Native Salesforce Account-Based Selling
Be A Disrupter With Account-Based Selling
Successful sales and marketing leaders are forging alliances to disrupt their industries by powering the most valuable selling motions. This agile approach that can boost performance at lightning-fast speeds is Account-Based Selling (ABS) and it includes solutions such as Key Account Management and Digital Content Management.
As you’ll see, your objectives can be accomplished quickly, using the trusted Salesforce platform and a powerful combination of people, processes and native applications that can out-perform every other sales initiative in your company.
Account-Based Selling Applications Should Complement, Not Compete, with Salesforce
Despite investing in digital transformation, many sales teams continue to be plagued by never-ending projects that include expensive installation, integration, customization and implementation phases. These undertakings are often expensive and they inflict huge opportunity costs because they create friction and obstruct sales and marketing velocity.
Don’t be fooled… Native Salesforce Account-Based Selling doesn’t require you to unplug everything you’re doing and start over — quite the contrary. Simply snapping it into your Salesforce platform will immediately improve visibility, account intelligence, communication and performance. Even better, it incorporates all existing account, opportunity and lead generation information and leverages the investments you’ve made in Salesforce training and administration.
Why Native Salesforce Account-Based Selling
Salesforce has led the charge with SaaS-based CRM solutions that continue to transform the industry. At the same time, buyers have become much more sophisticated and they expect even greater levels of support from the sales teams that service them.
With native Salesforce account-based selling, you can leverage your existing account data thereby eliminating duplicative work. Plus, an account-based selling strategy enables sales, marketing, and customer success teams to collaborate and focus on key accounts together.
Essentials of Native Salesforce Account-Based Selling
The recommended ABS approach is complementary to good quality digital marketing programs, but it also shifts the fundamental focus from a lead-centric to an account centric perspective. In ABS, Marketing and Sales work collaboratively to land new accounts and also expand them over time. Marketing continues to work closely with Sales long after a sale is complete.
Build the Business Case for Account-Based Selling at Your Company with Key Insights from Salesforce Customers
Account-Based Selling Essential #1: Select Accounts and Identify Stakeholders
Salesforce customers often report they’ve already “invested in transformation and now it’s time to boost sales performance. When evaluating your key account management options, you should focus on native Salesforce solutions that include core functionality to quickly increase productivity and wins.
Here’s a five-point capabilities list of what’s crucial for key account management success:
Selecting the Right Accounts
Account selection is an important first step because you won’t be waiting for target account buyers to respond to inbound marketing campaigns. Instead, you’ll reach out to target accounts directly with highly relevant, personalized content and outreach.
An important purpose of account-based selling is to focus your efforts on a relatively small number of high-value accounts that have the greatest revenue potential. That’s why account selection is a critical step in any successful program. The right number of accounts in each tier of your program will depend on many factors, including:
• The rigor of your ABS strategy;
• Transaction deal size and volume;
• Transaction velocity and length of the sales cycle; and
• Available sales resources.
You may already have an idea about the kinds of companies that are most likely to generate the results that will justify the ABS approach. Here are a few questions to guide your account selection:
• Where have we been effective in the past?
• Which account types have been profitable?
• What are the most predictive characteristics of sales success?
• What account types should be ruled out?
• In which accounts do we already have an advantage?
• In which accounts are we already engaged and have relationships?
• What accounts deliver the most strategic value?
Naturally, there are other dimensions to consider about target companies such as the annual revenue and growth trajectory and the number of employees and locations.
When filtering from a long list of potential target accounts, it makes a lot of sense to consider your current level of engagement. This can help weigh heavily in favor of one company over another.
Some companies are also using third-party buyer intent data to give them a competitive edge. This information is often collected about a person’s or company’s activity that’s occurring on other sites, including articles read, content downloaded and websites searched.
Account-Based Selling Essential #2: Develop Account Insights and Strategy
Account-Based Selling works best when you invest more of your limited resources in the largest accounts that are most likely to buy. So, the best opportunity to jumpstart your program is often to simply grow the number of contacts per account.
When your account and contact records are in order, you’ll want to identify and map the key stakeholders within target accounts using a native Salesforce application. The entire strategy depends on doing your homework and learning about the key buyers, influencers and potential blockers in these accounts. A visual Stakeholder Map is an essential requirement.
You’ll also want to better understand the opportunity landscape within target accounts. A Whitespace Report can help you quickly identify, document and communicate the hidden revenues to be hunted or farmed. Creating an effective strategy for gaining trust, expanding engagement, defeating competitors and ultimately winning more business is to utilize a visual SWOT Analysis tool.
Finally, utilizing an integrated Account Team Task Plan will enable you to orchestrate and communicate your approach across sales and marketing team members wherever they are located.
Understanding these important account-specific insights will have a dramatic impact on every engagement because contacts will be more inclined to read your emails, consume and share content, participate in important meetings and ultimately consider you to be a trusted advisor.
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Bring Relationships Back into CRM with the #1 Native Salesforce Sales Enablement & Account-Based Selling App
Account-Based Selling Essential #3: Align Messages and Content
In Account-Based Selling, you’ll be targeting messages and content to specific members of the buying team by role and level. At the highest level, ABS is about reaching the right senior executives and other influencers. You don’t maintain a conversation at this level with weak messages. Instead, your programs should include personalized emails and Content Playlists that leverage everything you have learned about the company.
Account-Based Selling Content Creation Checklist
Here are the Three Cs for creating Content Playlists that will help you engage with key stakeholders and earn their trust:
✓ Conduct a Content Audit
• Inventory the potentially relevant content that you currently have
• Tag your content by account, buyer role or persona, buyer’s stage and issue
• Identify content gaps that need filling
✓ Customize Existing Content
• Choose content that’s already relevant and usable
• Identify content that requires simple revisions to make it more relevant
✓ Create New Content
• Prioritize themes and issues for target accounts based on your insights and the intelligence you’ve gained
• Identify other sources such as subject matter experts and content that can be repurposed
• Create a content production calendar along with summary briefs and collaborate with an internal marketing team or an agency
Account-Based Selling Essential #4: Execute Account-Focused Plays
The rise of Account-Based Selling solutions such as Key Account Management and Digital Content Management are bringing together Sales and Marketing like never before, and increasing levels of transparency across sales pipelines have fostered a better understanding of the unique needs that sales teams have today.
So, by now you have:
• Identified your target accounts, key stakeholders, influencers and potential blockers;
• Created insights about each account and person; and
• Created relevant content and messaging that reflects these insights.
It’s time to get your targeted messages and content in front of the people you most need to meet.
This is where Content Playlists are activated. Instead of spraying content widely and waiting until people come forward, you’ll be reaching out and engaging your target contacts with the messages and materials you’ve prepared. You’ll be highly targeted with your resources to engage with key contacts in your target accounts.
It is important to keep your communication with contacts as highly personalized as possible. Emails should carry a distinct, personal message to the prospect. Because of the importance of human touch, business development reps often play a lead role when engaging with these accounts.
Today, an intelligent ABS program can bring Marketing, Sales and Customer Success into alignment like never before to increase pipeline velocity and overall company performance.
Account-Based Selling Essential #5: Keep it Native with Two Fundamental Apps
Completely native solutions are built inside Salesforce’s trusted platform. A native solution allows sales professionals to execute their ABS programs all within Salesforce.
Administrators can “snap in” a native app while sales reps keep selling — no integration needed. Better yet, native apps provide exclusive, real-time insights and ensure the Salesforce platform remains the single source of truth.
Because they reside natively inside Salesforce, they are trusted, secure, intelligent, multitenant and mobile apps that completely leverage your investments in Salesforce training, administration and data. They’re also maintenance-free and are consistently updated three times per year to coincide with the Salesforce platform release schedule.
Here are brief capabilities lists of what’s crucial for success when selecting a native Salesforce app for your Account-Based Selling initiative:
Key Account Management & Account Planning App – Native in Salesforce
• Quickly visualize your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, while ensuring they can be seen by all account team members to align and harness combined skillsets.
Account Team Tasks
• Document objectives and key dates for team members to ensure everyone is working together to win more business.
• Capture valuable key influencer information in a stakeholder map and document their levels of interest and support.
• Analyze the white space in accounts to identify and prioritize the best opportunities for growth.
Salesforce CRM Data
• Leverage Salesforce CRM data in real-time, including account and opportunity objects, and supplement with additional key account management information.
Digital Content Management App – Native in Salesforce
Visual Content Playlists to Close Deals
• Say bye-bye to file folders. Marketing and sales team members should have the ability to create visual Spotify-like playlists that enable reps with the content they need to engage and educate buyers at any stage of the buying cycle.
• Content Playlists are also important enablers for improving collaboration between sales and marketing, and leveraging content across multiple selling channels.
Publish, Share and Send
• Content publishers need the ability to easily share content with selling teams, and processes should be fortified with individual content pieces as well as entire playlists to move deals forward.
• Every content interaction is tracked so sales and marketing get the data they need to make smarter investments.
Salesforce CRM Data
• Leverage Salesforce CRM data in real-time, including account and opportunity objects, and supplement with additional digital content management and key account management information.
“We love SFDC but our reps had trouble falling in love with the key account management process. Using CRUSH it offered our reps an opportunity (pun intended) to plan their account steps without clicking more than necessary.”
“CRUSH gives our users only what they need to be agile and effective. They spend their time planning and strategizing, not learning program features.“