4 Account Collaboration Tips to Close More Deals
Being an account executive isn’t easy. You have a lot on your plate, from researching and prospecting, managing a BDR, answering to a sales manager, oh and hitting quota every month or quarter.
For your active opportunities, there is a lot to remember about the account itself and each individual stakeholder. On top of that, you are the point person leading all the internal stakeholders involved in the deal. This may include a sales manager, an executive, a sales engineer, customer success, implementation, support, legal, and the list goes on. In fact, HBR found that there are typically 6.8 people involved in an enterprise deal. If you are an organized and process-driven rep, how can you ensure that you are collaborating as effectively as possible and providing the best possible prospect experience?
The answer lies in an effective Account Based Collaboration strategy, which will keep you and your internal stakeholders more organized, provide a more personalized prospect/customer experience, and allow for more effective handoff between teams.
4 Tips for better Account Based Collaboration:
Account Based Notes
From conversations with dozens of companies, one thing is clear: there is no such thing as a universal note-taking process. This doesn’t make sense, though. Think back to school. You would take notes during class on all of the most important pieces of information from class. Notes are gold. Yet, they are totally overlooked.
For customer facing teams, don’t ignore the importance of notes. They contain the most personalized and important information related to an account.
The first thing to do to address this problem is to choose a note-taking platform. Some people like Evernote. Others like OneNote. Some people even like Salesforce Notes. Whatever it is, choose a platform, and stick to it. Don’t scatter your notes across multiple applications.
Next, as you engage with accounts, either make a folder titled as the account and organize all account related notes in this folder OR make one note that is titled the account name and continually add to it with line breaks.
Stay diligent with this process. It will save you time and effort as you navigate the process with each account, and will be a simple copy and paste when handing off the account to success (or whoever else). For brownie points for your manager, copy and paste each call from the account’s folder or the master note as an activity in your CRM.
These notes contain a lot of important information that success and your future customer will really appreciate being handed over.
Account Based Chat
Throughout the sales process, there are a lot of internal stakeholders that get involved, especially as the deal moves toward close. These can include technical resources, managers, executives, support people, and so on. Conversations with these individuals typically will occur in 1:1 Slack messages, or via email. When new internal collaborators join, they are missing a lot of important context from previous interactions. This is hurting their ability to effectively contribute, and therefore hurting the deal’s chance of closing.
To combat this, create a Slack channel once a deal hits a certain stage, such as demo completed or influencers bought-in.
As you add new members, Slack gives you the option to choose if you want them to see all of the message history, or only the messages from that point forward.
With this strategy, you will save time catching new members up to speed and be able to quickly revisit account-specific interactions without digging through irrelevant 1:1 messages.
Account Based Bookmarking
The days of desktop files are numbered. When was the last time you used Microsoft Word instead of Google Docs, and attached this file to an email? Potentially years? Well, everything is happening in our browsers, and instead of files, we have specific links. Many of these links are account specific (Salesforce account and contact records, Linkedin profiles, relevant news articles, etc.).
When you are working a big account and are frequently switching back and forth between links related, make your life easier and create a bookmark folder for quick access.
This is going to save a lot of time, and save you from trying to remember where you saw that great article about the person you’re about to hop on a call with. It will also keep your browser from looking like this…
Use a project management tool
When there are multiple internal collaborators involved in moving a deal along, accountability for specific tasks can become muddled.
Consider using a project management software once an account reaches a certain stage to better outline roles and responsibilities involved in progressing the deal forward. I personally like Asana, which is also totally free (unless you want premium features which are probably not necessary).
Using a tool like this will help everyone know exactly what they have to do, and by when.
- You’re selling to account, so start thinking about the different aspects and tools of your process in an “account based” way (notes, chat, links, tasks). This organization is going to save time and better allow all internal stakeholders to make the largest impact.
- Invest time to set up a process to maximize deal velocity and chances of winning the deal.
- Your team is one of the biggest assets you have, so use them at every possible opportunity.
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