What Is Account Based Sourcing And Why Should You Care

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What companies do your high performing, culture fitting, star employees come from? What do they have in common?

Account Based Sourcing

 

 

 In my opinion, sourcers have a lot in common with SDR's (Sales Development Reps), and ABSD (account based sales development) is the new buzz word in the world of sales and lead generation. This got me to thinking, what would a sourcing team look like and how would they function using "Account Based Sales" methodology?

What is Account Based Sales Development?

In a nutshell, it's a way of organizing and approaching B2B prospects by identifying and creating a unique customer journey for each target account.  Typically, you will have multiple-touch campaigns (email and phone calls) created for a target account. As opposed to SDR's having a region or industry to canvas, SDR's would be tasked with focusing all outreach efforts on the entire target account company as a whole, rather than just emailing and calling random decision makers.

 

The more I learn about ABS/M (Account based sales/ Marketing), I think back to my agency days. Each account executive was tasked with coming up with a list of 10-20 target accounts for the upcoming year and was expected to become obsessed with every aspect of these companies (side note, some recruiters would get so close to the target companies, they were often hired by the target company). So why do in-house recruiting departments not organize themselves in a similar way?

 

Account-based marketing (ABM), also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to business marketing in which an organization considers and communicates with an individual prospect or customer account as markets of one. Account-based marketing is typically employed in enterprise level sales organizations.

 

Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) is the coordinated process of developing a qualified pipeline in a Target Addressable Market by running proactive sales development led by multi-touch sequences into target accounts. These coordinated and proactive email sequences make it possible to deliver relevant solutions and use case specific content to a specific buyer persona.


Now-What

 

How to Implement "Account Based Sourcing"

Steps to follow:

  1. Identify the Talent Flow - Find out where your company star employees come from.
  • Run a report from your ATS (shame on you if you don't know how - read the manual)
    • Ask your hiring managers which employees we (talent acquisition) should clone if we could.
    • Create a list of star hires and upload the list into LinkedIn Recruiter so you can let LI Recruiter find some basic similarities with your list (see pic below).
  • I like uploading lists into LI Recruiter for several reasons.  This way I can leverage all the work LinkedIn's data scientist have done by using the report and analysis LI can do on a group of people.
  • Look for patterns in the group of stars.  Think of yourself as an FBI profiler trying to find something these people have in common.  {schools, degrees, hobbies, open source projects, companies, industries}
    • Get real creepy and see if you can find any common books, YouTube channels, Reddit channels, streaming music lists, video games, etc.  This will help you do some deep sourcing.
      • WARNING - by profiling a group of people and trying to clone them, we run the risk of perpetuating a non-diverse pool of candidates.
  • Create a list of target companies that are "feeders" to your organization.
  • Assign a target company to a sourcer/recruiter.  Imagine all the information we will gather about our feeder companies!

Once all that is done, use these steps to get yourself known at the company you’re interested in.

  1. Org chart the company.
  2. Proactively introduce yourself to every employee in that company and make it a point to follow up with everyone.
  3. Search your ATS and make alerts so that if anyone from your target company applies, you can do the phone screening.  Candidates that apply are more willing to explain the inner workings of the company.  I'm not saying to use them for info. What I am saying is that it makes sense to have someone who is vested in really learning and listening to what the candidate is telling you about their current situation.  Just think of all the information your team gets on phone screens every day. What do we do with that info? Nothing.
  4. In a few months, you will know things about this company like:
    1. Employee review cycles
    2. Bonus structures (or lack thereof), promotion system and timing.
    3. Employee benefits package
    4. Grade system and hierarchy of Job Titles
    5. Internal Politics
    6. Entire tech stack of each dept.
    7. Maintenance and backup schedules, code freezes, upcoming projects
    8. Financial health (Stock price, Layoffs, Cost Cutting, Leadership Changes, Merger and Acquisitions.)
  5. Sourcers can now give monthly (or weekly) updates on the landscape of the feeder companies.

I think you get the picture.  Instead of each recruiter having to figure out the right offer package and the hiring manager trying to figure out if a candidate can handle the pace and workload along with tech stack in the interview process, you will be able to submit a candidate with a wealth of information that will allow your process to speed up. We will be able to proactively engage with potential candidates with the right message at the right time.

 

Example:  We know Lisa M is ABC's star android developer (because we have talked to all them and even the ones that left ABC company). We also know that there are rumours that ABC is going to be acquired by CDE.  Also, ABC's stock is down and they have cancelled the annual company event that ABC is famous for along with a freeze on all new projects (thanks to Google alerts and a few chatty entry level employees who applied to a few positions last week).)  You will know most of this before everyone else because you have been tracking ABC company for 8 months and have had coffee with the entire Android team.

 

What's the Alternative?

The fire drill that happens at 9:00 a.m. when an executive from your company sends an email out to the Talent Acquisition Manager (CC's all recruiters) asking us if we knew that CDE has announced layoffs and we should go after all of their developers. You guessed it, some lucky sourcer is going to have to stop everything and blast some spam emails to the entire development group of CDE company (along with 100 other firms). But wait, it gets better. Just after you have hit the SEND button on your little “fire drill 2016 campaign", you get a few emails.  Since your team doesn't have a CRM and not all the recruiters have LinkedIn License, you find out that several recruiters have already sent emails to their contacts at CDE company.  As a bonus, three hours later, legal replies to the email chain,  Please DO NOT SOLICIT ANY EMPLOYEES FROM CDE!  We have a non-solicitation agreement in place and doing so could severely impact our company financially.