The Sales Olympics: How to Win Gold with Account-Based Sales

Have you ever noticed the grace and finesse of the women’s gymnastics team? Have you ever wondered what kind of teamwork they put into planning, training, and performing? We all know it’s a demanding sport that requires hours of effort, constant support, and ongoing coaching. Account-Based Selling isn’t much different in concept when you think about it. Successfully executing an account-based sales motion requires a lot of preparation and coordinated effort.  The good news is…you don’t have to wear a leotard!

Around here, we call it ABX (or Account-Based Everything) because it takes the whole team’s buy-in to be successful. From sales to customer success, everyone plays a role. The marketing team helps bring in leads, the sales team seals the deal, the customer success team supports the client, and the account team keeps the relationship healthy. And they all work together to help key account growth in the long term.

To better explain, we created a Wikipedia-inspired version of the women’s gymnastics all-around as it relates to account-based sales execution:

2021-Q3-Blog-Sales-Olympics-VaultVault: Running towards potential customers with marketing

To perform a vault, marketing and sales leaders identify a Tier 1 prospect that fits within the ideal customer profile. Then, they sprint down a runway (the campaign), usually padded or carpeted with content. They hurdle onto a springboard (or digital platform) and spring onto the vault with their engagement strategies (propelling them into the funnel). What follows may be as simple as leaping over the apparatus or as complicated as executing several twists and turns in the air (we never give up on a Tier 1!). Marketing then lands on the mat, effectively placing a marketing qualified lead (MQL) into the sales team’s hands.

A female gymnast preforms a routine on the uneven bars during competition.Uneven Bars: Putting the sale in flight

The sales team takes the MQL and goes to work. Their first hurdle is further qualifying the prospect. The flight element from high bar to low bar and vice versa is the equivalent of demoing all the ways your solution can add value for the prospect.

They must also execute a flight element on the same bar by connecting with different members of the buying group. They must engage at LEAST two different grips (stakeholders) and a close element (the deal).  A successful dismount ends with a closed-won designation in the CRM and escorts the new customer to the customer success team for implementation.

Gymnast feet on a balance beamBalance Beam: Enablement with customer success

The customer success team must then connect two dance elements (because every relationship is a dance). They must effortlessly engage in a leap with legs in a perfect split, demonstrating successful integration and ease of use.

Finally, the acrobatic implementation team moves in different directions (between administrators, trainers, and users). The team sticks the landing with a hand-off to the account team to further support adoption.

Young gymnast doing the floor exerciseFloor Exercise – Account Managers wow the customer to grow revenue

The dance continues! The account team must connect their respective dance elements, providing a seamless customer experience. They must flip forward, sideways, and backward to analyze white space and relationship maps to identify expansion opportunities.

To capture all available points (or wallet share), they must do a double flip with sales to show the value of additional or expanded solutions. At this point, your account team has reached Simone Biles status.

Though it may sound complicated at first, your teams can collaborate to win gold in the Sales All-Around with the right processes and an account-based sales execution platform in place.

The path to gold is before you. To help you get started, we created this Account Planning Guide with FREE Templates.

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