Account-based sales development (ABSD) is a sales strategy that is growing rapidly in both adoption and best practice creation. According to TOPO, 30% of all sales development teams are implementing ABSD and that number is growing steadily. Having refined our own account-based prospecting techniques over the past 15 years, we have found that one fact above all has become overwhelmingly true for our own process as well as the sales processes of our clients.
What is it? You must develop and lay the foundation of your account-based sales development strategy first and then choose the best technology to complement that strategy second. So, with that being said, we’re assuming that if you’re reading this article, you’ve nailed down the basics of your sales strategy. If you haven’t don’t panic, we created a playbook with PersistIQ that may interest you. Check it out here to help get you and your team set up for ABSD. Otherwise, keep reading if you’re interested in learning about some of the tools that will help you best execute on your account-based prospecting strategy.
Hone in on your target accounts with data-driven insights
As part of your account-based strategy, you should have more than just an idea of what your ideal client profile looks like and the type of companies that would be a great fit for your offering. At this stage in the game, you should be focused on obtaining the best contact data to fill these target accounts and kick off your prospecting with your best forward.
Data management and enrichment technology is crucial at this stage in the game. It’s necessary that you find a solution that can help you to build your database, cleanse or append existing datasets, and gather important business and marketing intelligence. QuotaFactory makes this a priority so within the platform we have chosen to use InsideView’s API to combine prospecting, sales and marketing intelligence, and data management best practices into one technology.
To supplement the data and business insights gleaned from data providers such as InsideView, LinkedIn is a fountain of useful and up-to-date information to complement your existing data. Use your LinkedIn network or LinkedIn Navigator to find decision makers within an organization, build relationships, uncover relevant speaking points, and stay current in company and industry updates.
Personalize your prospecting emails at scale
Prospecting into target accounts requires a higher level of customization than contact-based or spray-and-pray models of business development. A common objection here is time management. How can you possibly personalize every single individual email being sent to your top 250 target accounts within a reasonable amount of time? To accomplish this, it’s important to have a technology that supports this endeavor. That’s where tools such as Persist IQ’s cold email generator come in. SDRs can develop cold outbound campaigns containing multiple touch points at scale.
When adopting an account-based sales development strategy, communication can be customized by segmenting your accounts and subsequent contacts into buckets based on specific criteria. Create industry-specific messaging, or messaging that addresses the pain points of individual job titles that you are prospecting. It doesn’t have to be as time consuming as individual personalized emails (though customization on individual contact emails are always welcome). Additionally, providing your reps with competitive technology that provides insight into prospect’s technology stack such as HG Data’s installed technology tool allows SDRs to personalize their messaging based on their prospect’s unique business environments.
There are many other tools that can assist in your efforts to provide customized emails at scale to your target accounts. Free tools such as the hemingway editor or tone analyzer can aid in perfecting the flow and tone of your messaging. And to give you a jump start, take a look at our 10 best sales email templates to revolutionize your sales messaging.
Combine dialing technology, proven methodology, and best-in-class analytics
Once your database has been populated with accurate data and your messaging has been customized at scale, it’s time to implement robust prospecting technology. Your reps need access to automated preview dialing technology, automated prospecting workflows, and task campaigns to stay focused on what they’re being paid to do, sell.
According to The Bridge Group, automated dialing software enables reps to have 30% more conversations daily, a must-have for sales development reps who rely on the phone and their inherent sales skills as their number one prospecting tool. Also, empowering SDRs with automatic daily schedules created for them based on the metrics their sales managers require allows for less time spent on manual administrative tasks, and more time focusing on selling. An all-inclusive platform such as QuotaFactory’s Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) platform combines these functions to provide greater visibility into the sales process, initiate a higher level of SDR accountability and create a more accurate forecast.
Once your reps have access to the right tools to do their job, the issue that many managers face – transparency into the sales development function – can be addressed. Help your sales managers take back SDR accountability with a technology such as Ambition which allows them to track and measure SDR performance over time and improve SDR productivity through SPIF and Fantasy Football-style competitions and leaderboards.
Keep your sales opportunities organized in a CRM
After your sales development reps have qualified an account, have them move the account from their prospect relationship management platform to an opportunity within their CRM. Having a universal process in your sales function is so important in maintaining organization for your team. Find a CRM that fits your sales process and helps organize and enable reps to push those opportunities to closed deals. It is essential to make sure that the flow of prospect information from your marketing automation tool, to your prospect relationship management platform, all the way to your CRM uses the same information fields to ensure that you’re capturing, viewing, and translating all of the correct information throughout the sales process.
Truly connect the sales and marketing functions via sales development
Finally, marketing, sales, and sales development leaders need a way to tie their departments together and truly align their efforts to drive net new business. That’s where technology partners such as Bedrock Data are needed in order to seamlessly tie department systems together in order to push and pull data to all of the right places. This ensures that both sales and marketing functions will be working with the same data sets, gives each team visibility into contact and company information, along with aiding in overall reporting which is one of the most important factors.
Overall, a rockstar account-based sales development strategy requires a very specific and highly-specialized tool set in order to set your team and your managers up for success. No matter what vendors you choose, your tech stack should include a dialer, data, data appending and cleansing, email workflows, tools for organization, and a technology that strives to keep productivity and motivation at an all-time high. An account-based strategy works best when everyone on your team and across departments are involved, to generate an account-based everything approach. What technologies will you be adding to your account-based sales stack this year?