In today’s world of outbound sales, it’s important to have a targeted approach that focuses on engaging with high-value accounts. This is where Account-Based Selling (ABS) comes into play. ABS is a strategic approach that involves identifying and engaging with high-value accounts by tailoring the sales approach to their specific needs and pain points. ABS is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather a customized strategy that requires a significant investment of time and effort. However, the rewards can be significant, including higher conversions, increased average deal size, and improved ROI.
Understanding the Basics of Account-Based Selling
ABS is suitable for companies targeting high-value accounts, with an average deal size greater than $50,000, and a sales cycle lasting three or more months. ABS is particularly effective for companies with complex solutions, targeting a select number of high-value accounts, and offering a variety of packages, tiers, add-ons, or complementary services.
ABS involves a multi-touch, multi-channel strategy coordinated across the entire company to pursue a target number of high-value accounts. This requires cross-department coordination, with every team aligned. ABS experts recommend creating a target account list with different tiers, allocating different levels of resources, personalization, and attention to each. The ABS team typically includes members from Sales, Marketing, Customer Support, and Product Management, with primary roles including Account Executive, Sales Development Representatives, Marketer, Support Representative, Industry Marketer, and Product Manager.
Identifying and Prioritizing Target Accounts
The first step in ABS is to define your ideal customer profile (ICP) by identifying the characteristics of your best customers, such as industry, company size, budget, and pain points. Once you have defined your ICP, you need to research your target accounts to ensure they match your ICP and have a genuine need for your product.
To create a target account list, you should segment your prospects into three groups: those who fit like a glove, those with big budgets, and those who could bring in lifetime value. To manage your target account list, you can use a CRM like Close to create Smart Views and Reports that filter prospects based on your ICP and other criteria.
Creating a Customized Sales Plan for Each Account
The foundation of any successful ABS campaign is your content, which should be tailored to the specific needs and pain points of your target accounts. ABS involves a “land and expand” approach, starting with a small deal and then expanding the relationship over time. This requires identifying the most valuable accounts, setting clear goals and objectives, and developing a customized sales strategy for each account, with gatekeepers, decision-makers, influencers, and blockers all important stakeholders to identify and engage with.
Sales reps can improve their success in getting past gatekeepers by doing research, building rapport, and offering value. A customer data platform can be leveraged to enhance ABS by providing insights into customer behavior and preferences.
Creating Engaging Content and Messaging for Target Accounts
The success of ABS relies heavily on the quality of your content and messaging. You need to create content that resonates with your target accounts and addresses their specific pain points. ABS allows for deeper insight into their industry and company operations, allowing for more personalized messaging and content.
Leveraging Personalization and Multichannel Engagement
ABS involves a transition from a high-volume, high-velocity approach to a more targeted and personalized approach. This can be done in stages to avoid a sudden drop in lead flow. ABS involves a multi-touch, multi-channel strategy coordinated across the entire company to pursue a target number of high-value accounts. This requires cross-department coordination, with every team aligned.
Aligning Sales and Marketing Teams for Better Results
ABS requires a significant investment of time and effort, but can result in huge rewards by focusing on high-value deals. It involves a shift from a traditional siloed approach to a more integrated approach, with Sales and Marketing teams working together to pursue target accounts. ABS experts recommend aligning Sales and Marketing teams to achieve better results.
Tracking, Measuring, and Adjusting Your Account-Based Selling Strategy
Key metrics for tracking ABS success include account engagement, pipeline velocity, and revenue growth. ABS involves a transition from a high-volume, high-velocity approach to a more targeted and personalized approach, which can be done in stages to avoid a sudden drop in lead flow. It’s important to track, measure, and adjust your ABS strategy to ensure you are achieving your goals and objectives.
Overcoming Common Challenges in Account-Based Selling
ABS requires a significant investment of time and effort, and there are a number of challenges that companies may face. These include identifying the right accounts, aligning Sales and Marketing teams, creating personalized content, and tracking and measuring success. However, with the right strategy and approach, these challenges can be overcome.
Conclusion: The Benefits of Account-Based Selling for Higher Conversions
ABS can increase conversions by up to 67% by focusing on prospects who are a good fit for the product or service. It has been shown to increase average deal size by 300%, driving a higher ROI. Teams using an account-based approach have seen a 208% growth in marketing revenue and improved close rates. ABS requires a significant investment of time and effort, but the rewards can be significant. By focusing on high-value deals and tailoring the sales approach to the specific needs and pain points of target accounts, companies can achieve higher conversions and improved ROI.
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