Account Based Sales Development (ABSD) is a huge step forward for the world of sales development. When the right sales development teams adopt the broader account-based strategy, they’re seeing dramatic results. However, ABSD is much more sophisticated, and though it may be more effective than smiling-and-dialing or batching-and-blasting emails it isn’t always the answer for every B2B company.

“The new Account Based Sales Development leaps ahead of yesterday’s siloed sales development.”
–Kristina McMillan, Sales Development Practice Leader, TOPO

How can you decide whether ABSD is the right strategy for your business?

If the following are true for your business, ABSD is probably your best bet:

1. When big deals matter

If big deals are 10-20 times bigger than average deals, ABSD is a no-brainer. These big deals don’t just justify the effort, they demand it. With longer sales cycles, more complex buying committees, and the need for a consultative sales process, bigger deals require a different strategy.

2. When you can identify your ideal prospects

If you don’t yet know which accounts might buy, you may not be ready for ABSD. If you do, and can name them, you’re ready. Selecting your target accounts (the most important step in the process) is a mixture of art and science, both intuition and logic.

“There’s still a place for what we call greenfield [not account based] sales development. If you can sell to a broad range of customers, it can still make sense. But as soon as you’ve got a focused ideal customer profile, account based is the way to go.”
–Craig Rosenberg, Chief Analyst, TOPO

3. When your deal sizes are six figures

ABSD is required for $100k-plus deals. And, as a general rule of thumb, it’s a really good idea for $50-100k deals. Below $20k are probably too small.

According to Craig on the Funnelholic blog:

“Today’s sales development teams must be smarter and more targeted in their outreach to produce the same amount of pipeline, particularly in the Enterprise”

4. When you need sales efficiency

Account Based Marketing requires a new look at metrics. While leads, opportunities, pipeline, and revenue are important and even necessary metrics, they are not sufficient to measure account-based strategies. This is a fundamentally different approach that requires fundamentally different metrics.

If boosting your opportunity-to-close rates would make a big impact, you want ABSD.

But if your sales team just needs more at-bats and the quality or size of opportunity is not the issue yet, you may need to wait a while (after all, even low-probability opportunities are better than none!). Hopefully, this state won’t last long.

The Tiger Team

Some companies sell to lots of small- and mid-size customers as well as to big enterprises. For this kind of mix, we’re seeing a two-pronged approach: a general sales development effort for the wider market and a specialist, ‘tiger team’ for landing the big accounts.

For more on ABSD, read the Clear and Complete Guide to Account Based Sales Development.