Account-Based Outbound: Mix Quantity, Quality & Process

August 13, 2020

The landscape of demand generation is constantly changing — SDRs are evolving to make their messages more relevant and effective. A big portion of that is switching from a high call/low-quality approach to a low call/high-quality approach. While there isn’t a definitive answer as to which one is better, adding process to that answer will help define the strategy. That’s where Account-Based Outbound (ABO) comes in to play.

The Account-Based Outbound Approach

When an SDR gets a set of accounts, they go through them with a fine-toothed comb. The calling card for ABO is that you don’t leave an account until you have some piece of qualifying information. Whether you qualify it in or out doesn’t matter. What matters is getting the most information you possibly can before moving to a new account.

Obviously this approach will take a more concerned effort from all parties. From the sales team giving the accounts, to the SDR reaching out, everyone needs to be on the same page. The messaging you use needs to be consistent, and it has to resonate with the stakeholders in each account to be effective. Lots of pre-call research and planning goes into ABO, but the results show that it all pays off.

Mixing Quantity and Quality

The Account-Based Outbound approach lends itself well to both the quantity and quality approaches an SDR can take while prospecting. More often than not an SDR will be able to deliver on both a high quantity of activity and a high quality of information from those activities.

Quality comes with the approach itself — focusing on accounts rather than contacts. This allows the SDR to tailor their messaging to that account specifically — whether it be industry-based, collateral-based or title-based, the SDR will have a much more fruitful conversation when they focus in on just a single account at a time. That messaging will yield more traction when speaking with prospects, and in turn, make it easier to qualify the account in or out. Additionally, using Trigger Events will help you hone in on the most relevant information for an account specifically, rather than focusing on an industry trend.

Quantity comes into play during the process. It could take some digging to find the right people to talk with, and with that digging comes activity. SDRs can adopt a phone mapping approach where they account map through live referrals, with the goal being they end up with the right person to speak with. Taking this approach keeps you on the phone and lets you connect with as many people as possible, upping the quantity while keeping your quality consistent.

Supplement Process with Technology

Taking the Account-Based Outbound approach will help SDRs yield traction in key accounts. Adding a piece of sales enablement technology will help that SDR do it all in a more efficient and effective manner. Whether you use Yesware, MixMax, Outreach, or SalesLoft, y our SDRs should be able to combine the Account-Based Outbound approach with your technology stack to improve their efficiency and success rate even further.

The results? An effective process (ABO) that’s enhanced by a great tool (Yesware, etc.) to increase the results that these SDRs are getting. Through tools like mail merges and Click to Call it’s easy to see how your SDRs will be more efficient. All of these tools also provide significant data and reporting capabilities, allowing you to track just how well your team is doing over time.

A lot of teams have a great process in place, but tweaking it to reflect the ideals of ABO isn’t difficult and you’ll see the results quickly. Some teams might not have the best process, but they try and make up for it with a great enablement tool. This is not recommended. While it’s easy to ride your technology’s coattails, it’s much more sustainable to shake up the process instead. Allowing your technology to act as a supplement rather than the base is key in the ABO strategy, and the results speak for themselves.

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aj alonzo

AJ Alonzo is the Head of Marketing at demandDrive. A former SDR turned marketing leader, he's made it his goal to develop resources for sales reps who are looking to level up and for managers who are looking for guidance. Outside of work you can find him trying to shoot under par at his local disc golf course, sipping on a bourbon on the rocks, or continuing his quest to be the very best like no one ever was.
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