Account-based sales (ABS) is one of the hottest trends in B2B sales today. What is it? It’s a strategic approach that coordinates your marketing and sales teams to personalize their efforts to open doors, creating a deeper engagement at specific accounts.
Account-based sales OR Account-based marketing is a pretty natural extension of content marketing; the biggest difference is that you’re speaking and selling directly to specific accounts rather than a broader audience.
Also, it’s hot because it works: According to the ITSMA, “ABM delivers the highest Return on Investment of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic. Period.” Now That’s pretty cool.
93% of the top marketers and sales leaders from around the globe have said that ABS is the next big thing.
10 REASONS WHY ABS IS SO HOT
1. ABS better aligns your SALES and MARKETING teams.
Account-based sales (ABS) essentially flips the sales funnel, focusing on a small set of target accounts first, then expanding into those accounts to identify the people (persona-based) that are involved in the buying process
By aligning our teams with a closed-loop marketing automation platform and CRM like INTANDEMLY, each side of the business has access to lead insight and marketing data; enabling our sales team and allowing the business as a whole to make more informed choices on lead priority, strategy, content direction and more.
Once our sales and marketing teams are aligned completely, they can choose their roles to play on a specific account. In ABS the entire organization is in a close loop as to what is happening with an account so no sales rep will be un-informed during a demo or no marketer will send cold outreach emails even after a meetup has happened.
2. Account based sales (ABS) focuses on the needs and opportunity in a single account or a group of named accounts
Previously, in traditional demand generation concept, we applied the “SPRAY and PRAY” method to capture a large audience and hope to convert few of those leads to customers, this method wastes a lot of company resources and is very unpredictable. Account-based sales, on the other hand, allows us to concentrate on a specific account clearly and target key players within that organization with content they can relate to.
ABS experts recommend creating a target account list with different tiers, we should allocate a different level of resources to different tier accounts. Types of tiers are:
• Tier 1 – consists of 20 to 50 accounts. The accounts in this tier receive deep research and one-to-one customized outreach
• Tier 2 – These receive personalization based on their industry and persona. SDRs engage with them via phone, email, and social, while the marketing team uses advertising and events.
3. ABS increases close-rate for a company
• With better targeting, more precision in messaging and tactic delivery as well as increased focus, we as an organization can achieve better-closed deal percentages leveraging Account-based sales (ABS) approach.
4. ABS allows personalization with customers & buyers
• Given the technology we have at our disposal, there is no reason to rely solely on a one-size-fits-all marketing experience. We can design our own personalization tactics, ranging from customizable e-books to tailored user experiences, on your website.
• Personalization also helps with customer retention and enhances their experience
5. ABS rely on focused marketing and sales strategy
• While “spray and pray” campaigns may work for B2C, they aren’t as effective for B2B. This is because B2B marketers have a limited number of potential Buyers. With ABM and ABS, marketers can focus their efforts on key accounts.
• With ABM marketers should now focus on key accounts as a whole and not just individual leads. Focusing on key accounts and the all the key players in that account helps to create specific content for each individual within the account.
• Now sales guys can leverage all the information from the marketers about the specific individuals within that account and give personalized demos and increase pipeline velocity. This can only happen if sales and marketing are aligned completely as mentioned before.
6. Executive-to-Executive Engagement
• Top-level executives keep facing a continuous stream of pitches and offers from would-be vendors. How often do those campaigns start with a personal message from a fellow C-suiter?
• ABM marketers are enlisting their CEOs, and other top execs, to reach out to their counterparts at target accounts, beginning with a personal email message or direct-mail letter requesting a brief meeting. A sales rep can then follow up with the executive’s assistant to set up the meeting, referencing the original communication and dropping the name of the C-suiter who sent it.
7. Difference between traditional demand generation and ABS
- Outbound approach
Demand generation is largely an inbound operation, publishing content and grabbing a wide range of prospects into your funnel
With ABS and ABM, we don’t wait for your target accounts to turn up in your lead nurturing system, we reach out to our target accounts directly.
This is mostly an Outbound strategy.
- Focus on account as a whole
We don’t just concentrate on one individual lead or a person from a company instead we focus on the entire company (account) and key players
within that organization.
- Traditional demand generation is fishing with a net, ABS is fishing with a spear.
8. Precise measurement of ROI
Shifting away from traditional metrics from demand/lead generation and focusing on account data as a whole helps marketers to become an active owner of the revenue chain
Previously marketers using the “Spray and pray” technique would never get a clear picture of the closed deals, opportunities made etc. Focusing on just one account at a time helps marketers to communicate with their sales teams and also measure their revenue chain
9 . Shorter Sales cycle
Through the use of ABM&ABS (Account-based sales & Account-based marketing) companies can enjoy a shorter sales cycle. We don’t need to waste time with unqualified leads saving company resources.
Sales and marketing teams can focus their energies solely on the accounts that are most likely to convert and provide more specialized/personalized services to those prospects and accounts.
10. Predictable Pipeline
Organizations have been facing a significant problem around creating a qualified pipeline, with the help of Account-based Sales, sales reps can have a better understanding of their pipeline and future endeavors
Having a predictable pipeline helps reps remain more informed and active towards their goals. They can dedicate time to certain accounts and move on to the next as they have a clear idea of where all their accounts are in the pipeline.
Over the past few years, account-based marketing has evolved from an obscure lead generation strategy to a mainstream B2B marketing powerhouse.
Advances in technology have made precise targeting tools more accessible than ever, while an environment inundated by generic, “one-size-fits-all” marketing campaigns is necessitating a more focused approach to identified lead generation.
All we need to do is adjust our mind-sets, not only in the marketing department, but across our organizations, and begin to view each account as a market unto itself, we unlock tremendous opportunities which can pave the way to an even more profitable future.