Flipping the funnel with account-based prospecting

Charm key stakeholders at once instead of reaching out to single leads or contacts. Learn how you can start with account-based prospecting today and get more meetings booked!

flip the funnel with account-based prospecting

What is account-based prospecting?

Account-based prospecting is a hyper-personalized sales engagement strategy. It is a much more succinct way of penetrating your target accounts. Every high-value account — and the decision-makers who lead it — is treated as a market of one, with Marketing and Sales working together in a multi-touch, multi-channel effort to close these accounts.

In the account-based prospecting approach, you go after key decision makers or people who can refer you to key decision-makers instead of a spray and pray approach where you try to get a meeting with anyone who’d say yes from a target company.

The goal in account-based prospecting is to manage each high-value target account as an independent and scalable revenue stream to be nurtured over the long term. In this approach, entire teams engage with multiple key stakeholders at a prospective company in contrast to the usual selling approach where one salesperson pursues a specific account.

Account-first approach also means you start the conversation with a much deeper understanding of a company’s pain points and their potential use case for your product. You begin your outbound efforts knowing the company will benefit from your solution, instead of just crossing your fingers.

Account-based prospecting also enables you to choose the kind of customers you want to sell to—you don’t have to sell to just anyone who fills out a contact form on your website.

Here’s ABP in a nutshell,

Select target accounts(companies) → Research target accounts (recently funded, hiring, etc) → Identify key decision-makers → Personalize outreach

Flipping the funnel with ABP

account-based prospecting funnel

Traditional Funnel:

Attract prospects > Personalize and engage > Close accounts

Account-based prospecting:

Target accounts > Personalize and engage > Build relationships

Suggested Reading: Build your ABP campaign from scratch with our free eBook

Start by identifying your ICPs

The first and most important step is to identify target accounts and clearly define the ideal customer profiles(ICPs) you need to engage. Start by finding answers to the following questions,

  • What industry is the best fit for your solution?
  • Which accounts are you trying to get your message to?
  • Which key stakeholders are you looking to get in front of?

Target the right key stakeholders

Once you've identified which accounts you'll target, find the key decision-makers within those accounts. The average B2B purchase now involves 6.8 stakeholders. To win an account, you'll need to connect with each one.

For example, if you’re selling sales software, you’d want to target B2B sales folks – but more specifically Head of Sales, Sales Manager, someone from sales ops, VPs, and Directors of Sales. You need to get in front of these people on a daily basis.

You’re not looking at the VP of finance, not the engineering team or customer success. You’re going to be engaging specific people in sales. When you’re getting into account-based prospecting, you’re looking at multiple stakeholders within the account, not just one person, and treating them as a lead.

It’s super important to make sure you’re touching these key people that would make the buying decision and not focus on just one person.

Tailor your message

Account-based prospecting relies heavily on content tailored to your audience. Sending the right message requires researching your target account and key stakeholders—pain points, recent events like funding, or hiring for example.

The trick is to send a tailored message that’ll break through the noise and make the prospect believe the email was written for them personally. A generic message is going to get ignored among the tons of other similar emails they receive.

If you’re prospecting into an account and can’t find any events to leverage, you can look for other ways to get your foot in the door. These can be points of affinity or mutual connections, or shared interest (same college, sports team, etc.), which if used properly, can be a powerful way to build trust and rapport.

How Outplay supercharges account-based prospecting

The three crucial factors of any successful business are people, process, and technology.

Leveraging the right technology like Outplay can help you with the intelligence and automation you need to ace your account-first approach and ensure no target account/prospect falls through the cracks.

The process also plays an important role, and the onboarding process we help out with at Outplay is one of the reasons why you can be successful using the account-based selling approach with Outplay.

With Outplay’s capabilities like multi-channel sales sequences and triggers(automation), you can personalize your outreach by creating winning templates and sending personal emails at scale.

And through the right combination of sequences and triggers, you can build a dynamic sequencing model on Outplay that automatically updates your prospect’s journey based on certain conditions or events that you have to set up(using Triggers) just once. This will ensure no prospect/account falls through the cracks and helps you recycle or revisit your ICP at a later point in time, maybe 3 or 6 months down the line to close that deal.

Even if you don’t get a meeting with a key decision-maker of a high-value account today, Outplay’s dynamic sequencing makes sure you revisit the account after an appropriate amount of time and get that meeting scheduled.

If you want to learn more and become an expert at ABP, download our eBook on account-based prospecting for FREE: Grab a copy!