It takes a lot more strategy to break into an account today.
The old world of spraying and praying your way into booking meetings and building pipeline just doesn’t work anymore. You need to be much more intentional about who you target, how you engage, and what you say.
And that starts with building a good account plan. Sure, there’s more work that you need to do upfront, but the payoff is well worth it. For example, companies that do account planning, and do it correctly, see deal sizes increase by an average of 14%, decrease their sales cycles by 26%, and ultimately, drive a higher win rate. So to help you on your journey to building that muscle and hit your goals, we wanted to share a couple of tips to help get you on the right track.
Here are 7 things you need to build a rock solid account plan.
What makes this company a good account to go after? Collecting key pieces of data about each company in your territory and making sure that they match your ICP is critical.
For starters, focus on prioritizing the most recent information and identifying characteristics that make this company special, rather than just higher level information on the industry. For example, are they hiring for roles that would use your product or making any key executive hires? Identifying these golden nuggets earlier will help you craft a more personalized strategy.
What’s your objective for winning this deal? All sellers have a number to hit. But highlighting why you’re working this deal will help you figure out the right way to attack it.
Try to shy away from leading with immediate contract value or ARR as your only goal, and think more broadly about how this deal may impact future company health. For example does the deal open up partnership opportunities or would this account be at risk of churning in the future based on fit?
Who are the individuals that will be relevant in the buying journey? Knowing which people will be involved in the buying committee will help you ensure your deal is multi-threaded.
Start by dividing your buyers into the following cohorts and come up with answers to the associated questions:
Decision Makers: Strategic Selling
How does my solution align with the organization’s current strategies?
Budget Owners/Leaders: Value Selling
What is the ROI of my solution and how does it help the company be more productive?
Influencers: Tactical Selling
How does my solution answer some of the unique problems they face in their day-to-day work?
Once you have this outlined, you can start to craft more personalized outreach that will increase your chances of converting those buyers into new customers.
What are the most recent challenges or pain points facing the organization? Aligning your solution to a core problem will help you build the business case you’ll need to close the deal.
When thinking about your outreach strategy, and more specifically your personalization, take it to the next level by supplementing business challenges with pain points that are unique and most relevant to the individual buyer, not necessarily just the larger business as a whole.
How does your product solve the pain points of the customer? Highlighting the pain, the impact of that pain, the solution, and the core benefit specific to the account you’re targeting is crucial.
Create a quick matrix with those elements mentioned above so you can easily visualize how your product’s solutions directly tie to the unique pains your buyer is experiencing. This might also help you identify areas where your solution solves challenges for multiple cohorts at the same time (e.g. Influencers and Budget Owners/Leaders). This is where the magic happens.
How should I engage with buyers in the most effective way possible? Knowing who the right people are is one thing, but understanding where the power lies within the organization is another.
Start by identifying your circle of influence and create a map that spans these centers. Someone who might not sign the contract could have full ownership over the decision. Or someone who works in an adjacent role than the one you’re selling to might be more involved than you think. Buyers also change over time, so make sure to keep your prospecting list fresh by always hunting for new contacts that match your target personas.
Who are your competitors and what are their recent moves? Knowing who you may compete against in a deal will help you with scenario planning.
Competitors build their products and evolve their GTM strategies throughout the year. Get access to a competitive intel tool or stay close to your Product Marketing team so you can stay ahead of the game by always knowing how your competitors are operating.
Sales teams that incorporate data-driven insights into their account plans are 23x more likely to acquire customers. Using AI, CloseFactor makes it easier for you to target the right people, know how to engage, and understand what to say so you can break into more of your accounts and hit your number.