We’ve all read the buzz around Account Based Everything, but what does it really mean?
What is Account-Based Everything (ABE)?
ABE is a customer-centric strategy that organizes the sales process in a highly personalized way around each individual customer. ABE relies on your sales team actually analyzing, translating and executing the mass of text-based data into an effective sales strategy.
To do this correctly, all members of an enterprise sales team must be aligned around the complex goals of the customer, so they can synchronize account-wide sales planning processes and focus on the highest value activities in a repeatable, coordinated way.
Account-Based Everything – Hype vs. Reality?
Hype – Don’t jump on the account based bandwagon unless you know your customer
The reality is that you cannot be account based anything without customer intelligence. Therefore, the hype around account based everything will continue to be hype for this very simple reason. Only when an organization understands who they are selling to, what their challenges are and how their products and services align to address those challenges does account-based sales become a reality and drive real business results. Without customer intelligence, it is impossible for enterprise sales and account management organizations to do account-based selling.
The Reality – Customer Intelligence is Critical to Account-Based Planning
Account-based planning is a customer-centric strategy that leverages customer intelligence to organize the marketing, sales, and customer success functions in a highly-personalized way around each individual customer. If done correctly, account-based planning enables all members of an enterprise to align their products, services and resources around the complex goals of the customer and synchronize their processes to focus on creating mutual and ongoing value.
Therefore, the success of account-based planning lies in an organization’s ability to effectively collect, coordinate and communicate customer intelligence across the entire organization.
What is Account-Based Sales (ABS)?
Account Based Sales (ABS), or the sales side of ABE, is crucial to an effective enterprise-wide account-based strategy. Sales teams have the first personal interaction with customers. Therefore, customer information, ranging from organizational structure, stakeholder roles, strategic goals, priorities, and key metrics, first enters the organization through the sales team.
Effective ABE relies on an alignment of customer intelligence throughout the organization. The sales organization is a critical piece of ABE, as it serves as collector and keeper of rich and valuable information gathered throughout the buying process.
Account-Based Selling Strategies and Customer Intelligence
A recent post from Smart Selling Tools, Developing an Account Based Selling Strategy to Start the New Year Strong, claims that unlike the traditional one-size fits all approach to sales, ABS strategies “place quality over quantity, enabling sales to be methodical, maximize their efforts, and extract the greatest value from their sales activities.”
Many companies, from those that offer automatic dialers to those who sell lists, have jumped on the ABS bandwagon. When it comes down to it, the majority of these companies do not help you execute true ABS strategies. Effective ABS tools must deliver deep, meaningful understanding of the account beyond what they can pull from the Internet. They must be more than a CRM system, and provide holistic, customer-centric engagement that drives a more collaborative, cooperative, and long-term strategic relationship with the customer.