Account Based Selling is the methodology of focusing all of your sales efforts on a select number of accounts because they are the most profitable and likely to buy your products and services. Perhaps you have heard it referenced as a named or targeted account strategy. What is the right number of accounts? According to a report by EverString and Demand Gen Report, 42% of companies surveyed try to keep their account list between 50 and 500.
For companies making the switch from a reactive lead generation to a proactive account based selling approach, it can be daunting. Keep in mind – the sheer quantity of leads will dramatically decrease. But, companies with tightly aligned sales and marketing operations teams achieved 24% faster three-year revenue growth and 27% faster three-year profit growth than similar companies who did not. (SiriusDecisions.) Organizational focus is the key, while the “low hanging fruit” might be tempting, the named accounts are far more valuable long-term. A report by TOPO, commissioned by The ABM Leadership Alliance, found that companies that have implemented Account-based principles saw a 171% increase in their Annual Contract Value (ACV).
So – how can sellers use this new targeted approach for demand generation?
- Use the News. Show your targeted accounts that you are in tune with them by referencing news stories or press releases about them. Follow up with those references by linking your solutions to helping with their stated objectives.
- Go Wide. If you only have a certain number of accounts then increase your contact points with other department heads that may have some benefit to your solution. Account Based selling is more about building a coalition of decision-makers than taking inventory of them.
- Target. Two ideas that work well for an ABS strategy is to have focused content for a specific company. Vidyard allows for video communication focused on a specific individual. I have seen demos that show functionality geared towards just one person. These videos can be re-purposed as a customized webinar for a company instead of a broad audience.
Lastly, there is a new emphasis on effort when if comes to Account-based selling. The opportunistic approach of reacting to inbound leads outside of your sweet-spot doesn’t scale. Sellers need to understand that aligning their expectations with the company’s goals will help both parties long-term.