Account Mapping in B2B: Turn Relationships Into Revenue
The Importance Of An Account Map
If 2023 taught us anything, it was that the days of spraying, praying, and spending recklessly are over. It’s important for everyone who has a role aligned with revenue to be in sync with key accounts, the stakeholders, 1-2 key decision makers, and the relationships that have been forged. To understand, engage, and retain customers is crucial. One such strategy that has gained prominence is account mapping, a method that goes beyond traditional sales approaches to foster stronger relationships and enhance the overall sales process. With an average of 5 stakeholders per decision per Hubspot, laying out where you and the team need to take action is foundational. We’re going to cover different aspects of account maps, exploring its definition, components, and pivotal role in an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy. Let’s walk through how to create account maps.
GET OUR ACCOUNT MAPPING TEMPLATE
What is Sales Account Mapping
Before we go into what it is, let’s start with what it isn’t. Account mapping is not simply sharing an organizational chart or structure, seeing who reports to whom, looking for a specific job title, and accepting that as final. When we create account maps, within the context of modern business and sales, is a strategic approach that involves the thorough analysis of key accounts to gain a broader understanding of their organizational dynamics and decision-making processes.
Salesforce, and most CRMs for that matter, have been built to display relationships and key insights in list and table formats. Prolifiq’s point of view is that making the path of sale a visual with color coding, intimate details, and other information that will help your sales team get a better understanding of the account and the relationships in that business. Building this out inside your CRM where reps work from will help them penetrate and activate target accounts more quickly.
This method is instrumental in identifying key stakeholders and mapping their relationships within the organization. Who works with whom, and how do those relationships permeate throughout their team? What are their main priorities that they’re measured and compensated on?
We’re going to cover relationship mapping later, but this process is taking a broader look at the entire business, and tying it back to multiple teams and organizations, potentially. It’s tying industry and company trends, events, and news back to the relationships you’ve been working to build.
Now, you might be thinking, when should I build an account map? Let’s break this down.
Mapping & Strategizing On Existing Pipeline
Your sales reps have effectively engaged one of the target companies through your ABM strategy, and have begun to gather intel about buyers, key decision makers, and other relationships throughout the organization. The sales strategy and account mapping strategies should be done in parallel with your main point of contact.
Who will you need to build support with from their company? What projects or products do other stakeholders care about that could derail your deal? Is there anyone else in the buying process that you could keep updated (VP/CEO)? Lay out not only who you know, but where you may have gaps. Begin to work with your leadership team to multi-thread and educate other buyers.
Customer Account-Based Strategy: Existing Accounts
The account map for your current customers may look a bit different. The objective here is to build out a broader view of where you can sell additional products into. White space analysis is dependent on a good account map and opportunity data associated with a target account. Effective sales account mapping allows marketing to create customized campaigns targeted at different geographies or functions that showcase the benefits your additional portfolio can have on the organization at a larger scale.
Getting Started: Account Mapping Techniques
Embarking on an account mapping journey requires a systematic approach., and here are some steps we’d take:
- Use your CRM Data – who is typically involved in a deal cycle? Who is using your product once you’ve sold into them? Which key relationships make or break deals?
- Which segments do you win most often? Which verticals see accounts expand usage and spending? Drill down into building a list of these accounts
- Align on “placeholders” of the core prospects that your sales teams need to focus on at a minimum, and place these people on a map
- Identify additional business units or teams that your core stakeholders work with regularly, this is phase 2 of building your map
- Create a strategy to engage each of these people while documenting your conversations, their feedback, and the path your team should take to progress the account
Partner Account Mapping Best Practices & Tips
Collaboration is key in modern business, and account mapping is no exception. Partnering mapping involves aligning goals and objectives with external organizations, sharing resources and information, and effectively managing communication channels.
An example we’ll detail for you is how we work with one of our partners, StrongCRM. Our team works closely with them on a specific vertical and set of specific accounts within that vertical. Once we’re aligned on the best-fit accounts, we begin to map out where Prolifiq’s team or their team have initial connections and the experiences within those companies to date. Here is the process:
- Identify all stakeholders we’re aware of and have relationships with, and get them into an account map.
- Break down where the relationships are strong and positive, and how the different team members are connected
- Identify business units or functions where we need to get deeper and assign roles regarding engagement (Our VP of Sales engaging their VP of sales, for example)
- Marketing then begins to create content that is customized to that vertical, with certain accounts in the ABM campaign getting special tactics that are specific to their business and use-case.
- Execute the plan and report on account engagement, stakeholder interactions, and next steps to get wider into an account based on the feedback the team gathers
Through case studies and success stories, organizations can gain insights into the benefits of collaborative account mapping. Real-world examples highlight successful partnerships and offer valuable lessons for organizations aiming to enhance their account mapping through collaboration.
The Difference Between Relationship Mapping and Account Mapping
Distinguishing between relationship mapping and account mapping is essential for effective implementation. While relationship mapping focuses on individual connections, account mapping considers the broader organizational context. Integrating both approaches creates a holistic customer engagement model for sales professionals, operations, and account managers. By understanding when each approach is most effective, organizations can navigate the intricacies of each pursuit more adeptly.
The Benefits & ROI of Account Mapping
The benefits of account mapping are multifaceted. From enhanced customer understanding and improved sales and marketing alignment to increased customer retention and satisfaction, organizations can leverage account mapping to drive tangible results. Quantifying the Return on Investment (ROI) involves measuring the success of account mapping initiatives through key performance indicators and metrics. By investing in the account mapping process, organizations can create personalized interactions, foster long-term relationships, and ultimately achieve a competitive edge in the market.
In sales, be it mid-market or enterprise sales, having a clear view of the nuances of the target company you’re working on is table-stakes. Prospects expect a deeper understanding of what they do, where they need help, and how you can tie your product and solution to making them better at their day-to-day jobs. In general, a sales team sees a faster sales cycle, higher win rates, and deeper relationships with any prospect or account if the sales account map is detailed and thorough. Don’t skimp out on the groundwork, it will bear fruits for years to come.
Account mapping software makes this easier, Prolifiq helps you visualize where you have deep relationships, and more importantly where you have gaps that need to be addressed. This is a win for sales leaders who can proactively identify the right people within the right accounts for their teams to engage.
How can you do account mapping with partners?
Sales and marketing teams can work with partners by identifying target accounts, gathering information about known relationships or priorities, and then mapping out who needs to be engaged over time. This is a great practice to drive prioritized action and assign responsibilities to different team members based on who they need to talk to and when.
Let your partner identify key decision makers in their key target accounts that can be a good fit for your product, and begin to build out the stakeholders you need to target around those initial contacts. In a perfect world, this should be a visual representation of who you need to engage, with updated information about each engagement (influence/support) and path to close.