Did you ever have an excellent product or service, perfectly suited for a target company, but you never closed the deal? Surprisingly, your far less qualified competition won the account and now you’re sitting and wondering what went wrong. The answer is probably – Account Based Selling. They had contact with multiple decision makers and you didn’t.
Nowadays, when about 6 to 8 decision makers are included in the purchasing process, you cannot afford to have one point of contact.
First and foremost, you are risking that your one contact at client company might depart leaving you empty handed or at least with an uncertain future of your sales contract. Also, you are gambling with the fact that other people, crucial in the decision making process are not included and persuaded into buying your product or service as well.
This is where account based selling comes into play, as the most precise and profitable sales approach.
Account Based Selling means selected salespeople in your company are targeting and developing relationships with decision makers at your customer company. That way the relationship with someone on customer’s side is always alive and each and every one of them is given reasons for purchase aimed at their job position specifically.
How To Start With Account Based Selling?
To determine whether or not you should be Account Based Selling, gather as much information about your past and present clients as possible to determine what type of company is your best customer.
First, take a look at the size of your current and potential customers. Are they big enterprises or small businesses just getting started? Are they spending excessively or not? Are they buying frequently or every now and then?
If you are just starting a company and don’t have sales history that you could rely on, you should make a list of desired clients that your product or service would suit perfectly.
Focus On Enterprises and Big Companies
Account Based Selling takes a lot of work. Instead of one-on-one relationships, you are trying to succeed with many contacts, meaning you and your team are spending a lot of time on one customer. In order to make the effort towards that one customer pay off, you have to make sure they are spending larger sums of money on services or products in general.
That is usually the case with enterprises and big companies, who have slow decision making and therefore purchasing process, where many people are included and who are focused on buying more expensive products that some smaller companies simply cannot afford.
Don’t waste your account based selling time on SMBs and smaller companies, especially since they are less likely to have multiple decision makers, and don’t be afraid to be highly selective when choosing companies eligible for Account Based Selling approach.
Research Your ABS Customers
If you decide to focus your sales by using Account Based Selling approach and dedicate that much time and resources to one client, you have to be sure that they are The Ones for your business.
First consult your other departments, such as Marketing and Finance, or maybe just your CRM to find out which ones are your happiest customers, which ones are spending the most and which ones are the most frequent buyers. There are also the ones which are easiest to sell to.
When it comes to potential clients, discover what the 2 or 3 top industries buying your service or product are and you may even go and ask your CEO about their dream client companies to help you select your target better.
Best practice would be to invest some time into developing your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) in order to select the ones that are most likely to buy your product or service. An effective Ideal Customer Profile is a product of consultation with stakeholders, precise analysis of data and careful implementation that shows which companies are high-value customers.
The things that should be considered are: the industry, market and verticals, number of employees, revenue and financial performance, type, market share, location and number of offices, historical and estimated growth. Most of this information is available through simple search on LinkedIn.
In case you are not sure what kind of company you should target with your product or service or you have a vague idea, but don’t know the exact customers – Market Republic is available to help in both cases providing you with accurate and reliable information.
Identify Decision Makers within Target Companies
Like we mentioned before, there may be up to 10 people responsible for a single purchase per account. Starting from VP of Sales, to CEO, Sales directors, managers, account executives, etc.
Not only do you need to connect and engage with them as often as possible and on every front possible (email, social media, calling), but you need to personalize your messaging and content for each and one of them. Research their pain points, goals, objectives and aspirations in order to provide the perfectly tailored message that will ensure the continuation of conversation and maybe even close the deal.
Market Republic comes to the rescue in not only finding the companies that are the perfect fit to become your customers, but in selecting the exact decision makers in each of those companies with their exact contact information.
The more you research, the better are your chances of reaching those decision makers and gaining their trust.
Don’t forget about influencers a.k.a. blockers – people who are not really the decision makers but have the power to influence their decision i.e. stop the purchase for their own reasons. Address influencer’s concerns and try to convince them before all of your Account Based Selling efforts go to waste.
Monitor and Measure Your ABS Activities
Only by carefully monitoring and measuring the success of your Account Based Selling efforts will you be able to see if the time invested into a single account was well spent.
Luckily, there are numerous tools developed for that purpose only. LinkedIn Sales Navigator, SalesLoft, Outreach, Hubspot, Salesforce, just to name a few. With these you can follow the success of each campaign, email, call and collect data that will help you in your current and future sales efforts.
You can even review your closed and lost deals in the previous year to determine what are the right moves or mistakes that you made in the past. Did you engage with the right people on the lost deals? Did you approach with the right message or through the right channel? Do your lost deals suit your Ideal Customer Profile? All of this information can help you customize your content and messaging in your next campaign.
Have a Chat With Your Product Team
The precision and effort invested in Account Based Selling will provide you with tons of valuable information about your client industry’s wishes and needs.
Being so well informed will bring benefits in the form of insight as to what you should improve or implement in your service or product.
Knowing what kind of added value or offer your customers would appreciate will be valuable information for your Product Team and a sure way to ensure better sales, not only with existing clients, but with future ones as well.