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What is account-based selling?

What is account-based selling? Account-based selling is a shift in thinking that occurred in B2B lead generation marketing. Salespeople came to understand that nurturing one lead may not be enough for selling a complex, expensive solution to enterprise customers. Why? First of all, in B2B, there are several decision-makers per deal (around 6 as of 2022), but business sales leads are usually reached out on a one-to-one basis. If a nurtured lead refuses to buy, the deal is lost, and so is the relationship. However, an enterprise customer, referred to as ‘account,’ may have multiple uses for a suggested solution. Therefore, through account-based selling, B2B companies will have shorter sales funnels and relationships that will successfully grow into the post-sale stage.


What is account-based marketing? Is it a synonym for account-based selling? No, marketing and selling are parts of the same process. Account-based selling (ABS) is impossible without account-based marketing (ABM). Both marketing and sales teams are motivated by a single goal: To get a certain account on board. An account (enterprise customer) can be accessed through multiple leads. Tactically, it is the same old-time-proven lead generation for B2B: Crafting personalized messages and outbound campaigns, providing relevant content for each lead on time, and analyzing leads’ response through analytics and metrics. Strategically, however, this approach demands a closer and more precise collaboration between marketing and sales.

Account-based selling model

As each B2B lead generation agency expert knows, marketing generates business sales leads while sales nurture them into deals. SDRs are responsible for targeting prospects, promoting content and messages to build brand awareness, and develop an interest in different leads within one account. Then the sales team picks up warm leads and nurtures them through personalized campaigns, useful products (trials, applications, webinars, ebooks), and so on.

The account-based selling model often includes other teams, for example, onboarding, quality, or product teams. Team collaboration creates alignment in design and content choices, engagement goals, and building relationships with prospects. The post-deal stage is also part of the ABS model as businesses are interested not only in upselling and cross-selling of their products and services, but in assisting accounts with implementation and satisfaction. Ultimately, the goal is to take enterprise customers to the Loyalty and Evangelism stage.

Account-based selling approach

To say it differently, ABS professes a holistic approach where almost all teams are engaged to work with an account. Sales, marketing, finance, customer service, and whatnot work together, first, to bring in a right-fit account; then, to maximize the usefulness of the product for the account; and finally, to follow the customer’s journey for many years.

The account-based selling approach is not over after an account has signed a deal. Quite the contrary, it is just the beginning of the provider-customer relationship. Marketing and sales keep working on cross-selling and upselling; customer support assists with any arising troubles, product teams process customer feedback and improve the solutions.

Account-based marketing tactics

From budget and strategy to workforce and leadership, account-based selling requires certain conditions within an organization and prep work. Here are the most effective account-based marketing tactics:

  • Make a company ready for ABM. To start doing ABS, all key figures within the organization should be on the same page regarding ABM tactics. This involves not only marketing and sales executives but heads of other teams, too. Only the united work of different departments and a strategy-oriented at account-based selling will streamline processes and maximize customer experience.
  • Gather an ABM team. If a company is just getting into ABM, only some team members should get engaged in account-based marketing while others keep working as usual. An ABM team will need not only marketers and salespeople but, for example, a customer relations rep or a financial advisor, or whoever will feel like they are useful at the initial stage.
  • Develop a strategy together. Go into detail together as to how to reach decision-makers of the accounts you’ve picked, what content to create, where and when to share, what kind of personalized content is needed, and how to allocate resources for it.
  • Make sure your company has enough data. It is impossible to win over high-value accounts successfully if you don’t have a precise idea of who your targeted customer is. From firmographics and triggering events to closed deals data, gather all the information on the existing customers to achieve your sales goals.
  • Target the audience. An Ideal Customer Profile and buyer’s personas are still essential. They should be developed by sales and marketing together, as each team may have important insights into who is the right fit for your product or service. 
  • Assess ABM results. From time to time, teams need to analyze their results and review their tactics. No matter how effective the tactic that your ABM team came up with is, leads will get tired of it, sooner or later. Look for gaps in your strategy and adjust it accordingly.   

Have you implemented ABS in your company?

If you are looking to start account-based sales, you have come to the right place. At Belkins, we know all about both inbound marketing and ABM. From developing Ideal Customer Profiles to customizing your digital content, our B2B lead generation marketing approach will take your sales performance to the next level. Whatever your sales model, we can help streamline your lead generation efforts and improve the efficiency of the sales funnel. Contact us right now to get help.