Regardless of the size and structure of your marketing and sales teams, new roles have emerged as key components to connect the two departments. These roles are considered critical to the success of any account-based strategy.
Sales Development Representatives (SDRs)
The SDR function is increasingly important to organisations implementing account-based strategies.
Traditionally, this role is known by different names in other organizations (Lead Development Representative, Business Development Representative, Inside Sales Representative), but SDR is emerging as the most common title because of its representation of the changing responsibilities and expectations of the role.
Organisations with a more advanced account-based focus view the role to require deeper strategic responsibilities and have expanded its work to include:
- Account mapping
- Phone, email and social channel engagement
- Maintenance and expansion of prospect database
- Creation and delivering qualified opportunities
- Preparation of pre-sales activities
- Guidance to cross-sell and upsell opportunities
Marketing Operations/Sales Operations
Some organisations have either sales or marketing operations functions, while some have both. Others are merging the functions together into what is considered Business Operations.
A successful ABM strategy requires complete and accurate data on contacts and accounts, which is typically a core strength for an Operations role. Because reporting and reviewing account progression becomes more complex as you track buying committees rather than individual leads, the right Ops person can make all the difference.
Account-based strategies should not only focus on winning deals, but should also maximize the lifetime value of your customers. Most companies build out their target account lists by factoring in the potential opportunities to sell into multiple divisions, so the onboarding and responsiveness to customer questions and needs is critical to building a successful long-term relationship.
While advancements in marketing automation and artificial intelligence are key enablers of account-based success, the reality is that people still buy from people and the human connection is even more valuable today than 20 years ago. Ultimately, both account-based marketing and selling is about developing relationships, earning trust and winning hearts and minds to earn the business of long-term clients and partners.
Martech Stack to Optimise ABM and ABS
There is a growing list of targeted solutions available to help companies address the marketing, sales, and sales development functions of an account-based strategy. Many organisations have advanced to tools such as:
- Predictive analytics
- Intent monitoring
- Account-based advertising
- Campaign orchestration
- Web personalisation
A few of the technologies and tools that have been identified as critical to both ABM and ABS success include:
Account Research and Data Augmentation: Data platforms have become critical for SDRs and other functions to create more relevant outreach to target accounts, whether it be a first-touch introduction or a follow-up to comment on recent news and developments at the company.
Social Selling: Tools such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator have also been valuable to build relationships with multiple stakeholders within an account. These tools help SDRs target the right contacts and then engage with more personalized outreach that builds on shared connections or common areas of interest.
The implementation of emerging technologies will help a company identify and tackle potential gaps. Furthermore, the addition of these roles and the alignment amongst them is critical to a cohesive account-based strategy.