How to Leverage Salesforce Data for Account Planning

  • Published on:
    June 21, 2024
  • Reading time by:
    3 minutes

In the competitive world of sales, leveraging data effectively can mean the difference between hitting or missing targets. There are multiple tools available to help you use structured and unstructured data effectively, customer relationship management (CRM) being one of them.

Salesforce is a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform used by around 150,000 customers worldwide. These users come from varied fields, including small and Fortune 500 companies.

Salesforce offers an array of tools and features that can significantly enhance account planning. This process involves analyzing customer data, understanding needs, and devising strategies to maximize revenue.

With Salesforce data, sales teams can create more effective account plans, tailor their approaches, and ultimately close more deals. This article will cover key strategies to harness Salesforce data for robust account planning.

Use Relationship Mapping for Closing More Deals

Relationship mapping is a powerful technique that allows sales teams to visualize and understand the complex web of relationships within an account. Salesforce offers tools that help map out the key stakeholders, decision-makers, and influencers within an organization.

You can use this information to understand the roles of these individuals. This can help you or your sales representatives tailor their approaches to engage the right people at the right time.

For instance, Salesforce’s Account Maps feature provides a visual representation of the organizational structure of an account. This visualization helps identify the decision-making hierarchy and understand the influence each stakeholder holds.

However, you need to use the right template to ensure the data map doesn’t become too complicated. You can use a predefined third-party template to save time and effort when creating a new one. Or better yet, you can use a third-party platform that can integrate with the CRM tool to offer native Salesforce account planning. This will help you map and analyze specific accounts to determine the right selling opportunities.

As mentioned by Prolifiq, relationship mapping offers numerous benefits, such as:

  • Shorter sales cycle
  • Improved team coordination
  • Enhanced customer lifetime value
  • Efficient account discovery
  • Personalized interactions with the customers

Get Actionable Insights for the Sales Team

Through the use of Salesforce’s analytics and reporting tools, sales professionals can gain a deeper understanding of their accounts and identify opportunities and risks.

Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics, for example, offers predictive insights and recommendations based on historical data and current trends. These insights can help sales teams to do the following:

  • Anticipate customer needs
  • Identify potential upsell and cross-sell opportunities
  • Mitigate risks before they escalate

The CRM tool can also help integrate data and bring everything to a single place to dismantle silos. According to The State of Salesforce Report, pioneers who use the data collectively reveal new opportunities 39% more compared to others. Similarly, they are 28% more likely to identify unmet customer needs and address them at the right time.

Segment Account Based on Data

Effective account planning requires a nuanced understanding of the diverse needs and characteristics of different accounts. Salesforce’s robust data segmentation capabilities enable sales professionals to group accounts based on various criteria, such as:

  • Industry
  • Size
  • Revenue potential
  • Customer behavior

As stated by Forbes, CRM data offers insights that let you segment contacts into groups according to their declared preferences or behavior. As a result, you may produce messages tailored to the requirements and interests of your leads by creating segment-specific content.

For example, by segmenting accounts by industry, sales teams can tailor their messaging and value propositions to address industry-specific challenges and trends. Likewise, segmenting accounts by revenue potential can help in allocating resources more efficiently. This ensures that high-potential accounts receive the required attention and support.

Prioritize Key Accounts With Actionable Insights

Using Salesforce data allows sales teams to create customized account plans and engagement strategies that are tailored to specific needs.

Furthermore, the enrichment tools provide detailed information about accounts, including firmographic data, buying behaviors, and engagement history. This information can be used to develop personalized account plans that address the unique challenges and goals of each account.

The predefined Salesforce features make it easy to identify key accounts, which is a challenging task. According to a recent Gartner survey, around 79% of organizations have revamped their key account programs in the past seven years.

The need for revamping arises because of the common mistakes businesses make in finding the key accounts. For instance, companies that consider current spending as the only metric for key accounts have a 51% lower chance of increasing customer spend. However, Salesforce can help avoid common pitfalls like considering big accounts as key accounts.

Cross-Sell and Up-Sell When the Opportunity Arrives

Salesforce’s analytics tools can help in identifying patterns and trends in customer behavior that indicate a propensity for additional purchases. For example, if a customer has purchased a product, Salesforce can reveal if other customers who bought it also purchased any complementary items.

Furthermore, Salesforce’s opportunity management features allow sales teams to track and manage cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. With a clear view of the sales pipeline and the status of each opportunity, sales teams can prioritize their efforts to close high-value deals.

A McKinsey & Company study also found the same results among companies that prioritize enhancing customer experience. The study found that experience-led growth strategies were able to get significant financial benefits, especially if the satisfaction was enhanced by 20%. Their cross-sell rates increased by 15% to 25% and overall revenue by 5% to 10%.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to build an account plan in Salesforce?

Gathering thorough account data, including as contact information and previous contacts, is the first step in creating an account plan in Salesforce. Next, decide on precise objectives and account-specific plans of action. Make use of Salesforce’s capabilities to efficiently organize projects, monitor progress, and cooperate.

How do you build a Salesforce account hierarchy?

Using the “Parent Account” box, establish parent and child account associations as the first step in developing a Salesforce account hierarchy. By doing this, you may arrange your accounts into a hierarchical tree that makes the links between them easy to see.

What is one of the key benefits of selling with Salesforce?

One of the key benefits of selling with Salesforce is that it allows your employees to achieve more in less time. For instance, it can automate repetitive tasks like recording customer interactions and making notes of them. Moreover, it can also offer data insights for 360-degree customer views.

To sum up, leveraging Salesforce data for account planning is a powerful strategy that can significantly enhance sales performance. Relationship mapping, actionable insights, data segmentation, and prioritization techniques can help the sales teams develop targeted and effective account plans. Customizing engagement strategies and capitalizing on cross-sell and up-sell opportunities further ensure that sales efforts are aligned with the unique needs of each account.

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