Lincoln would spend the majority of his hours sharpening his axe rather than chopping down a tree.
The same logic applies here.
Account selection is one of the most important decisions that a sales team can make.
That's why you'll see that successful sales teams spend an unusually large amount of time on selecting the right accounts to go after (target).
Logic: Right accounts will lead to more closed deals, while wrong accounts waste time and resources.
After speaking with 100's of sales & marketing teams, I've understood that these are key factors in your account selection strategy:
- Intent data: This data can be used to identify accounts that are actively researching or considering a purchase.
- Technographics: This data can be used to identify accounts that have the right technology in place to use your product or service.
- Demographics: This data can be used to identify accounts that are in the right industry, size, and location
Just in case you are unaware of any of the topics I mentioned, don’t worry. I’ve got you by breaking them down in detail.
What to Do Before Selecting Even a Single Account?
Before you start selecting accounts, there are a few things you need to do first.
First, you need to define your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)
Then, what are the characteristics of your ideal customer?
Then, what are their pain points?
Then, what are their goals?
Once you have defined your ICP, you need to gather data on potential accounts.
This data can include things like company size, industry, location, and website traffic.
You can use a variety of tools to gather this data, such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, and Bombora.
Once you have gathered data on potential accounts, start selecting accounts.
There are 2 steps involved in this process that you must not miss:
1. Score accounts based on their potential
This will help you prioritize your accounts and focus your efforts on the ones that are most likely to be a good fit.
2. Target accounts that are actively researching or considering a purchase
This information can be found in intent data providers like Bombora and G2.
In addition to the above not-to-miss steps,
there are a few non-obvious but important steps involved in account selection that are my favorites:
3. Get input from other departments
Sales teams are not the only ones who can provide valuable insights into account selection.
Get valuable insights from marketing, customer success, and product teams that would help you identify the right accounts to target.
4. Dig into your CRM
In case you’re using a CRM, think that you just got a booster in your process. Use it to identify different patterns on Closed Won or Closed Lost.
This would help you take a guided path.
5. Be ruthless
It is important to be flexible with your account selection process especially with the fluctuating market.
If you see that a particular account is not a good fit, don't be afraid and move on to another one.
Once you have selected a list of accounts, you need to prioritize them.
This will help you focus your efforts on the accounts that are most likely to convert.
After going deeper and knowing the technicalities, I've found that these 3 factors are very important:
1. The size of the account: Larger accounts tend to have more budget and decision-makers, which can make them more attractive targets.
2. The stage of the buying process: Accounts that are already nurtured and are further along in the buying process are more likely to close a deal.
3. The level of interest: Accounts that have expressed interest in your product or service are more likely to close a deal.
In order to help you understand and experience the impact of Account Selection, I’ve gathered some of the best case studies form our own clients:
I’m sure , you’d relate to them if you’re doing Account Selection on point::
- A large software company, one of our clients, used intent data to identify accounts that were actively researching their product.
They then prioritized these accounts and focused their sales efforts on them.
As a result, they were able to increase their close rate by 20%.
- A small SaaS company, also one of our clients, used a CRM system to track their account selection process.
They were able to see which accounts were the most time-consuming and which accounts were the most likely to close a deal.
As a result, they were able to improve their efficiency and close more deals.
Talking about tracking with CRM, there are a few metrics that you must absolutely track when it comes to account selection:
1. The number of accounts you have selected:
To help you track your progress and make sure that you are targeting enough accounts.
2. The number of accounts that have closed
To help you measure the success of your account selection process.
3. The time it takes to close a deal
To help you identify areas where you can improve your sales process.
Account selection is an ongoing process
You need to iterate and improve your process over time.
This means tracking your results, identifying areas where you can improve, and making changes to your process accordingly.
In a recent ABM Voice Podcast with Andrei, we talked about the importance of account selection for SDRs.
He suggests that Marketers and SDRs focus on a small set of accounts per quarter, rather than trying to reach out to as many accounts as possible.
There are a few reasons why this is a good approach:
First, it allows SDRs to focus their time and energy on the accounts that are most likely to be a good fit for their product or service.
Second, it allows SDRs to build deeper relationships with the accounts they are targeting.
Third, it helps SDRs to track their progress and measure their results more effectively.
Of course, there are some challenges to this approach.
It can be difficult to identify the right accounts to target.
It can also be difficult to stay organized and track your progress when you are only focusing on a small number of accounts.
However, the benefits of this approach outweigh the challenges.
By focusing on a small set of accounts per quarter, SDRs can increase their chances of success.
Here are some tips for SDRs who want to implement this approach:
- Start by defining your ICP. Once you know who you are targeting, you can start to identify the right accounts to target.
- Use a variety of data sources to identify accounts. There are a number of data sources that can help you identify accounts, such as intent data, technographics, and demographics.
- Score accounts based on their potential. This will help you prioritize your accounts and focus your efforts on the ones that are most likely to be a good fit.
- Track your progress and measure your results. This will help you adjust your approach as needed.
By following these tips,
SDRs can implement the small set of accounts per quarter approach and increase their chances of success.
Account selection is a complex process, but it is essential for sales success.
Need help? Let’s get in touch.