I had the pleasure of attending TOPO’s NYC Sales Council where Craig Rosenberg covered:
- Account based strategy
- Sales benchmarks
- Survey benchmarks
Here are my key takeaways.
Account Based Strategy (ABS)
- ABS is the orchestration of marketing, sales, sales development, and customer success to drive customer lifetime value (CLTV) by executing valuable, personalized campaigns with targeted, high-value accounts
- The #1 converting field strategy = peer-to-peer events. Other good strategies are: (a) deep research (b) custom audits (c) client-specific workshops, esp. those using their data
- Sales, not marketing, must prescribe the accounts they are targeting; fit precedes activity
- Metrics should track engagement on important things (ex: meetings with executives)
- Reps should not be allowed to create accounts in CRM
- Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) should include (a) behaviors, (b) industry, (c) geography.
- To build the ICP, (a) Get qualitative feedback from AEs – What signals ‘I’m going to win this’? What signals ‘this is a bad prospect’? (b) Layer internal data – esp. closed won & churn (c) external info – ex. Predictive analytics
- Using the ICP, Build target company lists segmented in ~3 tiers with Tier 1 based on highest potential CLTV then determine the ABS go-to-market strategy for each tier. Tier 1 will have the highest degree of customization.
- Expect to adjust the target company list about 10% to 15% every six months.
- The council only touched lightly on metrics. The one most discussed was Target Account Pipeline (TAP) and associated sub-metrics for target accounts including ARR, close rate, and expected lifetime value.
- A good way to segment your tech stack is (a) engagement (b) content (c) measurement (d) data (e) infrastructure
- Benchmark on transaction size (SMB: 0-$25K; Mid: $25-$75K; Enterprise:$75K+)
- Typical # of sales stages = 5
- Sales cycle: 3 mos (SMB) to 8 mos (Enterprise)
- 5 Biggest challenges: (1) more quality pipeline from marketing (2) execution by sales reps (3) sales enablement & training (4) metrics & forecasting (5) lack of standard sales process
- Key differentiators of the best sales organizations: (1) value-based selling approach (2) metrics & forecasting (3) existence of hiring profiles.
- Biggest issues by stage: (a) Discovery: link between what we sell and solution client seeking (b) Presentation: tailoring to requirements (c) Demo: addressing customer priorities (d) Trail: lack of active trial management (e) focus on price instead of business results
- Conduct discovery separately from demo, qualifying on authority and need (budget/money and timing/urgency come later). Demo for qualified prospects only.
- Rep are generally trained well in asking questions. Where they need extra training is in what to say when they hear certain triggers.
- In the presentation, start with 1 or 2 slides on what you learned so far. Then you will have earned the right to show how what you do addresses their challenges.
- Winners do hyper-customized demos. Instead of “We do all these things….”, show “Here is how our solution directly solves your 3 biggest problems.”
- With Trials, you have 1 day to get prospects to engage. Hence, you should have a trial success plan consisting of (a) kickoff – required (b) checkpoint – 2 days in (c) end of trial meeting (d) impact report, esp. if users different than buyers (e) executive meeting (f) proposal
- SDR sequence: (1) account and contact prioritization (2) directed/structured research (3) touch pattern (4) qualification/discovery (5) handoff (6) sales accepted opportunity
- On average, SDRs generate 18.2 SQLs (meetings) per month; more for SMB sized deals and less for enterprise deals
- In SMB, goal is to qualify people out; in enterprise, goal is to qualify people in
- Companies average 1 SDR-to-2 AEs. Don’t exceed 1:3.
- Expect a trend of adding direct mail and/or video to the “triple touch” set of email, phone, and social. Direct mail tends to work best at the beginning of a campaign but is showing increasing promise in the middle. Video is risky since many SDRs dress quite casually.
- People rarely return calls or social outreach. However, those touches increase the likelihood of an email reply.
- SDRs mostly report into sales. However, performance is the same regardless of reporting; what matters is that the SDRs have a great manager who trains them and holds them accountable.
- Top 5 SDR challenges: (1) Connect rate (2) conversion rate (3) lead volume (4) lead quality (5) training & onboarding
Vendors Mentioned By Council