As an Account Executive or Full-Cycle Seller, you are focused on engaging with the right people, building relationships with them, understanding which accounts or prospects need your attention, and collaborating with your team to get to the finish line — closing those deals. The best practices described below are all geared towards helping you get to that result:
- Set up Groove to automate the time consuming tasks
- Manage hundreds of accounts simultaneously
- Accelerate response times and increase percentage of meetings booked
- Collaborate to Generate More High-Quality Opps and Close More Deals
Set up Groove to automate the time consuming tasks
As a seller, time is money! Therefore it's always helpful when you have some of your tasks taken care of for you, so that you can focus directly on relationship building and moving deals along.
Automatic Activity Capture
Our first recommendation is to enable both email sync and calendar sync (available for both G-Suite and Microsoft 365 users), which will eliminate the need for you to manually log any of your activities to Salesforce. If you have an email conversation or a meeting with any leads or contacts, Groove will pick these up and automatically log them to Salesforce for you and associate them to appropriate opportunities as well. (Also, no need to worry about internal meetings or more sensitive emails, we can prevent these from being logged).
Customized Salesforce views in your Inbox
Now that your activities are taken care of, we can focus your time on researching your accounts, prepping for meetings, and moving deals along. In your inbox, the Omnibar can be one of your most valuable resources: it is a window into your Salesforce that can be set up to the specifications that your team cares about.
- View and update Salesforce details for the people you're communicating with, along with their related opportunities, cases, or custom objects
- Create new Salesforce records on the spot if a contact or account doesn't yet exist
- Before a meeting or writing a reply, view Activity History details (email threads, calls, and meeting notes) with the contact or entire company to understand the context of all the conversations with them
- View LinkedIn Sales Navigator profiles to communicate more personally with your prospects
Calendar Tools to easily capture meeting data
After you've done your research and prepped for the meeting, hopefully you're set up to carry out a great demo! Beyond the meeting itself, it's crucial to capture all the notes and update Salesforce appropriately to make sure that the right information about the meeting, account, and opportunity are being updated.
To make that process easier for you, you can take notes on any of your calendar events, and have those automatically attach to the meeting in Salesforce (currently available for G-Suite users). That way, you don't need to worry about post-its, a notepad, Google Docs, or any separate destination for your notes — they'll just be automatically entered into Salesforce for you.
Additionally, your admin can set up additional Salesforce fields in your calendar, so that you can quickly update the relevant fields that your team cares about when logging meetings, without ever having to jump back into Salesforce.
- Type of Meeting, Meeting Purpose, and Meeting Outcome are very common uses of additional fields.
- Use a Lookup field to attach and be able to report on the teammates that join the call, such as a Sales Engineer, or Support Rep.
- These event fields can be set up to automatically update something else in Salesforce. In the example above, our "Create Opportunity" checkbox actually creates an Opportunity related to the Account you're meeting with.
Follow up after the meeting
After meeting with someone, it's crucial to follow up with a recap, next steps, and any other information relevant to the ongoing conversations. There are a few tools to help you do this more seamlessly so that you can focus on researching, prepping for the next meeting, or continuing to prospect into other accounts.
- Set Email Reminders while writing your follow ups because your prospects will get busy and in many cases forget to respond. Email Reminders will help you stay on top of the conversation and appropriately nudge your prospect (currently available for G-Suite users).
- Use your Scheduler to set follow up meetings - all they need to do is click your link to book the meeting! The Scheduler will allow you to continue booking meetings without the back and forth of finding a time that works best for both parties (currently available for G-Suite users, coming soon for Microsoft 365 users).
Managing Communication with Hundreds of Accounts
You may be working with many accounts at a time, and it can be difficult to keep track of where each of these accounts are in their sales cycle with you, which ones are most engaged, and which ones need some more attention. The first and most flexible way to organize all this communication is via your Groove Flows.
Use Flows to structure communication
A flow is a set of steps that you can pre-set so that everyone you want to communicate with goes through the same cycle of communication which you can easily carry out within the flow. Flows can be used for many scenarios - for Account Executives and Full-Cycle Sellers, below are a few common uses:
- Prospecting Flow
- Trial Follow Up Flow
- Re-engage Accounts with previous interest
We recommend being as personal as possible (it works!) within your flows. Prospects or accounts who are receiving a lot of communication from sellers typically don't want to read through or respond to a generic message; their attention will only be peaked by something that stands out. For this reason, a combination of phone calls, highly personalized emails, and LinkedIn steps are extremely effective. Auto-email steps are a good way to reduce manual work when sending a generic follow-up, but taking the time on your main messaging goes a long way!
- Use the Omnibar within your Flows to research the account, activity history, notes, etc before sending out your email or making your call.
- Use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator tab in the Omnibar to check for interesting personal information, mutual connections, or maybe even the college your prospect attended! Including in your email or subject line a reference to that person's previous experiences or anything relatable to you is a great way to break the ice.
- If you prefer working in Salesforce, you can access your flow steps at the top of any Salesforce page as well, via the play button
Beyond the communication, the best way to understand where your efforts should lie are by tracking engagement. There are many ways to do this, but below are some recommendations:
- Track all your emails for opens and clicks. That way you'll get real-time notifications when people are interacting with your emails, and you can follow up appropriately based on this.
- Visit the People Page and use the Advanced Search to filter down the people by engagement, last touch date, whether they are active in a flow, and other ways to drill down.
- Visit the Accounts Page to check on the engagement of each of the accounts you're working. Filter by account status to drill down into the accounts where you have an open opportunity.
- Hotlist your top prospects, and star your top accounts so that you can keep track of them in a separate, smaller list and give them the attention they deserve! You can also hotlist or star directly from your Omnibar while working in your inbox.
Accelerate response times and increase percentage of meetings booked
In a world of trying to engage 10s or 100s of accounts, time really is money. Additionally, from the prospect's perspective, they also are looking at multiple products that will be the right solution for their team, and it's important to catch their attention at the right time. For example, if a prospect fills out a form on your website, you need to strike while the iron is hot.
Speed to Lead
If you respond to that inquiry within minutes, that is drastically more effective than the other website that the prospect filled out a form on, whose response to that inquiry was an hour later. Within Groove, you can set up Instant auto-import, which means that the lead will be instantly imported to your flow when they become a lead in Salesforce. Pair that with an immediately sent auto-email with introductory information, and you effectively have a "speed to lead" of just a couple of minutes, which is a great experience for the prospect who is looking for information. This can be set up to route leads to different flows based on what information they requested, so you can have different messages going out for each of these scenarios.
Beyond the speed to lead, and automatically starting a conversation with a warm lead, there are other repetitive functions that take up your time which is where setting up automated actions can help out. Automated actions can be set up to trigger updates in Salesforce, set up tasks for yourself, remove people from flows, and other things that would normally take your time and attention. And the best part is, the automated actions will remember for you every time!
- On Import update Lead Status to Working
- On Positive Conversation, add the person to a more targeted flow
- On Meeting Booked, remove them from the flow or remove the whole account from the flow
- On Email Opened 3 times AND Account Inferred Status = Open Opportunity, Add this person to a phone call heavy flow, so you can catch them while they're interested, and at the same time, add a Salesforce task to research the account and reach out to others there
Automated actions give you a lot of flexibility and help you stay on top of your processes by working for you in the background.
Collaborate to Generate More High-Quality Opps and Close More Deals
On top of your own skills as a salesperson, collaboration with your teammates can often be the key to closing more deals. Whether this includes communicating with the same accounts via flows, researching those accounts together, or simply coming up with a strategy to get into an account, it's critical to be on the same page with your team so that you all can get closer to closing the deal together!
Spaces are the first and best place to start with when working on an account list (whether you're working individually or with teammates on those accounts). In spaces, you can build a custom account list, pull in custom data from Salesforce, share the space with your teammate, and continue to make progress together in those accounts. Below are some of the recommended ways for Account Executives to use Spaces:
- AE <> SDR space on top accounts list
- AE <> AE Manager space with accounts where there is an open opportunity
- AE <> CSM handoff space, for a smooth transition from a closed deal to the customer onboarding process
- AE <> Account Manager upsell accounts space
Spaces are extremely flexible because they allow you to really hone in on the accounts you care about. Inside a space, the columns are a combination of Salesforce data, Groove engagement data, and even your own custom columns that you can add to each space. Additionally, you can assign tasks to each teammate shared in the space to make sure each person is staying on top of their angle into the account.
- Ask your admin to pull in certain account fields that are most relevant to your team
- Create custom columns for your notes and your teammate's notes. That way you can keep inputting your notes for each account, and update them as the deal progresses. Additionally, each person shared on the Space will see those notes and be informed about the progress.
- Assign tasks for your SDR to reach out to a certain person, or add a few people from the account to their flows. They'll receive an email once you assign a task, so that it won't be missed!
Close the Deal
Automation and other tools that boost your productivity or take mundane work off of your hands will give you the time to focus on taking a deal closer and closer to the finish line. And collaboration is key, but executing is what gets the job done!
One of the most important ways to push a deal along is to engage multiple people within the same account, and keep them engaged throughout the sales cycle. All of the above (Omnibar, flows, spaces, people page) are the resources that will give you the flexibility to confidently carry out this communication with those key people.
Tracking the engagement, meeting notes, using reminders, Scheduler and automated actions are the pieces that will keep you on top of the next steps.
With all the above at your disposal, you can focus on giving each account the care, follow up, and appropriate attention from start to finish so that you can close more deals and bring in the big bucks!