Account-based sales (ABS) is a sales strategy through which marketing and sales teams take a comprehensive approach when targeting an organization. Sales and marketing teams are dedicated to targeting multiple stakeholders at a prospective customer’s company and work together to create and move deals forward.
ABS is a collaborative effort between marketing and sales and, ideally, works in tandem with a marketing team that is employing account-based marketing (ABM).
ABM is a shift from traditional marketing and includes identifying target accounts and engaging them across multiple channels. Success is determined by conversion rates and deal size but also measures how quickly customers have been identified and moved through the sales cycle.
ABS is particularly effective for B2B sales as it involves a coordinated multi-channel strategy to target high-value clients. Companies are finding that focusing attention on a few key clients and treating each like their own market increases the likelihood of building lasting and lucrative relationships.
While this is an account-based approach, it is always important to remember that people are at the center of all successful sales. Connecting with prospects in a meaningful way requires teams with industry experience and strong business acumen.
- How can ABS support B2B Lead Generation?
- ABS vs. Traditional Sales Methods
- Who should implement ABS?
- Outsourcing Account-Based Sales
How can account-based sales support B2B Lead Generation?
Successful B2B lead generation seeks to engage prospects in real conversations in order to uncover business pains and determine if the offered products or services are the best solution. This approach is not about engaging as many contacts as possible and hoping for a fit; rather, it is about focusing on a few strong leads that have solid potential.
An ABS strategy can be used for effective B2B lead generation because both are already focused on finding quality leads and engaging stakeholders at all points in the sales process.
The more targeted your marketing is, the more effective it will be. A targeted marketing strategy becomes more engaging and cost-efficient when efforts are focused on accounts that have the greatest promise of return.
ABS prioritizes forming a relationship with your strongest leads. Contacting leads at all points of the sales process ensures the following:
- You are learning more about the evolution of their business and where you can provide further assistance;
- You are communicating a commitment to the client and ensuring you have their best interests in mind
- You are more likely to create a long-lasting relationship that will provide sales opportunities in the future.
When using this method to reach out to leads, you are creating an opportunity to engage with a stakeholder one-on-one and get a better look into the organization. Even when cold calling, this approach is meant to create a foundation for a relationship with key stakeholders who can reveal important information about the company.
A key point of this type of lead generation is that making a sale is not the end goal of the initial conversation; instead, this is a chance to understand more about the inner-workings of the company that is being contacted and what solutions may be a good fit.
Focusing the conversation on the needs, pains, and goals of the contact, and demonstrating professional expertise in the industry provides an opportunity to build trust and a rapport that can be carried out through the entire sales cycle.
ABS vs. Traditional Sales Methods
Who should implement ABS?
While this method can be extremely effective, it is not the best approach for every business. An ABS approach may be right for you if…
- Your sales involve complex products – the products, services, or solutions you have to offer are complex and require approval from several decision makers within an organization
- You work with large accounts – your average deal is above $50,000
- You understand your target market and/or industry – you understand the industry into which you are calling as well as its common pain points and needs
- You have a longer sales cycle- the sales cycle can take several months and is not simply transactional
Outsourcing Account-Based Sales
Effectively aligning marketing and sales efforts to create a more targeted and personal ABS approach can be difficult for some businesses that don’t have the in-house resources necessary. However, successful ABS can be achieved with an outsourced partner experienced in complex sales.
Benefits of Outsourcing ABS
1. Effective Experience
A successful ABS approach requires experienced salespeople throughout the sales cycle. Creating a personalized and impactful experience with a client can be difficult for inexperienced callers with little to no industry experience.
By outsourcing to an experienced inside sales team, you will be employing experts who know exactly how to create that meaningful experience with any client. These callers are able to answer complicated, industry-specific questions and assure leads that they understand specific pain points and offer applicable solutions.
2. Industry Research
Experience and knowledge are key to ABS, especially in complex B2B industries. Depending on your product or services, your marketers may not be equipped to take on some of the high-context, complicated industry conversations that can occur during this process. Your team might also not have the time and resources available to properly research an industry to learn more about its ins and outs.
Outsourcing to a team means employing experts to focus on these vital marketing and sales efforts. Reach out to the industry experts to create a more personalized and effective prospecting and sales platform.