May 6, 2022

Increasing Your B2B Account Based Selling: The Ultimate Guide

Do you want to increase your B2B account based selling? If so, you're in luck! This ultimate guide is packed with tips and strategies that will help you close more deals and build lasting relationships with your clients. Keep reading to learn more!

Contents

This account-based selling guide will teach you how to implement account based sales, from building your account base to which metrics to target. Account-based selling is not new, but it has become more common practice and in this latest article we're going to walk through exactly what account-based selling is, and how it can help generate engagement with potential clients and close more B2B deals.

Account-based selling is account based sales. It's all about building relationships with your target accounts, and then using that relationship to sell more effectively. 

Account-Based Selling helps you identify the right leads within an account; they are most likely decision makers who can make a purchase on your product or service. 

These account targets aren’t randomly chosen, but are based on market research that has been conducted ahead of time.

The account-based selling process can be broken down into five steps:

First, you need to identify your target accounts by doing some market research. You'll want to look at things like the company's size, industry, and geographic location. Once you have a list of target accounts, you'll need to create a profile for each one. 

This will include things like the account's key contacts and what their decision-making process looks like.

Once you have your target account profiles in place, it's time to start building relationships with them. 

You can do this by engaging with them on social media, subscribing to their blog, or attending their events.

Once you've started building relationships with your target accounts, it's time to start selling. You'll want to create a pitch that is tailored specifically for each account. 

And finally, track your progress and measure your success by using metrics like account engagement and closed deals.

Account-based selling can be a highly effective way to close more B-to-B deals. By using the five steps outlined in this guide, you'll be able to identify and target the right accounts, build relationships with them, and sell your product or service successfully.

Account-Based Selling Framework

Although this is by no means a comprehensive guide, here are the basic steps you must take to ensure account-based selling success:

1. Internal Alignment- Make Sure All Members Of Your Team Are On Board With Account-Based Selling And Understand The Goals

The first step in any account-based selling initiative is internal alignment. All members of your team - from sales to marketing to customer success - must be on board and understand the goals of the program. 

Without everyone working together, account based sales will not be successful.

Make sure all members of your team understand the account-based selling process and how their role contributes to the overall success of the program. 

This includes having a clear understanding of who your target accounts are, what the buying process looks like for each account, and what kind of pitch is most likely to win them over.

Account-based selling isn't just a sales or marketing strategy; it's a holistic approach that necessitates collaboration and input from both. As a result, if your sales and marketing teams aren't on the same page, your account-based strategy will fail.

These suggestions can help you coordinate your sales and marketing efforts:

These tips will assist you in coordinating your sales and marketing efforts:

If your sales and marketing teams are pursuing separate objectives, they are less likely to collaborate, resulting in conflicting initiatives. The two departments are motivated to collaborate since they have a same goal.

Shared reporting: If each team has access to distinct dashboards, metrics, or worse, no analytics at all, there will be a substantial divide between the two departments.

To keep everyone on the same page, use shared dashboards and reports.

Despite the fact that sales and marketing automation tools are a must-have in today's corporate world, you must not rely on technology to assist you manage your teams.

When it comes to sales and marketing alignment, open communication and personal interaction are more crucial than anything else.

Develop strategic feedback-sending and-receiving processes. It's critical to listen to each other and implement techniques for improvement, whether in-person meetings or via email correspondence.

2. Create An Ideal Customer Profile- Know Who You're Trying To Sell To

The next step is to create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). This is a detailed profile of your ideal customer, including things like company size, industry, and geographic location. You'll want to use this information to target the right accounts and create tailored pitches for each one.

It's important to remember that account-based selling is a long game. You shouldn't expect to see immediate results and revenue from the get-go.

The quality and quantity of accounts you target affect the effectiveness of account-based sales, therefore selecting the right firms is crucial. Consider your Ideal Customer Profile.

An Ideal Customer Profile is a fictional profile that incorporates firmographic and behavioural characteristics that characterise your most valuable clients (ICP).

With a well-defined ICP, you can identify essential accounts and create messaging to persuade and convert them into buyers.

To create your ICP, look for common threads in a mix of qualitative and quantitative data about your top customers—specifically, the companies where they work.

Are they from a specific type of company?

Is it true that they're all in the same line of work? Are there any other important technologies that they employ in combination with your product or service?

You can make your ICP as extensive or as simple as you want, but the more precise it is, the better.

3. Develop Buyer Personas That Are Specific To Your Target Market

Now that you know what types of accounts to target, you need to figure out how to communicate with the key people within those accounts. That's where buyer personas come in, and they frequently function in tandem with your ICP.

Buyer personas are profiles of your ideal buyers based on quantitative research, anecdotal observations, and historical customer data, just like your ICP. 

Buyer personas are commonly used by marketers to discover and engage with the best prospects, but they also play a significant role in account-based selling. Consider this: the average B2B transaction involves 6.8 parties (source).

 Buyer personas may help you figure out not only who the decision-makers are at your target organisation, but also the interactions between them, their purchasing habits, and more.

The method of creating a buyer persona is very similar to that of creating an ICP. Take a look at the top accounts you've previously sold to. 

This time, though, concentrate on the contacts within those top accounts. Use the following questions to guide your research if you're not sure where to begin.

What are the individual paint points and worries of your top customers?

Which types of material do your most loyal clients enjoy?

What part of the decision-making process does each member of the buying committee play?

Whether you include your buyer personas in your ICP or keep them distinct, they are an important part of your account-based selling strategy.

4. Create A Strategy For Account Targeting

So far, we've spent a lot of time discussing the characteristics of your top clients—and with good reason!

You must find and engage accounts that are a good fit for your product to be effective at account-based selling.

Account coverage and account quality are two more key elements to consider during the account targeting process, in addition to picking accounts that suit your ICP.

The number of target accounts you select, as well as the number of relevant stakeholders with whom you contact from each account, is referred to as account coverage.

If you have a high level of interaction but a small number of accounts, you'll close some sales, but not many.

On the other side, if you reach a high number of target accounts but don't engage them, it will be difficult to convert them into buyers.

As a result, you should aim for a large number of accounts as well as a high level of account involvement.

Account quality: Having a large number of accounts covered is pointless if you're pursuing the wrong ones. To measure account quality, compare accounts to your Ideal Customer Profile.

Apply the same logic to this case as you would to lead scoring. Each facet of your ICP, from industry to revenue to people numbers, should be given a score. 

Then give each account a score based on those traits, deducting points for each one they don't have. You'll be able to prioritise outreach and manage your time more effectively using this rating system.

5. Build A Targeted Outreach Strategy

Account-based selling focuses on highly focused, individualised sales outreach—not just in terms of the firm, but also in terms of each important player within an account. 

This information contains each contact's precise work responsibilities, purchasing preferences, and position within the wider business.

Despite the fact that marketers are typically in control of content creation, it is your responsibility as a sales representative to communicate your needs to the marketing department.

What kind of marketing materials will you need to convert more customers?

Are there any elements lacking that pertain to a specific industry's needs or pain points?

What is your customers' preferred tone and language?

All of these difficulties must be communicated properly if account-based selling is to be successful.

As an example, here is a diagram: You sell HR software that helps businesses manage their hiring and onboarding processes. You recently won a large healthcare account.

Instead of sending the HR director your one-size-fits-all outreach email, you create and send emails to the following people:

Director of HR: You send the director an email outlining how your technology enables high-level HR professionals to oversee huge divisions and various HR responsibilities within the healthcare industry—all from a single consolidated dashboard. 

You include a case study based on one of their industry's biggest competitors.

You add a case study based on one of their largest competitors in the industry.

Managers of Human Resources: This email will be forwarded to all of the HR managers at the organisation. You're well aware that these people are in charge of reporting to higher-level personnel and that they don't have much time for administrative tasks.

So you focus on the reporting features of your platform and automated workflows that automate time-consuming tasks. You include a video of a product demonstration.

Finally, you send an email to all HR assistants explaining how your technology allows them to spend more time on important HR tasks, which you know is a major pain point for this role.

You include a calculator that compares the amount of time the prospect spends on menial jobs to the amount of time saved by your product.

This outreach sequence yielded the following results: It gives each member of the purchasing committee an overview of your brand and products.

It is entirely concerned with the concerns that each person is interested about. It also makes it simpler for individuals to discuss your platform on a variety of levels.

As a result, whomever is in charge of purchasing this type of software is already familiar with your product and has a personal interest in the version you're offering. It's all because you were able to articulate how it satisfies their precise requirements.

6. Campaign Testing And Analysis

The growth of data, which fuels marketing and sales intelligence technology, is credited with the success of account-based selling. 

Every component of an account-based selling approach is driven by data. As a result, it's critical that you prioritise the information in your sales contact database and examine your account-based selling performance.

We've already spoken about how to track account coverage and quality, but there are a few other metrics to keep an eye on. These factors include the quantity of chances you create, account interaction, and your overall progress.

Last Thoughts

As you can see, account-based selling isn't a simple task. It's a strategy that necessitates forethought and teamwork across your entire company. But don't be concerned. No one embarks on a new approach without encountering some difficulties.

You can make the move to account-based selling with strong alignment, comprehension, and data access. You'll wonder why you didn't make the switch sooner once you see the results!

Contact ZoomInfo for more information about account based sales tools. Our comprehensive go-to-market platform is the tool you'll need to reach your sales goals.

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