[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s 4th and goal on the 1-yard line. Your team is down by 3 points with 1:43 left of the clock. What do you do? Open up your Playbook.

In the NFL, a Playbook is a sacred thing. It’s an accumulation of extensive knowledge, painstakingly masterminded by the smartest people in the franchise that tells teams what to do in any given situation. It’s the first thing a player is given as a freshman, and it will stay with them for as long as they wear the jersey. It’s a physical representation that you’re part of the team.

In pro football, you live and die by your Playbook.

You can draw countless valuable parallels between sports and business, but one thing professional selling teams have overlooked is the value of a Playbook.

What exactly is a Playbook as it relates to Account Based Everything? A Playbook is a complete collection of Plays an organization can run in any given business scenario with the goal of engaging target accounts (new prospects or existing customers). It tells the team how to execute on the strategy. These Plays can range from Sales Plays to Customer Success Plays, from Door-opener Plays to Renewal Plays. They can range from simple Plays to a complex set of multi-player, multi-touch, and multi-channel interactions.

A Play is a series of steps that orchestrates interactions across departments and channels to achieve a business purpose for one or more buying centers at target accounts. Pre-designed Plays are a great way to ensure that everyone in the company consistently follows best practices throughout their account work.

The Evolution of Account Orchestration

Evolution of Account OrchestrationIn a recent presentation by Jon Miller, CEO and Cofounder of Engagio, at B2B Marketing Exchange, he revealed the Evolution of Account Orchestration.

  • Level 1: Send an email to one person. For a long time, since the advent of email, this is what reps did. It’s one person taking a single action. Before email, it was one salesperson on foot going from door to door, one after another.
  • Level 2: Send a series of emails to one person. The added element at this level is time. Here, we see tools start to enter the picture, whether is using a spreadsheet, calendar reminders, or an automation tool. Reps began to realize that more touches are better than one single touch. If you’re focused on quantity, and all you care about is talking to more people, then level 1 or 2 will suffice.
  • Level 3: Send a series of touches across channels to one person. At this level, we begin to see channel diversification. This is where most companies are at in their account orchestration maturity. As much as I’d love to see Account Based Everything being embraced, the reality is most companies are still operating from the old model – a lead-centric, high volume numbers game. Furthermore, most of the technology available was built for, thus encourages, level 3 orchestration. However, it’s our mission at Engagio to help people get past level 3, to level 4, then beyond to level 5.
  • Level 4: Send a series of touches across channels to multiple people at the target account. This is where account based thinking is an imperative. As deals get longer, larger and more complex, we have to deal with multiple decision makers and influencers.
  • Level 5: Orchestrate a series of interactions across channels from multiple people on the selling team to multiple people on the buying team. Enter true Account Based Everything orchestration. The leading B2B companies are innovating at every level and making business easier for both the buyer and the seller.

If you want to get to the higher levels, you must go beyond the tactics and implement a strategic company-wide initiative.

Building Your Playbook

The first thing that you need to do is a build your Playbook. Sit down with your Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success leadership and draw out all of the Plays your team needs to run. Think about the following scenarios:

Sales and Sales Development:

  • What are the core Plays your team will rely on to open doors and get conversations started with prospects? This can be anything from leveraging mutual connections for an introduction to using trigger events to plain cold outreach.
  • What are creative Plays you can run to accelerate deals?
  • How can you use a Play to re-engage an account that has gone silent?
  • How do you orchestrate a handoff from your ADR/SDR to your AE while making the experience smooth for the prospects?

Marketing:

  • What Plays can you run to get more coverage or awareness at target accounts?
  • How can you get the right people at VIP events?
  • What Plays can you run that allows you to leverage advocates to influence open opportunities?

Customer Success:

  • How can you ensure a smooth handoff to the CS team so that the new logo is onboarded properly?
  • What Plays can you run if you have a detractor or unhappy customer?
  • How can you leverage Plays to make sure happy and renew when their contract is up?

The good news is we’re giving away all of our Account Based Everything Plays in the new Engagio Playbook. These are the Plays that our Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success Teams run every day. They’re tested, refined, and proven Plays with everything you need to know, from flow to players to templates.

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.

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