Account Based Selling (ABS) is a term which is used, as of recently, by sales organizations and sales masters, in order to differentiate and outline the B2B sales approach Vs. the B2C sales processes which are mainly product and lead based.
The ABS has some dominant characteristics. In its essence, it places quality over quantity. Awareness of these quality characteristics is essential to help your sales organizations and sales executives be in tuned and productive.
So, what are we talking about when outlining the ABS approach?
- It requires establishing a link between target markets and enterprises on one hand, and your organization’s vision and strategy on the other. This link actually dictates the prioritization of your sales organization. The output of this process is a list of target enterprises, or in other words, your organization’s funnel.
- Your sales reps, which are allocated for the B2B sales, need to be ready to deal with long sales cycles and complex sales processes. They should actually be ‘long distance runners,’ and these types of sales processes need to be reflected in their salaries and incentives policy.
- Your sales reps need to map the target organizations: understand their needs and the values they need to create, understand the organization’s personas, key decision makers and their internal decision making processes.
- ABS deals with ‘soft sales activities’ such as content creation and publication, conducting webinars, and maintaining interpersonal relations
These characteristics of the ABS approach means that you need to be able to measure and monitor these activities effectively, in order to make sure your sales team meets its B2B goals. Typical B2B sales performance measures such as: MRR, ARR and TCV can be easily obtained and taken into consideration, while others such as: LTV and CAC require a more complex calculation policy. Your sales rep’s performance is measured according to the targets that are defined to these measures.
In light of the big challenge of long sales cycles in ABS processes, a Sales Performance Management (SPM) platform is one of the key essential tools that you should put in place. A good SPM platform should constantly collect and calculate the ABS measures, collect information about your sales rep’s activities along the sales cycles from various types of data sources, and enable you to easily define business logic which monetizes and scores these measures and activities. And of course, your sales reps can gain full transparency into their sales process, and can always be updated about their performance vs. their personal business goals. It is this transparency that drives sales reps to reach their performance and goal attainment, which greatly improves their engagement, motivation and the ability to be ‘long distance runners’.