Sales account mapping has become very relevant for B2B marketers. After all, it’s a crucial unit of Account-Based Marketing (B2B), which B2B marketers are focusing on right now.
The B2B sales cycle can be a long and arduous journey. Generally speaking, B2B marketers used to conduct lead generation campaigns which will appeal to as many companies as possible.
Today, ABM is the way to go. It approaches marketing by flipping the traditional sales funnel upside down. So instead of prospects being led down the funnel, here’s what ABM does:
- Identifies specific accounts that your sales team wants to close as clients
- Targets these specific accounts with tailored content
- Converts them into actual clients
Now, for each B2B account or client, there’s more than one person involved in decision-making. In fact, research says that on average, 6.8 people sign off on a B2B solutions purchase.
Here’s what that means:
- You probably won’t close a deal on the first call. There might be follow-up emails or calls with new people from the prospect’s side joining in.
- You won’t get a straight-up “yes.” There will be questions and objections.
- It’s not just about convincing one person. It’s about creating a consensus among the people involved in the decision-making.
This is where sales account mapping comes into play—read on to know everything you need to get started.
What is sales account mapping?
Sales account mapping is a process of creating a visual representation of your company’s sales territory. This helps you understand your market, optimize your resources, and create a sales strategy.
Basically, it’s organizing and cataloging the people who work at a target account. The output is a visualization of how their structure is set up. It should show all the data points, relationships, and decision-makers that a salesperson will encounter when selling to a specific target account.
Ideally, this map should be complete before conducting any targeting or outreach campaign.
That way, your whole sales and marketing team are in a better place to succeed. Think of account mapping as the foundation of your ABM strategy. With it, you can execute your ABM strategies more effectively.
4 major reasons to use sales account mapping
ABM’s goal is to create personalized experiences for each targeted company. For this to happen, you will need to know as much as you can about that company—including details about everyone you will come across.
1. Plan out the best path of sale
Account mapping will help your SDRs get an idea of how the sales process will most likely go. They can check how many levels or managers their contact needs to go through for any major business decisions.
Plus, sales account mapping will help your sales team zero in on individuals who are higher up on the decision ladder or those who can help speed up the process.
2. Identify crucial decision-makers and opinion leaders
You can have the best sales team and the best sales call, and you still wouldn’t be able to close a deal.
Since sales account mapping gives you an overview of the best path to sale, it can also help you identify the decision-makers who can actually give the go signal for the sale.
You won’t need to directly tell your prospect that you know they need the approval of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or Chief Operations Officer (COO). Instead, you can be proactive and ask if you can loop them in. This will help set rapport while shortening the sales cycle.
Maximize your account map and make sure it’s updated so you can continuously build relationships with the people who matter.
3. Get a better understanding of the pain points of specific individuals and decision-makers.
The reason why B2B deals take so long to be closed is that there are “a lot of cooks in the kitchen.” These decision-makers and key influencers often have different pain points and challenges—making the debates longer as they go back and forth with their opinions.
By including them in the conversation early on, you get to see where they’re coming from. Then you get to tailor your approach so you can answer their objections and questions.
- CFOs are all about comparing the cost and return of your service or product compared to your competitors. With them, it’s important to emphasize your unique selling proposition and how choosing you would be the best investment.
- If you throw the COO into the mix, you should focus on how your product or service will help with resource management and make operations more efficient.
4. Expand your network and reach inside the target company
It’s perfectly normal to have one point of contact at the start of the outreach. Then you start looping in the other decision-makers during the negotiation stage.
This is how it usually goes—one person manages the sales process on their end. However, what if your contact suddenly leaves the company or gets transferred to a different department?
Expand your reach by creating connections with other people in that account. This will lessen the risk that a single point of contact gives. Plus, it will also show them that you genuinely care about their company since you are making the extra effort to connect.
Elements of a sales account map
Similar to a sales pipeline, there’s no one template for a sales account map. Ultimately, it depends on what will be most useful for your sales team.
The most basic information a sales account map must have are:
- Complete names with corresponding photos. This is so you don’t get surprised when there are additional names CC’d in an email.
- Job details. Include the job title, the department, a summary of their role, who they report to, and who reports to them. The idea is to see how and where they fit in the company’s structure.
- Contact details. Include work email, work phone, relevant social media platforms, and the general location of their office if they are spread out in multiple locations.
- Visual representation of the hierarchy and relationships. The account map should be presented in a way that your sales team can see the organizational structure, dependencies, and even inter-department relationships and functions.
- Special tags or labels. Examples of these include “Final decision-maker,” “influencer,” or “blocker.” Having these special tags in place will help your salespeople identify who’s who in one glance.
Wrap up: Target accounts and prospects with next-level precision
Closing B2B sales, especially enterprise sales, is a marathon and not a sprint. You need to come prepared, and sales account mapping will help equip you for the journey ahead.
Learn how you can maximize your sales outreach by scheduling a free consultation with our experts.