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.)

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[: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.