Account based prospecting is probably something a lot of sales reps are already doing. There are certain tricks that will help your team (SDR, BDR, Account Manager, Account Executive, etc) to work the right accounts at the right time in the right ways. There are lots of ways to think about tiering your accounts. Here is how I do it and how I use tools to manage my tiered accounts.
What are tiered accounts in sales?
Tiering your accounts in prospecting allows you to know which accounts need more personalization than others might need. It allows you to create sales plays and sales plans for those accounts. Using marketing software and sales productivity tools will help you to work these different tiers of accounts in the right way.
Tier 1 accounts
Tier 1 accounts are your top accounts. These are the accounts that you should put the most effort into. These accounts have what I call the dynamic duo in sales prospecting.
1. They have reasons you know that what you sell could be helpful and valuable.
2. These accounts have reasons to think that you could help and those reasons are TIMELY.
If you have good reasons + timeliness you have the dynamic duo. Tier 1 accounts must have researched reasons to think that what you sell could help and those reasons must always be timely. You should focus on those accounts and personalize the prospecting process for these accounts accordingly.
These accounts are usually names that you know are high growth companies in your territory or market that you sell into. They have many reasons to think that you would be of value if that company was to start learning about what you do.
In general I don't have accounts or leads in my name in CRM if I don't think that we could be of help or value. I would use this as a rule for yourself. If you come across a lead or account that you think you have no way to help or no reason that what you sell could be timely, get rid of it.
Tier 2 accounts
Tier 2 accounts are the accounts that you feel like from your gut and initial research your product you sell could be of value but you can't find great reasons to work it yet. You might have some inbound activity on content that people in the company might have downloaded from your company but there are super timely reasons to work it. You still want it in your name and think you could help but you don't have the best reason/s to work it yet. You want to keep it in your name and you want to prospect/market to the people in this account but you aren't going to work it as hard or as personalized as you would a tier 1 account.
As you can see as you go down your tiers and get closer to tier 3 you are putting less personalized effort into these accounts. Tier 1 accounts are your best fits and the scale just goes down from there as to how excited you would be to book a meeting with the company.
Tier 3 accounts
Tier 3 accounts are maybe not the best fit from the research that you have done. You will use industry content to market to them and to prospect them but you are not going to put tons of effort into these accounts because you cannot find the best reasons to work it.
Best practices for prospecting tiered accounts
When you decide to start working your accounts in your prospecting process in a tiered model you need to put processes in place to make sure you track the accounts the right way.
1. Add a field in your CRM that you can use to label the account with a tier. There could be a drop down field that labels the account as tier 1, tier 2, or tier 3.
2. Make sure your BDR/SDR and you as the Account Executive are on the same page about what makes a tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 account. Make sure you both are labeling accounts in this manner so you can create reports and views for prospecting the tiered accounts together. This will also help you with coaching your BDR or SDR on how to prospect into tiered accounts.
3. Work with your territory marketer to put together an approach for having marketing help you in marketing to these tiered accounts in different ways.
4. Use sales productivity tools like HubSpot Sales PRO sequences and templates to setup a series of emails that you can personalize in the sales prospecting process to your contacts at your tiered accounts. You will want to setup sequences that have different templates in the sequence dependent upon which tier the account is.
5. You Should setup a Twitter list that is private (can only be viewed by you) that you add your contacts Twitter accounts to that are in your tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 accounts. At HubSpot we have this social monitoring tool that I use to manage and track my tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 accounts so if I see something that the company accounts tweets or one of my target contacts in the account tweets I can use that in my communication to them.
6. Use smart content or dynamic content with the help of your territory marketer to enable the marketer to use fields from your CRM that you are updating on the accounts so marketing can dynamically change out content on your content assets for these accounts. Example) you might have landing pages, blog posts, website pages, CTAs, emails, etc that the contacts under these accounts might interact with. You should have your marketer use personalization of content/dynamic content to personalize the marketing on these content assets.
Marketing and sales need to work closely together to make account based prospecting work well. The reason for that is mostly because sales reps don't have access to work inside of a marketing platform or marketing automation. As a sales rep I would prepare your ideas around how you want to have marketing help you in your account based prospecting. You should gather information together on how you would foresee the marketer helping you with marketing automation for your tiered accounts. I would suggest getting your processes in CRM in place first so that you can show the marketer how they can use those fields to create marketing tracks in your marketing automation software. Do the leg work for your marketer and it will make your marketer more likely to help you. Come with the content you want for each tiered account ready to go.