The Biggest Mistakes Made in Complex Sales | Catie Ivey

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ABM means account-based marketing, and it has been a buzz-word for a few years. It is about figuring out which company you should be selling to, which companies are most likely to renew and spend more money with you, and then focusing all your sales and marketing efforts around those specific companies.  

As you move upmarket into the larger enterprise, it becomes increasingly important that you are very personalized and strategic. Everything gets built around the framework of how you personalize and sell to a specific account. There are many layers to that that are very intricate and important, even as you downmarket into the mid and smaller markets. 

The only reason anyone buys from us is that it is about them and their business, their pain-points, challenges, and opportunities.

With ABM in the enterprise, the strategy and structures will always be the same regarding what matters and how great account-based selling will look.

Account-based selling and marketing are typically entirely company-focused. So you need to align your strategies from the very top of the funnel to build the right type of brand-awareness for the specific set of companies into which you want to sell. You need to work out how to go about building a pipeline and transition into how you close and maximize that pipeline. With large, strategic enterprises, it all depends on who the ultimate buyer is and the aspect of the business that you are impacting. And then creating a strategic plan based on those outcomes that you can drive.

In Catie’s business, it all starts with understanding the core of their ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). Account-based anything is all about understanding the accounts that are likely to spend the most with you and then renew and be the healthiest, happiest long-term customer, as well as the accounts that are most likely to buy from you.

Relationships are vital in sales. Currently, it is important to find creative ways to build strategic relationships virtually. It is critical to understand people, their personality types, how people are wired, and how they naturally interact. 

It is important to understand different personality types at a team level and a customer prospect level, especially when working remotely. Catie uses an amazing tech solution to help her understand the personality types of the people with whom she interacts. It is a LinkedIn plug-in called Crystal Knows. It dissects different personality types and gives recommendations. 

The biggest mistake that Catie sees when it comes to account-based selling and marketing today is that people tend to over-complicate things. That typically starts at the marketing level and also at the sales leadership level. Another mistake she sees is an overarching lack of personalization, which happens because reps and SDRs fail to do the required research to become trusted advisors while building a relationship. The most powerful technology to use to start with is LinkedIn. 

B2B selling has gone through a massive transformation over the last decade or so. Right now, you cannot automate your way into the pipeline and close deals. So people in the sales leadership space need to be very strategic and sell at a personal level to keep ramping up their level of account-based selling.

To win in this very different world and environment, you will need to take the time to become very good at what you do.


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