How to manage accounts strategically in Outreach

Posted May 22, 2024

Nikki Brown is a Sr. Account Executive at Outreach, so she needs to manage multiple accounts with ease. When more AEs are joining sales cycles earlier to prospect and staying on later to expand and retain accounts, Nikki needs the right tools to successfully manage this broadened scope. She needs to understand the needs and goals of her customers, along with insight into the relationships between her buyers to successfully navigate a deal cycle. Effective account-based selling hinges on shared information, constant alignment, detailed planning, and structured workflows. Any gaps can damage handoffs or reputation and risk buyer frustration or lost opportunities – and a shared spreadsheet across her team just won’t cut it. 

So she uses Outreach’s Smart Account Planning for one place to land, retain, and expand accounts. Every member of the go-to-market team can view account activity, understand the buying committee, and collaborate with stakeholders on how to best penetrate the account- simplifying the complexities around account-based selling and account management.

In this video, she breaks down how she actually uses the tool: 

Fully customizable, and smarter, account planning

Screenshot of Outreach's Smart Account Plan displaying strategic initiatives & outcomes.

Hi, my name is Nikki Brown and I'm a senior account executive with Outreach. And today, I'm gonna show you what I love most about our new Smart Account Plans.

Outreach customers like myself have already been using Outreach to execute ABS strategies using workflows to sell in a targeted and personalized way – Outreach Smart Account Plans makes that even easier.

And today, I'm going to show you some of what I love most about our Smart Account Plans.

First, we'll look at the Smart Account Plan surface. This view offers entirely new insights into key accounts from initial contact through retention and expansion. The Smart Account Plan surface introduces new, fully customizable tiles to facilitate my account planning process.

So let's take a look.

See Smart Account Plans in action

The perfect hub for account-based selling

The foundational element of every account plan is outlining strategic initiatives and engagement strategy. And I want to tailor that to my specific accounts. So this is my starting point to craft my personalized plan where I'll identify the owner, define success criteria, and so on. And I have the flexibility here to utilize outreach templated text to guide me, but I can modify it to suit my requirements or I can even start from scratch.

I love that I can tailor this to fit my specific needs and process.

Get hyper-specific with tiles

Once I've defined my strategic initiatives and engagement strategy, I want to get really detailed about my target account. The more information I can gather, the better. And Outreach brings me several predefined tiles that I can use to capture this account intelligence.

So let's look at the account details tile as an example.

This tile shows me basic account information like website, headquarters, location, number of employees – and that's all sourced from Outreach and Crunchbase. I also have the flexibility to configure this tile to show me what's most critical for my needs and I have the freedom to add or reorder or remove tiles as desired.

Other tiles like About Account or Company News or Company Funding rounds are also populated with data from Crunchbase, which means that even when I start with an account that's completely new to my book, I don't start with a completely blank screen.

This is also really valuable to me in my existing accounts as a sales rep, I can easily see all of my account information and a status with just a quick glance.

Here on the right side, I can also see opportunities within the account and upcoming activities and I'm able to drill down into opportunity details and get a really complete view of this opportunity without ever leaving this page. So this gives me a quick overview of everything that's happening in the account: I can review the details of the next meeting, I can listen to a recording of the previous one, and I can see everything that I might need to prepare for my next conversation with the customer.

Eliminating mystery with Prospect Hierarchy

A gif of Outreach's Smart Account Plan's Prospect Relationship Map demonstrating stakeholder visualization in the buying process.

Another view that I really love is the Prospect Hierarchy. This helps me understand how to work my relationship strategy to win bigger deals faster. And I use this to develop my engagement strategy to leverage supporters and to counteract detractors. This allows reps like myself to understand the hierarchy of power within a specific account.

I can visualize stakeholders and their reporting structure and I can see how one prospect influences another in the buying process 

In this relationship map example here, I don't have very much info on this person yet since I haven't contacted her, but I'm reaching out to her direct report, the sales manager, Sal, who's a critical decision maker. Currently the sales manager is marked as neutral so I could send her an email to get the conversation going or I could start with our supporter person here, Nettie, and try to work my way to our key decision makers through this influence map.

I can also see some additional information here about the prospect and this is fully customizable as well. I can see what the relationship looks like and how one person influences another represented here by this dotted line. I also have an activity feed for the account within the smart account plan. And this is a continually updated feed that provides a concise summary and timeline of the account's recent activities.

So whether you're a new team member, you're part of the selling team or you're a sales manager, this feed makes it really easy to quickly understand what's been happening with the account.

I can see that there's a lot of activity on this account including emails sent to individual prospects.

We've had some meetings and some calls and there are some updates to the account itself and we can go as far back as last year, if that's when we first started talking to this customer, 

Keeping up with current accounts

A gif of Outreach's Smart Account Plan illustrating swift utilization of Smart Account Assist.

Lastly, as an AE at Outreach, I'm busy, and I may not always have the time to sift through all the communications on an account. And for managers with so many interactions occurring, how did they quickly find the most crucial information on an account?

That's why we're introducing your personal AI assistant here.

I can swiftly access a brief summary of the account's recent activities. Plus, if I have very specific questions about potential risks, next steps or key decision makers, I can simply ask our AI assistant. I can choose from pre-templated questions or I can ask my own with Outreach Smart Account Plans.

I'm able to focus on my target account plans and very efficiently and strategically improve my chances of turning them into customers while also improving retention and expansion efforts.

I'm really excited to use Outreach Smart Account Plans and I can't wait for you to try them out too!

Smart Account Plans are just the beginning...

Explore the full platform on a self-guided tour.


Read more

Discover the Sales Execution Platform
See how Outreach helps sellers close over 2 million opportunities every month.