Cleaning Up Your Account-Based Initiative

Is your account-based strategy suffering? Might be time for a thorough inspection.


With all eyes on performance right now, what can be done to move the revenue needle forward in an account-based strategy?

This article is for you if your organization is experiencing any, or all, of these symptoms of a stalled account-based strategy:

  1. Revenue and pipeline growth has plateaued or missing growth expectations.
  2. Sales managers/leaders not quite fully understanding and absorbing what changes they need to make to their prospecting processes in order to support an Account-based experience (ABX) strategy.
  3. Slow or no adoption of account-based tools. Marketing may understand how to use these tools, sales/SDRs do not fully grasp their impact or how to use.
  4. Several re-training sales and SDR exercises consistently occurring with ABX platform and insight gathering.
  5. A new or non-existing sales enablement function not familiar enough with the ABX platforms and their capabilities.

Path to Enterprise Selling Not Always Paved

Let’s pretend you are a successful SaaS company that has a transactional lead-based motion and within the last year or two pivoted to adding an account-based motion as well. You have purchased or considered purchasing an account-based platform with intent data, and you’ve put in the initial process work with sales to identify what target accounts to go after.

This is a common scenario we hear from boards of directors or the C-Suite who want to move more upmarket to “get enterprise accounts,” likely basing that ability on a few wins or historical successes. These parties may not fully appreciate the skillsets and changes needed for both sales and marketing to focus on moving up market towards enterprise selling.

An analogy for this kind of selling transition is taking a “beat street cop” and making them a “private detective.” It’s not an easy path to walk, so here are five actionable, take-action-now things you can do right now to help move the revenue needle forward in your organization.

Related Article: Are the Days of Salesforce Marketing Qualified Leads Over?

Inspect Platform Adoption and Correlate to Success

In a recent 1-on-1 conversation with TechTarget’s CMO, John Steinert, he suggests monitoring the performance and adoption of your ABX platform by user and correlating that to the success (or lack of success) of driving pipeline.

This approach has the twin benefit of showing sales the correlation of properly adopted tools to increased pipeline and also builds the CFO renewal use case as to why continue to invest in your account-based platform.

Word of Mouth Matters

Dana Thierrien, Anaplan’s chief revenue officer practice lead and former head of sales operations practice at SiriusDecisions, suggests getting sales onboard with a singular win to start.

“You’ll never get a sales rep along for the (ABX) ride unless you convince them it is valuable to do so,” Thierrien says. “Stories of success, coming from a salesperson to a salesperson, is most powerful. If marketing is bringing an account-based initiative to the table, they might have luck. If a sales person closes a multi-million dollar deal, other sales people will pay much more attention.”

This kind of approach would be critical if you are rolling out a platform for the first time, perhaps getting a small win before deploying more globally.

Related Article: 3 Ways Marketers Can Ease Account-Based Transition for Sales

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