prescriptive insights

If you’re in sales or marketing, chances are you’ve at least heard the term “account based.” In fact, with 86% of sales and marketing professionals claiming to utilize targeted account strategies, you may even be using account-based selling or marketing on a regular basis. Now, account based tactics are making their way into customer success and other areas of the business, giving way to “account based everything.”

The concept of account based everything means taking a more personalized approach when dealing with prospects and customers to land and expand key accounts. One way to think of account based everything versus traditional lead generation is fishing with nets versus fishing with spears or harpoons. Instead of catching any lead that swims into your net, with account based everything, you use a more targeted approach to hunt down and catch the right leads.

But how do you know which leads are the “right” ones? And how do you discover the best ways to reach them? While there are a number of different ways to solve these challenges, we’re focusing on one of the latest and greatest: prescriptive sales insights.

What Are Prescriptive Insights?

The sales acceleration technology market – which encompasses tools dedicated to sales intelligence, data visualization, predictive analytics and more, yet excludes CRM – is expected to break $30 billion in North America alone in 2017.

Data and our ability to make sense of it has grown rapidly, particularly in the last few years. The future and recent history of sales intelligence can be broken into 3 categories:

  • Descriptive Data: Provides a historical snapshot of your sales performance at a given time.
  • Predictive Analytics: Anticipates what will happen in the future by using artificial intelligence (AI) and historical data.
  • Prescriptive Insights: Tells you why your sales performance is trending in a certain direction, and provides the exact steps you can take to impact sales growth and achieve a desired outcome.

The chart below further illustrates the differences between descriptive, predictive and prescriptive sales intelligence.

the differences between descriptive, predictive and prescriptive sales intelligence

While each of these types of sales intelligence has its merits, let’s dive into how prescriptive sales insights in particular can help businesses with their account based everything strategies.

Know Who to Target
When it comes to deciding which leads to target and reach out to, there are endless combinations of factors like title, company size, industry or existing technologies to consider. Identifying the lead profile(s) that will ultimately generate the most value for your business is no easy feat, but nailing this is the heart and soul of a good account based strategy.

Prescriptive insights make it easy to do this by scientifically codifying and analyzing millions of data points at once to isolate the key factors impacting your sales performance. Take, for example, lead yield. Lead yield can be calculated using the following formula: Sales Revenue / # of Leads Generated.

As shown in the graphic below, understanding your lead yield can enable you to more accurately prioritize leads from your various marketing channels and sources based on those that ultimately generate the most value for your business.

understanding your lead yield

In the same way, it can also give you deeper insight into the data points and qualities you should be looking for when it comes to building out your list of key accounts.

For example, imagine that one of your largest deals in company history came from the technology space. But of 1,000 leads from that industry, it was the only one that closed. In contrast, deals from the publishing space only generate 50% the revenue of this technology deal on average. However, of 1,000 leads generated from the publishing space, 100 closed. Clearly, focusing on leads from the tech industry instead of those from the publishing space would be a mistake.

Running these numbers continuously and at scale using scientific sales technology will ultimately help you refine your ideal lead profile for enhanced account based targeting.

Know How to Target
Once you have your list of target accounts in hand, it’s time to put an outreach strategy in place. As a sales rep, connecting with your accounts is a lot more complicated than sending a few emails and making a few calls. In fact, there’s actually a science to it – one that prescriptive insights can help your business uncover. Here are three key ways that prescriptive insights enables your team to refine its outreach strategy for maximum conversion.

Stage Duration
Stage duration refers to the amount of time each of your deals spends in a given stage of your sales pipeline, such as qualified, quote or close. When paired with prescriptive insights, it can also reveal exactly how your team can speed up your sales cycle and increase wins. For example, perhaps decreasing the amount of time a prospect stays in the “Qualified” stage by 10% can have a significant impact on your close rates.

Email & Call Times
A few minutes doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of sales, does it? However, with prescriptive insights, you may soon discover that reducing your reps’ time to first call from 33 minutes to 17 minutes can result in an additional $150K in quarterly revenue.

email and call times

Sales Process Organization
For each stage in your sales pipeline, your reps probably have a series of steps they have to complete. Collectively, these steps are known as your sales process, which is the backbone of any sales organization. Wouldn’t it be nice to know how to improve your process without having to conduct countless what-if scenarios? Prescriptive insights can easily tell you which steps in your sales process should be removed or shuffled for enhanced sales growth.

The Science behind Account Based Everything
As we’ve seen, your account based strategies can greatly benefit from leveraging a bit of sales science in the form of prescriptive insights. For more information around how your business can benefit from the science of sales, download this free white paper.