If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably heard a little (or a lot) about account based sales (ABS) lately. Paired with account based marketing (ABM), this tactic is poised to take over the world of B2B sales and is rapidly gaining steam.
Rather than having your sales representatives chase individual leads as they come in, an account based sales (ABS) strategy allows them to focus on the entire company.
Let’s face it, getting new leads and closing deals are not easy when you are in the IT services business, as there is a lot of competition i.e., too many options for one solution, poorly qualified leads, lack of effective engagement with decision-makers, losing deals on price, etc.
57% of salespeople say closing the deal is getting harder.
This post aims to go a step further and dives deep into Sales Complexity of an IT Services Company and Why Account Based Approach to selling is the problem solver.
Here are a few major problems IT Service companies face and how Account Based Sales (ABS) can cater them
LONG SALES CYCLES
It takes more work. Prospects often view the purchase of a major service or product as another task in which they must invest their mental energy and due diligence.
Buyers are less concerned with the qualifying topics salespeople are usually most interested in: Just one in four want to discuss budget, authority, and timeline.
They’re not sure what they’re getting. When you are selling services, you are essentially selling time, concepts, words – intangibles. To the perspective of most leads, that does not matter.
Where are the measurable results? The guarantees?
At least 50% of your prospects are not a good fit for what you sell.
You’re just one of a crowd. Many direct competitors have well-trained, talented salespeople, so your capacity to present benefits instead of features is no longer the distinguishing factor it once was.
40% of salespeople say getting a response from prospects is getting harder
Show them that they are the only ones you care about.
A prospect, or any human in general, are psychologically wired to like and remember something or someone who gives them all their attention.
Using account based sales development, your reps will concentrate on one key account at a time catering to what their specific problem is now and how your company can help them solve it.
“Quality Over Quantity”. Account based selling is built on a targeted approach.
The sales reps following account based selling (ABS) methodology never talk in generic terms with their prospects, they are completely vested with information of the prospects and their problems giving them an edge when they speak the prospect.
Research and identification are the priorities in Account-Based Sales Development.
MORE THAN ONE DECISION MAKER
Sales reps and marketers usually target just one person and hope he on-boards the rest of the decision-makers to take a call.
Identifying more than one decision-maker is never considered a priority
Targeting 2 or more decision-makers within an organization can be chaotic if not streamlined.
In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people is involved in most buying decisions. — Gartner Group
Account Based Selling is unique in its approach because you never go for just one decision-maker within an organization.
Doing due diligence is what will separate your team from the others.
Researching on the decision-makers should be given the same priority as reaching out to them.
INBOUND WON’T OPEN DOORS
Inbound methodology for IT service companies to close deals is just not a great fit anymore, the leads we get from content marketing or mass email marketing don’t pan out.
Most of the time and the people from that company are not the decision-makers and can’t help you connect with the decision-maker as well.
The amount of time and money it takes to create, establish and run an inbound marketing team is strenuous compared to the return we get for all the effort. Got to say not that great.
79% of all marketing leads are never converted to sales.
Using ABS and ABM methodology and a little help with some of the best ABS tools out there, you can identify the key accounts you would like to target that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
And segmenting the target accounts accordingly which will, in turn, make it easy to find the key decision-makers and go after them with the insights you already have.
Technically speaking Account-based sales development is the old method of sales and marketing but with added intelligence and a little help from technology.
COMPETITIVE MARKET – Personalized approach is the key
In the world of IT services its kill or be killed, in 2017 global Information technology spending was close to 1.8 trillion dollars.
The competition is fierce and not getting easy anytime soon. You have to be fresh and unique in every approach from branding to marketing to sales and even positioning.
Most probably, your competitors are already doing account based marketing (ABM).
More than 70% of companies plan to implement an ABM program within the next year.
Be unique in your approach and try thinking out of the box for your approach to possible prospects or customers.
A personalized message will always keep you differentiated from the others but will have value only if you cater to the prospect’s problem in your message.
So, to sum it up…
“Make the switch” from the outdated inbound methodology to account based marketing (ABM).
Like we discussed above it’s not recommended for IT services companies to face this heavily competitive market without continuous innovation.
Shifting from your existing practices to the new Account Based Selling (ABS) practice is not easy but if you take one step at a time it’ll be worth your while.
Want to make your entire team more effective and close deals faster? Give us a shout!