work together and do phenomenal things. He shares metrics you need to focus on and some great insight into account-based management and startups.

Jeffrey is the Founder of the Sales and Marketing Alignment Summit, an event where they bring together sales, marketing, and sales enablement in B2B technologies to have a conversation about the challenges they have working together and how to alleviate those and move forward.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Jeffrey:

The goals of the Sales and Marketing Alignment Summit:

  • To create a community of sales and marketing professionals focused on growth through better alignment
  • To find and curate the best content
  • Facilitating collaboration between business owners to facilitate alignment between these groups

Factors behind the tension between sales and marketing:

  1. Not data-driven

Many companies look at metrics but are not data-driven. You can generate a healthy revenue and not realize you’re losing money because of missed opportunities.

  1. Leadership aspect

If you have a person that comes from sales, you tend to have a sales-driven organization. If you have somebody that comes from marketing, you tend to have a marketing-driven organization. Because the skill set is very different, it’s difficult to balance the two unless you have an executive team that has experience from both sides.

Sell to Sales!

Sell ideas, concepts, and strategies to sales people.

Communicate with sales the reason you’re doing this, why they should care, and how is it going to help them reach their revenue goals and make money.

All organizations should be sales-driven and it’s up to leadership to sell the unique attributes that marketing brings to them and how it can make their life easier so they can close more businesses.

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing is an essential component to overall high level strategies which can fall into three buckets:

  1. Take a system approach (versus a functional approach).

Instead of looking at sales as sales and marketing as marketing, look at it from the viewpoint of the customer. Start talking about customer journeys and look at it holistically as to how best engage potential customer so you get the outcome you want.

  1. Have a formal feedback loop.

Build, measure, learn. Have that continuous conversation between the two so that marketing can iterate strategies and put the best out there for the market.

  1. Focus on shared goals.

In a lot of sales organizations, sales and marketing don’t have the same goals. Regardless of sales or marketing, your primary metric should be, are you hitting revenue? If not, why not?

Metrics you should pay attention to:

  • Are you reaching your target revenue?
  • Correlate to the sales funnel (ex. marketing qualified leads, total lead volume)
  • Middle of the funnel (ex. servicing metrics around service line agreements)
  • Close metrics (ex. close ratio)
  • Find out where majority of revenue is coming from to help you understand where you need to share or push your resources.

More strategies to bridge the gap between sales and marketing:

  1. Raise the conversation from tactical B2B technology to fundamentally changing the way sales and marketing see themselves and the way they interact.
  2. Move them from being independent warriors to really seeing each other as allies and a source of strength.
  3. Convince salespeople that marketing is an asset to them and can help them do their job easier.
  4. Change the goals in your conversations into:

“How does what you’re doing today affect your colleague?”

“How can you move toward collectively attaining more revenue?”

Sales and marketing in startups:

In startups, you become both sales and marketing.

You have to learn two completely different disciplines and understand when to apply which. It depends on where your customer is throughout their customer journey.

You have to morph back and forth between two things that are fundamentally different in their objective.

Information: Your Competitive Advantage

  • People
  • Process
  • Products

Get information on these three and it will keep you ahead.

Jeffrey’s Major Takeaway:

Revenue fixes all problems. At the end of the day, focus on revenue and it will tell you the story and what you need to do.

Episode Resources:

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

The Profit

Connect with Jeffrey on Twitter @jeff_davis2 and check out his blog at www.jeffdavis2.com. Learn more about the Sales and Marketing Alignment Summit at www.smasummit.com. They’re currently exclusively in Chicago but they wish to expand to other major cities throughout the country. Feel free to reach out to him if you’re interested to partner with him.

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Sales, Marketing, Account Based Selling, Tracy Eiler

TSE 433: This Is How Your Sales & Marketing Team Should Work

Sales, Marketing, Account Based Selling, Tracy EilerSales and marketing either don’t mix well together or other companies see them as one in the same. Well, they’re not. Sales and marketing are two different things. However, they have to align in every step so you can make the buying process for customers both beneficial to them and to you as a company.

I’m bringing in Tracy Eiler on the show today as she shares with us a ton of insights from her book Aligned to Achieve: How to Unites Sales and Marketing Teams Into a Single Force for Growth to help us understand the power of aligning sales and marketing in any business, big or small.

Tracy is a lifelong B2B marketer where she has spent most of her time in technology companies and helping businesses figure out a way to get the biggest deals and make their sales teams the most productive. Her mantra is that marketing exists to make sales easier. She is currently the Chief Marketing Officer of InsideView, a Market Intelligence Platform solution that produces results across sales and marketing operations.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Tracy:

Why she wrote the book Aligned to Achieve: How to Unites Sales and Marketing Teams Into a Single Force for Growth

Changes in the market that make alignment of sales & marketing an imperative:

  1. The buyer has changed a lot.

Buyers are more in control of the buying cycle, doing their research online before they even approach a company. They’re not making themselves identifiable to sales and marketing but they’re much more informed when they do come to you.

  1. Proliferation of technology for sales and marketing.

There too many choices in technology now. Most of the sales and marketing teams receive different reports from tools in the market place. They’re not measuring the same things and they’re getting in their way.

The book is broken down into three sections:

  1. People issues (Leadership, culture)

They surveyed over 1,000 sales and marketing people to find out their biggest issues around alignment and communication was the number one issue. Communication takes a lot of forms such as the cadence in meetings, metrics, leadership and cultural issues. (In their book, they have a checklist or test that you can take to measure whether your sales team really trusts you.)

  1. Process issues (First lead generation, closing deals, and customer satisfaction)
  2. Technology and data issues

Strategies for a better sales and marketing team:

  1. Have a “smarketing” meeting.

This is a practical meeting where you discuss what has just happened in your marketing campaigns with sellers and what’s happening at this moment. This is an opportunity for marketing to show sales some concepts, how they’re doing it and get their opinion. The more transparent marketing can be with sellers, the better relationships there’s going to be. This gives sellers an opportunity to get some of their creative ideas in front.

  1. Align around metrics.

Retention is an example of a metric you could use. The main focus is whether you bring customers in or not? Tracy believes marketers should be measured by pipeline. Marketing delivers some set of qualified leads that have met the criteria you’ve all agreed on.

  1. The traditional marketing funnel model is obsolete.

There are so many businesses that are based on subscription services, for instance, where the expansion of customer relationship is constantly moving around. They could be found along the different points of the sales process (ex.engagement, closing, growing) so the cycle just continues and continues. Hence, there are a lot of processes go throughout this new funnel.

  1. Every step of the process must have definitions and hand-offs.

You need to agree on what a lead is, what makes that app, and agree on that definition. Also agree on the hand-off between marketing to sales to make sure it’s clean. Every hand-off process needs to be examined every step of the way. Both sales and marketing should understand what it takes to get a complete stranger to become a customer.

  1. Focus on data strategy for account-based marketing

There are a number of tools now that you can use to penetrate accounts more broadly. But there is an overlooked piece for account-based marketing which is the data strategy. This means you have to have an agreed-upon set of accounts that you need to go after.

How you can define your Account Score could be things like:

Behavior of the customer’s interest – Over time, interest may increase

Different tools you can use: Marketo, Engage PEO

Episode Resources:

Connect with Tracy on LinkedIn or send her an email at tracy.eiler@insideview.com or visit www.insideview.com for more information and resources.

Tracy Eiler’s book Aligned to Achieve: How to Unites Sales and Marketing Teams Into a Single Force for Growth

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Account-Based Marketing, Sales Professionals, Sales People, Morgan Ingram, Donald Kelly

TSE 414: Sales From The Street-“Account-Based Selling”

Account-Based Marketing, Sales Professionals, Sales People, Morgan Ingram, Donald KellyToday’s guest on Sales from the Street is Morgan J. Ingram, the Sales Development Representative (SDR) Team Lead at Terminus, a account-based marketing platform that helps B2B marketers.

Morgan is giving us an overview of account-based selling and see if this would be something you can do, why this can actually improve your selling and increase your pipeline, and lastly, how to make sure you get results from it. This and more… happening now.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Morgan:

What is Account-Based Selling?

  • Identifying the key personas and key accounts you want to get in front of
  • Understanding who you’re reaching out to
  • Lets you focus on key accounts and close business

Can anyone take part of account-based selling?

  • Yes. The sales industry has now turned more into a consultative role
  • Understand the pain points of the company
  • Understand what the industry is about to be able to provide the solution they need

Strategies for an Effective Account-Based Selling:

  1. Figure out your product and the solution you provide.
  2. Identify your Ideal Client Profile (ICP)

Understand what industries you’re trying to get in front of. Figure what industries you need to  get into that best fit with your product. Find out which companies that relate to the problem you’re trying to fix. Who do you need to target? Note: This can develop and evolve over time since companies develop over time too.

  1. Understand who the decision-makers are in the process.

Identify who you’re targeting. Do the sniper approach over the machine gun approach.

  1. Tailor your message specifically for your key personas.

Your messaging is going to be different for the different personas in an organization since the KPI’s of a demand generation manager are going to be different from those of the marketing managers. Their roles are different. So understand the industries you’re reaching out to so your message is tailored to them.

  1. Stay on top of mind as long as you can.

If you see you’re a good fit, stay on top of that person as long as you can and differentiate your messages. Change your message every single time you reach back out

  1. Understand your tiers and focus on your A and B tiers.
  • Tier A: Awesome customers you think you can have. You can see your competitors working with them or they’re the industry you’re looking at and has seen the most success in.
  • Tier B: They have things that are not working or are not fruitful that you can provide a solution to.
  • Tier C: They just don’t fit.
  1. Understand the science of what you can provide, how you can be human, and how you can get in front of them the right way and that’s on their terms.

Some people who will never the phone but reply to messages on LinkedIn or Twitter. So think outside the box and understand the science of how you articulate your message different than your customers.

  1. Do more research.

Look at the specialization. Do more research on the company you’re reaching out to, their success and accomplishments, awards, etc. Use that information it and leverage it in a way outside the box. Use that as a story to lead them to where you need them to go.

Resources you can tap into when doing research:

  • LinkedIn
  • Google
  • Twitter

Unique ways to get in front of an account:

  1. Be disruptive.

Be disruptive in a sense that they pay attention to you have to say. You are different from the market that they would have to take time in response to what you’re saying.

  1. Tools you can use include:
  • LinkedIn
  • Video emails – Allows them to see you that you’re human

Morgan’s Major Takeaway:

Understand your industry and be in the head of the person on the other side of the phone. Make sure you’re reading the current trends of the market you’re in and your role to continue to grow and get better. Understand the problems and solutions you provide.

Episode Resources:

Connect with Morgan on LinkedIn, Twitter @morganjingram and Instagram.

Check out Morgan J. Ingram’s YouTube Channel, The SDR Chronicles where he talks about his journey as an SDR and get some tips and tricks from him.

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Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Account Based Selling, Brandon Redlinger

TSE 334: Sales From The Street-“Account Based Selling”

Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist, Account Based Selling, Brandon RedlingerToday, we discuss the idea behind account-based selling. I’m bringing in Brandon Redlinger who’s giving us insights into the challenge they had with account-based selling, what they did to overcome that, and the results they’re seeing right now.

Brandon is part of the team at PersistIQ, an outbound sales platform that helps salespeople become more effective by focusing on the most important activities. Brandon underlines the fact that the best sales reps are good at building human relationships so they’re helping sales reps find that balance between automating things and bringing the human element back to the actual communication side of things.

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Brandon:

Challenges they faced with account-based sales:

Selling at an account level being a new concept so there is not a huge amount of resources on account-based sales

How they faced the challenge:

  1. Fully dive into it and talk to other people.

Talk to other sales leaders who are taking the same approach. Figure out what they’re doing and bounce ideas off each other and implement them.

  1. Using technology aligned with account-based sales development

Once you have the strategic approach, add the tools and technology to really help you get there. Your strategy needs to be aligned throughout the entire organization.

Steps in getting started with account-based approach:

  1. Make sure it’s the right approach for your organization.

Make sure account-based makes sense of your business and economics.

  1. Get buy end from the entire organization.

If marketing is still targeting individual leads, then you can’t get the flywheel cranking and get the account you’re targeting up and running as quickly as than if you get the entire organization on board.

  1. Build your target accounts.

Take a look at your current customer base and what your biggest accounts have in common. Define that account and drill down from there.

  1. Build a persona for each of the decision-makers.

Have a different message and value proposition for each one of these people. There may be more than one department involved in the decision-making process.

  1. Start selling.

Call, send an email, do social selling, send in whatever over a certain amount of time at a specific cadence. Work all pre-qualified accounts until they close.

Factors for the great results Brandon has seen in their company:

Bringing the human element back to sales.

Brandon’s Major Takeaway:

Make sure that targeted account selling is right for you and your business. Make sure it’s aligned throughout the entire organization so you won’t be wasting your time, energy, and resources that could set your business back. Make sure it’s economically right for your business.

Episode Resources:

Reach out to Brandon through email at brandon@persistiq.com or check out more about account-based approach on their blog www.persistiq.com/blog or follow them on Twitter @PersistIQ.

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The Sales Evangelist, Donald Kelly, Donald C. Kelly