Accelerate Podcast with Andy Paul
September 11, 2017

#563. Leverage Social Media in Account-Based Selling. With Garrett Mehrguth.

Garrett Mehrguth, CEO of Directive Consulting, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:46] Garrett says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is differentiation — presenting your niche and value proposition, and including content that adds value to the prospect.

[3:53] Garrett tells how to create differentiation. The human-to-human connection is first, but differentiation comes from showing how you’ve solved similar problems for others.

[5:14] Garrett discusses increasing revenue potential in every stage of the pipeline through the use of social media. He explains how Facebook ads target can your CRM contacts.

[10:06] Garrett gives numbers for his own Facebook usage for top-of-funnel awareness.

[11:50] Garrett says that Facebook ads give him the best cost per response. He notes their features compared to Twitter and LinkedIn ads. Use graphics with a professional appearance.

[14:23] Garrett explains the essential nature of the call to action and the landing page. Garrett uses dual offers on the landing page of his calls to action.

[16:49] There are different offers for different personas. Garrett gives an explanation of the outreach to personas at different levels.

[21:07] Garrett talks about pitching Andy to get on the Accelerate! Podcast, and how he did it.

[21:39] What is Garrett’s ‘ask’ for a Facebook ad? Garrett wants to get the prospect on a call, to establish for them that they are a good fit.

[23:07] Garrett’s immediate target is to grow the business, through new hiring. He explains how he has delegated hiring.

[24:54] Garrett elaborates on social proof. Watch your keywords. The highest close rates are coming from sites where social proof (reviews) are present.

[26:56] There are alternatives to Captera for smaller companies. Garrett points out how works, and other directories with reviews.

September 7, 2017

#561. Buyer Aware Account-Based Selling. With Darlene Mann.

Darlene Mann, Co-founder, President, and COO at Akoonu, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[3:08] Darlene says the single biggest challenge facing sales reps today is the complexity of the selling process to create value leading to a sale. The mechanization distracts reps from the heart of selling — understanding and helping buyers.

[4:30] Is the sales stack too complex? Darlene sees two sides to the issue. They buyer team faces greater complexity in buying, from many competing vendors offering feature-rich services. Personal connection is the key.

[7:03] The sales stack serves the seller, but where are the tools to serve the buyer’s need for making a good decision quickly? Darlene says Akoonu factors in the buyer and seller, each with their own activities. It helps the seller to understand the buyer.

[10:15] There may be an opportunity for an entrepreneur to develop tools to engage the seller and buyer systems in collaboration through the buying journey.

[10:50] Akoonu means ‘content.’ It looks at content the digital marketing world is producing, in an effort to reshape account-based selling for sales organizations. It is suited for complex, long-cycle sales, not for transactional unit sales.

[12:48] Akoonu collects data from Salesforce, email, calendars, and other sales enablement tools, to construct a buyer’s journey in alignment with your sales process, showing an opportunity map, and suggesting next steps with each contact.

[14:20] Darlene discusses Akoonu’s ROI. Giving the rep better views of the buyer puts them in a better position to close. Two extra deals a year will pay for Akoonu. Buyer context that persists is being created. Deal reviews are quick and efficient.

[18:02] Does the stack help sales? Darlene says the marketing side of the stack is essential. The sales side of the stack facilitates account-based selling. Reps are using the CRM mainly to store data, while the stack enables sales efficiency.

[21:37] Reps are still figuring out how to use the stack to make account-based selling efficient and productive. Darlene explains marketing automation, and leads, vs. opportunities.

[25:45] Distinguish between tools and best practices. A smart organization aligns marketing and sales, so outreach is researched, and contacts are personalized to specific needs.

[30:67] Use the technology to help position yourself as buyer-centric. Understand the business and needs, and get feedback to help the buyer make a good decision to buy.

[32:16] Customers change through the act of selling to them. They become more informed and intelligent about their needs. Be thoughtful, mindful, and deliberate as their ideas about their needs change through greater product knowledge.

July 24, 2017

#519. Tracking Account-Based Marketing Success. With Andrew Sinclair.

Andrew Sinclair, Founder of Lane Four, an account-based sales and marketing application, joins me on this episode of #Accelerate!


[2:01] Andrew says the biggest challenge facing sales reps is the time it takes reps to do administrative tasks instead of selling, to meet management’s need to track field activity.

[3:25] Terms like ‘track,’ ‘report,’ and ‘measure’ indicate that CRM is not meant to facilitate the job of the reps, but to control their activity. Andrew prefers enabling end-of-job tasks, such as using the sales order to enter activity data.

[6:06] Lane Four, for ABM, came from Andrew’s consulting company, which is focused on supporting funded startups. Four years ago they started building tools to make Salesforce easier for marketers. This led to account-based services.

[7:57] Bolting apps onto Salesforce can lead to data in separate sets. Lane Four is a native app integrated into Salesforce, minimizing data lag.

[12:49] Andrew explains how lead assignment and follow up — the first of the prototypical processes of Lane Four — is facilitated. Tracking is done automatically, measured in business hours between activities.

[15:30] Account creation is the second main process in Lane Four. Andrew talks about understanding organization and industry factors, leading to good account decisions.

[16:46] Opportunity creation is the next process Lane Four addresses. Andrew discusses forecasting models and various aspects of this process.

[18:18] The meaning of opportunity depends on what you want to measure, how long the sales cycle is, and how many meetings it involves. There is a lot of tracking involved.

[19:34] The longer the sales cycle is, the fuzzier the stages are, and the harder it is to track time. Andrew talks about the need for weekly sales meetings as a separate channel for tracking.

[21:27] Andrew notes adoption curves. Not everyone enters data at the right point and time. Predictive tools are only as good as the data entered.

[24:45] Humans are hugely unpredictable. Even large data sets can measure the wrong data and come up with the wrong forecast. Use regular sales meetings to verify engagement data. SDR data tools help measure sales engagement.

[27:10] There has been no widespread A/B testing on the use of SDR tools. People keep going for the shiny object. People on different tools are not being tracked similarly. Operational models need to be consistent, so as to track them consistently.

April 12, 2017

#430. Winning with Account-Based Strategies. With Trish Bertuzzi.

Trish Bertuzzi, President of The Bridge Group, author of the Amazon #1 bestselling book, The Sales Development Playbook: How to Build Repeatable Pipeline and Accelerate Growth With Inside Sales, joins me again on this episode of #Accelerate! (Please also listen to my previous conversation with Trish on Episode #77.)


[:49] In 1998, Trish founded The Bridge Group, an inside sales consulting and implementation firm, focused on the B2B tech space. They have worked with over 300 companies, and if you are thinking about inside sales, she invites you to call!

[1:42] Trish sees changes in inside sales over the last year — the first being that the selling industry is waking up to the fact that they are boring buyers with lazy templates and approaches, and buyers have stopped listening.

[2:51] Trish says the evidence is in dramatically declining rates of engagement from inbound marketing. Whitepapers, webinars, and other offerings are not attracting many new contacts. In the sea of content, maybe 2% has value to buyers.

[3:40] Trish explains where buyers are seeking information today, and it’s not from vendors!

[4:11] Buyers are also not engaging in conversations with salespersons about the product, company, or salesperson. How do you address the buyers’ needs to engage them?

[4:57] To be successful in sales, you need to start with one thing: curiosity about the buyer. Trish goes in depth about the knowledge you should seek around your buyer to enable engagement about them.

[6:44] We need a learning culture. Challenge your sales team. Provide testing, certifications, and rewards for continuing their self-education. Give them opportunities to stimulate their mind. That’s how you will hire A players.

[7:55] The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals has a certification process, at a basic level. Sales is still not offered as a major at most colleges, so it would be challenging to have industry-wide certifications.

[9:15] The second trend is account-based strategies, or ABR (account-based revenue). It is more than outbound. It takes the concentration of all company resources on a set of accounts. You need an account story, and persona stories.

[14:28] Know where your sweet spot lies. It takes many resources to use ABR on any account, so pick accounts carefully. Sales and marketing must work as one. Trish gives details how to do this.

[16:24] The ABR pentagon is five sides of sequential preparation to launch an ABR approach: Strategy & Alignment, Account Selection, Players & Positions, Account Insights & Plays, and Tools & Measures. Trish these discusses in-depth.

[28:09] Trish covers a company case study of growth from $10 million to $100 million, by an Account-Based Strategy, after refocusing on account selection. They needed to pick larger accounts. ABR is ineffective on accounts less than $50K a year.


February 22, 2017

How to Reach the Right Contacts with the Right Messages. With Victoria Godfrey. #388

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Victoria Godfrey, CMO of Avention, now part of Dun and Bradstreet. Among the many topics that Victoria and I discuss are the various ways Avention is helping drive revenue and growth for companies by harnessing target account and contact information. We also discuss account based everything, and how aligning marketing with sales, following the data, helps improve the number of closed deals.


[:52] Avention works with company and contact business data. Victoria joined Avention a couple of years ago, after a career in marketing. Avention tools offer B2B data, relative to target accounts and contacts, that help drive revenue and growth.

[2:08] Avention offers iSell, an easy and effective subscription desktop app that gathers all the information a salesperson needs to go after new accounts and customers, with SWOT analysis, and company and contact information.

[4:15] Another Avention tool is The Art of the Start, pairing marketing and sales, to pick the best sales qualified accounts. Messaging is tailored to the target account and their contact, focused on getting the right message to the right person.

[6:53] Victoria’s team uses Avention tools to reach targets by looking at triggers, news alerts, company information, reports, and more, to discover the important drivers and initiatives of the account. Account contacts receive tailored messages.

[8:55] It is critical for marketing and sales to be aligned, to send a unified message to the account. Reps are responsible for engaging contacts with the aligned message.

[12:18] When marketing and sales are aligned, they own the funnel together. Marketing owns the top, sales owns the bottom; each influences the other. The revenue is attributed to both. If the CEO is not supportive, alignment is unrealized.

[15:53] At Avention, Victoria, and the head of sales spend a lot of time in each other’s offices, discussing mutual needs, budgets, efficiencies, and results. Data and Martech tools empower transparency and alignment.

[17:23] Marketing and sales use data tools and experienced judgment to pick accounts together, to assign resources, and create the unified messaging point. Frequency depends on the sales cycle and strategy. Avention does this, ongoing.

[21:54] Because of the intensive use of resources, you will use parallel paths for sales: some are account based, and some use conventional sales efforts.

[25:30] Victoria discusses data-driven sales. Data has made great changes in marketing, and martech has boomed over the last decade or so. The same is true in sales. Data drives revenue growth. To neglect data is to lose opportunity.

[29:52] CRM data is being used by some companies mainly for reporting results. More emphasis should be paid to using data to engage enterprises and drive more sales.

[30:44] Avention also offers DataVision, that combines your data with Avention data, to segment clearly the key and top-priority accounts.

January 26, 2017

How to Shorten Time to Revenue with Account-Based Everything. With Jon Miller. #365

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is my guest Jon Miller, Founder and CEO of Engagio. Among the many topics that John and I discuss, are how Account-Based Everything (ABE) is not marketing automation but human engagement, methodically orchestrated, assisted by data; how ABE breaks down silos and aligns marketing and sales; and, how ABE shortens the time to revenue for the large, complex sale.  


[:46] Jon’s BS is in physics, studying fusion. He was accepted by MIT into a Ph.D. program, but, instead, followed his friends into management. Engagio is Jon’s second startup. He cofounded Marketo — recently bought by Visa Equity.

[3:28] With Marketo, Jon fished with a net for whatever they picked up. They tried reaching out to spear big fish with outbound marketing tactics, but Marketo was not a fit for that. Engagio was built as a platform for account based marketing.

[5:48] Until recently, marketing has been a lead-centric business, not an account-centric platform, as sales has been. When marketing and sales work together on the same accounts, they are more relevant, focused, and personalized.

[8:56] TOPO says marketing alone will only get about 15% penetration into the target accounts. What does penetrate better is the account based sales development function.

[10:16] Account based sales development, working independently from account based marketing, builds silos. Engagio works to build all functions together under the same tent: Account Based Everything, a phrase borrowed from TOPO.

[11:06] ABE is a strategy for aligning and orchestrating marketing, sales, sales development, and customer success, into personalized interactions across the account — both for new business and existing customers.

[13:03] How does the ABE approach gives a shorter time to revenue than marketing alone?

[15:34] Account based outbound lets you target big fish, reaching high into those accounts, using the challenger model to create the opportunity, which puts you in a strategic place.

[16:24] The traditional sales model for large account has many hand-offs. The ABE model involves everybody in an orchestrated process. There are no marketing deals or sales deals, but team deals.

[20:36] Jon uses two analogies for Engagio: the orchestra conductor, making sure the right people come in and out at the right time; and the football play mapped out in a diagram, emphasising the elements of the team.

[23:16] This is not marketing automation, but human engagement, methodically orchestrated, assisted by data. Jon explains how it is the opposite of sales spam.


October 29, 2016

When Cold Emailing is Better than Cold Calling. With Rod Sloane. #292

Joining me on this episode of Accelerate! is Rod Sloane, The Cold Email Coach, a sales expert, host on the Sales & Marketing Alignment channel on BrightTALK, and manager of the Sales & Marketing Alignment Group on LinkedIn. Among the many topics that Rod and I discuss are why he believes cold emailing is a more effective prospecting method than cold calling, how to use cold emailing to build a larger pipeline of qualified opportunities, how to construct a broader engagement strategy within a major account and why text-based cold email will work better than HTML email.

October 13, 2016

How to Increase Engagement with Your Prospects. With Josh Evans. #278

Josh Evans is Senior Vice President of Sales at Velocify, a sales enablement platform. On this episode, Josh and I discuss how to help sales reps more effectively engage with their prospects, how sales reps can benefit from technologies that support account-based messaging and helping them determine the next step (i.e. what to do next) to help the customer get one step closer to making a decision.  

August 25, 2016

Tools to Help Sellers In the Account-Based World. With Daniel Barber. #236

Daniel Barber, Vice President of Revenue at Node, joins me on this episode to talk about account-based intelligence, a term coined by Node to describe their platform, to help make account-based marketing and account-based selling much more effective and efficient. Join us now, as Daniel and I dive into what Node is doing to boost sales productivity by helping sales reps talk to the right people, at the right time, with the right message!

July 29, 2016

Since it’s launch on Oct 5, 2015, you’ve helped Accelerate! become the go-to resource for insightful, educational, motivational and entertaining interviews with world-class experts on a range of subjects that all contribute to helping you accelerate the growth of your sales and your business.

I’m marking this milestone by highlighting the most popular shows from my first 200 episodes on Accelerate!

Today I’m featuring the top 5 most popular interviews I’ve conducted on the topic of Major Account Selling & Account-based Selling (as measured by the number of times each episode was downloaded or streamed by members of my audience.)

Listen to the world-class experts on these episodes and I guarantee that you’ll learn something new to help you become a more productive major account sales pro.

The episodes are listed below in order of popularity.

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#1. The Fundamentals of Account Based Selling in Today’s Market. With Richard Ruff

Richard Ruff 80Richard Ruff is a top sales trainer and leading expert on major account selling. He is the author of Mastering Major Account Selling and the co-author, with Neil Rackham of the book Managing Major Sales. In this episode we tackle the importance of integrating Account Based Selling into your sales process.

CLICK HERE to listen to this episode now!


#2: The Keys to Hunting and Landing The Big Whales (i.e. major accounts.) With Barbara Weaver Smith

Barbara Weaver Smith 80Barbara Weaver Smith, is the Founder and CEO of The Whale Hunters. She is also the co-author of the classic, best-selling book Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company. In this show, Barbara and I discuss the keys to winning orders from major account customers, otherwise known as “whales,” that will accelerate the growth of your sales.

CLICK HERE to listen to this episode now!  CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes.


#3: Small Business Needs to Shift Their Mindset to Compete For Bigger Deals. With Tom Searcy

Tom Searcy 80Tom Searcy is the author of the book, Life After the Death of Selling: How to Thrive in the New Era of Sales. He is also co-author of the book, Whale Hunting: How to Land the Big Sales and Transform Your Company. In this episode, Tom and I discuss how small businesses have to change how they think and act to compete with larger companies for bigger deals.

CLICK HERE to listen to this episode now!  CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes.


#4: How To Change From A Reactive Seller into a Strategic Seller. With David Brock

Dave Brock 80In this episode, David Brock, founder and CEO of Partners in Excellence, discusses how modern sales reps need to transform from being a reactive, tactical seller into a proactive, strategic seller that possesses the insights and expertise to inspire customers to make a change.

CLICK HERE to listen to this episode now!


#5: Close More Big Deals with Dealstorming. With Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders 80Tim Sanders, is the author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business & Influence Friends and his new book: Dealstorming: The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges. For the past decade Tim has been consulting with B2B companies on how to improve their ability to get unstuck due to the Dealstorming process he created. In this episode, Tim and I discuss how you can use Dealstorming to help you close orders with important accounts.

CLICK HERE to listen to this episode now!  CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes.


If you’ve missed any of my previous episodes of Accelerate!, CLICK HERE to view a list of my entire catalog of more than 200 interviews with leading sales experts and thought-leaders.

Top 5 Interviews on Account-based & Major Account Selling on Accelerate!