The New Stack for Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) in an Account Based Everything (ABE) World

 

It’s a rapidly changing landscape for sales development professionals. Prospects are becoming harder to reach. They’re “smarter” about knowing which emails are coming from an automated system, even if it looks like a SDR could’ve written it. They’re not picking up phone calls, even from numbers in their own area code. They’re not accepting any and all LinkedIn connection requests.

At the same time, quotas are getting bigger. So how do you stand out from your peers and capture precious seconds of attention from key targets at the accounts you care about most? The answer: Better technology and teamwork.

More about the technologies later, but let’s talk for one second about teamwork. Odds are, you’re not going to get a prospect to engage the first time you reach out to them, even if it’s a carefully researched, timely email. Senior executives, especially, are just too busy these days. They also consume information in a variety of ways, from talking to peers, live events, LinkedIn, Twitter, and browsing relevant websites, your key targets are on more channels than ever.

All this means that sales development organizations can’t do it alone. They need to work with marketing to laser-focus on the people they’re targeting and be in sync in terms of messaging and orchestration across all the channels.

“Senior Execs are 2.5x more likely to respond to quality multi-touch campaigns.”

— Dan McDade, CEO, PointClear

Multiple touchpoints across different channels to multiple stakeholders is a great idea in theory, but it’s much easier said than done. But finally, there’s been a tech stack developed to help with solving exactly this challenge, a tech stack we’ve mapped to illustrate exactly the tools you need to help you with each challenge and channel.

“When it comes to SDR technology, you want Iron Man, not Terminator.  Technology is there to make a good salesperson better… not to take the human out of the equation.”

— Matt Amundson, VP of Sales Development & Field Marketing, Everstring

Core Sales Development Tools

Who: Data Vendors

To identify and prioritize target accounts, find accurate contact data, and maintain data quality

Example vendors: Dun & Bradstreet, Leadspace, DiscoverOrg, Email Hunter, Norbert, Datanyze…

What: Account Insight

To understand what will be relevant and resonant at each target account

Example vendors: LinkedIn, InsideView, Mattermark, DataFox, Owler…

What: Person Insight

To help research individual prospects and customers and tailor relevant messaging

Example vendors: LinkedIn, Crystal, Accompany, Triggerfox…

Where: Human Email / Sales Email

To streamline and automate creation, sending, and tracking of highly relevant emails – ideally emails that are personalized, reviewed, and sent by human to humans

Example vendors: Engagio, Outreach, SalesLoft, ToutApp, Yesware…

Where: Phone / Dialer

To increase efficiency, drive consistency, and improve quality for phone and voicemail interactions

Example vendors: InsideSales.com, FrontSpin, RingDNA, Ring.io, Velocify…

Where: Social

To interact with prospects and customers via social channels

Example vendors: LinkedIn, Twitter, rFactr, Nudge…

Where: Orchestration

To synchronize interactions that span channels (email + phone + social + demand gen) and departments (marketing, sales development, sales, and customer success) into coordinated multi-step Plays

Example vendors: Engagio

“Orchestration is the big step – the leap from old-school sales development to the new account based sales development.”

— Kristina McMillan, Sales Development Practice Leader, TOPO

Infrastructure Tools

Beyond the core Sales Development technologies, there are additional tools that are essential for any Account Based strategy.

Core: Lead to Account Matching

To match leads to the right target account, tie their activity to the right company, route them to the right owner, and get credit for the campaigns that touch them.

Example vendors: Engagio, LeanData…

Core: Account Based Analytics

To understand which accounts have the best engagement and opportunity for growth (track MQAs), optimize SDR performance, and measure which marketing investments best reach target accounts and accelerate deals.

Example vendors: Engagio, ZenIQ… (plus BrightFunnel and Bizible for attribution-based analytics)

Core: Account Planning

To map accounts, track account information, and manage account strategies.

Example vendors: Altify, Revegy, manual…

Core: CRM

To manage accounts, contacts, opportunities, and so much more…

Example vendors: Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle, SugarCRM, Hubspot…

Additional Tools for Account Based Marketing

In addition to the core tools listed above, there are a variety of tools that tend to be part of a broader Account Based Marketing initiative. When taken in conjunction with the Sales tools, you have the core elements of an Account Based Everything stack.

Who: Predictive Analytics

To identify and score potential accounts based on likelihood to convert

Example vendors: 6Sense, Everstring, Infer, Lattice Engines, Mintigo, Radius…

Who: Intent & Technographics

To improve account selection with advanced data

Example vendors: Bombora, BuiltWith, Datanyze, Ghostery, HG Data…

Where: Account Advertising

To show display ads building awareness at specific accounts

Example vendors: Demandbase, Terminus, LinkedIn, Madison Logic…

Where: Website Personalization

To customize the website experience for specific accounts and industries

Example vendors: Demandbase, Evergage, Marketo, Triblio…

Where: Direct & Dimensional Mail / Physical

To send packages, hand written letters, and other items to key people at target accounts

Example vendors: PFL, Bond… (this can also be done manually with checklists, mail houses, etc.)

TOPO, one of the preeminent think tanks on sales development, breaks down the technologies sales dev orgs use by their maturity:

Sales Development Technology Maturity

When it comes to technology for Sales Development, TOPO identifies three levels of maturity.

SDR-maturity-index

TOPO SDR Maturity Index

Source: TOPO SDR Benchmarks

We agree, but we think that in order to be fully optimized, sales development and marketing need to work together on key account penetration. Thus, we’ve zoomed out to look at all the tools marketing and sales development needs in the Account Based Everything Market Map.

The Account Based Everything Market Map

Account Based Everything Market Map

Account Based Everything Market Map v4

Download the PDF

The ABE Market Map identifies vendors across each of the core technology categories.

Also, be sure to check out the linkable ABE Market Map. Drop us a comment at the bottom – we’d love to hear your feedback!

Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger
Brandon Redlinger is the Head of Growth at Engagio, the Account-Based Marketing and Sales platform that enables teams to measure account engagement and orchestrate human connections at scale. He is passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.

One Response to “The New Stack for Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) in an Account Based Everything (ABE) World”

September 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm, Luella Ben Aziza said:

This is no mean feat – nice one Charlie & team! Glad to see more physical mail services come into play, too.

IMO the best bets are the most open and integrated tools above – if you can build ONE system that works, you can then look to swap out better point solutions as they develop. If you aim for the perfect system as a starting point, you’ll be buying and integrating forever.

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