Account Based Sales Development (ABSD)
ABSD is an outgrowth of account based marketing. The basic concept of ABSD is to treat each prospect account as a market of one by creating prospect communications that are highly customized to the target company, its industry and its requirements. This approach is best served by a high degree of coordination between Sales and Marketing. Because of the increased cost per account as compared to traditional sales, this approach works best with big ticket sales.
Sales and Marketing Integration
Sales and Marketing are frequently separate entities. However, as lead generation becomes more rifle shot than shotgun, the degree of integration between these two departments is incrasing.
Many companies are expanding the role of Inside Sales to manage the full sales cycle and to sell larger accounts. The drivers of this trend are the potential for reduced cost and increased productivity (primarily related to travel and entertainment) of Inside Sales as compared with Outside Sales. Because of the critical importance of relationship building in sales and the limitations that Inside Sales places on relationship building, this transition can be carried only so far. The results of this trend will include increased professionalism and higher compensation plans for Inside Sales personnel.
Predictive analytics is the branch of data mining concerned with the prediction of future probabilities and trends through the use of mathematical models. When applied to sales, predictive analytics can improve lead, prospect and pipeline evaluation, suggest actions that will advance the sale, improve forecasting, and allow sales managers to identify and overcome sales rep deficiencies.
Part-time and Contract Sales Employees and Distributors
Another trend is the increased use of part-time and contract sales employees and distributors. This trend is being driven by the cost of full time sales employees as compared with the cost of part-time and contract sales employees and distributors. Although the effectiveness of sales employees may be higher than the alternatives, some employers believe that this can be overcome by increasing the size of their sales staff through the use of lower cost, non-employee personnel.
We have all heard the old adage that 20% of the sales team generates 80% of the sales. Sales management is increasingly attempting to change that ratio by preparing sales playbooks for their sales staff. Sales playbook contain sales aids such as best practices, sales tactics for various sales scenarios, a competitor reference guide and suggested calls to action. Sales playbooks are most useful with inside sales reps, inexperienced sales reps and in organizations with high turnover.
As the result of the significant amount of information about prospects available to sales professionals from social media and other sources, the initial prospect phone call no longer needs to be a “cold call”. Prior to the initial calls, sales pros should know who the contacts are, what they do in the company and at least a start on how they can help.
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