The benefits of account-based selling in B2B

Posted in B2B sales & distribution.

A B2B sales professional’s duty is to close deals and drive revenue for their company. Effectively achieving these objectives requires thought and strategy. Taking into account the unique needs and pain points of target customers is important. Certainly, sales reps would tailor their approaches to particular leads to ensure deals are closed successfully. This has led to the rise of account-based selling (ABS).

ABS is a data-driven sales approach that involves targeting specific high-value leads rather than trying to reach as many prospects as possible. Essentially, the approach takes into account the fact that not all prospects are of equal value to the company. Indeed, some have a higher potential to generate revenue than others. By focusing on a select group of prospects {or accounts), ABS eliminates the need to create tailored sales approaches for all leads and instead focuses on high-value accounts.

Think of it this way, if formulating personalised sales approaches is more effective in closing sales deals but requires more effort, research, and time, then those resources are better spent on leads with higher rewards. It’s a quality-over-quantity thing that goes both ways.

The good and the bad…

So, clearly there are some benefits to ABS. The first is the potential for overall revenue increase. Sales reps can spend less time on accounts that are unlikely to provide any value to the company by focusing on those that are likely. This freeing up of sales resources and time allows the sales team to work on other productive tasks.

But on the flip side, ABS can require a lot of resources and time per account. Also, high-value accounts may end up being unsuccessful leads. All the resources that went into engaging that account are a loss. Thus, ABS carries risk correlated to how much effort and personalisation is put into each account.

Personalising sales approaches can be beneficial in that it leads to improved customer experiences. Tailoring a sales approach to a particular target allows sales reps to highlight their own company’s solutions to problems faced by their customers. It can foster a stronger relationship when customers feel as if their sellers are on the same page as them and value them as a customer.

However, there is a risk of over-personalisation of sales plans. While personalisation is a key aspect of ABS, too much of a narrow focus on individual customer needs can lead to a lack of consistency in sales approaches. Beyond making it difficult for sales reps to present a consistent message, this inconsistency can negatively affect brand image. When brands want to stand out and stand for something to appeal to customers, vague and inconsistent messaging is the least helpful way of doing so.

Tips for account-based selling

Implementing ABS requires a systematic approach. Here are some best practices for getting started:

  • Identify high-value accounts – Analyse your existing customer base. This is the first step to implementing ABS. Identify the accounts that generate the most revenue or offer the most potential for growth. That should set your sights on the right targets to focus on.
  • Research each account – Once those high-value accounts have been identified, research each one thoroughly. Dig into their needs, pain points, and decision-making processes. This will build the foundation for your sales approach.
  • Develop a personalised sales approach – Use the information gathered to formulate a personalised sales approach that addresses the specific needs and challenges of the customer. This could involve customised messages, offering unique solutions, or providing additional resources that address specific pain points.
  • Align sales and marketing efforts – Consistency is important. Make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to targeting and messaging. Lead generation efforts should closely align with your sales strategy to ensure the right accounts are being targeted. For this, the sales and marketing teams need to work together.
  • Use data to optimise the approach – ABS is a data-driven sales approach. Make sure that the right metrics are being tracked and analysed to continuously improve the sales process. Personalisation requires a fine bit of tuning to get right. Track conversion rates, analyse customer feedback, and monitor sales pipeline data to identify areas for improvement.

Overall, account-based selling is a powerful strategy for B2B sales professionals to use to increase revenue, improve customer experiences, and optimise resource-usage.By leveraging data and personalisation, companies can create effective and efficient sales processes that prioritise prospects with high potential and likelihood of conversion. .