Sales Enablement

How ABS Tools Nurture Strong Relationships With Buyers

ABS Tools Nurture Strong Relationships With Buyers

The Future of sales is personal: Driving sales success by harnessing the account-based selling tools.

In today’s competitive business landscape, B2B sales teams face numerous challenges in achieving sales success. One of the key factors that can make or break their efforts is the ability to maintain and nurture relationships with their target accounts. Recognizing the importance of this, Susan Zuzic, Sr. Director, Global Accounts of, emphasizes the need for B2B sales teams to utilize Account-Based Selling tools (ABS).

Even as more interactions in the buying process become digitized and automated, successful sales still hinge on building strong relationships with buyers. Developing these relationships has never been more critical — or difficult — for sellers. They face a host of challenges — from evolving buying groups to complex pipeline issues to struggles to keep up with technological advancements.

Despite these changes, one constant remains: Buyers still prefer to buy from sellers who connect with them on a personal level. Yet today’s fierce B2B sales competition has highlighted the requirement for sellers to cultivate meaningful relationships.

Buyers are more informed, expectations are higher, and hybrid sales tactics (combining digital and in-person techniques) reign supreme as they drive up to 50% more revenue. Businesses need innovative solutions to overcome these shifts.

Account-based selling tools — like predictive analytics and account intelligence — enable critical relationships. When used effectively, ABS tools empower sales teams to conquer these obstacles, unlock untapped potential, and cultivate lasting connections with buyers through enhanced insights.

To appreciate the need for ABS tools, let’s delve into these challenges.

1. Evolving Buyer Identities And Behaviors

Today’s B2B buyer journeys are increasingly self-guided and involve more buying groups than before. Buyers expect the buying journey to be transparent, connected, intuitive, personalized, fast, and easy. Consequently, these buying journeys should focus on the buyer rather than the seller or an organization’s internal selling processes. The number of interactions has also increased, and purchase timeframes have lengthened, necessitating more touchpoints and a longer time frame for buying decisions.

Today’s buyers are:

  • Digital-first and tech-savvy.
  • Values-driven.
  • Increasingly from diverse backgrounds.
  • Most likely a Millennial or Gen Zer.

These buyers are eager to use digital buying earlier and more often in sales processes. Sellers must rise to buyer expectations, adapt, and deliver on these demands.

The digital economy helped accelerate these trends. As web research, social media, and virtual meetings become the norm, Gartner predicts the percentage of a buyer’s online journey (now 60%) will reach 80% by 2025Opens a new window .

However, the fundamental principle — people buy from people they trust — remains. The challenge now is engaging with the right people. Consider this: The average B2B sale involves 11 decision-makers (though it can actually be many more than this), and only 5%Opens a new window  of the purchasing cycle includes direct rep engagement, making relationship-building a daunting task.

Not only do reps have more people to convince at each account, but they also have less and less time to do it. Time is indeed money, and when reps spend too much time chasing down the right people or trying to get time on their calendars, this frantic activity leads to burnout, especially if deals aren’t closing.

The size of buying groups has also increased, with most now including at least four people. This new reality demands sellers build strong relationships to understand the collective buying group’s stated and unstated needs.

A few years ago, B2B sellers encountered an average of five distinct marketing and sales touchpoints during the sales experience. The journey has become more cumbersome as some journeys have as many as ten touchpoints, making it hard for B2B sellers to ensure consistency.

2. Increasing Pipeline Complexity 

The pressure on sales teams to amplify the pipeline has intensified. These teams must source new revenue streams from prospects and capitalize on upselling and expansion opportunities from existing customers — all while working within leaner operational frameworks.

Pipeline development is a collaborative endeavor requiring the active participation of all teams across the go-to-market channel. Each team plays a crucial role and shares a stake in the overall outcome. Marketing spearheads creation efforts, sales focuses on conversions, and rev ops is responsible for measuring these efforts.

However, the absence of a clear view of the pipeline can hinder these teams’ ability to adjust strategies promptly and enhance sales operations. With opportunities and uncertainties on the horizon, data becomes the glue that holds the entire operation together. Data carries the potential to enhance every stage of the process, emerging as the linchpin in understanding and elevating the pipeline.

Yet, most sellers encounter a common roadblock — disorganized data that’s both difficult to access and hard to decipher. Despite the abundance of touchpoints, sales data often lacks discernible patterns or insights. Moreover, when data lives in separate platforms detached from a company’s CRM, sales teams lack a unified, accurate source of information. Sellers may possess data, but without visibility and accessibility, they cannot use it. An inability to analyze and predict trends using predictive analytics adds to the challenges. Customer engagement data remains disconnected, resulting in fragmented intelligence.

This predicament scatters predictable growth, and teams resort to traditional tactics that no longer foster growth effectively.

3. Rapid Technological Change

Lastly, the rapid change in technology and automation has posed a unique challenge. Many sales organizations still depend on Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, and legacy ways of capturing and recording their interactions and activities. There is significant room for automation and technology to enhance sellers’ abilities to build and nurture strong relationships.

Automation is not the enemy of relationship-building but rather a tool that can enhance it. Sellers or sales teams shouldn’t spend their precious time and resources digging through buyer interactions, completing tedious manual tasks prone to human error. Instead, automation can capture and analyze seller and buyer activity. The technology provides predictive insights that sellers can put into practice, boosting the value and effectiveness of their work.

Despite the promise of technology, sales technology adoption has been slow, with sellers spending only 30%Opens a new window  actually selling, devoting more time to administrative and other non-selling duties. Compounding this problem? Almost half of sellers (45%) say their biggest data challenge is incomplete data.

Need another proof point? The most successful sellers — who reach over 150% of their quota — leverage technology to build better human connections.

When they refuse to embrace new technologies, like ABS tools, companies throw other fixes at the problem: additional point solutions and more training and enablement. While training and enablement are important, too many organizations focus on investing in these two areas while failing to meaningfully engage with technologies that can strengthen their entire sales program — all ultimately generating better sales.

Adopting ABS Tools

The modern B2B sales landscape presents an opportunity to revolutionize selling through ABS tools, which provide a comprehensive solution to sales organizations, equipping sales teams with the revenue intelligence necessary to thrive in the current climate.

ABS tools enable collaboration between sales and marketing to create personalized buying experiences that resonate with high-value accounts. The power of these tools lies in their capacity to transform scattered, incomplete data into actionable insights that drive revenue growth.

By improving collaboration and streamlining workflows, ABS tools give sellers more time to focus on the human aspect of selling. Key capabilities of effective ABS tools include:

  • Automated sales activity capture in CRM.
  • Relationship mapping.
  • Account health insights.
  • Whitespace identification and opportunity management.
  • Pipeline management.
  • Coaching guidance and performance management.
  • Collaboration workflows and enablement reporting.
  • Analytics and data management.

In a world of rapidly evolving buyer expectations, ABS tools can provide the necessary data and insights to understand these changes and respond accordingly. This technology enables organizations to pivot with agility, ensuring pipeline visibility and enhancing selling efforts.

ABS tools represent a revolution in B2B sales. The art of sales lies in building meaningful relationships with buyers, and the science lies in leveraging data and insights to facilitate this process. By adopting tools, sales teams can marry these two aspects, driving revenue growth and achieving long-term success. By fostering a deeper understanding of buyer behavior, ABS tools empower sales teams to align their processes with prospect needs and expectations, creating a personalized sales experience that resonates with today’s digital, values-driven buyers.


This article was written by Spiceworks and originally published here.



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