Learning how to map accounts is a useful sales strategy that can help businesses improve their connections with prospective clients, to land better deals and higher revenue. In this Sales Secrets episode, Dan Cook joins us to discuss how to boost your team’s productivity through this technique, so keep reading to learn more.
In this article:
- Quick Career Tips
- What Is Account Mapping and How Can Mapping Accounts Help Sales Teams?
- How to Map Accounts and Use Account Maps to Improve Sales Strategies
How to Map Accounts to Help Sales Teams Create Better Strategies
Dan Cook is currently the Senior Vice President of Sales at Lucid Software. They build sales and customer success teams through Lucid Chart, which is their flagship product.
Through its diagramming functionalities, Lucid Chart aims to help businesses enrich their inter-company communication process. Apart from his experience at Lucid, Cook also has extensive knowledge in investment banking and venture capital, from his previous roles.
Quick Career Tips
Before we start, I first asked Cook to share quick tips for our listeners who are just getting started in their career. He started by stressing the importance of the theory of compounded interest.
“This theory is the idea that you put money in earlier in your life. And, while your savings compound over time, its value becomes more as compared to the value of your money if you choose to save at a later time. A similar concept can apply to careers.”
It’s that early investment in your career that matters. Oftentimes it’s quantified by more hours, but more effort and working hard earlier in your career can set you up for long-term returns and outsized opportunities relative to your experience level.
Find people who can give you time and let you ask dumb or basic questions. These are the people who can impart wisdom to help you avoid the mistakes other people made.
What Is Account Mapping and How Can Mapping Accounts Help Sales Teams?
To begin the discussion, I asked Cook to expound on what an account map is. According to him, it’s a map that allows you to navigate through different stakeholders or org charts of companies.
It ensures you’re not just dealing with one or two connections per organization. It actually forces you, by looking at the map, to say, “Who else should I be talking to at this particular company?”
You can use diagramming applications, such as Lucid Chart, to map out different contacts and account names from your existing clients. Different teams, such as accounting and marketing, can benefit from this tool too.
You can easily pinpoint who the decision-makers are in the company you are eyeing. In this way, you can:
- Develop your own sales strategy according to the people you should be talking to more.
- Set customized sales techniques per prospective client.
How to Map Accounts and Use Account Maps to Improve Sales Strategies
1. Gather All Your Contacts
The first step is to gather all your contacts. Sales teams usually rely on their counterparts in product marketing and even accounting to help them figure out target personas in your prospective customer, then the sales managers set the tasks for those involved.
But, from a sales perspective, the process really starts with understanding who you already know, right?
To map an account, first, identify on the account map the people your sales and marketing teams have already engaged with. Identify that universe of known contacts, whether or not they’re friendlies. Then, assign that contact to sales reps and give them the right tools, such as Lucid Chart.
You can also include their position, company role, and what they already know about your business. Before you know it, you’re you’ll be plotting and managing different individuals that work at that company.
2. Utilize Readily Available Information
Most businesses, in this day and age, will publish their management and leadership team.
- If it’s a public company, you can obtain a whole host of information from their public disclosures.
- You can even download useful information such as a company’s org chart, accounting metrics, revenue, and cost of sale.
Using all this public information, you can easily map out all C-level officers and all other senior-level management to your account map.
Even if you don’t think you’re ever going to engage with them, just try and put as many people in the account map, because you never know. From there, you can start navigating and start connecting the dots during the prospecting process.
Before you know it, you start to piece things together. The context your account map gives you can also help you have more relevant conversations and even fish for more information from a prospect.
3. Incorporate Different Sales Prospecting Methods
Each sales training methodology has something different for kind of each type of buyer persona. So I asked Cook if there’s a way to feed all these different sales strategies in the account map during prospecting?
Interestingly, the answer is yes. When you map accounts, you can have unique tags to show the kind of buyer they are.
You can also set a unique tagging for not-so-helpful contacts, for those who can’t really help you during prospecting. Make sure to add notes for each contact during account mapping so you and your team can remember key details about their personas.
4. Monitor How Your Teams Utilize Account Mapping
Lastly, Cook shared some of the best practices to ensure sales teams utilize account maps well during sales planning. He shared two methods:
- Inspire collaboration. One way to stimulate cooperation and rapport among your sales professionals is to make account mapping a team activity. The ability to get everything into one account map really becomes a valuable process to retain information for a key account.
- Use it with your peers and customer success managers.
- You can also use the account map with your SDRs or BDRs that are supporting you. That can easily drive a spirit of collaboration.
- Use the account map as one of the walkthrough tools during sales pipeline planning or even during a demo. During meetings with managers or higher-ups, a sales rep can use the account map as a discussion platform. All they have to do is download the account map and drag and drop a key account for discussion.
- It’s a great way to help sales reps develop confidence in presenting, and it also helps address unique and valuable sales strategies and ideas.
- It also allows your senior management to see who is really on top of the accounts.
5. Set New Sales Strategies Using Account Maps
Cook also gave insights on how you can recommend sales strategies with account maps.
Through deal reviews you include on the account map, your sales professionals can evaluate the contacts and the prospective clients you’re eyeing. Doing an account map is a step that can help everyone in the team visualize the whole sales pipeline and all the initiatives your team can do.
Different platforms such as Lucid Chart can be a great way to jumpstart account mapping. To begin, just pick one account and start mapping it out.
See if that doesn’t help you think through how you’re going to engage compared to your other accounts. Hopefully, your reps will start to see how account mapping can help them communicate more efficiently to the right people, which can impact your sales.
Learning how to map accounts can stimulate cooperation and encourage collaboration across different sales professionals in your business. It can help you see the bigger picture and evaluate if your current sales strategies for each prospective client is helpful.
It can also open your eyes to the contacts you should be focusing more attention on. Try it, and see how it helps everyone work better with all your company’s engagements.
What are your go-to sales strategies to reach out to more prospective customers? Share your tips and tricks below.