Account Based Marketing or Account Based Sales as I prefer to call it, has created a dilemma for many companies. Most companies are founded on the fact that sales "is a numbers game". You call up as many companies as you can, pitch to them, and, if you throw enough mud at the wall something will stick.
But the buying process has changed.
Let's take a scenario.
You understand that buyers are now 57% of the way through the buying process, at which point they contact companies. If they make contact with your company, what do you do?
I've seen companies use lead scoring, I've seen companies use BANT qualification and I've seen companies use partial BANT.
BANT being the IBM qualification criteria; Budget, Authority, Need and Timescale.
The problem is this. The assumption is that the person making the inbound is a decision maker. Let's put it another way, the person making contact is senior in an organisation. And typically they are not.
They make a call into a supplier because they have been told to. They have no budget, they have no authority, they no not of the need and they no nothing about the timescale. In the world of the SDR there is no lead there. Regardless that this is inbound. This lead is as useful as the student asking for a brochure for his or her dissertation.
I've seen companies go through a long list of leads to find nothing. This wasn't because the leads were crap, it was because the company assumed the person calling in was a senior manager. When I asked the company, "when you purchase something, does a senior manager make a call to the supplier?" "Of course not" they say, "we give it to an Intern as a project". Exactly!
Companies today are still using MQL, SQL (Marketing Qualified Lead and Sales Qualified Lead) as metrics. In our new book "Smarketing - How to Achieve Competitive Advantage through Blended Sales and Marketing" (available on Amazon). We argue that these should be MQA and SQA. Marketing Qualified Account and Sales Qualified Account.
People buy in "groups", CEB now Gartner show that it takes on average 6.8 people to make a purchase. One person will contact a supplier, but another 5.8 people will also need to be contacted by the supplier. Hence the important of ABM or AMS (Account Based Sales) in your prospecting culture today!
One of the biggest changes we're seeing is in how you use your sales development resources (SDRs). SDRs are critical for inbound programming because they are validating a high volume of leads, assisting in validation and assessing lead quality. But with mature ABM programming, leads are already identified and the more targeted the prospect, the more personalized engagement goal is required. Given how much of the prospecting is done by marketing and martech, is there a need for another intermediary — the SDR — when the target has been qualified, is engaged and has booked a meeting direct with an account executive through through a form fill request or website chatbot?