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What’s the key to conversion in account-based marketing? A lightning-fast, standardized lead follow-up process.
Think of it like so: Lead qualification is the Led Zeppelin II of account-based marketing, the blueprint that underpins the entire sales process and leads to several follow-up hits.
Goal: Qualify select clients
Here’s what the process should look like:
In the qualification stage, the sales team is focused on establishing if NOW is the right time to work together. Have we established enough value? Is the pain great enough?
Rather than “qualifying” the account, in ABM we already know this company is someone we want to work with and can benefit greatly from the solutions we provide. But do they know it at this point? This is a huge departure from the old style demand gen model, where sales would have rather listened to Winger than talk before qualification.
Tactical breakdown: Sales development representative
Remember: you are no longer qualifying a person, you’re qualifying an account. So, the touch-pattern will be established based on the nuances of a given buying committee, based on the size and roles involved. Smaller buying committees have less layers, while larger ones will need precise messaging or differing roles. But the key to success is to think of outreach as a campaign with a set number of touches over a set period of time. Most importantly, this campaign should be optimized over time.
Live call script
Sales development doesn’t get to use PowerPoint to explain products and solutions. They have 2-5 minutes (or less) to generate interest and turn the prospect into a qualified lead. They need compelling, concise sound bytes for the value proposition (they should be able to describe your company and why you are different in under 30 seconds) and for your solutions and products. A few bad notes at the beginning could cause a riot – and not a Quiet Riot (a little heavy for the analogy, but you get the idea).
There’s so much information and data to manage, every sales development rep needs to have 100% adoption of the CRM application. Ensure your ABM rollout is paired with consistent delivery of training and “Office Hour” sessions where reps can get questions answered or voice what’s not working well or feels cumbersome. What’s a great concert without a sound check and dress rehearsal?
Tactical breakdown: Sales team
Discovery calls are crucial for sales professionals to understand the details of a prospect’s situation. On the other side, prospects want to leave a discovery call knowing who you are and what your company’s all about. They might have specific questions about a product feature or a term.
Most importantly, prospects need to be assured that you understand their problem and that you will make a professional assessment to determine if you can help them or not. Content plays a big role here. We can give them a great deliverable but we need to back it up with rock ‘n’ roll credibility – we can use content to do so.
Tactical breakdown: Qualification process
The qualification section is the crescendo of ABM – everyone is working together in a harmonious manner to win. We have to take all of the great information we have created and package it in a way that creates action.
This is where a high value offer often comes together. You’ve spent all of this time gathering insights, talking face to face, NOW is the time to show this account that we haven’t been wasting their time – we have to blow their socks off with a roadmap to success. At the end of this stage, they have to be pushing YOU to move forward.
Here’s where your account teams will be born to run. This team will begin a touch pattern designed to engage the account and develop a sales meeting or gather important account intelligence to be logged and delivered back to the entire account team. It’s a well oiled machine.
Tool of Rock: LeanData
For sales qualification, LeanData ensures that the contact has the correct institutional penetration and hasn’t already been targeted for other eﬀorts. It also allows for intelligent lead routing (a must for account-based marketing) as well as account-level visibility, so the bigger picture is always 100% in focus.
LeanData simplifies the B2B sales process by automating the manual work of matching leads against existing accounts or other leads in Salesforce.
Perhaps a conversation yields a new contact being added to the database – LeanData ensures they are routed to the AE who owns the account relationship. In demand gen, this doesn’t always happen, causing a lot of misalignment and confusion on the part of the prospect. Why is this random dude calling them?
We want to see the entire buying committee and run plays to engage each of them – in ABM, qualification doesn’t just happen at one touch point. It literally can’t.