Sales development reps must have a clear, concrete plan of action when it comes to conquering the jungle that is account-based prospecting. It may be an SDR’s natural instinct to want to reach out to as many relevant contacts as possible in order to get the most leads over to their team, but this is not always the most effective approach.

Prospecting many different accounts and contacts with no particular purpose or rhythm can leave an SDR’s database exhausted and in disarray. Using a target-based approach to prospecting allows SDRs to focus on a small number of accounts at one time, making sure they are passing high quality leads over to their reps.

Let’s take a deeper look at the art of conquering a target account.

Step 1: Identifying the Appropriate Contact

This is the first leg of the account-based prospecting journey. SDRs must select the most relevant titles and put them through their call cycle, in order to identify the final decision maker or influencer. It is important to disposition contacts as you go through them, as well as to extract as much sales context as possible from each and every conversation. The basic premise of this strategy is to continually leverage information and insights obtained from previous interactions within an account, and then use these insights to help guide the conversation with the next prospect. Once you have identified the appropriate contact, it is time to qualify the account.

Step 2: Qualifying the Account

A tactic often overlooked in account-based prospecting, is qualifying the company as early as possible in the sales process. Even if you get a prospect at an account live and they say they are not the appropriate person, don’t hang up! They may be able to provide answers to your qualifying questions. By qualifying the company sooner rather than later, not only are you getting a head start when you finally reach the decision maker, but also you are eliminating any accounts that may not be a fit from the start. Since account-based sales development means that SDRs are only focused on a handful of accounts at one time, it is easier to collect and organize qualification information for each account. Be sure to ask insightful probing questions that uncover pains or needs, instead of questions that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no”. The more insight into an account that you can provide for your rep, the better! Once you have gathered all your qualification information, it is time for your rep to pounce on the opportunity and close the deal.

Step 3: The Hand-off

Qualifying and closing are independent functions of the sales development process, but both rely on the targeted efforts of SDRs. Sales development reps must dissect ALL the conversations they’ve had within a target account, and make sure to include any and all insights when passing it off to their rep. A great way to organize multiple conversations within a target account, is to create a write-up containing all referrals and conversations. This not only makes reps’ lives easier, but also gives them a detailed looked int the account.

Scheduling a demo or discovery call is not conquering a target account. Conquering a target account means diving in deep, hunting for the right person, gathering all the qualification information you can, and handing it off to your rep to go in for the kill!

How are you ensuring your reps are making the most of their target account lists?