Sales Managers: Here’s How to Deploy ABS

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In what world does it make sense for you to spread one of your most valuable resources, your sales reps, across a broad spectrum of leads? We would label that world ‘old school.’ Today’s sales leaders are laser-​focused a better strategy: account-​based selling. 

During the recent TOPO Summit 2019 in San Francisco, Eric Wittlake outlined what’s new in his State of Account-​Based Selling presentation. ABS has been around for a few years. While some organizations have nailed down their strategy, others are struggling to make ABS work for them. Here's what you need to know.

Why You Should Check Out ABS

Like many sales managers, you may have heard the statistics. If you get ABS right, you can achieve a 48% higher win rate and a 33% increase in average customer value. And when you consider the entire sales funnel, you probably know that leads managed with an ABS approach close at an 11% rate. That number is impressive when you consider that overall close rates range from 0.25% to 1.5 percent.

Identify Your ICP

The first step in establishing an ABS process for your sales team is to determine which accounts you should focus on. The best performing companies take the time to establish an ideal customer profile. Once you have a defined ICP, you can review your account list and select the prospects that most closely match the profile. These prospects are likely to return the most value to your organization. 

Which Accounts Qualify

Some analysts say that an ABS works best if your average sale is at least $50K. ABS can also help you improve sales outcomes if your typical sales cycle takes at least three months. The truth is, a coordinated and consistent approach to the sales process allows you to optimize resources and scale your targeted outreach. With the right kind of process in place, your reps can efficiently manage more accounts.

Using Technology to Manage Your ABS

In today’s tech-​driven world, it shouldn’t be a surprise that you need technology to manage the process. The right tech solutions will help you manage your reps and the touch points they should be making. Sales leaders beat their competition because they deploy more of the following tactics on their targeted accounts:

  • SDR outreach
  • SDR social
  • Events
  • Direct mail
  • Account-​based ads
  • Exec-​to-​exec outreach

They don’t just deploy these tactics. They coordinate with other departments to ensure they have the resources they need. Once the touch point has occurred, they keep notes on what happened. And sales leaders typically set up a calendar with triggers to be sure nothing falls through the cracks.

As you explore how to establish and scale up your account-​based sales strategy, keep this definition in mind: “the coordination of valuable, personalized experiences delivered across all functions that impact the customer to drive engagement and conversion at a targeted set of accounts.”

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.