Since time immemorial, salespeople and their managers have tried to improve the way they sell. A number of methods and techniques have fallen in and out of style, but account-based selling has demonstrated staying power because of the benefits of landing large target accounts versus numerous small ones.
However, account-based selling is only as effective as its execution—missed opportunities cost sales. Read on to learn how to bridge the gap between the sales and marketing departments to reach more customers and drive greater sales.
Account-Based Selling and Marketing: Working in Tandem
Account-based selling offers an advantage over other selling methods. It targets accounts rather than specific leads. Although account-based selling isn’t a new technique, many firms have begun looking at it in a new light because of technological developments. A number of sales software platforms enable companies to identify the best possible accounts for targeting.
How do you get the leads in the first place? That’s the job of account-based marketing. Account-based marketing is a strategy that focuses on a narrow set of accounts. The marketing department develops personalized marketing materials that will resonate with leads. Thanks to marketing automation, it’s easier than ever before to see the impact of marketing materials.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Account-Based Selling and Marketing
There are a number of benefits to using account-based selling and marketing. For a start, the two are highly effective. A 2014 survey conducted by ITSMA found that account-based marketing delivers the highest return on investment of any B2B marketing strategy or tactic. The reason account-based marketing resonates so deeply with customers is because it’s personalized. Research from the analyst firm Aberdeen shows that 75 percent of customers prefer tailored offers.
When it comes to account-based selling, companies utilizing this method report high levels of satisfaction. In a 2017 report published by sales training firm Sales for Life and marketing software company Engagio, the top three outcomes of account-based sales are high-quality leads, an improved pipeline, and increased revenue. The report followed businesses that had implemented account-based selling for more than a year, and more than 50 percent of those companies said they were satisfied with the results.
Another benefit of account-based selling is that it is supposed to unify the sales and marketing teams and allocate scarce resources in the most optimal manner possible. Everyone is working toward the common goal of connecting with the right leads and converting them to customers. Because they’re focused on a core group of prospects rather than a much wider audience, there is a much higher chance of successfully connecting with those leads.
However, account-based marketing and account-based selling only work if marketing and sales are actually closely aligned. Research and advisory firm SiriusDecisions reports that although 90 percent of companies see account-based marketing as a critical element to their marketing strategy, only 36 percent of businesses deploying that technique say that such an alignment exists.
When that alignment isn’t in place, leads can get lost in the handoff between marketing and sales. Highly qualified leads generated by account-based marketing are valuable. When those leads are lost, it represents a loss in time, effort, and potential revenue.
What Solution Accelerates Account-Based Selling?
The good news is that these leads don’t have to slip through the cracks anymore. Conversica, a conversational AI solution, enables you to close those gaps quickly and easily.
How does Conversica work? It acts as a virtual sales assistant. When a potential lead downloads premium content or requests an appointment, the lead receives an individualized contact. That happens every single time there is a download or an appointment request, no matter what time of day or night. The virtual sales assistant never sleeps or goes on vacation. It can be programmed to follow up with a lead a certain number of times, then stop sending messages if the lead is unresponsive. Or, if a lead wants to engage with a salesperson, Conversica hands the lead off seamlessly.
Account-based marketing and account-based selling only yield results when sales and marketing are closely aligned. Conversica strengthens that alignment and ensures no leads get lost again. To learn more, request a live demo.