Some things are meant to be together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. Yin and yang. Can you imagine Will without Grace? How about Ross without Rachel?
Same goes for account based selling and lead generation – they just need one another.
Using them separately will not be a world’s end, but the results will be far less satisfying and more time will be spent for nothing.
Can You Do Account Based Selling Without Lead Generation?
Actually lead generation is prerequisite for any account based selling efforts.
We’ve explained what is Account Based Selling in our previous blog posts. It is actually sales funnel turned upside down. This means that first you find your Ideal Buying Persona or Ideal Target Account i.e. companies that bought from you and similar companies that are most likely to buy from you. Then you focus all your sales and marketing efforts trying to sell to them.
By having your Ideal Target Accounts determined it will be much easier for you to plan your sales and stick to the predefined strategy that will ensure you more customers.
This is usually the best solution for those companies whose product or service is a tad bit expensive and targets companies with bigger revenue. However, bigger revenue usually means complicated purchasing process with board members and up to 6 or 7 decision makers. They all need to say „Yes“ to your product or service in order for you to actually close the deal.
Normally, you don’t know who all the decision makers are and you assume who they might be and which job descriptions they have. You know who people at the C-level are, but what about others hiding in the decision making shade?
Then you probably don’t have their contact information and you need to reach them in order to introduce yourself and explain what your product or service is. Simply put – your email campaign has to be aimed at all of them.
You can try and find out their contact information yourself by engaging your sales team into exhausting lead generation processes, but that will only make them less productive at what you hired them to do in the first place – sell.
We highly recommend outsourcing your lead generation to a third party company that is specialized in doing just that.
A company specialized in lead generation will always find better and more accurate leads. Up to 98% in the case of Market Republic. They dedicate a lot of time and know the ins and outs of digging out each and every contact that you may need. And they always have more time than you to search and deliver highly targeted results. Always.
Lead generation specialist will find the right leads, format it so it suits your CRM and make sure all the leads are fresh so the bounce rate is the minimum possible.
Any other form or generating leads will take up your time not just for search, but for picking the right ones from the rest and then formatting it so it fits perfectly into your CRM.
What is more, lead generation company will add the job title, location, company size, etc. So that you don’t have to.
Owing to Account Based Selling, after just a few campaigns you will have clear usable data about your current and future clients. What industry topics interest them? What kind of messaging gets the most response? What sells best? When does it sell best? What bundles do they prefer? How often do they buy? How much are they willing to spend? All of this information will eventually help you improve your performance and your revenue.
Simply put, if you’re going to reach out to those big and important companies and then send tons of follow up emails, you can’t afford to miss someone that might be crucial in the decision making process. And you can’t afford to spam them out of their mind by having the wrong contact because it will make you seem unprofessional.
Over time you will develop relationships with decision makers within those Accounts and, assuming you’re doing a good job, become their first choice when it’s time to make the same purchase again. They will even become your advocates, recommending you to the similar companies and pretty soon you’ll be drowning in cash.
Can You Do Lead Generation Without Account Based Selling?
Yes. It’s called Inbound Marketing and Sales. But what’s the point in that?
Your marketing will create various content trying to attract myriad of contacts that may or may not be interested in what you have to offer. You have no idea who those people are, whether they can afford your product or service and whether they are the decision makers.
And more leads does not mean more sales.
Research by Forrester from 2013. proved that only 1% of leads collected with Inbound will actually result in sales, meaning 99% of your time is practically wasted.
That’s what the sales people call „spray and pray“ technique.
It’s not a bad thing per se, but the time and budget you will need are way higher and chances of finding someone who will actually convert are significantly slimmer than with Account Based approach.
Lead Generation and Account Based Selling are the perfect match.
Together they give best results and ensure highest conversion.
Combined together they help you find the exact people to target, deliver the exact content that they need and attack their biggest pain points and desires.
With Account Based Selling you can align your Marketing and Sales teams to double the chances of closing that next deal. They will work in harmony, doing what each of them does best, instead of blaming the failure on one another.
We especially recommend this if you’re in the, so called, summer rut and Q3 quota is hanging above your head like a guillotine.
If you don’t want to be the Ned Stark of your company try this combined approach. Outsource your lead generation, reach out to contacts provided and see the results by the end of September.