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How to Get Your Salesforce Instance Ready for Account-Based Selling

4 min read
Updated Oct. 18, 2023
Published Aug. 16, 2017

What is account-based selling? Simply put, it’s selling to the same accounts you’re marketing to. 

According to TOPO (Now Gartner), “Account-Based Everything is the coordination of personalized marketing, sales development, sales, and customer success efforts to drive engagement with, and conversion of, a targeted set of accounts.”

This coordinated effort facilitates a more efficient and cost effective way of allocating resources. By following a key account plan, you eliminate waste by spending on the accounts that matter most and will pay you most, ultimately providing the longest customer lifetime value. 

But teams using an account-based prospecting approach must align their sales efforts across their organization in order to efficiently penetrate their targeted accounts. This requires a complete awareness of which accounts are being worked, which contacts within the account have been contacted, and where the account is in the sales process.

As a sales ops professional, you play a key role in developing that awareness across your entire team by readying your Salesforce instance for key account management. Your company’s CRM is integral to providing all of this vital information. It’s the one place that can hold all of the account data and easily be accessed by all of your team’s key players. So, you need to be sure that the correct data is at their fingertips.

Cindy Hancock has spent plenty of time getting Salesloft’s own Salesforce instance switched from a lead-based to an account-based model. That’s why we’ve invited her to guide you through setting up your Salesforce for account-based selling.



Hi, Cindy Hancock, Revenue Systems Manager at Salesloft, here. Today I want to talk to you about getting your CRM database ready for account-based selling. 

For the last few years, we’ve seen a lot of companies switch from lead-based to an account-based model. This means instead of targeting specific people, you’re targeting specific companies. For the purpose of this video, we’ll already assume that you’ve identified your ideal customer profile and your total addressable market. This way, you can get the right accounts to your sales team.

The first step is to identify which accounts in your database are already customers. You want to make sure you do this so that your reps are not mistakenly reaching out to prospects that are already customers. To do this you want to tag your customer accounts in your database. At Salesloft we use the Account Status field to mark whether or not your accounts are current customers or prospects. This makes it really easy for you to pull reports and list views straight from your database.

Now it’s time to set up the fields in Salesforce. This will help you know which accounts are target accounts, and where they are in your process. The two most important fields are Company Stage and Segment. Company Stage is a field that allows you to track where a company is in its sales process. This will be different based on your company’s workflow. Accounts in this field can be labeled as Targeting, Evaluating, and et cetera. The second field is Segment. This field displays which targeted list your accounts fall into. This helps your team execute on predefined strategies to engage with your accounts.

Now that you’ve set up your account fields, let’s create your contact fields. Even though sales reps are working accounts, they’ll be focusing on specific contacts in those accounts. Since your sales reps are working out of contacts, we will be duplicating the account fields onto the contact object. This will save your rep a ton of time so they don’t have to switch back and forth between their account and contact tabs.

After these fields have been set up, you can move your account into the appropriate stages. The first stage is Evaluating. Any new recycled accounts that need to be enriched or scrapped can be put here. During this stage, accounts will either be moved to Disqualified or Targeting. If they’re Targeting, then they’re ready to go. Don’t delete any of your Disqualified accounts. That way you will have a record of them. Accounts in the Targeting stage have been reviewed, meet your ICP, and are now ready to be distributed to your sales team.

Thanks for watching, have a wonderful day!

Want to Learn More?

See how Sales Engagement software supports account-based. Check out the eBook Your Account-Based Strategy Playbook: How to Build “Sales First” Account-Based Programs.

Account Based Marketing Strategies