What is account-based selling – and why do you need it?
Account-based selling is an approach that treats an entire company like a prospect. Instead of focusing on just one lead or one point of contact, sellers work together with marketing and other departments to holistically target many contacts and prospects at the same organization. Each contact moves down the sales funnel, meeting their colleagues along the way, until all the stakeholders of the target client are excited about the buying decision. That comes as a result of a concerted effort between sellers and marketers to segment their audiences so they can tailor the attention and support they give to best suit the target client’s needs.
Account-based selling is efficient, effective, and rewarding for the sales professionals and the clients they serve: 84% of B2B marketers report improvements in reputation after switching to account-based selling, and 74% are seeing improvements in relationships, according to the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA). This is a win-win, making sellers and clients more satisfied with the collaboration and the outcomes of deals.
Implementing account-based selling doesn’t have to be a tedious process. As we further define this concept, let’s also explore why companies need it — and how they can get it with a turnkey solution.
How does account-based selling close deals?
Account-based methodology closes deals by empowering sellers to focus more effectively on priority accounts. In the traditional sales environment, 80% of the leads provided by marketing to the sales department are ignored. This isn’t a malicious action on the part of salespeople — they simply don’t have enough available hours in the day. The activities of traditional sales methods, such as complicated sales forecasting and unproductive prospecting, eat up sellers’ time. Worse, all that busy work by the seller doesn’t lead to greater certainty of closing the deal.
Compare that traditional sales approach to account-based selling, which prioritizes quality over quantity. Rather than spinning their tires with a large volume of deals in the hopes that a small percentage of them move forward, sellers use account-based selling to focus their time and energy on high-priority accounts. They can leverage more of their own human instincts, working to actively listen and understand the needs of stakeholders on a given account. With the support of marketing to provide prospects with customized content and resources that focus on value in the context of their needs, sellers can more confidently move deals closer to a close with less distractions and detours along the way.
Account-based selling grows revenue through intentional action
Targeting a group of individuals at an organization rather than a single individual provides sellers with more opportunity to personalize their message. By appealing to the needs of their various contacts within the organization, sellers can better win the business of the organization as a whole.
Imagine a commercial truck dealer wants to sell a fleet of new box trucks to a large local moving company. In a traditional sales approach, one salesperson would try to get a meeting with the decision-maker at the business, often the owner, and hope that individual has the interest or capacity to engage with them. But with an account-based selling approach, multiple sellers work together to target other employees at the company, helping the sellers to grow a relationship with the business. One seller might work with marketing to deliver brochures about the latest models to the service and maintenance manager. Another might speak with the operations manager about the increased efficiency and safety of the new models. And a third might achieve the meeting with the company owner to communicate all the high-level benefits.
Using account-based selling, those three sales reps are able to close a deal that one might never have been able to close alone. With clear lines of communication, the sellers can work together, sharing information to keep sellers and buyers alike engaged and informed. This kind of high-touch selling helps to build trust between buyers and sellers, framing the buying process less like a sales pitch and more like a collaborative effort to solve problems.
Another benefit of account-based selling is greater accuracy in sales forecasting. During the sales process, any sellers or marketers working on a sales campaign can share their information about various stakeholders at an organization and the barriers to the deal closing. Even if the deal doesn’t close, there is more customer intelligence to inform predictions about the growth of the account in the future.
Account-based selling doesn’t just grow revenue intentionally; it makes sales forecasting more intentional, too.
Collective[i] empowers and encourages account-based selling and sales forecasting
Collective[i] facilitates a transition to account-based selling and sales forecasting through augmentation, acceleration, and automation.
Through our Virtual DealRoomsTM feature, communication with all stakeholders involved in the deal becomes seamless and centralized. Written communication, such as emails with prospects, can even be synthesized by our deep learning algorithm, making repetitive tasks such as sending a contract or follow-up email easier than ever before.
Deals are accelerated through Intelligent InsightsTM, an optimized daily to-do list that informs sellers of the highest-value actions they can take to move deals further down the pipeline. These recommendations are based not only on the inputs to the CRM but also on changes in the market and buyer behavior that happened overnight. The Intelligent ForecastTM feature brings historical and third-party data sources together to achieve a real-time sales forecast that goes beyond accuracy to actionability.
At the end of the day, process automation through features such as Intelligent WriteBackTM automates the CRM inputs, saving sellers time and energy. End-to-end digital sales transformation allows you to modernize sales processes, implement account-based selling, and grow revenue through authentic, meaningful connections with clients.
Explore Collective[i] to learn more about the features that can transform tomorrow at your business.Explore Collective[i]