Over the past decade, solution selling has greatly evolved due to technological advancements in the sales and marketing space. The concept of solution selling, or focusing on customer pain points and how your product or service can alleviate those problems, has been around for years. Only recently have we seen companies really begin to figure out a new way of doing it. And that is with account based engagement.
In a recent episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, Dave Elkington, the Founder and Chairman of InsideSales, rebranded as Xant, discussed how to implement account based engagement strategies in order to target buying committees digitally.
Let’s talk about sales.
There are so many complexities that come along with buying and selling. Price point has a lot to do with it. If you’re going to be spending a lot of money, you’re going to be very cautious about what you spend that money on. Therefore, the selling process will be more intense.
On the flip side, when what you’re buying is inexpensive and simple, it allows for a fast purchasing process, which means there would be no need for a complex selling process.
For example, if you’re selling cell phone service, you don’t have much to explain because people know what it is and know what they’re looking for. There’s not crazy variability or intricacy to cell phone service.
Or think about if you’re going to a fast food restaurant for lunch. It takes you about ten seconds to decide what you want to buy. The options are simple and well-known. You don’t have to put much thought into it.
However, more expensive purchases can take up to months to make a decision and you’re probably going to have to talk to at least a dozen people to get second opinions and approvals.
Selling has become more complex because our options are becoming increasingly diverse. There is more variety in the market of solutions we can buy to alleviate pain points.
As sellers and marketers we need to showcase the uniqueness of our product in a way that can address all the questions people have in a quick, succinct, and efficient way.
We want to communicate with those who would be interested in our product and not bother those who wouldn’t be, so we need to really know who our buyer is.
How Do We Do This Digitally?
Now more than ever, we have to market and sell digitally.
The problem every marketer and seller faces today is how do we bridge the gap of engaging and communicating the value and uniqueness of what we sell, but do it digitally. How can we advertise what we have to offer without any in person interaction? How can we build the necessary trust with our customers and prospects? How can we shorten the sales cycle? How can we increase web conversion rates?
The typical website conversion rates of B2B companies is around 2-8%. Can you see how this is a problem? We have to be doing everything digitally, yet clearly we aren’t doing it well.
There is this problem of spending so much marketing dollars to get people to the website, but once they’re there, you never engage any further with them. There has to be a better way of doing things if 98% of people coming to your website end up leaving without converting.
ABM vs. ABE
Many companies have attempted to implement account based marketing, but if we are being honest with ourselves, it is difficult to maintain. Essentially, ABM makes the shift from marketing to a specific person, to marketing to a whole account/buying committee. It includes providing different messages and tactics for each person involved in the buying process.
ABE is a little different. But it’s not reinventing ABM; it’s an evolution of it. Whether it’s a lead, visitor, prospect, opportunity, or existing customer that comes to your site, we need to be thinking about how to engage them in a more individualized way. It’s less about the account as a whole and more about engaging each individual in the account.
2 Quick Steps to Implementing ABE
Here are the 2 essential steps to begin account based engagement.
- Identification: It is crucial to know which accounts are engaging on your site. All you need is a reverse IP look-up tool to tell you which companies come to your website. This exposes your dark funnel. If you’re not doing this, then you’re just shooting in the dark.
- Segmentation: You should create a personalized experience for these visitors based off a segment. Segment your visitors like this: your customers, your prospects, your opportunities, your target 100, your investors, your employees, etc. You should group your customers based off geography, revenue/employee count, and industry. Each cluster/segment should have a personalized experience.
ABE Is the Future of Marketing
Essentially, when you know who is visiting your site, you can create a personalized experience that is unique to them. Here at ChatFunnels, it is so easy to start account based engagement goals with our chatbots. You can build out specific bots that fire based off who is on your site.
For example, if a customer comes onto your website, you can have a customer service bot pop up. Or if you have a prospect come onto your site, you should have a sales bot fire. When you know who’s on your site, you can market to them in a way that is tailored to them.
Going back to what we discussed previously, ABE is the solution for account based marketing digitally. Even though ABE has been around for a while, now there are tools for it.
ABE also allows for greater efficiency because now a single rep can engage with and manage more accounts at once.
Dave brings up a great point that COVID has changed a lot in the sales and marketing world; there’s no denying that.
Strategies have had to change and salespeople and marketers had to adapt in order to survive.
Don’t make post-COVID like how it was pre-COVID. By this we mean that you should learn to thrive in the new way of doing business. Don’t let things go back to business as usual. Your strategies have had to change, and don’t go backwards! Continue to change and innovate!
Force yourself to think outside of the box so you can always be one step ahead of your competitors.
Account based engagement is the new marketing strategy that everyone should implement in order to increase sales.
ABE is one dive deeper into account based marketing. It is all about targeting accounts and creating personalized experiences for the individuals in each account.
You already have the necessary technology, all you need to do is hone in on how you can address the pain points of each account specifically in order for them to engage and stay engaged.