Prologue

Account-Based Sales Development is an amalgamation of integrated strategies encompassing personalized, omnichannel & multi-threaded outbound activities to architect high-value opportunities for both the prospects as well as the existing customers & optimize their experiences to ultimately help B2B brands optimize their core bottom-line endeavors including the sales revenue optimization. 

The whole idea behind an account-based everything approach requires B2B enterprises to think of sales in terms of individual accounts based on targeting the most important decision-makers of those accounts.

According to CEB research, an average buying team is constituted of 5.4 people on an average. Furthermore, the purchase intent dwindles significantly when a second decision-maker is involved in the buying process. The research also implies that when the group of decision-makers increases from 5 to 6 the likelihood of purchase can be as low as a dismal probability of just 30%.

An account-based sales strategy improves the win rates as it engages all the key decision-makers at a company over the same period which expedites the sales process as they arrive at a consensus about buying the products or services at disposal.

The entire process of Account-Based Selling or ABS is based on targeting “accounts” focused on quality over quantity. Personalization & targeting of specific accounts based on demographics, firmographic, psychographic, intent-data, technographic insights, ‘fit-data’ as well as the intent-based targeting constitute the cores of a highly successful Account-Based Sales strategy. 

In short, the B2B organizations need to implement & manage the key accounts through:

  1. Automation
  2. Analytics &
  3. A coordinated strategy focused on collaboration & integration of multiple referral channels across the web as well as the cross-departmental functionality

The importance of an account-based sales strategy is reflected in the following quotation by Craig Rosenberg, Co-founder & Chief Analyst at TOPO:

“As soon as account based model takes hold, it leads to more personalization & more human touch. Sales development is a natural place for that.”

Why B2B Brands Need to Focus on Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) or Account-Based Selling

Within the modern B2B landscape the core bottom-line goals for the marketers have transcended beyond the conventional approaches to ROI optimization to engross Customer Acquisition Costs & the Lifetime Value Costs. Also, the marketers are increasingly focused on winning the bigger deals that are equivalent to 10-20 average to small-sized deals. The big deals not only deliver good revenue but also help in consolidating brand equity & strengthening the omnichannel brand resonance.

Contrary to the conventional inbound marketing plans which mostly win small deals than big ones, that too after 6-9 months to show some effect & a full 12-24 months to reflect significant value, account-based sales development thrives on building a sales & marketing strategy to win over the high-value accounts.

It has been proven in several pioneer studies that account-based sales development helps in fetching the highest conversion rates & drives the greatest revenue growth of all programs being run by the B2B marketers.

According to a study by ITSMA, Account-Based Marketing yields the highest Return on Investment (ROI) of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic.

Contrary to the ‘batch & blast’ outbound sales development wherein sales development representatives send enormous template-based messages to the prospects, Account-Based Sales Development is personalized to the account & the person receiving the message.

According to the 2016 benchmark study by TOPO Research, 45% of the modern sales development teams are already account-based (even if not fully developed), 27% are partially account-based & 28% are ‘greenfield’ (reaching out to the whole market).

Kristina McMillan the Sales Development Practice Leader at TOPO quotes the imperativeness of Account-Based Sales Development as follows:

“The new Account-Based Sales Development leaps ahead of yesterday’s siloed sales development”.

The chief characteristics of the Account-Based Sales Development framework are as follows:

1. Targeted:

Account-Based Sales Development is aimed at selected accounts instead of undifferentiated lists.

2. Personalized:

ABSD is based on tailored conversations instead of one-size-fits it all scripts.

3. Researched:

The account-based Sales Development approach is driven by systematic insight generation.

4. Multi-Channel:

The reach of the campaigns can be maximized by using Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) as irreverent campaigns are counted out.

5. Integrated & Persistent

Account-Based Sales Development is a coordinated effort & requires marketing & sales to work together instead of operating in silos. The emphasis is more on high-value engagements such as meetings to share insights & trends.

Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) is focused on fortifying the sales process & transforming the sales team into high performing engines & has the following main benefits:

6. Better Close Rate

Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) involves focusing on quality leads. This helps sales teams to fetch a higher Return on Investment (ROI) & at the same time eliminates the chances of missing out on any quality opportunity.

7. Better Implementation of Strategies:

Coordination between marketing & sales teams means that formulating as well as implementing the account-centric strategies to perfection, is much easier as compared to the ordinary set-ups where marketing & sales work in silos.

8. Data Cleaning Allows Better Segmentation:

Under the Account-Based Sales Development, the prime goal of the sales manager is to clean the data & sort it on decided parameters & architect plans to target this data. Marketers also deploy & split-test several methods from time to time to figure out if segmentation was proper. Proper segmentation lies at the heart of any optimal B2B marketing endeavor.

Strategic implementation of targeted campaigns & deploying niche-specific targeting boosts the team’s productivity & optimizes the complete sales cycle.

9. Improves Brand Equity & Reputation:

The key accounts for any brand are the ones with strong branding strategies. Creating branding & messaging strategy as per the requirements of the specific prospects helps in establishing the strong presence of the brands in the market.

10. Architecting Perennially Healthy & Predictable Pipelines

Employing Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) allows sales representatives to have better clarity on their pipeline & allows them to optimize their future endeavors. Sales representatives remain more informed & active towards their set targets. Also, they can easily determine & forecast the number of sales closures that can be achieved by organizations in a particular month or quarter.

Thus, ABSD provides an opportunity for organizations to create a secure & dynamic pipeline and keeps representatives more active towards their set targets.

Deploying Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) allows organizations to create a firm & dynamic pipeline which guarantees a higher conversion of leads.

Wrapping It Up

Some companies sell to lots of small & mid-sized customers as well as to the big enterprises. Such teams usually operate with a general sales development effort to target a wider market as well as have a specific team for specifically targeting the big accounts. Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) doesn’t essentially resolve every B2B challenge but many pioneers consider it to be the foremost method to generate high revenue, in fact, highest among some of the most popular B2B revenue generation processes.

Craig Rosenberg, Co-founder & Chief Analyst at TOPO had justified the importance of Account-Based Marketing Development (ABMD) as follows:

“There’s still a place for what we call greenfield (not account-based) sales development. If you can sell to a broad range of customers, it can still make sense. But as soon as you’ve got a focused ideal customer profile, account-based is the way to go.” 

Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) is important for marketers for whom the matter of the big deal & who can identify their ideal prospects. It is also important for marketers having six figured deal sizes & for those who need to improve their sales efficiencies. It is also important for multi-disciplinary buying teams when selling is being done across disciplines. Overall, mastering account-based sales development allows organizations to supplement their conventional inbound marketing strategies which at times show dwindling returns & also, take longer duration before showing substantial results. 

We, at Valasys Media, help our B2B clients achieve their core bottom-line endeavors such as an optimized Return on Investment (ROI) & improved sales revenue.

Our custom-made services include lead generation, account-based marketing, lead nurturing, event promotion services, list building services & content syndication services.

For deciphering the pathways to perennially healthy sales pipelines, get in touch with our team of experts.

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