As IT and consultative spending has continued to rebound in the past few years, many of our Technology and Tech leveraged consulting client base see opportunity in large account marketing and sales activity to drive their technology lead generation efforts.. Often they have a few large customers already, and they seek more to grow or to diffuse their risk of a large customer loss at some unforeseen moment, unsettling their entire company.
The trouble is, in pursuit of these large complex organizations, attack plans can falter frustratingly. My customers for years have lamented about how a 7 digit opportunity had fallen from the pipeline without warning… leaving them to pick up the pieces and go on to the next one…. Unsure of what had actually happened.
Watching this pattern repeat, The Frantz Group had an ah-ha moment… again. We have realized Frantz Group marketing and our customer’s sales force must collectively follow a regimented sales process in the large account appointment setting, that starts in the early stages of the marketing cycle through a process called Account Based Marketing, also known as ABM.
We need to have Right Offers that define our customer’s differentiated value to the specific target market and target audience to begin with. Ideal offers take complex sales and make the first steps in a long journey faster, more directed, more easily acted upon, improving your position to guide your large account prospect to a successful sales outcome.
Beyond that, we need to direct our outbound marketing efforts to make sure the receiving sales force understands the emerging project’s buying influencers and how they relate to each other in the go forward sell cycle.
Our view is, Large Account opportunity development activity is really the first step of a complex sale cycle.
What is a complex sale?
- A Complex Sale is where a team of several people must give their approval before the sale can take place, potentially across several departments. The Economic buyer, technical buyers, coaches and influencers will all play a part in this sales cycle.
- In the complex sale, a good technical plan is only as good as the strategy that led up to it. Opportunity development resources then, must understand the ultimate strategy to win the sales force will be using… so they can set it up properly.
What do we mean by strategy?
- Strategy means a series of identifiable and repeatable processes that you use to position yourself with the customer before the sales call begins.
- The process you use to lay out your moves in advance of the sales call.
- Strategy is a PREREQUISITE to tactical success.
- A planned system of selling should be visible, logical and repeatable.
- This allows us to see what works and what doesn’t with each change in the process.
- What is the objective of a sales strategy?
- The objective of a good sales strategy is to get yourself in the right place with the right people at the right time so you can technically make the right presentation.
- The real reason for long term stable success is the way we go about our work, the methodology or process.
- Without an understanding of your own method, you are doomed to approach each sales call as an entirely new experience.
Sound like a lot for marketing to start? It is.
At Frantz Group, we have had to train our Large Account focused resources on Sales Process so they understand what is coming next and they set it up properly. Before the first sales prospect call we collaborate on first call script for the sales person, provide them with a marketing to sales hand off process and send an email to the prospect explaining the objectives of the first appointment.
Why would we go to this much trouble? Because through experience we have learned the importance of clear communication and ensuring the prospect and the sales rep are on the same page as the next step occurs. This gives everyone a better chance of the initial appointment meeting expectations, which drives future appointments and engagement through the sales process.
It is worth this much trouble because when you do it right, you can be having a first conversation with a top exec of a huge company.
In the last two weeks a Frantz Group customer had a first meeting with a top exec prospect who has 14000 employees ultimately reporting up to him. That top exec prospect has been on our client’s web site twice since the initial meeting and is planning a second meeting with his direct reports.
The potential for our client? Multiple millions of dollars.
Can we help you drive large account revenue? Do your reps need assistance with named account marketing?
I think so.
It is what we get up every morning to do.