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Why Your Phone is the Most Powerful Sales Tool You Have (Besides Your Face)

Just because millennials don’t make phone calls doesn’t mean they’re going away. (Gif Source) In fact, Invoca says there has been a 40% increase in phone calls across all industries since 2014. And why not? Phone calls are the quickest way to get a response, according to 75% of consumers. So, marketers are taking note, […]

Just because millennials don’t make phone calls doesn’t mean they’re going away.

(Gif Source)

In fact, Invoca says there has been a 40% increase in phone calls across all industries since 2014. And why not? Phone calls are the quickest way to get a response, according to 75% of consumers.

So, marketers are taking note, and giving phone calls the attention they deserve.

But it’s not that simple.

Phones ring. Great. People are interested. They want to learn more. They maybe even want to buy.

But why? Where’d the call come from? Did they get your number from a mobile search? From an ad? Cool — but which one?

Here’s how you can discover where your most profitable leads are coming from with call tracking (so you can bring in more of those profitable leads).

Why Your Phone is the Most Powerful Sales Tool You Have (Besides Your Face)

Invoca’s Call Intelligence Index tracked over 30 million phone calls and found that a whopping 70% are driven by digital channels.

That’s important for two reasons:

  1. Your typical conversion rate online is maybe a percent or two. (If you’re lucky or good.)
  2. While phone calls produce conversion rates of 30-50% according to Invoca’s data.

So it’s not even close. Your odds of success just by picking up that telephone increase dramatically.

Cue party music:

(Gif Source)

But that doesn’t mean everything’s sunshine and rainbows with phone calls.

Because most people have no idea where they’re coming from. The phone rings, you pick it up and chalk it up to divine intervention. Or worse, ‘branding.’

When in reality, it came from a search or social or referral. You just lost the digital paper trail that proves it. (Which means you personally don’t get the credit, either, from bosses and colleagues and clients.)

There is good news, though. You can set up call tracking once and for all with a little bit of work. The trick is knowing where all of the possible loopholes are. The ones that your data now slip right through.

For example, call extensions (the first tip below) will help you track phone calls that originate from your ads. But if people click through to your site and browse before dialing, all is lost.

So here’s how to plug those common gaps.

1. Call extensions

Adding a call extension to your ads is the easiest place to start.

Google will provide customized phone numbers that will help you track all inbound calls back to individual campaigns and keywords.

For example, let’s say you do a ‘brand search.’ You type in a company or consultant’s name and up pops their info on Google.

The Knowledge Graph, or the featured block on the right-hand side of a search engine result page (SERP) will commonly pull-in data about the company (if it’s big or notable enough). It might even pull in your direct phone number.

That’s what’s happening in the image below from Blue Corona, Inc. Their real phone number is popping up in the Knowledge Graph (the local 301 number). But if you look at the branded search at the top of the page, you’ll notice an 800 number.


(Image Source)

That’s a call extension at work, customizing the number to this ad so that you can track calls as conversions inside AdWords.
Just adding a simple call extension can increase click-through rates by up to 8%. Not bad for a few minutes worth of work.

2. Mobile specific ads

Not all PPC searches are ‘high-intent.’

Meaning that some people are simply just Googling for information around their problems. They’re not necessarily ready or willing to talk shop just yet. And the key to generating (or sabotage) PPC conversions is through matching your offer to each person’s individual temperature.

So it’s often a delicate balancing act.

Except… when it comes to mobile searches.

Mobile search drives 50% of all calls according to Invoca’s data. And those inbound phone calls are 10-15x more likely to convert than web leads according to Jason Wells.

Those are two very good signs.

So you can capitalize on this by running mobile-specific, phone number-only ads. (Where only a phone number shows up, and no website link CTA.)

This can get tricky obviously, so test in small increments to see what impact it has on results.

(Image Source)

And keep in mind that sometimes on mobile devices, Google will remove additional lines of copy in order to squeeze in ad extensions. So push your critical info to the front of the ad text.

3. Keyword analysis

Call extensions are like your front-line of defense. They’ll help capture a lot of people who were already looking (or thinking) about calling in to get a quick response.

But there’s still a giant, gaping hole to address.

For everyone else who needs a little bit of extra info before calling in, they’ll unsurprisingly want to visit your website instead. They’ll ignore the call extension and click on your landing page link. They’ll read the page and maybe hit Home or About Us before ever thinking of dialing.

And so now that call extension is next-to-useless.

Even if someone picks up the phone and calls the number on the very first landing page they see, you’re still outta luck.

Unless… you beef up your call analytics with a tool like Invoca or CallRail. These help you display custom phone numbers on each page of your site (or a single custom number per visitor). So when someone does pick up the phone, you can see their entire sessions, where they’re calling from, and what source originally drove them to your site.

Here’s why that’s important.

Not every phone call you get will result in a paying customer. Only a fraction of them will.

Even call extensions can often fall guilty of this. They give you basic data, calling new inbound calls conversions. Even though technically speaking, they’re not.

That means you need to eventually be able to track back John Smith, who just paid you $10,000, initially came through the keyphrase “life insurance quotes.”

That way you’re changing bids or testing ads not just on vanity metrics (like CTR or cost per conversion) but real business-generating ones instead (like revenue).

4. Retargeting ads with phone numbers

Not everyone who visits your site for the first time is going to convert. In fact, as we’ve already seen, the vast majority won’t.

But that’s OK. If you already have a plan in place to bring those people back.

Most retargeting display ads are designed to simply bring someone back to the site. In other words, the intended action or CTA is almost always a link click.

That’s not good enough, though, when you consider that whole 1-2% vs. 30-50% thing. So adding a phone number to retargeting ads is another simple way to incentivize a higher-converting dial, instead.

Get your free offer

(Image Source)

And once again, you use customized, dedicated numbers for each retargeting campaign. So you can track back the success of that unique 800-number to the ad creative that generated each conversion you ‘saved’ or brought back from the dead.

5. Schedule call-based ads around availability

Inovca showed that 75% of consumers believe phone calls are best for a quick response.

However, that only applies if there’s someone around to answer the phones.

Meaning: There’s no point in running these dedicated ‘call only’ campaigns after-hours or on the weekend. So you need to go in and shut down those off hours to save on wasted spend.

No point in paying for more unanswered voicemails.

Schedule your ads in the Advanced Settings under each individual campaign.

(Image Source)

This ‘dayparting’ approach can and should apply to Facebook campaigns as well.

6. Incentivize the call on your pages

Nothing kills a sale faster than… waiting.

Even a Harvard Business Review study confirmed that companies often move too slow for online leads.

Companies often move too slow for online leads.

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There’s no better example of this than your contact form. Someone fills in their information. That means they’re interested, right now. You finally have their undivided attention.

And yet you’re going to make them wait. And wait. And wait.

A day later an email follow up goes out. But no response. They’ve already moved on.

All of their purchasing momentum is lost. When a simple two-minute phone call could have solved everything.

The trick is to do one of two things:

  1. Force them to call (by forcing users to this option), or
  2. Make calling irresistible with some incentive.

Here’s a not-so-subtle example for people who want quick answers (e.g. “Speak now…”) and don’t want to wait:

(Image Source)

7. Click to call (above the fold)

When they are ready to buy, 61% of mobile users say the click-to-call option is the most important factor in getting them to that final purchase step.

Why, then, is your phone number displayed on the site as an image? Buried deep in the footer? And so tiny that it’s barely legible?

Click-to-call commerce isn’t just some passing fad, according to John Busby’s SMX presentation. It’s expected to double by 2019.

(Image Source)
So yes, the first step is actually adding the code:

<a href=″tel:+1-800-888-8888″>Call 1-800-888-8888</a>

But more importantly is where you’re putting that sucker.

The good news is that you don’t have to guess here. Start by following the Gutenberg diagram, that indicates how and where people’s eye patterns go when they hit your site:

(Image credit)

“The fourth, bottom right terminal area is where you should place your call to action.”, according to ConversionXL and UX Movement’s research.

And while people are scrolling more than ever before, the placing your most important CTA’s above the fold still holds weight.

One way to get the best of both worlds?

Scrolling elements on the page, like a widget area that scrolls with the user or sticky navigation, can keep that number front-and-center at all times while they’re browsing or reading.

(Image Source)

According to a study by Smashing Magazine, participants said that sticky headers were 22% easier to navigate.

“Easier to navigate” means easier to see that number. Which means easier to convert.

8. Prioritize the phone

CallRail’s “CallScore” will analyze call recordings to identify good (and bad) leads. This is done in real-time, so you’ll know within minutes how many of those new incoming rings are good or not.

It’ll also provide helpful internal data like the time it took for them to reach one for reps and how long the prospect was speaking (vs. your rep).

So yes, it’s like lead scoring for phone calls.

(image source)

Not only does that make your life easier, but you can also start gauging call quality across channels. This brings us back to the elephant in the room: conversions.

You’re after quality, ‘bottom of the funnel’ calls who want to discuss pricing and proposals and quotes.

If Organic Search brought in 10 calls last week, but AdWords only delivered 5… which one won.

Goes back to quality and the eventual conversions of those calls. You don’t want to track sales calls, people asking for directions, and all the other junk that gets through. Phone calls are no different than web leads in that respect.

You’re going to get a certain number that are immediately disqualified.

It can also help you internally prioritize calls to be directed to the best person in your organization suited for that call; faster and more efficiently.

9. Vanity or local numbers

Who doesn’t love a good vanity number?

(Image Source)

And what’s easier to remember? A string of ten numbers? Or a catchy phrase?

Vanity numbers improve recall rates by up to 84%. And, with mobile users, vanity numbers come with a 33% higher click through rate over generic numbers.

Vanity numbers work, especially for smaller companies, but don’t necessarily give you a lot of options for tracking. Presumably, every source would have the same vanity number, and you won’t be able to attach dynamic numbers to your different campaigns.

Another route to take is local phone numbers.

If your company is big enough that extend beyond just one area code, investing in local numbers for each area code can be good for business. Customers appreciate the “local presence” of the company and are attracted to the

Oh, almost forgot. This local number can increase the chances of a customer calling by up to 200%, too. So yeah, that’s probably worth testing too.

(Image Source)

10. The exit overlay

You came. You saw. You couldn’t find what you were looking for and were about to leave.

Then the exit overlay took over your screen.

Annoying, yes. But their performance backs up their use.

Data from CrazyEgg shows that “websites with pop-ups consistently outperform websites with no pop-ups.”

OptInMoster even has some crazy data that shows they’ve increased conversions by as much as 2100%. Which is like, A LOT better than that measly 0.4% conversion rate you’re settling for with the sidebar CTA everyone ignores.

So once again, put a unique number on it.

Even this seemingly simple popup below generated an additional 15% in monthly website revenue for a Toyota dealer.

(Image Source)

You have to think about why people are coming to your website in the first place. And why they’re about to leave.

If they were browsing blog posts, chances are they were gonna leave anyway. BUT, if they came through one of your PPC ads for a specific, solution-oriented keyphrase, chances are they were looking for something and can’t find it.

Getting them on the phone to talk through it is the most logical next step. And it gives you one last chance at getting the sale.

Conclusion

Why do people call?

Here’s what Google AdWords themselves had to say:

“We found that calling is most important during the research and purchase phases, where 52% and 61% of mobile searchers respectively say it’s important to have the ability to call. This means that a large number of calls happen when someone is ready to buy or helps a consumer move closer in purchase consideration.”

(Gif Source)

So phone calls are coming in.  And since phone leads close at higher rates than other leads, you need to figure out what made them do it (so you can keep doing those things).

Call extensions are a good first step. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to call tracking. You’ll have to go beyond the SERPs, setting up unique numbers across your landing pages, navigation, exit overlays, and even retargeting campaigns so you know why.

Regression Lead Scoring: How to Cut Down on Dials and Drive Higher ROI Immediately

Sales: “We need more leads!” Marketing: “Why don’t you call the ones you have?” Both will fight to the grave that they are right in their stance. So who is right? For a long time, I always thought the answer was that the marketer was right. Shocking, since I’m a marketer driving the best leads […]

We’ve all been here before….

Sales: “We need more leads!”

Marketing: “Why don’t you call the ones you have?”

Both will fight to the grave that they are right in their stance.

So who is right?

For a long time, I always thought the answer was that the marketer was right. Shocking, since I’m a marketer driving the best leads on the planet, obviously…

But as time progressed and I spent more and more time bridging the gap between marketing teams and sales teams, it became apparent that we were both right. It was clear to me that there were, in fact, good leads and bad leads.

But what wasn’t clear to me was how to give them only the cream of the crop.

There wasn’t one magical channel that held all the value, and if I shut something down, there was always a case of throwing a baby or two or ten out with the bathwater as all good impressions drive value to the end goal of success.

Every business I have seen the guts of has run into this problem, and every company has attempted different remedies depending on the stage and level of sophistication of the business themselves.

The information here is intended to be a valuable hack for any marketing or sales professional to help put together the initial set of information need to start cutting down on dials, and driving higher ROI immediately.

Taken to the next level and paired with a high-powered data team, this framework is what led to driving 100% of new business with 40% fewer dials at LendingHome.

But, before we get into the “how”, let’s start with the “why”.

If any of these sentiments make you nod, sit up in your chair, or make you shake your head, you’ll definitely want to keep reading through.

Let’s get into it.

 

The Vicious Cycle

 

Here’s the most common and vicious cycle that I’ve seen play out at different organizations when it comes to driving growth. With enough time spent around SaaS startups, just about everyone has seen some form of this “leads vs headcount” dynamic play through.

SDR teams always want more leads, but there’s never a great idea of what the “right amount is”. If budgets are increased, an SDR team is swamped with leads of varying quality there is undoubtedly a point of diminishing returns.

They may be technically producing “more”, but it’s not in proportion to the incremental marketing expenses that are coming along with it.

Here’s why we tend to see that unfold:

  • Without scoring, SDRs spend an equal amount of time on each lead or apply their own scoring which causes them to not call certain leads at all.
  • As paid budgets increase, the overall quality of lead volume tends to diminish (let’s be real marketers, it is incredibly true!)
  • As total leads increase, dials per lead diminish.
  • As dials per lead diminish, conversion rates to qualified customers diminish.
  • As rates to qualified customers diminish, ROI diminishes with it.
  • As ROI diminishes, everyone is under the gun.

At this moment of time, there are usually a couple of options.

Do we turn off spend? Hire more SDRs? Are we happy with this ROI and continue on our current course so we can drive extra business?

When possible, it tends to be advantageous to invest more in acquisition over hiring additional fixed headcount cost to take on work if they can accomplish the same objective.

This keeps the balance sheet a bit more flexible. It’s much easier to adjust budgets up and down rather than headcount.

Below is how to spend more, keep headcount flat, and make sure you’re extracting the right ROI from your leads.

 

Know What to Solve for

 

At the end of the day, in any B2B and start up optimization, the true battle is with time.

As humans, we’re limited to a finite number of actions in any given day. Figuring out how to address this problem and make customer facing teams “super humans” is the true challenge.

The first time I went through this exercise, I thought what I was attempting to do was pin point the exact perfect lead.

But, as I dug into the data, I kept getting stuck.

There were a handful of leads that I could perfectly predict, but if I threw everything else out I’d need to ax the sales department by a large amount since I’d never be able to feed enough mouths. Not to mention my cost per MQL would be through the roof…

What eventually became the key for me was flipping the model on its head entirely. Instead of trying to predict the perfect lead, I found that there was far more value in predicting the worst leads. This unlocked a much simpler path to driving value.

 

Getting the Information Needed to Score

 

Structuring data in a way to make actionable decisions is the core of all things performance marketing. The core ones used for this purpose are:

URL structure – This is the heartbeat of all paid performance campaigns. Applying attribution throughout the customer journey is key. If you’re new to the game and need a good reference of where to get started with this, here’s a good start.

Funnel milestones – in B2B, conversion cycles are long and not nearly enough folks make their way to the end of the line. Make sure you pick a conversion point further up in the sales cycle that is indicative of value, but not so sparse that there isn’t enough meaningful data to run a regression against. For the sake of this exercise, I’ll be using a sample of leads that were “converted” by the sales team.

Form questions – every question in every form matters. Make sure they do, and that the data you pull from them is in a location for you to analyze and evaluate. Don’t just ask of information from potential customers for the sake of asking!

Additional fields to score against – The list here goes on and on….total visits, interaction with content, email domains, etc. For the example I’m going through here I don’t use any of these features, but in the graduated models where scores are live calculating I definitely am!

 

Running the Regression

 

As discussed previously, let’s remember the core objective here:

  • Remove as many bad leads as possible…
  • While removing the least amount of conversions as possible.

At this point in time, Excel becomes a marketing or sales professionals best friend. The easiest way to get through this is with pivot tables. If a brush up is needed, here you go.

 

Step 1: Clean the Data

Every data set is funky in its own right. Conversions could be counted in different columns depending on what is counted as success: ie, a “demo set” vs “converted” might both be great signals of funnel conversion, but they’re counted in different columns or names when exported. I like to add a simple column that is simply “Success” with a single value of “Yes” when true. This allows for an easy way to count the numerator when trying to count conversions.

 

Step 2: Pivot all the inputs to look for outliers

At this point in time, it’s time to start pivoting everything you have to start to measuring success. The calculation here is pretty simple. Success / Count of the Population for that parameter.

For every unique feature identified, see how many conversions came from each unique response value.

The hope at this point is that there are some features in the data set that are emerging as standouts. In the instance below, when someone answers “Within 1 Month” to the “Timeline” question, it converts at over 2x the next best option in the data set.

 

Step 3: Set some initial assumptions

Making a calculator to help go through different permutations allows for a quicker path to an ideal outcome.

Once the features that are going to be valuable have been identified, it’s helpful to build a calculator that lets you see how your scores are impacting different models.

To give an example of what that could look and feel like, I built a version here to check out. (Please note that all the functionality isn’t perfect since it lost a little mojo when I translated from Excel to gsheets.)

Here are some outputs based on different weights to varying features, but feel free to copy them out of this sheet and play with on your own to see how different permutations impact the results.

 

Step 4: Tinker with the calculations

Now the question is, “how do I start testing scores”. Once again, there are some very scientific ways to get this done. Since this particular solution is a hack, we’re going to go with good ol’ fashioned trial and error. Going back to the main thesis of “remove as many of the bad while not eliminating the good”, I’m going to tinker until I find the right combo.

Now that there is a baseline in place, try to adjust the calculator to make an impact on the ratio of leads eliminated to conversions eliminated. This involves two different efforts. Since I am isolating lead score of “1” as my cutoff threshold, I am trying to 1) push as many conversions as possible from that score group into score group “2” and 2) Trying to pull as many leads back from score group “2” that do not have a conversion into score group “1”. Here are a couple scenarios that I tested out, showing instances where I both gave some features bumps, and some I applied negative scores to.

 

Step 5: Pick a winner

For the scenarios listed above, the bottom one is what I found most attractive.

While it is sacrificing 2% of conversions, it is eliminating 19% of the total leads that need to be worked. On this data set, that equated to 15% of the total dials that the SDR had to make to drive only 2% of total conversions.

 

Building Out the Functionality

 

Once there is a model that’s looking good, it’s time to put it to action.

Take the scores from the features that have been identified and build them into a workflow sequence in a CRM.

Write this score to a new column into SFDC or equivalent solution and now there is a score column to create views from.

This should be a layup for a sales or marketing ops expert in terms of implementation. Bonus points if they re-score the model every night (or more frequently, depending on how quickly actions pile up with user behavior).

This way leads won’t be permanently painted outside of the scoring threshold and it gives automated nurture streams a chance to push customers over the edge into a workable contact.

 

Selling it to the Sales Team

 

This is where it gets tricky.

When it comes to leads, sometimes subjectivity and “I feel” logic seems to defy math. The sentiment is always that more is more. But, as we know, 100 dials spread across 50 leads goes a lot further than 100 dials spread across 100 leads. Here’s how to sell it:

 

You didn’t invent scoring – Every rep I’ve ever met interprets every lead differently the first time they open it. This is already a tactic that they are doing in their heads, so they know that the logic is already sound. All this process does is show them that they were right and that there’s a next level of ability to apply their logic.

Include them in the Process – Rather than blindly look at data to identify where to start, try to get a bit of a head start. Sit a couple of the top reps down and open a few leads with them. Try to see what they look for and identify trends to take deeper dives into the data set.

Lift Open the Hood – walk the sales team through how the conclusion was landed at it. Show them how deliberate the process was. They should make connections based on what they already deemed as “great” leads on their own.

Drive home what matters – Making Money & Growing the Business – Lead scoring isn’t all about removing leads from pipelines. It’s about making sure the leads that need to get worked are receiving the proper attention. A great outcome of this approach is to eliminate the bad leads in the pipeline and then spend a little bit more to replace them with good ones. This is good from them, it’s good for you.

 

More Ways to Apply the Score

 

Once you have the score itself in place, there are several different ways to apply it to enhance a business.

Sales Automation – Just because a lead doesn’t pass the initial score threshold right off the bat doesn’t mean they are ignored forever. Once again, it simply means that it’s not worth the time dedication without the customer showing a couple more signs of life. Building a nurture stream, either from the company itself or from a sales rep, allows those that aren’t getting called to have a positive experience with the brand and give them the appropriate steps to move down the funnel on their own.

An Alternative to Altering Budgets – No longer is their the constraint of sales headcount being a factor for whether you have to accelerate or withdraw budgets from campaigns. If an SDR gets promoted and leaves the staff thing, no worries. Just raise the threshold for the lead score, pass less through, and the remaining reps will still be able to hit their call SLA’s. In many cases, it allows for a much stronger argument to raise budgets overall since pipelines will be more effective.

Driving Further Segmentation in the Lead Set – What we have discussed so far is a very binary “pass” or “fail” mechanism. From there the next step is to drill down into the next level of segmentation for leads that have passed. Tactics here include different dial SLA’s, different product experiences, and different messaging in automation. I’d recommend slicing off a portion of the highest scores and treating them like must win clients.

Testing Alternative Sales Tactics – Many companies seem to have starts and stops when it comes to outbounding and how different “tests” are set up in this capacity. One of the ones I consistently see fail is trying to have reps both inbound and outbound at the same time. Use this extra gift of time and bandwidth to allow the room to carve out a rep to conduct a solo outbounding effort for a couple months to gain true efficacy of the channel.

List Reactivations – The new lead score model that has been developed doesn’t only have to work for net new leads moving forward. Once you run the regression, upload the score to all leads in the database. This will identify the top potential candidates sitting around that may not have been identified previously. Making more out of the dollars that have already been invested will always make your CFO happy!

Change the Questions you Ask (or the way you ask them) – if you have identified a couple of fields in the regression that stand out, try to adjust lead forms and questions to extract deeper segmentation to a particular question. For example, if you were previously asking a “Yes” or “No” question, what can be done to split that up further to dissect the intent of the customer and drive more meaningful segmentation for a sales team to act upon? If there aren’t any standout questions in your flow where distinct positive or negative behaviors are occurring, I’d encourage revisiting capture forms at a macro level.

 

Wrapping Up

 

Remember, the more leads that are filtered out, the higher the quality of the scores that remain. While it’s tempting to regress to old habits to “let more leads in”, remember that they aren’t worth it! It takes a disciplined approach to make this work without reverting back to old habits.

At the end of the day, in any B2B and startup optimization, the true battle is with time. As humans, we’re limited to a finite number of actions in any given day. Figuring out how to address this problem and make customer facing teams super humans is the true challenge.

Happy dialing!


Targeted Account Selling: Everything You Need to Know

  There’s a new kid on the block. A mysterious kid. A kid who people have heard of but don’t know much about. Maybe you’ve heard of this kid. Maybe you’ve seen this kid. Maybe you’ve even rubbed elbows with this kid at a party once. You don’t know much, but hey, this new kid […]

 

There’s a new kid on the block. A mysterious kid. A kid who people have heard of but don’t know much about. Maybe you’ve heard of this kid. Maybe you’ve seen this kid. Maybe you’ve even rubbed elbows with this kid at a party once.

You don’t know much, but hey, this new kid is going to be big!

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This new kid is Account Based Selling.

Account Based Selling is new sales technique; the new approach for striking gold. And you have to react quickly before the crowd comes, over-saturates the market and ruins the party.

TAKING ADVANTAGE

Here’s what you need to know to use targeted account selling to your advantage.

Account based selling (and marketing) is a new and evolving space. There’s no set playbook circulating around the Internet. This method for selling is made possible by advancing technology, increasing availability of data in the public domain and the need to find a new, effective way to sell.

This new approach is evolving quickly, so you better get started now.

Whether you just launched a company and are still looking for your first few customers or you’re a seasoned sales team leader with a solid track record, success in sales requires a methodical approach.

A scattered approach might get you started, and you certainly have to start somewhere. But without properly structuring your sales process, tracking your activities and adjusting your approach based on the results, you won’t get far.

Account based selling provides that structure.


 

WHAT IT IS AND WHY SHOULD YOU CARE

Account based selling (sometimes also called targeted account selling) focuses on selling at the account level, rather than at the lead level. This approach to selling requires identifying key accounts, learning as much as you can about them and then targeting them with persistent sales communications until they become customers.

These key accounts are usually “whales,” meaning large accounts that can dramatically boost the bottom line. However, they typically have longer sales cycles with multiple stakeholders, thus making it a more complex sale.

You may be wondering why you should consider account based selling when your business seems to be doing fine? In short — lots of money. For example, there is a huge difference between closing a deal worth $500,000 and closing a deal worth $5,000. Yes, it takes more planning, skills, and resources to close these bigger accounts, but not 100X more. Of course, the perfect, targeted account is different for every company. A $5,000 deal may be really big for a small startup, whereas a $100,000 deal may be small for a large enterprise.


 

THE 3 MUSKETEERS

Account based selling requires a unified effort between sales, marketing and customer success. This is all predicated on strategic planning. On the sales front, it’s about the quality of communication, relationships and contacts into the account, rather than a traditional quantity approach. Marketing will be required to provide support with research, sales collateral and nurture campaigns. Once the deal closes, it’s imperative that customer success provides on-boarding and support to help the newly closed/won account to be successful.

Following the account based selling playbook means investing time and energy into the necessary research to execute a complex plan with many moving parts. At first, you may be doing things that might not really feel like selling. You might even question whether it’s the best use of your time.

It is. The more you can zero in on who your ideal accounts are, the more you can learn about them and what could motivate them to buy your product, the more success you’ll have when you actually begin your campaign.

Starting a sales campaign without taking these initial steps can put your entire operation at risk.


ACCOUNT BASED SELLING PLAYBOOK

So how do you architect and execute a great account based selling strategy? We covered it in depth in depth this week in the following webinar. You should absolutely watch it:

On the webinar, you’ll discover:

  • How to create an Ideal Account Profile
  • How to make a list of target account that match that profile
  • How to find decision makers within each account
  • How to build a sales campaign that gets results
  • How to stay on top of leads throughout the campaign

These aren’t trade secrets. Your competitors are probably using some of the same tactics. We’re going to get you up to speed, and then tell about some of our best secret tips, trick and tactics that will give you the edge.

There’s no excuse for skipping this on-demand webinar, unless you’re ok with being second. But of course you’re not! Thanks why you’re reading this post, doing your homework, and executing hard on what you’re learning.

Recommended webinar:  Fishing with Spears: All About Account-Based Marketing