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Account Based Everything — Structured Prospecting

by David Brock on August 16th, 2017

Account Based Everything, including Account Based Marketing and Account Based Selling is all the rage.  Sometimes, however, I think we make all of this a little more complicated than necessary.  Most of what we do in territory development and management applies to what we do in ABE.  We just have the ability to focus, personalize, and leverage an incumbent position.

The most fundamental aspect of ABE is that it provides a structured approach to prospecting.  In our accounts, just as in our territories, mindset matters.  We have to approach ABE with the mindset that “It’s our God given right to 100% share of account—but it’s our responsibility to figure out what that is and to earn that business.”

In ABE, it’s our job to find all the opportunities for our products and solutions.  Just like any prospecting, we start with some sort of profiling, trying to find where potential customers are.  Have we maximized the opportunity within our current customers in the account?  Are there other divisions or business units that might be prospects for our solutions?

We have to assess potential fit for each of our solutions, across the entire account—each division or business unit, each location, globally.  Once we identify these (think of it as a variant of Total Addressable Market), we have to figure out how we reach and engage these prospects.

With ABE, we have some advantages and insights that we may not have in a territory based approach.  We probably have a position in the account—ideally very delighted customers who can serve as references or even introduce us to their peers in the account.

We also have greater insight into the issues and challenges our prospects face.  Because of our knowledge of the account, we know the strategic drivers, we know the priorities driven by top management, we know key performance metrics (KPIs).  We know the structure and, to a degree, how things get done within the organization. We know a lot about their markets, their customers, their competition, and their positioning within their markets.  We also know some the culture and operating style.

All this knowledge provides us real advantage in being able to tailor and personalize insights to each group in the account.  The output of this work is simply a highly targeted, structure prospecting plan.


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