Standard chatbots aren’t meeting enterprise buyers' expectations.

Account Based Selling Model: How to Modernize Your Approach for 2023

Make the most of your Sales team's resources
Make the most of your Sales team's resources
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Converting Opportunities
Published 11/23/22
5 minutes read

It’s no secret that the B2B buying process has changed. Yes, B2B customers are more informed than ever, but buying complex solutions like enterprise software or manufacturing equipment is still no easy feat. With the sheer volume of data available from any given solution, along with the fleet of stakeholders weighing in on the purchase, many deals end up losing steam or halting altogether. B2B customers are suffering from paralysis by analysis.

Given an organization’s shifting internal panel of stakeholders and the complexity of large-scale B2B deals, Account Based Selling (ABS) has emerged as a profitable sales strategy. The strategy is based on a strong partnership between Sales and Marketing teams to help your business identify target accounts that fit your ideal customer profile (ICP), target buyers within those accounts, and drive personalized opportunities. Organizations believe in the benefits of ABS, with 87% saying it can convert more pipeline and 86% saying it can close more deals

What Is Account Based Selling?

So, what exactly is Account Based Selling? ABS, as it’s often referred to, is a sales strategy that blends targeted marketing, decision-maker identification, and proactive relationship building in order to collaboratively close, and scale, new business. Under this model, Sales teams work closely with Marketing teams to proactively identify new potential customers or named accounts. A named account is one that has been identified as a valuable customer based on criteria important to your business such as sales revenue, market location, industry alignment, and growth opportunities. 

After identifying the named account, Sales and Marketing teams identify the business decision-makers. This is a critical first step because, in today’s marketplace, the number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has increased from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today, according to the Harvard Business Review. This means that a single point of contact between the seller and the potential customer within the organization is not enough—there needs to be a multi-pronged approach to targeting all decision-makers. Sales material and marketing content is then personalized to target specific stakeholders, such as CEOs, Sales managers, Sales Reps, and Account Executives in order to expedite the buying process.

The Evolution of Account Based Selling

ABS matured with the internet, and now the majority of B2B deals are done online. Long gone are the days when salespeople were the relationship and information gatekeepers, we have entered a much more collaborative, and targeted, era of sales. This is, in part, due to a more informed customer base. 

According to a report by Forrester, 68% of B2B customers prefer to research independently online, and on average, perform 12 Google searches prior to engaging on a specific brand’s site. This is a significant shift in the customers’ baseline knowledge, necessitating a more holistic, and cross-functional, approach to sales. According to the same Forrester study, 60% of buyers would rather not communicate with Sales Reps as their primary information source

More stakeholders approving enterprise deals on the buyer side necessitates additional subject matter experts, Marketing professionals, and deeply knowledgeable Salespeople on the seller side. This targeted, multi-stakeholder approach is now the dominant sales strategy, especially within tech and SaaS industries. 

Modernizing Your Account Based Selling Strategy

Account Based Selling is a framework. Successfully executing this framework requires the right combination of people, process, and technology in order for the profits to follow. Let’s explore three key tactics that can refine and modernize your ABS strategy:

  • Build relationships outside of the C-suite. In the past, B2B sales strategies have focused almost exclusively on C-suite and senior-level executives. Moving forward, those strategies won’t cut it. The sphere of influence around the B2B research process has changed drastically, and while 64% of C-suite executives have final sign-off, 81% of non-C-suiters have a say in enterprise purchase decisions. Targeting communications to a range of seniority levels, specifically, researchers say increases the likelihood that your business will benefit from word of mouth. 
  • Use data to understand what is resonating with named accounts. Data will inform which communication channels and formats have been effective. Because the buying process is mostly digital and non-linear, customers are entering the funnel from multiple touchpoints. Understanding what resonates with ICPs by analyzing engagement and conversion rates will inform content and outreach optimizations. 
  • Leverage AI to nurture key relationships. When elements of the ABS framework are automated to meet high demand, it allows marketing and sales teams the time to focus on the business’ higher value tasks. Conversica’s Revenue Digital Assistants are powered by AI and help Marketing and Sales teams to scale hyper-personalized outreach, autonomously engage contacts in two-way conversations, identify hot prospects, and accelerate opportunities. By leveraging conversational UI, our RDAs bring a human-like quality to customer communications promptly and at scale. 

Maximizing Your ABS

An ABS strategy is about consistently engaging the right contacts, at the right time, and with the right message to entice the contact into a conversation. Getting from insights to execution without technology solutions is tough because account outreach is too manual and isn’t scalable. This is where AI and Conversation Automation comes in, specifically, Conversica’s Revenue Digital Assistant. Revenue Digital Assistants work in tandem with the greater ABS team to hyper-personalize two-way outreach to target accounts. Not only do RDAs complement your business’ investment in ABS by scaling execution and ensuring high quality, they also accelerate leads through the funnel by validating their interest in a Sales meeting. 

Below are three examples of RDA outreach and how the communications are tailored to the customer type.

  1. Ideal Customer Profile Outreach: Reference customer testimonies in your AI Assistant’s outreach. Business professionals know the value of recommendations from a satisfied buyer in the form of a customer testimonial. For best results, share a customer testimony from the relevant industry, size, and similar KPIs with the person you are reaching out to.
  2. Target Customer Outreach: Hook customers with a relevant problem statement, then recommend your product or service as a solution to that problem. Leverages ABM data to personalize the challenge statement and empathize with it, thus making the pitch all the more effective.
  3. Customer Solution Outreach: State a challenge pertaining to your contact, before sharing how others are solving their problem with your solution. Inspire confidence in your solution by demonstrating it’s a path others have tread before.

Digital team members allow for scalable, and more profitable, ABS frameworks.

Learn more about how Conversica AI Assistants empower Account Based Marketing and Sales for your business.

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