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Glossary » Account-Based Selling

Account-Based Selling

What is Account-Based Selling? 

Account-based selling (ABS) is a strategy for sales teams to focus on and win business from specific high-value accounts. Account-based selling generally starts with identifying and targeting a specific list of accounts that the sales team believes they can win. Once these target accounts have been identified, the sales team creates personalized sales strategies for each one. The goal of account-based selling is to generate more revenue from fewer accounts by better aligning the sales process with the needs and buying behavior of large, complex organizations.

Account-based selling can be contrasted with traditional lead-based selling, which involves trying to sell to as many people as possible without taking into account their specific needs or whether they are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. Account-based selling is a more targeted and personalized approach that can be more effective for sales teams looking to win business from large organizations. When done well, it can result in higher win rates, larger deals, and happier customers.

The Account-Based Selling Model

The ABS Model is a sales strategy that focuses on targeting high-value accounts and customizing the sales approach to fit the needs of each account.

Account-based selling has become a popular sales strategy in recent years, as more and more companies are looking for ways to target and win over large, complex accounts. This sales model is based on the idea that each account is unique and requires a tailored approach. Account managers work closely with other members of the sales team, as well as marketing and product teams, to develop a customized plan for each target account.

This sales strategy requires a high degree of coordination and communication between all members of the sales team, as well as a deep understanding of the needs of each target account.

Implementing an Account-Based Sales Process (ABSP)

The Account-Based Sales Process (ABSP) is a sales methodology that focuses on selling to large accounts. The key difference between ABSP and traditional sales methods is that account managers take a holistic view of the customer, understanding all the key stakeholders within an organization and tailoring their pitch to each one.

The goal of ABSP is to generate more revenue from large accounts, and it’s a process that should be tailored to the unique needs of each account. Here are five steps to implementing an account-based sales process:

  1. Define your ideal customer profile: In order to target the right accounts, you need to first define your ideal customer. Consider factors such as company size, industry, and location.
  2. Research your target accounts: Once you know who your ideal customer is, it’s time to research specific companies that fit that profile. Learn as much as you can about the decision-makers within each organization.
  3. Create targeted account plans: Now that you know who you’re selling to and what their needs are, you can create targeted account plans. This involves mapping out the decision-making process within each organization and creating a unique sales strategy for each one.
  4. Implement dedicated account teams: To be successful with ABSP, you need to have dedicated account teams that are responsible for managing relationships with large accounts. These teams should be composed of sales, marketing, and customer success professionals.
  5. Measure success with account-based metrics: Finally, you need to measure the success of your ABSP with account-based metrics. This includes tracking key performance indicators such as customer lifetime value and customer churn rate.
Account Based Marketing and Sales Funnel

Criteria for Account-Based Selling

Account-based selling is a targeted approach to selling in which a company or sales team focuses on a specific set of accounts rather than trying to sell to anyone and everyone. This approach can be very effective, but it’s not right for every situation. Here are some criteria to help you decide if account-based selling is right for your business.

You Have a Small Number of Target Accounts

Account-based selling is most effective when you have a small number of target accounts that you are trying to sell to. If you have a large number of potential customers, it may be more difficult to focus your efforts on a specific group of accounts.

Your Target Accounts are High-Value Accounts

Account-based selling is also more effective when your target accounts are high-value accounts. This means that they have the potential to generate a significant amount of revenue for your business. If you’re selling to smaller businesses or individual consumers, account-based selling may not be the best approach.

You Have a Dedicated Sales Team

Account-based selling requires a dedicated sales team that is focused on selling to your target accounts. This team should have in-depth knowledge of your target accounts and their specific needs. If you don’t have a dedicated sales team, it may be difficult to implement an account-based selling strategy.

You Have the Resources to Support an Account-Based Selling Strategy

Account-based selling requires a significant investment of time and resources. If you don’t have the internal resources to support an account-based selling strategy, it may not be the right approach for your business.

You’re Selling to Large Organizations

Account-based selling is typically most effective when you’re selling to large organizations. These organizations usually have the budget and the need for the products or services that you’re selling. If you’re selling to small businesses or individual consumers, account-based selling may not be the best approach.

Implementing Account-Based Sales Process

Sales teams have long been struggling to find an effective way to sell to large accounts. The traditional process of trying to engage multiple decision-makers within a company is often ineffective and can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort. Account-based selling (ABS) is a new sales strategy that is gaining popularity as it offers a more targeted and coordinated approach to selling to large accounts.

The benefits of Account-based selling include:

  • Increased focus on key accounts
  • More efficient use of resources
  • Better coordination between departments
  • Improved win rates
  • Reduced customer acquisition cost
  • Increased average deal size

However, there are also some challenges that need to be considered when implementing an ABS selling strategy. These include:

  • Ensuring that the sales team is aligned with other departments
  • Ensuring that the sales team has the necessary skills and knowledge
  • Developing account plans
  • Setting account-based KPIs

Account-Based Sales KPIs

If account-based selling is part of your sales strategy, you need to track the right KPIs. There are a several KPIs that measure the success of an account-based selling strategy, but the three most important are:

  • Account Engagement: This measures how engaged your sales team is with each account. Are they regularly reaching out and trying to build relationships? Are they proactively trying to identify new opportunities?
  • Account Conversion Rate: This measures the percentage of accounts that convert into paying customers.
  • Account Lifetime Value: This measures the average revenue generated from each account over the lifetime of the relationship.

Structuring Your Sales Team for Account-Based Sales

There are a few ways to structure a sales team for an account-based approach to selling. The most common approach is to create dedicated account teams, with each team being responsible for pursuing and winning a specific account. Another option is to have a singular sales team that is responsible for all accounts, but this team is typically divided into smaller sub-teams, each with its own focus account.

No matter which approach you take, there are a few key things to keep in mind when structuring your sales team for account-based selling. First, it’s important to make sure that each team member has a deep understanding of the account they’re working on. This means ensuring that they have access to all the necessary information and resources. Second, it’s important to create a clear process for pursuing and winning accounts. This process should be well-defined and followed by all team members. Finally, it’s important to measure the success of your account-based selling efforts. This can be done by tracking key metrics such as win rate, deal size, and time to close.

By following these tips, you can structure your sales team in a way that will allow them to successfully pursue and win key accounts. 

How to Use Content in Account-Based Selling

As account-based selling has gained popularity in recent years, more and more companies are looking for ways to incorporate this methodology into their sales strategy. Content plays a key role in account-based selling, helping to identify and qualify potential customers, build relationships, and ultimately drive revenue.

When used effectively, content can be a powerful tool to enrich the buyer’s journey and help you close more business. Here are a few tips on how to use content in Account-Based Selling:

1. Use content to identify and qualify potential customers.

One of the first steps in any account-based selling strategy is identifying prospective customers or target accounts. This can be a challenge, especially if you are selling to a large and diverse market.

Content can be a great way to identify potential customers. Those who engage with your content are likely good prospects. By creating content that is relevant to your target market, you can reach a larger audience and generate leads that are more likely to convert into sales.

2. Use content to build relationships with potential customers.

Once you have identified potential customers, the next step is to build relationships with them. Content can be a great way to provide valuable information that potential customers can use.

For example, if you sell software to businesses, you might create a blog post or white paper that discusses the benefits of your software and how it can help solve specific business problems. By providing valuable information, you can start to build trust and relationships with potential customers.

3. Use content to close more business.

Finally, once you have built relationships with potential customers, you can use content to close more business. This can be done by creating custom content that is specific to the needs of your target accounts.

For example, if you have a target account that is interested in your software, you might create a case study that discusses how your software has helped solve similar problems for other businesses and include this in your sales proposal. By providing relevant and targeted content in the right context, you can increase the likelihood of closing more business.

Account-Based Selling Platform

An account-based selling platform is a sales and marketing platform that enables companies to target and sell to specific accounts. Account-based selling platforms help sales and marketing teams work together to identify and pursue the best opportunities, while also providing visibility into account progress and activity.

Account-based selling platforms typically offer a variety of features, including:

  • Account and contact management
  • Lead and opportunity management
  • Account scoring and territory assignment
  • Engagement tracking
  • Account plans
  • Customizable dashboards

An account-based selling platform can be a valuable tool for sales and marketing teams looking to improve their account-based selling efforts. By providing visibility into account progress and activity, account-based selling platforms can help teams identify and pursue the best opportunities. Account-based selling platforms also offer a variety of features that can help sales and marketing teams work together more effectively, such as lead and opportunity management, account scoring, and territory assignment. Customizable dashboards also allow teams to tailor their account-based selling platform to their specific needs. 

ABS platforms typically integrate with other digital selling tools like CRM, CPQ, digital sales rooms, eSignature, and contract management software to enable all deal stages to be contacted seamlessly.

Synonyms

  • ABM (Account-Based Marketing) 
  • ABS (Account-Based Sales)
  • ABSD (Account-Based Sales Development)

People Also Ask

What is an Account-Based Sales Strategy?

An ABS strategy focuses on selling to a select few key accounts rather than trying to sell to as many people as possible.

The reasoning behind this strategy is that it is often more difficult and expensive to acquire new customers than it is to sell more products or services to existing ones. Therefore, by focusing on key accounts that have the potential to generate the most revenue, businesses can more effectively use their resources and increase their chances of success.

In order to implement an account-based sales strategy, businesses need to first identify their target market and then research and select a limited number of high-value accounts. Once these accounts have been selected, businesses need to create a custom sales and marketing plan for each one. This plan should include specific goals, tactics, and budget.

An account-based sales strategy can be an effective way to increase sales and grow a business. However, it is important to remember that this strategy requires a higher level of commitment and investment than other sales strategies. Therefore, businesses need to be sure that they are prepared to make the necessary investment before embarking on ABS.

How do you grow account sales?

There are a few key things you can do to grow account sales.

First, make sure you’re providing excellent customer service and a frictionless sales process. This means responding quickly to customer inquiries, addressing any concerns they may have, and going above and beyond to meet their needs.

Secondly, focus on building strong relationships with your customers. Get to know them and their business, and find out what they need and want. Finally, always be looking for ways to improve your products and services. By constantly innovating and delivering value, you’ll keep your customers coming back for more.

Who should use account-based selling?

This type of selling is often used in B2B sales but can also be used in B2C sales. Account-based selling can be beneficial for businesses of all sizes.

There are a few key indicators that you may be ready to implement an account-based selling strategy:
You have a database of high-value prospects or customers.
You sell products or services that require a high level of customization.
You have a sales team that is comfortable working with large accounts.

How do I get started with Account-Based Selling?

To get started with ABS, sales teams should first identify their target accounts. This can be done by analyzing customer data to identify patterns and trends among past successful deals.

Once target accounts have been identified, sales reps should create a customized outreach strategy for each account. This may include sending personalized communications, conducting research on the specific needs of the account, and arranging face-to-face meetings.

Account-based selling can be an effective way to win new business, but it requires a significant investment of time and resources. Sales teams should carefully consider whether this approach is right for their organization before making the commitment.