Sales Force Automation: Lead versus an Account

October 26th, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

I have been working with a company to implement a “results based selling” vertical campaign; we are using Salesforce.com to automate the process. The company I am working with has a product that can be sold to multiple verticals and market segments, but they have limited sales and marketing resources. As a result, the decision was made to target the restaurant vertical with a sales and marketing campaign.

To start the project we uploaded a list of 2300 restaurants into Salesforce and segmented the market based on employee size and geographic location. The customer reviewed the Salesforce configuration then asked if it would not have been better to load the data in the “lead” section of Salesforce. I gave that question a lot of thought, when do you load companies as a “lead” and when do you load companies as “account”?

The answer to the customer was the restaurant list should be loaded as an account. The customer has made the decision to be successful and they have no choice but to sell to the restaurant vertical if they want to grow their business. To achieve this goal they have built a “vertical campaign” allowing the customer sales team to focus on the company objective of capturing market share in the restaurant vertical while measuring the success of the campaign. My recommendation is if you want to target a vertical pre-load the target accounts into your CRM.

So when do you use the lead feature in Salesforce.com? A vertical campaign is a very effective sales tool, but so is referral selling, web marketing, trade shows, etc. Results based selling is about being able to automate the process of measuring multiple sales activities simultaneously. Leveraging the lead function in your CRM allows companies to introduce leads that are generated outside the vertical campaign, but can contribute to overall revenue growth.

Topics: CRM