Sales Coverage Secrets For Account Based Selling

Sales coverage models are difficult for companies that do account based selling.  Sales managers have the challenge of executing the plan when they receive their new accounts.  Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecards provides automated sales coverage analytics.

In account based selling, building a sales coverage model is a ton of work.  From there, it's an even bigger challenge for sales managers to execute the plan and hit the number.

The goal of your sales coverage model is to assign accounts to sales reps so the company has the potential to hit the revenue number.  To do this, you need to make sure you have enough target accounts to hit quota and enough reps to go after those accounts.

Sales coverage models are usually created by business analysts with a combination of spreadsheets and business intelligence tools.  The models are given to sales operations teams, and accounts are allocated to reps.  From there, it is up to sales managers to deliver results.  That's where the rubber hits the road.  

In this blog post we'll review two things:

  1. The elements of a sales coverage model for any company doing account based selling; and
  2. Three techniques that sales managers can use to deliver results when they receive their new accounts.

Sales Coverage for Account Based Selling

There are five critical elements in a sales coverage model for account based selling:

  1. Calculating the potential value of your target accounts;
  2. Prioritizing the accounts based on potential value;
  3. Balancing accounts;
  4. Allocating them to sales reps; and
  5. Double checking if you have the right number of sales reps.

First, you need figure out the potential of your target accounts.  Historical data can be used to segment accounts and identify the attributes of the accounts in the best segments. Using this data, the potential value per account can be calculated. 

From there, accounts can be put in priority order based on potential value. For example, you'll have tier 1 accounts, tier 2 accounts and so on. 

With this info, accounts can be balanced and allocated to the team.  Each sales rep should end up with enough accounts to hit their quota.  And the balance of accounts in each tier should be similar from rep to rep.

In parallel, you need to figure out if you have the right number of reps to effectively target the accounts.  Historical data is helpful for this too.  The average number of activities (e.g., calls, emails, demos, meetings) can be calculated for your successful sales reps on a monthly or quarterly basis.  Then, you'll need the average number of activities per account in the same timeframe. 

With this data, you can assess whether or not your sales reps have the capacity to work the accounts they need to work in order to hit quota.  You may find that you have more potential value in your accounts and therefore can hire more reps.  But you also may find that your potential value is limited, and you will get diminishing returns if you hire more sales reps.

Five elements of sales coverage models for account based selling.

3 Ways for Sales Managers to Win

Once you've created your sales coverage model and rolled it out to the team, it's time to go to work and crush the year.  

In an account-based selling model, your sales reps theoretically have the accounts they need to hit their goals.  The problem is, as the saying goes, that "no plan survives first contact with customers."

When sales reps start to deviate from plan, which is inevitable, sales managers need techniques to get them going in the right direction.  

Here are three winning techniques for sales managers in an account-based selling model:

1. Track sales activities per account, rolled up to the sales rep level.  Sales managers need visibility into where sales reps are focusing their efforts.  If a sales rep is struggling to hit her number, it is possible that she is spending too much time on a subset of her accounts.  With the right data, her sales manager can discover this problem and show her which accounts need more touches.  This is a great thing to review every week in a one-on-one meeting.

2. Analyze where the accounts are by stage.  Sales reps will have some accounts at early stages of the sales process and some at later stage.  In order to maintain a steady flow of deals, they need to balance their activities between accounts at different stages.  If too much effort is going into later stage deals, then the early stage pipeline can dry up quickly.  With this data, a sales manager can coach a sales rep to maintain a good balance.  This is another thing to include in the weekly one-on-one.

3. Prioritize accounts that are actively engaging with you.  Most of the data needed to track sales activities and opportunity stage can be found in the CRM.  But data from the marketing automation platform is really helpful too.  It can reveal which accounts are actively engaging with you.  Good examples are website visits and email opens.  Rolling this data up to the accounts can be used to help sales reps to prioritize their time on the accounts that are showing a "heartbeat" like this.

Of course, with all this information, it is also possible to combine elements.  For example, sales managers can add a lot of value by helping sales reps prioritize accounts that are at early stages, haven't received enough touches and are showing signs of interest by responding to marketing programs. 

How Rekener Can Help

In an account based selling model, sales managers need sales coverage analytics to do what I've describe above.  There are two big technical challenges.  

1.  Cross-object reporting at the sales rep level.  Data from multiple different CRM objects needs to be rolled up at the sales rep level.  In some cases, data will be in different systems, such as an email cadence tool, marketing automation platform or various spreadsheets.  

2.  Breaking out the data at the account level.  Managers need to be able to see all of the account information by sales rep, and they need to be able to easily move from rep to rep for one-on-one meetings.  Account Executives and Account Managers also need an easy way to see their own accounts.

Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecards application automates all the complex number crunching. The  Sales Rep Scorecard application is a comprehensive sales management platform built on Rekener's Customer Data Platform

Sales Managers don't need to spend time building complex spreadsheets or wait in line for business analysts to pull reports from a business intelligence platform.  Sales Rep Scorecards has all the power and flexibility of a business intelligence platform but with an easy-to-use application that puts the power of the data direction into the hands of the front line managers.

Here is an example of an account activity table for a sales rep named Blake.  

Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecards automatically rolls up data at the sales rep level and then breaks out accounts for every sales rep.

Learn More

Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecard app is the fastest and most powerful way to give your sales team powerful sales coverage analytics.  Rekener automatically sets up and manages a cloud-based data warehouse for your CRM data.  Rekener has pre-built integrations with HubSpot CRM and Salesforce CRM.  The integration takes minutes. We crunch the data so you can focus on crushing your numbers. 

  • Request a demo of Rekener's Sales Rep Scorecards app.
  • Start a free trial by connecting your Salesforce or HubSpot CRM account.
  • Read our blog post on the Top 4 Account-based Selling Mistakes to Avoid.
  • Request a data-driven sales assessment with us by choosing a time below. We can help you identify places to improve your tracking and measurement of account-based selling and marketing activities.

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Alex Laats

Alex is CEO and Founder of Rekener. Previously, he served as President and COO at ZeroTurnaround and as President of the Delta Division of BBN Technologies. At ZeroTurnaround, he grew high velocity inside sales by 6x in 3 years. At BBN, Alex co-founded RAMP and AVOKE, both recurring SaaS businesses based on BBN's world class speech recognition and natural language processing tech. Alex started his entrepreneurial career as founder and COO of NBX Corporation, which led the transformation of business telephone systems to Voice over IP. Alex’s companies have generated $500M in liquidity events and more than $1B in sales.

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