Where Did My Leads Go? Using Account-Based Sales & Marketing in CRM

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A strategy to win new accounts and strengthen relationships with existing customers.


Account-based Sales & Marketing programs are gradually being adopted by B2B organizations to target their best-fit accounts and deliver personalized communications to decision makers through a variety of media channels.  The account-based strategy approach flips the B2B sales funnel and aligns the sales and marketing teams to identify accounts most likely to be interested in your products or services.


As clients move to an Account-based sales and marketing approach, there is a need to transform the traditional sales process for opportunity identification and pipeline management.  We are seeing many B2B customers shifting away from using leads as they target a known set of accounts with contacts identified as decision makers and influencers.  This is a reshape of the typical sales funnel.  The use of Demand Generation to fill the top of the funnel with prospects and leads shifts to Engagement with contacts at targeted accounts.  Sales and Marketing become aligned with the middle of the funnel instead of working at separate ends, with a focus on finding and engaging the right people at specific companies.


For those organizations that leverage the benefits of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, the approach and sales process starts at the account record.  With account-based targeting, a cleaner, leaner and meaner database is established using a filtered list of organizations set up as target Accounts.  The search and scrolling through hundreds of non-relevant company names is reduced to a more manageable list.  From the Account record, Contacts are identified, roles (decision maker, influencer, user, budget controller, champion) are assigned and opportunities (net new, cross-sell, upsell) are created.


Focus on Engagement

Starting with the Account record, you can work your sales from there, creating contacts and opportunities.  Then, utilize resources that can trigger an engagement or open an opportunity.  You can build your contact list with networking tools such as InsideView, LinkedIn, and Meetup.  Using InsideView in CRM, you can keep up to date on accounts and contacts by tracking news, updates on company operations, mergers & acquisitions, awards or recognitions, events, and changes in key personnel. Local business journals are a great reference for information on targeted accounts and contacts within a sales territory.  Sales reps can leverage their LinkedIn networks for mutual relationships and referrals.    From these resources, you can identify & create new opportunities.  Within a CRM, subsequent engagement can be tracked across various marketing channels and media sources.  The level of engagement by company can be a valuable metric to report and follow for prioritization of sales activities.


Better Alignment of Sales & Marketing

With an Account-based approach, sales and marketing teams can collaborate on resources for opportunity generation using actionable information for identification and qualification of the account.  Quality is prioritized over quantity. Generic messaging is replaced with personalized content relevant to the needs of the targeted and segmented organizations.  Marketing lists can be created in CRM based on specific search criteria that allows you to narrow down the selection and prioritize the targets with the best probability of success.  Campaign workflows can get the right information to the right people at the right time.

Hear how Gorilla Glue is using CRM to empower their sales and marketing teams!


Using CRM for Account-Based Strategy

Corporate decision makers are getting harder to reach and organizational structures become more complex.  Tools within CRM can allow you to overcome these challenges and optimize your success rates when using account-based strategies.

  • View an Account hierarchy to visualize the relationships between parent/subsidiary relationships.
  • Create and more easily manage a leaner and cleaner account database.
  • Target a smaller, more relevant segment of the market to identify and qualify accounts using advanced search and reporting tools.
  • Track engagement across the organization to measure levels of interest.
  • Take a lid-off-the-roof approach to view opportunities for cross-sell, upsell, and account penetration among contacts between business units and departments.
  • Measure ROI on sales & marketing activities and better allocate resources to those with the best success rate.
  • Launch campaigns that leverage relationship building activities such as onsite lunch & learns and educational sessions at interesting venues (such as Topgolf, craft beer brewery tours, movie theater auditorium rental during a new movie premiere).
  • Identify and connect with gatekeepers to reach the decision makers and build the trust needed to get to yes.
  • Increase the velocity through the sales funnel with opportunities and pipelines that are easier to manage.


Chart Your Course

A CRM can be used to standardize your approach within the organization, while enabling teams with variations in the process to use custom business process flows to meet the needs of the organization.  Your sales model can target the accounts that are most receptive to buying, personalize the messaging, and improve your success rate in getting the win.  So take the lead, charge ahead, and close on the account to win the best deals.


By Dean Devin at Socius, a CRM provider in Ohio and Kansas

1 thought on “Where Did My Leads Go? Using Account-Based Sales & Marketing in CRM”

  1. Account based marketing is an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources and it has many benefits like it can drive clear business results, reduce resource waste, track goals and measurement is also clear.

    Probably, it is one of the most efficient ways to align sales and marketing that makes sales alignment very clear. Its a strategy for wining new accounts and strengthen relationships with existing customers.

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