I’m guilty of a slightly clickbait title here and as we have just had the Olympics… maybe athletics is on my mind a bit… stick with me here. While most ABM marketers would love a Usain Bolt-esque acceleration of their ABM efforts - something that account based social selling excels at - we all know that Bolt draws in the masses.
Account based social selling takes ABM to a much more personal level of conversation with buyers. You can discover their interests, both common and niche (someone has to watch the shot-putting – last athletics link – I promise!) and connect with the why behind it. It then speaks to the conversation in their heads with the best-match employees and content to do so.
It makes account-based personal conversations scalable in a way that’s only possible when you get individuals - rather than marketing involved.
If you’re wondering what this means in practice and why account-based marketing is now becoming the next natural step for organisations practising ABM, then read on.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) Vs Account Based Selling (ABS): What’s The Difference?
Account based marketing (ABM) is a marketing strategy that concentrates marketing resources on a set of target accounts within a market.
Account based social selling (ABS) is a sales strategy that identifies, maps and activates employee relationships at all levels within a set of target accounts within a market.
And in a little more detail…!
Account based selling brings your marketing, sales and even technical experts into your social selling strategy so that you can share insights back and forwards as and when they happen and discover deeper insights than ABM alone.
Stronger alignment between sales and marketing drives a 21% higher lead acceptance rate (from MQL to SQL) and 36% higher than average conversion rates (from SQL to Customer)
The following image highlights the differences a little more.
As you can see, both account based marketing and social selling take a targeted approach to key accounts . However, with ABS there is a 1-2-1 focus - from establishing who’s connected with who, aligning individual experts with target employees and then creating a 1-2-1 content strategy.
That 1-2-1 strategy is possible, as online and social data provide more insights - such as what buyers are already discussing, their motivations and buyer intent - so that organisations can laser-focus on who to target and provide personalisation on another level.
What Are The Benefits Of Account-Based Social Selling?
If you’ve been practising account-based marketing for some time now - and reaping the benefits - then you may be wondering why you should add social selling to your mix.
Account Based Selling is generally adopted by organisations that are already practicing account-based marketing and social selling but want faster, more cost-effective results with a human-to-human approach.
Here’s how it helps you do it:
Read Your Buyer’s Minds
There’s never enough marketing budget or headcount to track all your key buyer’s selling signals, motivations or interests. Account Based Selling involves getting your sales and marketing teams together in discovery “power” sessions AKA reading your buyer’s minds!
- Identify and save target prospects
- Profile content interests
- Discover content needs/requirements
- Identify sales triggers
- Uncover motivations based on what they are saying online
- Discover the language they use
- Profile their DISC personality via Crystal Knows
Remove The Guesswork Of Who To Target, How & When
ABM involves looking at which target accounts are a best fit for you, but it often falls short on identifying if they’re ready to hear from you and how to establish personal connections.
Much like ABM, ABS involves identifying executive stakeholders, the wider buying committee, and technical influencers. But ABS goes much further - it prioritises who to target based on how socially active they are. You are then able to identify which internal employees are the best fit as your route into each account - based on their profiles, background and social maturity level.
Intent software is also used to trigger alerts (or, at least it should be!) you can then feed this into your social selling activities. At the “beginner level” you can track buying data shown on your own website (such as visiting key sales pages or downloading decision-stage content). But when you take it to an advanced level it gets really interesting! It’s now possible to detect how many users from an organisation are researching relevant topics, how frequently and how in-depth compared to normal activity – across other websites.
Content That Enters The Conversation In Your Buyers’ Heads
All of the information that’s gathered helps form the basis of a truly personalised, 1-2-1 content plan that:
- Maps existing content assets to individual employees’ needs
- Enables you to identify gaps in existing content - at every stage of the buyer journey
- Helps you to identify what content requires further personalisation
- Uses the best social media hashtag strategy for each account
It’s Less Resource Intensive
ABM is very resource-intensive and so creating content for every stage of the buyer’s journey at each key target account is a struggle.
Sales teams are trained in how to produce their own thought leadership, awareness stage content and even tweak existing ABM assets so that they speak directly to their target accounts, such as:
- Video snippets
- Audio snippets
- Graphic cards
- LinkedIn posts
And when you coach sales teams to use features such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s Smart Links and InMail to introduce content to targeted audiences - i.e. using the very tools they’re already using - it’s a cost-effective way to accelerate conversations within key accounts.
All of which means that sales can drive frictionless conversations that drive larger deals and shorter sales cycles. And sales and marketing finally work in true harmony!
See Account Based Social Selling In Action
Why not book a demo with our Tribe Chief, Sarah Goodall, to see exactly what it looks like to read your buyers' minds - and act on it!
See account-based social selling software and triggers in action.
And pick Sarah’s brain to see how to kicktstart your ABS strategy.
About Sarah Goodall
Sarah is the founder of Tribal Impact. Her mission is to enable organisations to drive revenue growth via employee social advocacy and digital selling. She's passionate about uniting people and brands together. Mum to 3 little girls. Baker, self-builder and Nespresso coffee drinker.