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Back to the Future: Why Activity Catalyzes Account-Based Sales Development

Success with account based sales development requires a hyper-focus on SDR activities. 10 ABSD leaders explain.

If you’re in sales you can’t get on Twitter or Linkedin (or unfortunately Snapchat) without being bombarded with the “radical new approach to sales” called Account-Based Sales Development. Which is weird, because every sales person born before 1990 remembers that this is the way enterprise sales has always worked.

Account Based Sales Development

Finding the name of a lead online, putting his or her email into Salesforce and letting magic marketing automation take it from there has always been baloney. You need personalized, process driven rep activity to close enterprise deals. Activity meaning quite simply: you will have to do things during the sales process to close a deal. Oh no. 

Here's a primer for those going back to the future and embracing an Account-Based Sales model.

10 Experts On Why Activity Drives Account Based Sales

The rise of account-based sales development is testament to the resurgent ideal of focused, personalized outreach. When your sales reps are intentional, not only in regards to providing customer value in their activities and objectives, but in communication with and relationship developent, scaling sales gets very interesting.

I took the liberty of curating insights from 9 legit SaaS sales experts on ABSD: both why it works & why activity is crucial. Here are the key points: 

Datanyze | Geoffrey Walters. Marketing Consultant.

If implemented correctly, Account-Based Sales should bring a heightened focus to all aspects of the sales process. Reps are more focused on activity as they have specific accounts to deal with and fewer leads to sift through. Source

Outreach | Mark Kosoglow. Vice President of Sales.

The number one reason Account-Based Sales fails is what I call plate-spinning. It's not enough to merely initiate communication with new prospects. Reps must persistently, continuously follow up with leads in order to get a meeting. Most sales leaders don't quantify this activity level or what it means for the reps, leading to an impossible-to-complete list of ever-mounting tasks. Source

PersistIQ | Brandon Redlinger. Head of Growth.

Nurturing an account rather than a single contact at an account is more important now than ever before. ABSD differs from traditional B2B sales. Depending upon the account size, one or multiple sales development representatives are prospecting into a specific number of pre-qualified accounts simultaneously, using multiple channels and targeting multiple decision makers to account for these shifts in the decision making process. Source

SalesLoft | Brad Ansley. Strategic Account Development.

Typically, SDRs are measured on the number of qualified opportunities they create for the Account Executive team. But with ABSD, every account you are working should already be qualified. In ABSD, each rep's focus is on having high-quality interactions with their target accounts regularly, via phone, email and social media. Source

LeadGenius | Mary Nielson. Marketing Specialist.

Most B2B marketing and sales tactics aren’t a sprint, they’re a marathon. Long-term campaigns can only be success if they’re built to weather multiple rounds of iterations. A robust account based process will bend under heavy winds, not break. Source

Pipeliner CRM | Alyson Stone. Marketing Specialist.

The final step to ABSD is tracking results - then measuring and adapting your sales process based on what the numbers tell you. An effective account based sales development system, when measured and tracked, guides changes and additions. Better still, it’s a system that can adapt to the evolving buyer (or sales process) without breaking the workflow of an entire team. Source

Everstring | Matt Amundson. Director of Sales Development.

SDRs need a structure that supports ABSD.  That means transitioning them away from cold-calling leads in Salesforce and having them begin multi-threading into multiple contacts within an account. Source

QuotaFactory | Peter Gracey. Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer.

Positions within Account-Based Sales Development can be extremely distracting. There's always something else you can focus on that is shinier and sexier than the things you are supposed to do everyday.  When deployed and required, minimum activity metrics and individual KPIs ensure that the hard stuff gets done on a daily basis. Without it, you get ups and downs in monthly performance that so many of us hate. Source

Docurated | Cobhan Phillipson. Marketing Executive.

As you look to execute your Account-Based Marketing plan, you must work closely with sales. If, for example, you release a blog post geared towards sales leaders at large media companies, your sales team must be ready for quick responses from target companies and able to provide feedback. Through close analysis of your sales funnel data and feedback from your team you will be able to optimize your ABM and ABSD plans. Source

Ambition | Brian Trautschold (Yours Truly). Co-Founder & COO.

In any Account-Based Sales initiative, it's imperative to proactively track ABSD activities, goals and conversion metrics. Doing so will enable you to efficiently build your team, create true accountability, and ensure long-term buy-in. Source

Back to the Future with High Activity and ABSD

At Ambition, we’re incredibly excited for the rise of ABSD. People buy from people. Not robots or marketing automation. We love to see reps building personal relationships with intentional, targeted customers because their product can deliver serious value for the prospect.

Sure, spray and pray can work. If you have a couple years to let it grow and a bunch of money to bury in the ground. Growing sales organizations, on the other hand, will be better suited going back to the future and adopting an activity and intentionality driven ABSD strategy. 

For examples of how Ambition has helped high-growth sales teams, check out our reviews and listen to our interview with Outreach SVP Mark Kosoglow.

Ambition: Hold Reps Accountable to Sales Performance

Ambition is a sales management platform that syncs business teams, data sources, and performance metrics on one system.

Modern sales leaders use Ambition to enhance sales performance insights and run supercharged sales reports, scorecards, contests, and TVs via drag-and-drop interface.  

Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review and AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization). Hear more from business leaders who use Ambition in their organization.

Watch Testimonials:

  1. FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations . 
  2. Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
  3. Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
  4. Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
  5. Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.

Watch Product Walkthroughs:

  1. ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
  2. Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.
  3. AMX Logistics. Led by Executive Vice-President ,Jared Moore.

Read Case Studies:

  1. Clayton HomesHBR finds triple-digit growth in 3 sales efficiency metrics. 
  2. Coyote Logistics: Monthly revenue per broker grew $525 in 6 months.
  3. Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
  4. Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.

Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.

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About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.

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