How to Combine Account Based Selling and Marketing Efforts
Does your company use account based selling? How about account based marketing? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, here’s another question for you:
Are your sales and marketing teams working together to win accounts?
While account based selling or marketing is useful on its own, the two departments are most effective when they are joined together. That’s because account based strategies are designed to work together.
Think about it: why should your sales and marketing teams go through the effort of researching and tracking companies twice? But there’s an even bigger issue that needs to be addressed: if your sales and marketing teams each develop their own list of accounts to target and a strategy for how to target them, you’ll have a serious problem once leads start transitioning from marketing to sales.
So obviously combining account based selling and marketing is a smart idea, but how do you accomplish it? There are many different methods, but the approach outlined below streamlines the process so that your teams spend less time on the organizational red tape and more time developing the content and relationships that will win deals.
Step 1: Centralize Your Efforts
The first thing you need to ask yourself is how are you documenting and tracking your efforts? If your answer is different for marketing than it is for sales, you have a problem. To get everyone on the same page, sales and marketing need to use the same book (and by book, I mean sales enablement platform… It’s not a perfect metaphor). A sales enablement platform acts as a central repository and tool – a place where both sales and marketing can store all of their content and collaborate on individual accounts.
Step 2: Increase Visibility
If you’ve followed step one, you’re well on your way to achieving step two, which is increasing the amount of awareness you have into how well your strategies are working and what each team member is doing to achieve each goal. The type of visibility each team gets will differ depending on what’s important to their side of the strategy. Here are some examples of visibility you definitely need in order for your account based strategies to be effective:
- Marketing teams should be able to see which accounts are actually moving through the pipeline vs. ones that are staying stagnant (AKA which strategies need to be adjusted), how far sales is progressing with different opportunities, and what messaging sales is using.
- Sales teams should be able to see how marketing plans to pursue different accounts, the steps they have taken thus far, what messaging they’re using, and what research marketing has available that could be useful further on in the sales cycle.
Step 3: Work together
You need more than just awareness of what the other department is doing in order to succeed with account based strategies. You need to work together, as painful as that might seem. Fortunately, with the right tools, collaboration isn’t painful at all. Set up your sales enablement platform to allow for collaboration between sales and marketing across every stage of the sales cycle.
For example, your marketing team could set up content and sales play recommendations that automatically send sales the best content for each account based on different criteria such as sales stage, buyer persona, etc. You could also have alerts that automatically notify team members from sales and marketing when key buyer activities have occurred.
Step 4: Improve
Account based selling and marketing is not a “one and done” activity. With any strategy, you have to monitor what you’re doing over time and finesse it to be more effective. Historically, marketing has achieved this more easily than sales, with marketing automation platforms such as Hubspot enabling tracking of certain lead activities. But marketing automation is just a small piece of the buyer puzzle. To be able to improve your efforts effectively, you need tracking for the entire buyer’s journey, not just the beginning.
The beauty of technology is that it’s easy to integrate multiple pieces of software together, centralizing all of the data collected from marketing automation, email tracking, CRM, Google Analytics, etc. into one platform. Once centralized, the real fun begins: sales analytics. The analytics sift through all of the sales and marketing data and pick out key trends and important information. That information is then displayed visually for you in a way that’s easy to understand.
With this process, you remove the guesswork from strategy improvement. Instead, your sales and marketing teams have a super clear picture of what you need to do next.