Account-based Prospecting: The Three-Pronged Approach

There’s a cruel lesson that the majority of salespeople experience early on in their careers. A prospect tells you that they’re interested but it will have to wait 3 months to progress. So, you set the reminder in your CRM, phone them once the timing is ‘more appropriate’, and with a fatal blow: ‘Hi Tom. Our CCO pulled the trigger with your competitor. We’re tied in for 2 years’.

Heartbreak.

So, why then do many salespeople target one decision maker, and rule out a company once you receive just one ‘no’?

Enter account-based prospecting

With decision makers’ priorities often shifting from week to week, I’ve found the most effective method is to target several personas at once with a variety of approaches. For the sake of this post, let’s call it the three-pronged approach to account-based prospecting.

Initially, pick 3 contacts. For example:

  1. VP Sales
  2. CEO/CCO/CRO
  3. Director of Sales Operations

For us, the first two personas are the most difficult to get in front of. So, put your best foot forward and send them a personalised video/direct mail/the best email you’ve ever written. Whatever is going to make them know who you are and also tell their salespeople about you. For help on ‘making a grand entrance’, take a look at my previous blog.

For the third persona, we know that a crucial part of their role is to check their emails doggedly so that’s where we head.

Create a sequence specific to each persona while again utilising as many channels as possible to freshen it up. If all three fail to respond by the end of that process then you can either replenish the stocks or try it all over again in 3 months.

It can be perceived as bold, but what’s the worst that can happen? They talk to each other about your company, your proposition and your excellent sales approach? Doesn’t sound too bad to me.

There’s also nothing sweeter than ending up in a room full of decision makers when one of them threw you off the phone all those months ago…

P.S. Side tip of the day: If you’re unsure of who you should be selling to, aim to define your product in 2 words. e.g. “Sales Analytics”. There are your two personas to target – sales decision makers & sales analysts.

Need some inspiration for what to do when you get your prospect to agree to a demo? Check out our guide to delivering a SaaS demo that converts

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