Meet Account Spark: Make Sales Sparks Fly with AI
By Noor Atari
Apr 04, 2019
As the CEO of Account Spark and a seasoned strategist supporting world-class sales teams, I am excited to share an exciting new product— a transformational sales tool that my global team and I have built for the Salesforce AppExchange. Account Spark is the result of our combined experience supporting thousands of sales reps, managers, and marketers around the world; getting to know them, hearing about their challenges, and understanding their needs; building intuitive tools and designing smart strategies that support them and the exponential sales growth they have fueled; and combining our shared learnings in driving machine learning innovation at some of the biggest tech companies in the world, including Salesforce and Google.
One thing that has stuck with me from my days at Google is the idea that our goal as data science professionals is to “make sense of the world of data.” In doing so we can find opportunities in the real world that would otherwise be hidden, and make smarter decisions to have greater impact. Accordingly, our vision at Account Spark is to make sense of the world of data by marrying artificial intelligence with human judgement for a transformational selling process. We are on the cusp of launching our product, and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you today.
According to an estimate from Duns & Bradstreet, there are over 18 million addressable B2B accounts in North America alone. Those are a lot of potential targets! With the most sophisticated sales teams having a few thousand sales professionals, at most, the average coverage of any given sales team is less than 1%, and that’s on the high end.
So how do you maximize your time and efforts to focus on the right accounts, with the right strategy to close more –and more profitable– deals? Unfortunately, the most common answer to that question is what I refer to as “name brand recognition.” Sales reps tend to resort to a rolodex of accounts and contacts. But that strategy is arbitrary at best and certainly not scalable.
What if there was a way to maximize selling efficiency by aligning the right accounts with the right strategies? To analyze everything automatically so you could leverage past performance, future trends, and the connections to your company you weren’t even aware of? There is, and it’s called Account Spark.
Account Spark combines artificial intelligence (we call him Spark and he is pretty great at zipping through the Salesforce cloud to mine all kinds of useful data) and human experience to provide you with a clear view of all of your accounts and provide strategic guidance to close more deals.
How do we do it? Spark evaluates two key metrics across all of your accounts: potential and probability. Potential is the amount you can sell to a company across all of your product portfolio and represents the total expected deal size of any given account. Probability on the other hand is the likelihood of converting an opportunity into a signed deal. Using dozens of historic and predictive data points gathered from across your customer relationship management (CRM) system, Spark generates a score for both probability and potential and uses that to plot all of your accounts in a single, easy to understand view.
But Account Spark doesn’t stop there. We go a step further, drawing a line at the 75th percentile for each metric to create a four quadrant grid, providing an organized (and strategic) view of each of your accounts. While we do prioritize, no account is left behind: our grid provides an actionable strategy for every single account with the goal of driving higher conversion in less time.
It’s about resource management: allocating the right resources at the right time and the right place. This approach is what defines our product.
Here’s how the grid breaks down:
Top Right Corner = Focus (High Potential, High Probability)
This is where you as a sales rep should spend your time, because this is where you are likely to get the biggest bang for your buck. We’re not suggesting that this is the only place you concentrate, on the contrary, but this is a great place to spend your time and energy as an individual.
Lower Left Corner = Support (Low Potential, Low Probability)
This set of accounts present an opportunity to leverage channel managers and reselling partners to effectively and efficiently sell to these accounts. While they might need a little extra touch, you don’t have to provide that yourself.
Top Left = Stretch (High Potential, Low Probability)
These are your “elephants.” They could be massive if you closed them, but they’re not as likely to happen. They might take more work, but would have a big profitability pay off if converted.
Bottom Right = Team (Low Potential, High Probability)
These accounts are really opportunities to work with your teammates to use junior resources to move through this high volume of accounts quickly. Because they are high probability, but likely smaller deal size, they are great learning opportunities.
This smart categorization of your accounts provides your team with an actionable strategy, aligning the right accounts with the right strategies and people within your org to maximize efficiency.
This is the tool I wish I had when I was supporting sales executives as a strategy and ops professional. I knew I was sitting on powerful data buried deep within my Salesforce reports, I just didn’t have an effective way to grasp it. Spark’s ability to process huge volumes of data and generate a clear visualization of your accounts makes him an invaluable asset to your team, and frankly one I wish I had all those years ago.
And because our solution integrates seamlessly into the Salesforce ecosystem, your data never leaves the protected environment, ensuring security and keeping things simple for your team. No new programs to download, exports/imports to manage, or third party portals to access.
We are continuing to work with our group of pilot customers to refine the product, ascertain intrinsic value, and create a blueprint for scaling product success. Based on the results we are seeing within this beta, I am excited for the day this tool enters General Availability (GA) on the AppExchange. I look forward to seeing the impact Account Spark can have for all users including sales reps, management, marketing, sales engineers, and customer success teams.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to informed selling and we see our product as an inflection point for the broader industry. We envision a world where data is private but the insights gleaned from this data are public, shared broadly so we can learn from our collective experience. We are dreaming big at Account Spark and I invite you to dream with us.
If you are interested in learning more about the product or want to get a personalized demo of Account Spark in action please reach out to us at [email protected].