As marketeers & sales representatives, we are all fully aware that to drive revenue growth then sales & marketing teams need to work in unison to create a seamless customer experience, but they each have their individual role to play.
In this article Will O’Brien, Founder & Director, Day Five Consulting, takes the sales perspective & shares best practice for those individual contributors who hold sales & account management targets.
The B2B Tech industry invests in sales & marketing capabilities to ensure products, solutions, & service offerings get taken up by customers & prospects. The results of any organisation depend largely on the individual & team performances of each sales (& marketing) group. And whilst you may have an amazing solution it’s not the customers role to find you.
Farmers & Hunters
The view is, & incorrectly so, that marketing should provide 100% of a sales pipeline coverage. Sales individuals should in fact seek to find 70% of their individual pipeline from Route One approach. As such, sales consultants fall into either the ’Farmer’ or ‘Hunter‘ account management category. Farmers harvest their installed base, whilst Hunters seek out & hunt for new accounts in new regions & verticals.?Depending on who you work for & your client base, organisations allocate sales & marketing budget to trigger customer upsell or to find net new opportunities. This however will not replace the personal effort needed to find new opportunities to hit your number.
Fish where the fish are
Successful selling & market development by sales individuals comes from understanding where you should be spending your time. In short you have circa 280 + selling days to make an annual quota. Be proactive & understand that getting exposed to a good opportunity is something you can do without solely relying on marketing input.
If you’re an installed base account manager there is nothing to prevent you from running an account planning session. If you have a client with multiple contact points with your organisation, then this is a great first action.
Bring teams together & harvest intelligence from marketing, consulting, development, support, & partners who all have information to share. Analyse your clients & take a helicopter approach to find departments, divisions, & countries where you have no presence or access.
Increasing your share of wallet
In terms of driving new business within your existing client base you need to displace your competitors & grow your presence within each of your current accounts, i.e., corridor creeping.
Don’t expect your marketing or sales directors to gift you the exact coordinates for your target market or where to shoot. You need to do a proportion of the heavy lifting for yourself. However, share data & insights with you marketing team to help optimise their activities, e.g., marketing will share data on which channels are driving the most leads & as sales you need to provide feedback on the quality of those leads. By developing an SLA will help define the roles & responsibilities of each team & establish clear metrics for measuring success.
Plans are useless but planning is indispensable
Selling successfully relies on strategic planning & laser focused execution. You need to invest time in determining which industries & what size of organisations are realistic targets for your solution or services. Know your CACs, LTVs, TAMs & SAMs. Conduct your due diligence, understand your company’s messaging, read case studies & understand your organisation’s vertical presence.
Content is king
Collaborate with marketing on content creation. Your marketing team generates collateral that educates & informs your prospects – use it in your communication with prospects & live accounts. Marketing will identify the most appropriate channels for you to reach your targets & work with you to develop a lead generation programme. Ensure your lead scoring system identifies the most qualified leads by including criteria such as job title, company size & behaviour on the company website.
A successful sales career takes time & effort. Focus on building strong relationships, & continuously learning & improving. And remember it’s an activity-based role where personal effort drives results irrespective of whether you are a Hunter or a Farmer.?