Did you know LearnCore is sponsoring TOPO Summit? To help you prepare for this exciting sales and marketing event, we’re exploring account-based selling since it requires alignment between the two teams. Account-based selling is a growing trend with immediate benefits for your sales organization. Learn more with the first in our two-part series covering the pros and cons of account-based selling.
Account-based selling is changing the sales landscape. An increasing number of organizations are utilizing this approach and realizing better ROI on their sales and marketing investments.
If you’re considering implementing this approach for your sales team you will need to make adjustments to your existing process.
What is Account-Based Selling?
Account-based selling (ABS) is a strategy that focuses sales and marketing resources on individual high value accounts. Instead of casting a wide net to an entire market, teams are premeditatively identifying high revenue potential accounts they want to capture, and then dedicating most of their resources to acquiring them as customers.
To be successful, your sales reps need to become experts in specific messaging, customized demos and a high-touch process. The targeted ABS tactics allow for a smoother and more personalized process through the customer life cycle, and ultimately help your sales team enjoy higher conversion rates.
As with any newer strategy there is often misleading information surrounding the concept. To help clear up any confusion, we’re reviewing the pros and cons of ABS in part one of our series.
Pros of Account-Based Selling
Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
Traditional sales strategies focus on identifying the largest number of qualified leads as possible. Unfortunately, many leads never actually result in new opportunities or converted customers. Changing your sales strategy to focus on fewer, high quality leads will give your sales reps more time to focus on selling and the ability to improve their skills.
Better Customer Experience
Account-based selling naturally forces sales and marketing teams to create a more personalized experience for prospects by narrowing their target. Personalization helps delight potential clients, and improves lead conversion. In fact, teams see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized online strategies. If your reps feel overwhelmed by the idea of creating customized content, give them access to technology solutions like screen capture software to help them deliver personalized resources easily.
With account-based selling your dream prospects can actually become clients. In fact, one of the best parts about using account-based strategies is that you’re hand picking the perfect clients you want your sales team to target. Your new customers will be top revenue generators, ideal industries and brands, and exceptional use cases for what you’re offering. Acquiring high quality clients helps your sales organization waste less time and money chasing bad leads, and promotes a more efficient sales process.
Cons of Account-Based Selling
Advanced Planning is Required
Account-based strategies require a substantial investment of resources up front. If you plan on initiating this strategy within your sales organization, you will need to complete several tasks in order to launch successfully:
- Define clear goals
- Identify your buyer personas
- Create a manageable list of targeted accounts
- Collaborate with marketing to determine messaging, custom deliverables and communication scheduling
Selling the idea of additional work to your team may be difficult, so it’s important to stress the long-term ROI potential. You can also utilize online training technology solutions, like LearnCore, to help get your reps up-to-speed quickly and cost-efficiently.
Sales and Marketing Alignment
Your sales and marketing teams need to be aligned to pull off a successful ABS strategy. With two teams that are often recognized for their inability to get along, this may be a challenge for your organization. Determine whether or not your sales and marketing teams need additional coordination by reviewing these additional resources:
- Why Aligning Sales and Marketing Is So Difficult
- How to Repair a Negative Relationship Between Sales and Marketing
- What Sales Teams Want From Marketing Versus What They Get
Easy To Get Distracted
Account-based selling strategies require a high level of focus. Once goals have been defined and account lists have been assigned, your reps need to stay on track. It’s easy to get distracted by new leads, or seemingly faster wins. It’s critical that you define the process, set boundaries, and train your team extensively. Using online quizzes, tests, and surveys on a regular basis can help you evaluate if there are any critical knowledge gaps that need to be addressed within your team.
As with any strategy there are pros and cons, but when ABS is successfully implemented you can increase your sales and marketing ROI, quality of client makeup, and stay two steps ahead of competitors.
Now that you’re more familiar with account-based selling, you may have decided it would be a great fit for your sales team. What are your next steps? Stay tuned for part two of our series where we’ll cover exactly how to help your team win at account-based selling.
Want More on Sales Strategy?
- Sales Effectiveness Starts with Messaging
- How Sales and Marketing Can Generate More Revenue Together
- Make, Find, or Buy: Which Sales Training Strategy is Best?