The Guide to Targeted Account Selling

The Guide to Targeted Account Selling

The Guide to Targeted Account Selling

March 22, 2024

How do you feel when you receive a gift that's been custom-made just for you? It's delightful, to say the least.

Whether it's a cake, a piece of clothing, or even a handwritten message, the feeling is undeniably special. It's the attention to detail that makes it stand out, knowing that whoever gave it to you took the time to understand your unique preferences and dislikes.

Now, imagine if that person had to customize every single gift they gave to anyone. Regardless of how much they adore their friends, it would quickly become both costly and tiresome. Unless they had a solid system in place, they'd soon get burnt out.

It’s similar to B2B sales – but even despite having established systems and strategies in place, sales teams still get burnt out.

So, does it ever get easier?

I have good news and bad news. Let's start with the bad: I'm about to introduce yet another sales strategy into the mix (as if you didn't have enough in your toolkit already).

The good news is: if you implement this one effectively, it just might be the last framework you'll ever need.

What Is Targeted Account Selling (TAS)?

Targeted Account Selling (TAS) is a sales strategy with a square focus on high-value accounts that hold the most promise for revenue growth.

The goal of your team is to get personal with select businesses or organizations that perfectly align with a previously defined Ideal Client Persona (ICP). We’ll talk about it in more detail in just a moment.

To get this strategy right, you should zero in on:

●     Conducting deep research to understand your ICP,

●     Finding the most promising accounts based on that research,

●     Giving stakeholders every piece of information they need for a proper (and preferably faster”) buying decision,

●     Establishing meaningful and lasting connections from beginning to end.

The Difference Between TAS and ABS

One of the strategies in your toolkit is possibly Account-Based Selling (ABS), which stands alongside TAS. Yet, they each have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

Think of TAS as “handpicking” individual scoops of high-value accounts based on their potential revenue contribution. On the other hand, ABS takes a broader approach, targeting entire account clusters or groups.

While ABS offers a great degree of personalization, it's not as individually tailored as TAS.

The Role of Marketing Efforts in Each Strategy

With ABS, sales and marketing are like two peas in a pod. Marketing takes the lead in identifying and targeting specific account segments. They're the ones crafting custom campaigns and content that speaks directly to the needs of each account.

In TAS, it’s not uncommon for sales teams to work on their own. They often rely on their own research and outreach strategies to connect with target accounts.

Resource Allocation + Scalability

TAS can be a bit resource-heavy, especially for companies with a smaller pool of high-value accounts or those dealing with complex sales processes that demand a personal touch.

On the other hand, ABS can easily adapt to handle larger numbers of accounts within specific segments or tiers. This makes it perfect for companies looking to cast a wider net and break into new industries or market segments.

That said, both strategies involve educating and impressing the right stakeholders.

Navigating the intricate decision-making frameworks within large organizations is no easy feat, whether you're practicing TAS or ABS. Successfully influencing multiple stakeholders involved in these buying committees requires a plunge into each member's roles and interests.

This means conducting thorough research to immerse yourself in the nuances of the organization. Only then can you effectively tailor your approach and make a lasting impression on the decision-makers that matter most.

Here’s How TAS Can Help You Close Deals Faster (and an Avalanche of Other Benefits)

A more intricate process could actually speed up the sales cycle. It might seem counterintuitive at first, as teams often rely on broader tactics to expedite deals. But stay with me.

Businesses that stand out from the crowd are the ones that take their time. They learn everything they can about their accounts before putting together sales decks, case studies, or any other sales materials.

This not only boosts their chances of closing deals but also paves the way for a faster sales cycle. When decision-makers in those target accounts see that they’ve come prepared with a deep understanding of their needs, they're more likely to make purchasing decisions quickly and decisively.

Here's why TAS can help streamline the sales process:

●     It lets sales teams zero in on the most promising prospects, saving time and energy for those with the highest revenue potential.

●     Personalized outreach and customs solutions tend to lead to higher conversion rates. By understanding each target account in great detail, sales professionals can craft pitches that resonate and address objections right away.

●     TAS places a premium on building genuine connections with key stakeholders within target accounts. That way, sales professionals can position themselves as trusted partners, rather than just another vendor.

●     It can boost customer loyalty and encourage repeat business. Satisfied customers are more likely to stick around and explore additional offerings, driving up their lifetime value.

●     This targeted approach typically leads to a better return on investment compared to traditional sales strategies, which may spread resources too thin.

And here's an extra selling point…

Developing trusting relationships with target accounts opens the door to upselling and cross-selling opportunities. When sales teams understand the full scope of an account's needs, they can suggest additional products or services, increasing potential revenue.

Which B2B Teams Should Use TAS and When?

Sometimes, even the best approach in the world won’t be helpful for everyone. It’s simply impossible.

With that in mind, here are a few points to consider in case you’re wondering whether you should implement TAS for your team (or stick to what’s been working for you).

You have strong Sales and Marketing alignment. If your sales and marketing teams are in sync, TAS could be your holy grail. With tight collaboration, you can deliver personalized messages and target high-value accounts effectively.

Your market is highly competitive. In a dog-eat-dog market, TAS can be your edge. By understanding your prospects' needs better than the competition, you stand out in a crowded field.

You offer premium or customized solutions. If your products or services are custom-made, TAS is your ticket to showcase that value. Personalized attention to high-value accounts helps highlight what sets you apart.

Your sales cycle is complex (this is a big one). When deals take time to close and involve multiple decision-makers, TAS takes the cake. It allows you to invest the necessary effort in understanding each account's unique challenges and navigating complex buying processes.

You need to maximize limited sales resources: If your sales capacity is limited, TAS helps you make every interaction count. By focusing on high-potential accounts, you ensure your efforts are directed where they'll have the most significant impact.

Step-By-Step: How to Apply TAS to Your Sales Cycles

While this is supposed to be a guide, remember that no sales process is entirely linear. You may find yourself going back a few steps, even if you’ve already moved forward. That’s okay. Just keep swimming.

Now, on to the steps.

Find Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

The word "persona" has been thrown around a million times, and it's getting old. Who even came up with one-dimensional profiles like “Average Joe” and thought it was a good idea?

Our take: ICPs put traditional personas to shame.

Instead of conjuring up imaginary characters, this approach focuses on your actual customers – the ones who pay the bills and keep the lights on. You won't get far without them.

So, where do you find information about those people? Straight from the source, of course!

Ideally, you should start by digging for their psychographics: their hopes, desires, pains…and everything that makes up their behavior. The best way to find this data is through good old interviews and surveys.

But if, for whatever reason, you’re unable to get hold of your ideal customers, you can:

●     Mine through their social media accounts

●     Analyze past conversations from interviews and chats

●     Pore over testimonials and feedback

●     Analyze online behavior analytics, using tools like Hotjar and Crazy Egg

●     Study market and competition intelligence. Knowing what your rivals are up to can give you a leg up.

Now, let's talk about demographics, which are also important to round out your research. Think hard data and numbers. You'll find these details in:

●     Industry type

●     Business size

●     Location

●     Years in operation

●     Income

●     Budget

●     Client base size

Don’t overthink it. You'll never have all the answers. Humans are unpredictable creatures, after all. So, be prepared to refresh your research regularly, especially when your audience changes or when big shifts happen in your industry.

In a nutshell, finding your ideal customer profile is like uncovering buried treasure. It takes time, effort, and a keen eye for detail. But once you've got it, you'll be unstoppable.

Based on Your ICP, Find Your Most Promising Accounts

Why bother gathering all that information, you ask? Well, think of it like any relationship.

Trying to cater to someone's needs without knowing what makes them happy isn’t bound to end well. That’s why sales professionals should aim to show their most promising accounts that they get it – really get it.

Now that we've ditched the generic personas and armed ourselves with real customer data, it's time to find the cream of the crop: the accounts that perfectly align with your ICP.

As you discover powerful contenders, put them all into a dedicated target account list inside your CRM. This is the list of accounts your team will focus on. You should have a manageable number of high-value accounts on your radar, often ranging from one to a few dozen, depending on the size and complexity of your business.

Create Customized Value Propositions

In the diverse landscape of business, it's only natural that different departments will have varying opinions on what truly defines the value of a product.

Take, for example, an AI writing tool. Some might see its value in the wealth of ideas and inputs it provides, while others might find its true worth lies in its simplicity and efficiency in structuring first drafts. There’s no right or wrong.

Instead of hitting prospects with a generic sales pitch that's as bland as vanilla, you should craft customized value propositions that speak directly to each target account.

This could mean…

●     Highlighting specific benefits that resonate with the prospect's industry or pain points,

●     Showcasing ROI calculations that prove the tool delivers what it promises,

●     Or perhaps sharing compelling case studies or success stories that hit home for the prospect.

The main idea is to meet each prospect where they are and show them exactly how your product or service can make their lives easier, better, or more profitable.

Engage in Multiple Channels

Using multiple communication channels matters because potential clients hang out in more than one place.

By using different methods like phone calls, emails, social media, networking events, and face-to-face chats, you increase your chances of catching their attention. Each channel gives you a chance to interact with prospects in a way that feels right for them. Some might prefer a quick phone call, while others would rather be contacted via direct messaging.

By sticking to a laid-back and personalized approach across all these channels, you're showing that you're flexible and ready to chat wherever and whenever suits them best.

Journey Makes the Tough Parts of B2B Selling Feel Like a Breeze

Showcase Personalized Messages for Each Account, at the Right Time

Instead of spending hours crafting emails for each stakeholder, you can create a beautiful Digital Sales Room where everyone can come together and access all the important details with just one click.

No more digging through endless email threads and attachments. With Journey's Digital Sales Room, everything's right there in one place, ready for everyone to see. So that each stakeholder has access to the right without a hassle.

Creating a Unique and Personalized Experience

Doing everything from scratch every time a new prospect comes along would be a time-suck.

With Journey, it’ll no longer be a tedious process. Thanks to Journey’s very own Template Gallery packed with best practices, you'll have plenty of beautiful, customizable templates at your fingertips.

Simply pick a template, tweak it to fit your needs, and voila! You've got a stunning digital sales room ready to go in no time. If you do have to create something from scratch, it will be a one-time event.

But that's not all. Journey takes it a step further by allowing you to include your prospect's logo right alongside yours. You don't even need to fuss with saving their logo as a PNG to upload it later. With Journey, it's all done seamlessly within the app.

ICP and Intent Insights

With Journey, you can get real-time alerts and see exactly how each individual stakeholder is engaging with your deal content. This allows you to measure interest levels and step in at the perfect moment to influence their decision.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Journey also provides a wealth of other metrics to help you fine-tune your approach, including click-through rates, total engagement time, content analytics, and more. With this data, you'll know exactly when buyers lose interest, and can intervene to regain their attention.

For example, you'll be able to see how many people are staying engaged and how many are dropping off, giving you valuable insights into what's working and what's not. And if someone does lose interest, you can ask immediate questions to understand why and course-correct accordingly.

You’ll also get access to more personalized content as deals progress to later stages, ensuring you never miss a beat.

Sharpen Your Pitch from Deal to Deal – with Journey

Journey is the tool you need to shorten the sales process, drive revenue, and increase ROI. Hear it from the team at Jumpcrew, who drives 75x ROI with Journey:

“In the simplest initial use case of Journey, it became our daily content management system, housing our content in a way that was easily navigable and looked/felt like the brand identify we wanted to represent. That was just the beginning, because the functionality of Journey has only improved, which means the experience for our prospects has improved and JumpCrew can clearly stand out in a meaningful way. Journey is likely the one tool I personally feel I can't live without.” Jarron Vosburg, VP Sales, JumpCrew

Or from the team at Radar, who started closing 8 figure deals:

“Journey has been an absolute game-changer. We closed our $15m Series A more seamlessly than any fundraise prior (and in this market!) and I truly believe it was the ease, the design, and the flexibility of Journey that supported it.” Eric Mogil, VP, Radar

The above are businesses just like yours. Follow in their footsteps by making the single change they’ve made: switching to Journey. And start winning more deals by sending engaging stories in the form of Digital Sales Rooms.

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Start telling better stories

Start telling better stories