February 8, 2022

Account-based Selling: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Account-based Selling: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Table of Contents

The latest big report from Forrester is all about account-based sales technologies in 2022. As you’ll see within, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding the whole idea. In fact, Forrester makes a pretty convincing case that it’s a frontier we should all start paying attention to right now.

Don’t worry, it won’t be a foreign concept even if the name sounds like a mouthful. There’s a good chance you’re already pivoting toward account-based sales processes, whether you know it or not. 

Today, we’re going to walk you through how it works, and then explore the ways emerging tech can make this process even easier and more exciting… including the ways People.ai itself can make everything we’re about to cover doable from the comfort of your own Salesforce. Let the breakdown begin!

What is account-based selling?

Account-based selling is a rising methodology where entire sales and marketing teams work together to treat a single client as an entire market. Instead of focusing on full segments or personas, account-based selling assigns teams to single, concrete accounts and designs the whole sales pitch from “hello” to “attending each other’s weddings” around that account’s needs and challenges. 

How does account-based selling work?

In a word? It’s all about teamwork. In account-based selling, your sales, marketing, and customer experience teams come together like Voltron, pooling the resources they would typically keep siloed in order to commit them to one strategy centered on targeted high-value accounts.

“So,” you’re thinking, “that’s it? Teamwork?” Well, yes and no. Great account-based sales and marketing teams aren’t just cooperating more frequently; they’re using technology and data to transform how they cooperate. 

Sales and marketing teams share the data they collect in real-time, constantly using it to inform and integrate their ideas. Sales and marketing no longer occur in their own funnels, but as a united, specialized task force approaching the same targets. And when that target is so specific they can speak to them directly, you can imagine the results.

What makes account-based selling so great anyway?

“Sure,” you’re thinking, “spending all those resources on one account probably does work, but what about the initial investment cost?” 

Well, don’t take our word for it: According to the latest Forrester Analytics Business Technographics® Data And Analytics Survey, respondents at B2B firms who are advanced in becoming insight-driven (account-based) businesses were nine times more likely than beginners to report a 20% revenue growth rate or higher for 2020 (29% vs. 3%, respectively).

What are account-based selling technologies and how do they work?

Account-based selling is more than just a new strategy, naturally. It’s a brand spanking new category for sales technology — a category People.ai is proud to be part of. Forrester defines these tools as “technologies streamlining the manual, labor-intensive process of assigning sales resources to specific companies or accounts in place of traditional geographic territories.”

How do they do that, exactly? Forrester summarizes across three different functionalities:

  1. Account Planning

Gather key details about prospects, including information on their initiatives, decision-making processes, purchase influencers, competitive positioning, and more. Many technologies even provide strategic suggestions for how to best initiate an account relationship on the basis of this information.

  1. Opportunity Planning

Provide critical support throughout the sales process and guide the creation of a “plan to win” by tracking and managing all ongoing initiatives and spotlighting key opportunities based on them. 

  1. Collaboration

Support collaboration by providing all team members a complete view of account activities, enriching contact information, and even creating collaborative sales “playbooks” based on data and feedback.

What makes account-based sales platforms so helpful?

Enough of the preamble, right? What is this new-fangled tech going to do for you? Let’s break down the big benefits, according to Forrester:

  1. Much greater insight into account potential

Unlock account potential by identifying any and all opportunities within an account via comprehensive data visibility. Capitalize on these opportunities by using the same tools to identify the key stakeholders to speak to about each opportunity and even learning how to speak about them. 

  1. Increased efficiency

Automate the process of identifying all opportunities and managing these opportunities through the pipeline. Streamline all of the logistics of all contact points and account status, so your reps can focus on the actual sale.

  1. Increased pipeline value, win rates, and forecast accuracy

Integrate and combine account data to develop deeper insights your entire team can use.  Use these insights to identify better opportunities throughout the pipeline, advance these opportunities faster, and improve retention and growth.

How does People.ai operationalize account-based selling?

As a revenue intelligence platform, People.ai is basically all about enabling account-based selling and account planning within your existing tools and processes.

First, People.ai automatically captures details around engagement. Our platform can show you what activities reps are spending their time on, how much time those activities are taking, who they’re engaging with throughout the day, and more, at any and all times.

Next, People.ai’s Account Management tool sends all of this data to your Salesforce’s native account planning system. Our Account Management adds Account maps, whitespace maps, scorecards, right to your Salesforce display.

Having all of this information at your fingertips at all times makes account-based selling a natural process you can incorporate into your day-to-day. You have everything you need to visualize engagement and progress across accounts and pipeline, build strategic account plans, and, ultimately, manage accounts and territory in a much more informed and data-driven way.

Learn all of the ways People.ai can  drive revenue growth for your business