Recently, I facilitated an educational session with my friends from InsideView, titled Mastering the Art of Account-Based Sales and Marketing. We covered some real-world applications and looked at how a sales team can leverage InsideView and Dynamics 365 (D365) to implement an effective account-based strategy. I’ll share some of what we covered below.
This was the second in a series of TechTalks named Master Your CRM Data Before it Masters You, and there’s still time to register for our final session on Mastering the Power of Sales Intelligence this Thursday at 10:00 am PST / 1:00 pm EST. I hope you’ll join us.
Now let’s dig in.
Account-based sales and marketing (ABM) is a revenue-generating strategy that focuses on select, high-value accounts and treats them as markets of one. We often find this methodology used in the world of B2B sales when dealing with high-value products and services. Sales departments sometimes refer to it as “account-based selling” or “key account management.” Throughout my 20 years of CRM consulting, I’ve spent most of my time developing sales models for organizations such as these that have complex sales cycles.
Let’s take a look at some of the best practices for account-based selling and marketing that we covered in our last TechTalk.
Clean Your Existing Data
To succeed with an account-based selling strategy, you must ensure that your D365 data is in good condition. Without precise, accurate data, understanding your business and your customers is impossible.
Because InsideView offers world-class, up-to-date B2B data integrated into D365, I recommend leveraging their technology to update and manage your data. You can do so as a single merge and purge, or better still, you can set it up to run as an automated, continual background operation.
When it runs, InsideView will update account hierarchies, company records, contact details, industry codes, financial details, and more. In account-based selling, this is a platinum mine for your sales team.
Study the Data to Understand Your Accounts and Discover the Right New Prospects
Now that you’ve imported clean data into your D365 system, you and your marketing colleagues can look for and understand similarities in your key accounts. Once you’ve found and explored them, you can run them through InsideView’s database to find new accounts that look the same.
Instead of importing thousands of prospects into a marketing automation application to run an email “blast” campaign, sales and marketing can focus on a smaller number of targeted accounts and develop a strategy to pursue them in a more personalized way.
Trust me. Your sellers, marketers, and customers will appreciate it.
Bonus: 3 more benefits of mastering your data
1. Good data begets good behavior
When you deliver updated and reliable information to your sales teams, they’re more likely to depend on and keep their D365 records current, helping maintain that high data quality. This leads to better CRM user adoption and means better intelligence and forecasting to guide your business forward.
2. Good data means faster, higher quality sales
By delivering the right information to your sales teams, you give them the tools they need to quickly find and act upon their target accounts. InsideView’s database gives them access to account hierarchies, key decision-makers, and your connections to those contacts, so they can leverage existing relationships to open conversations, close new business, and expand your footprint within current accounts.
3. Better data improves communications
The better a company understands its account base, the better it will be at selling to, supporting, and serving them. When a company knows what its customers want, it can tailor its messaging, future products, and services to fit their needs, driving sales up and to the right.
I say it often and it’s still true, the ROI on your D365 system is all about the data!
About the Author: Rick McCutcheon, Dynamics 365 Solutions MVP
Rick has been involved with the technology industry for over 20 years as a company founder, senior executive, board member, and educator. Microsoft has awarded him with the MVP Designation for Customer Engagement (CRM) six times. As a professional speaker and workshop leader, he has travelled globally to deliver practical yet innovative messages on the “Digital Transformation of the Business” to thousands of professionals. For more information please go to his LinkedIn Profile.