Target Account Selection: Here’s How to Pick Your Way to Presidents Club

OK, so your company has just implemented an Account Based Marketing strategy! Your SVP Sales comes up to you and says the following. “Hey, go put together a list of your target accounts.” Now what?

Start with Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Your ICP is a prototypical company that fits the profile for the solution or service offering that you are selling.

Here are some factors to consider when defining your ICP:

  • What sector or sectors are you winning in?
  • Alternately, what new markets are most important for your company to develop?
  • Are these markets growing?
  • What accounts will deliver the most value (including strategic value, advocates, referral sources, geographic presence)?

Next, go into CRM and pull a closed won report and look where you have had success.

  • What attributes are common amongst your best clients and advocates?
  • What kind of accounts play to our unique strengths?
  • What were the personas of the people you won business at?

Taking it to the Next Level

For a more advanced approach to account selection, tap into these kinds of data.

Firmographics: What company characteristics best predict a successful sales process?

  • Company size, Number of employees, Industry, Growth, Number of locations, etc.

Technographics: What technologies do they currently use or are they looking to invest in?

  • Complimentary technologies to yours
  • Tech that rules out your solution or makes investment less likely

Intent Data: Is the company showing signs that they’re in the market for solutions like yours?

  • Topics people at this company are researching on 3rd party sites
  • Participation in forums
  • Content downloads or add clicks
  • Intent vendors like MRP, Bombora and The Big Willow

Engagement Data: How engaged is this account with your company right now?

  • CRM data
  • Web analytics
  • Marketing automation reports
  • Engagio engagement analytics
  • Sales rep activity
  • Executive input

Find the right contacts

Once you’ve found the right accounts, the next step is to find the right contacts. Take into consideration your ideal buyer personas and all stakeholders: signers, influencers and advocates. Remember to use at least three to five buyer personas. Remember you can have up to 17 influencers in an enterprise engagement!

Pro tip: When selecting accounts, consider how difficult it might be to reach the right people! If you have good access to the decision makers, then it’s more likely that they should be a target account. If you can’t find the right people in the org chart, then the account might not be the right fit for what you are selling and you need to move on to another account in your selection process.

Align with Marketing and Sales

Account Based Marketing requires a coordinated approach. Once the account selection process is complete, ask your team’s opinion. Go over to Marketing, the SDR/BDR team, and Sales leadership to get their feedback. ABM is a strategic business shift, and it takes a village to succeed!

Prioritize Accounts

Finally, as we wrote in Taking a Tiered Approach to Account Based Marketing: Three Styles of ABM:

It’s not enough to just pick a list of target accounts – you also need to prioritize how much resource you can apply to each account. Don’t spread out your ABM efforts across all accounts evenly like peanut butter; use account tiers and the different styles to ensure the right amount of resource for each account – and make sure everyone in the company is aligned around the prioritization and resources applied to each tier.

Picking the right accounts, and aligning on how you will go after each one, is the foundational step in Account Based Marketing success.

What’s worked for you when it comes to account selection?

Brett Samurin
Brett Samurin
Brett is an Account Executive at Engagio, helping Marketing and Sales leaders implement Account Based Marketing. A passionate sales professional with 9 years of internet solutions experience ranging from emerging market internet start-ups to mid sized organizations, he has a proven track record of success in identifying key accounts and driving sales cycles from prospecting to close.

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