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  • September 17, 2018

Moving from Searching to Selling: Driving Account-Based Alignment

I saw it time and again within my work with ExactTarget, Salesforce, OpenView and now Lessonly. The alignment between sales and marketing is a problem as old as time, and it still proves challenging to execute, even today! I know many of you have experienced this same problem: marketing doesn't understand why sales isn't calling the leads that are coming in, and sales complains about receiving bad leads while going off to do their own prospecting. Demand gen. Demand gen. Demand gen. Demand gen.

Lessonly is no exception. Luckily for us, we knew there had to be a better way to ensure that our marketing dollars were being deployed in the same accounts as our sales dollars. This is the journey of how we solved sales and marketing alignment on best-fit accounts with a single tool: Oracle DataFox.

The Problem

Any software executive worth their shares knows that building an amazing and powerful sales team is fundamental to success. This is especially true as you move up-market! That's why it was so important for Lessonly to align our sales and marketing processes with the strategy to hit our very best-fit accounts.

Unfortunately, we didn't get it right the first time. Historically, our sales team selected accounts to sell without any input from marketing other than territory alignment. Not only did this approach lack important data, but some of our best people were spending an inordinate amount of time searching instead of selling.

The act of manual prospecting also took a toll on our Salesforce data - our team was inputting data by hand that would inevitably create duplicates and quickly become outdated. We needed to move from dirty data to clean data. To do so, we tried to patch together a ragged quilt of data products in an effort to ease the pain our reps (and extremely valuable operations team) were experiencing due to the dirty data.

Long story short, the quilt ripped. It was soiled! Ruined.

Reps were so engrained into the day-to-day that they only had time to search for the easy data points like news announcements. It was a narrow purview. Our ragged quilt failed to tell the whole story of an account.

If I've lost you on the analogy... ripped quilt means we were not surfacing our best-fit accounts to our amazing sales team.

We needed a data-driven tool to align our go-to-market efforts on the highest-value prospects and automate our account selection process.


We looked to Oracle DataFox as the single source of truth for our data metrics, and, most importantly, provide us with the ability to execute a data-driven targeting strategy. With intelligent company data on every account, we were able to identify which criteria indicated a high-value account, and implemented our own account scoring model. That score evaluated the quality of every account, providing us the insight needed to surface best-fit prospects.

Now, our sales team prioritizes high-scoring accounts for SDR prospecting campaigns, while our marketing team is able to create dynamic lists of high-scoring accounts for ABM campaigns to support outbound sales. This alignment is key to ensuring that our resources are allocated towards the same goal, ultimately driving revenue efficiency.


Within the first week of implementing Oracle DataFox, we enriched 40,000 accounts and identified 1,000 new accounts (700 mid-market & 300 strategic/enterprise). We continue to do this on an ongoing basis.

Account scoring allows us to create dynamic account tiers, making sure that every sales rep has the same number of assigned accounts per tier. With the transparency of the scoring model, our sales reps get the visibility they need into what makes a given account a great fit, while allowing marketing to align their ABM efforts with target accounts that meet our ICP.

Sales and marketing alignment doesn't need to be challenging. Oracle DataFox allows us to drive data-driven initiatives and iterate on strategy as needed.

Interested in learning more?

Check out the Lessonly case study on how to improve sales and marketing efficiency by focusing on best-fit accounts.

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