Manny Medina is the CEO of Outreach.
In this exclusive interview, Medina offers his perspectives on intelligent account-based sales.
CRM Buyer: How would you define “account-based sales”?
It’s the ability to take an account and use a holistic approach when dealing with it. You use a combination of marketing and sales to get to that account. It’s giving a name to something people already do, and it creates an alignment between sales and marketing. You create a list of top companies that you know for a fact are open to you, and after that you can find the right people and target ads to that account.
CRM Buyer: Why is it an effective strategy?
When sales and marketing are siloed, the problem is that even though they may be qualified, they aren’t linked. In the past, you would build out a list, and it would bring in some amount of intel, but most of it wouldn’t be qualified or updated. The kind of companies you’re going after determines your strategy. If you align marketing and sales, you target the right person with the right language.
CRM Buyer: What is a multi-persona workflow, and why is it good to have?
When you go into an organization, you will have divided decision-making. It’s important for you to figure out who the decision makers and potential blockers are and try to get them on your side, or get enough information to involve them in your sales cycle.
You identify those people early in the cycle so you can have a conversation. You need intelligence in your tools to make sure you’re talking with the right person for the right purpose. You need the intelligence to say, “Hey, I’m going to target that account,” and then you need to know what to say.
CRM Buyer: What is the relationship between account-based sales and CRM?
CRM is a system of records. It’s a database in the cloud. CRM is a great place to dump all your contacts and leads, but the majority of people don’t work out of CRM. The majority of them work out of email and phone.
An account-based workflow requires you to have intelligence in the system to make sense of the data in CRM. You need a system of action to have an account-based sales strategy.
CRM Buyer: What’s the best way to target accounts?
It depends on your goal. You might want to sell to larger accounts, or you might want to go down market, or you might want to do a mix. You can’t answer that question without having some idea of your strategy. The way most people do it is to look at accounts they’ve already landed. That’s the best way to get going with it. Then you make some heuristics around what verticals you’re going to be attacking.
CRM Buyer: What’s an ideal customer profile?
This is someone who is the kind of customer you’re looking for, in terms of size and complexity and revenue velocity. You have your operational goals, but you also have a set of customers you know how to close and can close quickly. You can walk them through a value proposition, provide value, and close within a known timeframe.
You can use this customer to create a case study, and then you can rinse and repeat. It’s not necessarily someone you can sell to quickly. An ideal customer profile is someone you can make successful quickly. You’re not selling the tool — you’re selling success.
The true measurement is a defined timeline for how long it will take you to make the customer successful. It’s not the sales cycle. It’s the success cycle.CRM Buyer: How is account-based sales evolving? What’s in the future?
You’ll be seeing tools that allow you to create a full, comprehensive account-based plan. You’re going to get a lot more of the people in the company involved, and you’ll need a tool that will allow you to coordinate the process.
It’s going to heighten the need for a system that allows you to orchestrate and execute and measure. You have to ask yourself, “Is it effective? Is it helping move something through a funnel, or not?” If it’s not an effective tool, it’s useless.