Building an Account-Based Sales Program
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The world of marketing has transformed over the past few years. You now have unprecedented means of marketing goods and services to the audiences. One issue that we all collectively face as marketers is the gap between marketing campaigns and selling outcomes. To deal with this problem, we present to you the idea of an Account-Based Sales Development program. This holistic approach towards targeting high-profile contacts is a multi-touch, multi-channel strategy that allows you to target intended audiences and secure sales.
What is Account-Based Selling?
Account-Based Selling is a highly effective sales strategy that involves identifying potential audiences or companies as accounts. Each account represents an individual company and is treated as a market of one; rather than approaching single contacts and leads within a company, the business subjects the entire account to a marketing and sales strategy.
Under Account-Based Selling, marketing and sales departments work in unison to offer only refined and pertinent content to contacts within an account. The ultimate plan is to nurture the accounts through the buyer’s funnel before winning them over.
Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD):
Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) is a true innovation in outbound sales. By focusing on and expending resources strategically on targeted and highly valued accounts, ABSD increases your chances of securing B2B sales efficiently.
Primarily, we define Account-Based Sales Development as “a coordinated strategy that combines personalized, multi-channel, multi-threaded, outbound activities to create high-value opportunities in new and existing customers.”
Marketers understand how this defines a break from traditional marketing that relied on individual channels and lead. However, ABSD is much more than fancy words and complex definitions. We would try breaking the idea down for those of you who still haven’t understood the depth of what ABSD has to offer.
Targeted and Personalized Communication:
Personalized communication means that you pay significant consideration to the person you are sending your message to. You develop a deeper connection with the prospects by sharing contextual and customized messages with them. Don’t forget the human rapport you build with them also increases the chances of securing sales.
Integrated and Strategic Efforts:
While ABSD is entirely account-based selling and marketing, the entire organization must realize that ABSD is a holistic outlook that everyone must adopt. Being strategic in nature, every individual in the organization must be cognizant of account-based selling and its benefits. Furthermore, everyone should contribute towards ensuring that ABSD is catered to.
Account-Centric Thinking means Thinking Big and Scoring Big. Since it is B2B selling, sellers get to fewer targets with high-value potential. With one business being treated as an account, this allows you more time for researching and formulating customized content for your discerning customers. Through account-centric thinking, the opportunities that arise in existing and new customers are truly unprecedented.
Get Quality and Quantity with ABSD
Increasing revenue comes through either securing more business (quantity) or securing better business (quality). In the past, selling to the highest possible number of clients was the only approach that marketers and sellers had. Even now, you would regularly see sales reps embroiled in number crunching and high-volume endeavors, often failing to satisfy their own targets and lead-lists. At the end of the day, all this hard work amounts to nothing when you cannot score leads.
ABSD offers you a smarter way of working around this issue. Account-based thinking and the customized approach addressing each client increase your chances of locking quality sales by leaps and bounds. No need to spend hours of your day going through never-ending exhausting and calling leads with same-old cliched messages. Implement ABSD and outsmart your competitors through smart selling.
Tools that allow you to implement Account-Based Selling
The account-based selling model that we are talking about is a marketing marvel made possible through the various technologically-based tools available at our disposal. Let’s show you a nifty toolbox that informs our account-based selling framework.
1. Dun & Bradstreet
Dun & Bradstreet offers many pretty nifty tools that not only help analyze your data but also monitor the health of your data set to ensure that you are working optimally. Moreover, its ‘Clenestep’ feature keeps your data clean, ensuring up-to-date data, and seamless communication.
Demandbase is the pioneering account-based platform that allows you to stratify the selling and monitoring system in advertising, marketing, sales, and analytics. Each module here can deliver targeted advertisements to audiences based on different accounts targeting profiles.
Jabmo is a global account-based selling platform that boasts an omnichannel setup for marketing needs. It specifically encourages revenue growth by delivering personalized and unique ads to existing and potential accounts. Jabmo is brimming with CRM and automation systems that can milk all the benefits of account-based sales.
6sense provides a complete holistic overview of the potential buyers to ascertain the worth of making a selling effort. It helps account teams to evaluate opportunities, provide better deals, build rapport with sellers, and raise account-based revenue.
Engagio provides a thorough approach towards account-based selling that helps B2B companies deliver account-based engagement for sales and marketing with relevant data, sales insights, multi-channel orchestration, and full-journey analytics for sustainable success.
Best Practices in Account-Based Sales Development
Account-based selling is now emerging as a highly specialized field in marketing and selling. Considering the endless stream of opportunities that it hands to marketers and sellers, we need to know how to make the best of this. This can only be done if every person in the organization is proactive and agile at all times. The account-based selling framework is based on certain functional and structural practices deemed effective in ABSD.
1. Partnering with Key Departments in the Organization
ABSD requires collaboration on all fronts. To make this work, you would have to align organizational goals with the individual goals by fostering a culture of understanding and growth. You would have to utilize the strengths of your internal partners by playing on their existing strengths. Most importantly, since each account-based selling model would require functional teams consisting of members from all of the organization’s departments, everyone would have to be cognizant of the ABSD system set in place.
The types of partnerships needed
Your account executives (AEs) would collaborate with Sales Development Representatives orchestrating the ABSD campaigns.
Subject Matter Experts
These are individuals with deep insights into key verticals or topics. You’ll want to work with them to create a library of enticing solutions relevant to your target accounts and personas.
These are the people familiar with the strategic depth of the solutions you have developed. You can identify such individuals within your marketing team since you have most likely worked with them on specific projects before.
You could coordinate event-based opportunities through field marketers such as lunch-and-learns, specific trade show meetings, and co-branded events.
2. Revisit Old Accounts
Startups and small businesses, especially those associated with the tech industry, are often found sitting on goldmines of data. Some of the content and data that they have gathered over the years remain untouched. It is always a good idea to revisit the storage you have in place and decipher it again.
You may be able to do wonders with the kind of data that you already have. However, it would need to be sorted, refined, and straightened out before it starts making sense. Clean data will boost your team’s productivity and shorten your sales cycle. Sorting through and cleaning bad data will also make the next step much, much easier.
3. Building the Ideal Client Profile!
This begins with identifying and analyzing the opportunities present in your existing data. You can specifically look at the types and characteristics of accounts you have secured or those you have lost. By doing this, you can precisely point out the characteristics of your ideal client. Voila! You can now match your ideal profile with the set of potential companies that could be approached for business.
Once an exhaustive list has been prepared, the companies would be turned into accounts, and each account is given to SDRs to be handled efficiently. SDRs would, in turn, research and find the right people to prospect aggressively until they can pass qualified leads to the AEs. Delegation and responsibility of this extent would not only result in better revenue generation but would also contribute extensively towards the value proposition.
Therefore, moving to account-based sales development would significantly improve your interactions and your team’s work quality.
Factors that define ABSD’s success
To decide if account-based selling development would be a good fit for your company, consider the following variables:
Average Selling Price
ASP is the average value that your closed deals fetch.
Bigger accounts mean higher ASP transactions and, therefore, require more complex account-based SDR teams as well. However, it has been established that the higher the ASP, the more likely you are to see efficient unit economics with an ABSD approach.
Sales Cycle Length
Sales Cycle Length tells you how long it takes, on average, your organization or your account-based teams to secure deals.
Short cycles do not have time for multiple actors to become part of the account. On the other hand, more complex longer cycles require the nurturing and multi-stakeholder outreach provided by ABSD.
Market maturity reflects the general awareness about similar products and services that make up the market. If the market is not mature enough, you would have to employ more sources to educate your clientele.
ABSD works like a charm for markets that are in nascent stages. You would have to approach potential buyers and educate them about your product and its intricacies. This doesn’t happen in mature markets where the buyers tend to find your business themselves.
Number of Stakeholders
This metric is closely linked to the Sales Cycle Length discussed earlier. Primarily, it alludes to the number and type of people involved from the customer side in any particular deal.
If many people need to formally approve your terms and conditions for the deal to pass through, ABSD can be used to convey your value proposition in a custom-tailored style to each of these stakeholders in their own philosophy. This increases the chances of your deal being accepted by all those involved in the process.
Account-Based Selling Development comes with many benefits for the users. ABSD allows you to employ your sources strategically and approach targeted accounts only. Rather than relying on higher volume or quantity, it relies on much better and higher quality instead. You can be innovative and proactive in your ABSD by using modern analytical and technological tools to build your brand in a more customer-centric way.