Webinar Recap and Q&A: Account-Based Sales and Marketing In Action


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Earlier this week I joined Gabe Larson from InsideSales.com and Trish Bertuzzi from The Bridge Group in a webinar highlighting how to focus and operationalize an account-based sales and marketing effort for virtually any business.

I highly recommend checking out the on-demand recording of the webinar hosted by InsideSales.com. It was a great discussion and the slides alone don’t do the content justice.

We had a great, highly active audience and there were numerous questions at the end. Below are several of those questions with my take on the answer. Take a read and check out the on-demand recording here.

This may be a dumb question, but what exactly is an “account”?

It’s actually a great question. In most cases, account is synonymous with company or, essentially, your target prospect. We use the term “account” more often now because that’s the nomenclature used by Salesforce in their CRM interface. The only time you might have multiple accounts within a company is with a very large company, such as Microsoft for example. At Microsoft you might have an account for Windows, an account for Xbox, an account for their server business and so on. But otherwise, and in the majority of cases, account just means company.

Is there a threshold when the selling organization gets too big to get sales & marketing effectively aligned?

I sure hope not. Successfully integrating sales and marketing certainly gets more difficult the larger the organization (and the more entrenched the culture is in separate efforts), but I can’t think of any company (no matter size, industry, stage, age, etc.) that wouldn’t benefit from sales and marketing teams aligned around objectives, focus areas, strategy and tactics. It can only increase your efficiency, market strength and results.

You talk about a difference between being account-centric and account-based, what does that mean?

It’s nuance and perhaps inside baseball, but the different is still meaningful. Many if not most B2B companies are account-centric, meaning they care mostly about selling something to the account (company) as opposed to individuals within those companies. So the end goal is to sign the company as a customer. Unfortunately, most account-centric sales and marketing programs still focus purely on the individual. They treat each individual within the company as a separate lead, without doing anything to coordinate consensus-building, messages or other elements that build velocity internally towards converting the account into a customer.

Account-based sales & marketing fixes that problem (or leverages the opportunity, depending on how you want to think about it). It actively engages all prospect decision-makers, stakeholders and influencers in an integrated, coordinated effort with a tightly-orchestrated, equally coordinated effort between sales and marketing. Doing account-based (vs account-centric) sales and marketing is surely more complex, but it’s well worth the effort if you want to land (and expand) with more big customers.

How do you think about using social media for account-based sales and marketing?

For me, every possible channel is on the table when it comes to engaging prospective accounts. With account-based, it’s likely you’ll have some internal stakeholders active on social channels and others that aren’t there at all. Your channels & tactics may need to be different inside each target account. Yet another reason why strategy always needs to come before technology, tools and tactics.

How well do existing technologies support account-based sales and marketing strategies?

You can do account-based with just a phone and email. Tools make it easier, faster, more integrated seamlessly between sales and marketing. There are some great new tools on the market such as Engagio to help coordinate account-based efforts, and I highly recommend that those serious about account-based ultimately find a technology solution (likely a set of tools) that support those efforts. But strategy comes first (I’m a broken record, but it’s a good song!) and if you’re just getting started, mapping the internal stakeholders, determining the right approach for each, and starting to execute with the tools you already have is a great place to begin.

Watch the full webinar recording here.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Matt Heinz
Prolific author and nationally recognized, award-winning blogger, Matt Heinz is President and Founder of Heinz Marketing with 20 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from a variety of organizations and industries. He is a dynamic speaker, memorable not only for his keen insight and humor, but his actionable and motivating takeaways.Matt’s career focuses on consistently delivering measurable results with greater sales, revenue growth, product success and customer loyalty.


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