Are you trying to penetrate a list of accounts? Without an account strategy for every prospect, you’re flying blind. Too often good meetings are wasted on bad pitches, because you’re not fully prepared or informed.
Most account strategy plans include the obvious information: org charts, tech stack, financial details, and competitive landscape.
But it’s not enough to get a buyer’s attention. You need to clearly address how you can solve their biggest pain points.
How do you get that information when you don’t have inside relationships?
Here’s a simple strategy one Emissary client (a marketing technology vendor) uses to fill in the knowledge gaps. First, their SDR team fills out as many account details they can find from LinkedIn, 10-k’s, press releases, and their sales intelligence database, DiscoverOrg.
Then, their Account Executives work with an Emissary to answer three simple questions:
1. What are their pain points?
Understand what keeps them up at night.
After giving their Emissary context about their solution, they discuss internal initiatives, real struggles, and hot-button issues within the target account to find the underlying pain point they can solve for the business.
"This brand already has a high frequency with their users, so getting new users is a big focus for them; I would look to define that value of your product to them."
2. Who cares about these pains?
Find the people who are most affected by these issues.
Once you determine the pain point, you need to understand who within the organization cares most about these pains. Just guessing who has the influence based on titles can often send you in the wrong direction.
When our client discusses the decision-making matrix with their Emissary, they go deeper than roles and responsibilities. What motivates this person? Are there specific words, logos, or data they would respond to? Are there other people or departments that would be involved with this decision? Who really holds the power? Working with an Emissary is like outlining every move on your chessboard, so you’re not caught off guard by surprises.
You really need to talk to their Operations Manager; their main priority is instigating collaboration between IT and Marketing
3. How can you solve that pain point?
Test your pitch on your Emissary first.
You only have one chance to make a first impression, so make sure it counts. By treating their Emissary as if they were actually the buyer, our client makes 100% certain their message will resonate.
Together with their Emissary they review pitch decks, sample emails, and marketing materials to get feedback on how to craft customized positioning. This builds confidence in their delivery, so they know they are hitting on the right pain points and differentiating themselves from the competition.
The VP of Marketing will want to know exactly how you will impact website conversion rates. Be sure to include case studies, especially from their top three competitors.
Play the right card, at the right time
You need to know your account strategy before you ever start engaging with an account. If you’re selling complex enterprise deals, the stakes are too high to gamble. Having a solid account strategy helps you know the outcome before you enter your meeting, putting you in the driver’s seat to get the best result.