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May 31, 2017
Top 3 Tips for Account-Based Sales
[Editor's note: Enjoy this guest blog post by one of our EXCEED silver sponsors, Groove! Thanks for your support Groove!]
In the world of B2B sales, it’s getting more and more difficult to stand out from your competitors. Responding to every lead that comes in or blasting large groups of people just doesn't make sense anymore — it’s time to take a more strategic, targeted approach. Coming out of EXCEED, it’s clear that most sales leaders are thinking about account-based selling (ABS) to help their teams stand out among the rest and close the right deals.
Account-based selling is about being hyperfocused on the organizations that your company can help the most. It’s like fishing with a spear rather than a net. And it requires a very different approach. Here are my top 3 tips to ensure success with ABS:
1. Create a detailed profile of your ideal customer.
Most organizations know the basics of what their target customer looks like. Since your team will be investing more time and resources into each prospect, it’s worth thinking strategically about what kinds of companies are the best fit for your product or service. Here’s a list of a few things to consider when creating a profile of your best customers:
- Is a specific industry well-suited for you?
- What are the most common attributes of your top customers?
- What company size makes the most sense (based on the number of employees, annual revenue, or other metrics)?
- What kind of company would get the most benefit from your product or services?
- What kind of company most often faces the problem that you’re trying to solve?
- What technologies are they likely using?
- Is a certain location well-suited for you?
- Is there a particular role or department that you’re selling to?
2. Stick with it.
Account-based sales is a long-term game, and too many sales organizations give up too quickly. In fact, an overwhelming number of sales reps — 92% — give up after just four “no’s,” while 80% of prospects are more likely to say “yes” after 4 contacts. Rotating through different accounts means you’re probably not going deep enough with each relationship.
The key is to make yourself relevant and useful to your prospect. Think of yourself as a teacher — what expertise can you share that they will find valuable? Build the relationship over time by adding value with thought leadership, industry trends, and tactics that work for similar companies. Depending on your business, you may even be able to offer highly personalized content, like an assessment.
Be patient. Don’t give up. ABS takes time, but the payoff is worth it.
3. Support your team with the right sales tech stack.
The right technology will help your team make the most informed decisions possible while driving efficiency. Your CRM may be a great place to store research, but you’ll need to access engagement data to understand where your efforts are working, and where you need to adjust your approach. Two types of tools will help your team successfully execute an ABS strategy:
- Sales intelligence software helps you build a list of the right prospects and deliver the right message based on many data points. Depending on your business, you may want several SI platforms.
- Sales engagement software will help your team improve the Opportunity-to-Close (OTC) process, streamline personalized outreach, track results easily, and ultimately help your team make better strategic decisions.
That may sound like a lot of work to convert just one customer, but you’ll find yourself acquiring better customers and bigger deals, establishing a better brand, and creating a more human experience — for everyone involved.
A Note About the Author
Chris Rothstein is Co-Founder and CEO of Groove.co, a sales engagement software that drives efficiency at every stage of the process so sales teams can streamline their workday and take their business to the next level.