3 Strategies to Make A Better Target Account List
The art of sales isn’t about finding people to sell to, it’s about finding the right people who are ready to buy. With a lot of machine learning and automation, one can even say that this former art can be turned into an extremely data driven scientific process - a trend catalyzed by the CloseFactor team.
Most B2B vendors will simply source a list of companies ordered by revenue and employee size and tell their sales teams to somehow gain a foothold inside these organizations. Revenue and employee size are just proxies about the accounts’ ability to spend. How does one know if these are the companies that will buy now, buy soon, buy later, or will never buy? How can one know ahead of time if they can buy a little now but will grow to much bigger later?
For companies scaling their go-to-market motion, getting this type of insight into prioritizing accounts will save B2B sales and marketing teams a lot of wasted cycles.
So what are some best practices or things to keep in mind when developing the right set of accounts? Some practices followed by elite sales teams are:
- Identifying change agents inside accounts - these are indicators of an accounts readiness to buy now;
- Identifying complementary/outdated technologies to augment/displace - these are indicators of their need to buy soon or potential to grow and
- Identifying account potential - presence of right buyer personas, right team sizes which are indicators of how big the account can grow to.
Today, most elite sales people or demand teams do this research manually after getting their list of accounts. Most marketing and sales leaders rarely get this level of visibility - Why? Mostly because this work has not been automated before at large scale, something we are undertaking at CloseFactor.
So let’s look at some examples of the above best practices-
1. Identifying change agents.
Sales is all about timing. The best indication of timing is a change agent. Some examples of change agents are:
A new initiative around customer experience
A new leader in a relevant role being recruited or joining the account
A cloud migration project
A transition to a new business model such as the launch of a new subscription service.
All of the above are leading indicators of a buying cycle. Finding the accounts that have these types of initiatives is crucial as these initiatives have urgency, associated budget and need. This way, you can meet the buyer exactly when they are ready to buy.
2. Identifying the right tech stack.
If the product /solution you have displaces some technology or relies on the presence of other technologies in the stack, your target account list identification process should be able to isolate these. Moreover, it should be able to tell you which accounts are ripe for an augmentation or replacement play.
If the product/solution you are selling requires an existing cloud footprint already, you need to weed out the organizations that are not mature or developed enough in their cloud strategy.
If your company sells a product relevant to cloud migrations or data migrations, you want to hone in on all the accounts that are getting started with these types of projects or have them in process.
3. Identifying account potential.
By account potential, we mean how big of a deal you can sell into this account. For example,
If you sell to the mobile app development team - you want to know what the size of the team is because it gives you a sense of potential revenue opportunity.
If you sell cloud data related monitoring, protection or analytics products you want to know what the size of their data footprint is. The data engineering team size or number of engineers working on data pipelines is a good indicator of this.
While this sounds easy in theory, it’s incredibly hard to do manually.
Let’s take the example of a company selling to a software development team inside a company whose buyers are the VPs/Directors of Software engineering. Software development teams and titles are referred to with a multitude of names. Sometimes it’s “R&D” or “Engineering” or “Application development” or “Devops” or “application delivery” and the personas themselves have a vast array of titles. Finding the leaders within these teams- from those having the right experience, seniority and title to budget ownership is sometimes even harder.
Scaling List Creation
Finding this extra information is currently a manual process - CloseFactor automates this and delivers the x-ray visibility into accounts and territories at the click of a button. Want to learn more about how you can tune into the magic? Subscribe to our blog to see how leading sales orgs like LaunchDarkly, Chronosphere, Turing and Zuora are using CloseFactor or schedule a demo with us today!