The Ultimate Infographic for Account-Based Sales Development

A trend is emerging and changing the way B2B sales teams operate and individual reps sell. It’s time we start leveraging different technologies across the sales stack and strategically hunt targeted accounts rather than chasing individual leads. It is a large focus in 2017 and it’s been predicted as the future of sales by many industry thought leaders.

This trend is Account-Based Sales Development.

What Is Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD)?

Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) is a strategic prospecting process that involves selling to targeted and highly valued accounts rather than focusing your prospecting efforts at the contact level.

Using ABSD, 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.

The Benefits of Account-Based Sales Development


Quick trajectory of revenue growth. Targeting high value accounts allows for more time researching and creating highly personalized messaging for a higher close rate.


Organized approach to selling. Instead of prioritizing volume in your strategy, you can take the time to be more strategic and methodically plan out every step.


Track performance easier. Simply put, it’s easier to track, process, and manage fewer account transactions, giving you more visibility into what is working and what’s not.


Improve your brand reputation. Since accounts are pre-qualified and you’re taking more time with messaging, you are no longer interrupting prospects, and you’re creating more value with each interaction.

How to Prepare and Organize Your Team for Account-Based Selling

Identify and Pre-Qualify Target Accounts

By performing intensive market research and reflecting on your current customer base, you can begin to develop a framework for identifying the best accounts for your sales team to target.

1Start with your current customer base. To expand your list of targeted accounts, identify the attributes of your “dream clients,” examine your best current clients, and then try to make the connection of specific characteristics that are similar across the board to serve as qualification criteria moving forward. The goal is to determine who your "best fit" clients are and why.

2Meet and converse with potential buyers, thought leaders, and executives within your industry. If they don’t understand what it is you offer or why they would need it or see the value that your solution could bring, then you must get to the bottom of why this is happening before you can begin to uncover and resonate with your targeted accounts.

3If you don’t have a customer base large enough to draw these conclusions from, market research is going to be your first step. Take a look at your competitors; who are they targeting, and how is offering being utilized by those clients?

When you're identifying your ideal accounts, here are some firmographic data points to consider:

Company Size
Company maturity
Industry maturity
Total addressable market

3 Account-Based Sales Development KPIs You Should Track

As your sales team begins to adopt and ramp up on the account-based selling methodology, it is important to track and measure success in order to make necessary changes and continuously improve. A great place to start is to begin actively recording and benchmarking against the following key performance indicators reflected in the Outbound Index #4 by QuotaFactory and The Bridge Group, Inc.

KPI 1.

Connect Rate (the number of accounts that engage in a meaningful sales conversation) should average above 35%. For every 100 accounts prospected, at least 35 should engage in a meaningful sales conversation.

KPI 2.

Pass Rate (the number of qualified leads passed to a closing rep) should average above 10%. For every 100 accounts prospected, at least 10 should result in a qualified lead for the sales team to accept or reject into their sales process.

KPI 3.

Pipeline Rate (the number of leads that are accepted into a sales cycle or rejected) should average above 70%.

Once you have defined at least 3-5 of your most important qualification attributes, you can begin to build a prospecting process around a targeted database.

Organize Your Database to Best Practice

Though it will depend on the industry of the company and title of your prospect that your team is targeting, we recommend that you begin your process with a database of 500 targeted and pre-qualified accounts per sales development rep.

Your database should be created so there are at least three contacts sourced per one account, and are generally spread across varying titles and seniority levels. This creates a comprehensive database totaling 500 target accounts and 1,500 contacts.

Create a systematic and documented approach to the data management process.

  • All accounts should be created using the same fields.
  • All reps should stay consistent with the labeling of emails, names, and company names to prevent several aliases.
  • Use a color-coded key to quickly reflect the status of an overall account at a glance.
  • Assign statuses to accounts in addition to the lead statuses on individual contacts. As the contacts within an account change and fluctuate, there should be a clearly defined process for changing the overall account status.
  • Ensure as soon as reps qualify a lead or account into an opportunity, they should replenish their prospecting pool with a fresh account and correlating contacts.
  • Based on our best practice of maintaining a database of 500 target accounts at all times, your sales team should have easy access to these targets to pull in new accounts as existing ones are qualified or disqualified from their process.
Organize Your Database to Fit Best Practices

Structure Your Sales Team for ABSD Success

In contact based selling, it is every rep for him or herself. That doesn’t work within ABSD. Selling at the account level takes a team, which may consist of Sales Development Representatives (SDR), Account Executives (AE) and Account Managers (AM)/Customer Success Managers (CSM).


Enterprise ABSD Best Practices

For enterprise sales, the SDR to AE or closing rep to AM/CSM ratio should be around 3:1:1. Collectively, they will sell into a select number of accounts in a coordinated way. Detecting duplicate companies and contacts are important so that you don’t prospect a company or contact that is already in your colleague’s prospecting plan.


Small-to-Medium Sized Businesses ABSD Best Practices

For small and medium sized transactions, you may want to run the numbers of cost to value in regards to structuring your ABSD team. Instead of having three sales development reps, you may want to create a 1:1:1 ratio and assign one SDR to each account rather than multiple.

Tools Needed for Account-Based Selling

The following tools and technologies will help you execute an ABSD strategy.

InsideView’s products help you to rapidly build and enrich data by tapping into their massive database of information, including Twitter posting history, financial reports, news articles about the company and individuals inside the company, leadership changes, partnerships, financial information and acquisitions. Through the use of InsideView’s API connection, their entire technology stack is now fully integrated with QuotaFactory's PRM platform.

Bedrock Data is a data management platform that allows businesses to synchronize and manage their data quickly and easily by connecting multiple data APIs into one system. Their technology marries the power of QuotaFactory’s PRM with virtually any data source your company relies on such as marketing automation systems, CRMs, or any external database.

HG Data’s competitive intelligence tool can help save your reps’ time by aggregating all information of a company’s tech installs in one place, to assist in a targeted and personalized outreach. Leverage HG Data across various functionalities including: market assessment, prospect outreach and competitive intelligence, client acquisition, and customer success.

Ambition enables you to gamify your sales process to create fun team and individual challenges that boost productivity and morale. Ambition provides in-depth analytics that track and benchmark performance directly within QuotaFactory’s reporting tab to provide real-time insights into individual performance and benchmarking one’s team.

QuotaFactory’s Prospect Relationship Management (PRM) platform can be a game changer for reps and sales development teams. A PRM enables SDRs to perform, track, and manage all prospecting activities and generate a higher number of fully qualified leads for their closing sales reps. The platform combines a successful and ingrained prospecting strategy, data management and fulfillment, automated dialing, and gamification to motivate reps. The combination of these functions provide greater visibility into the sales process, initiate a higher level of SDR accountability, creates a more accurate forecast, and ultimately more closed business.


Account-based sales development can be a game changer for your company. But before you quickly jump to implementing this for your organization, it’s important to do your research and make sure it’ll be a positive and economic business decision for your entire organization.

For even more information and a deeper dive into all the successful elements of Account-Based Sales Development download our eBook.

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Account-Based Sales Development Playbook for Revenue-Driven Teams

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All information from QuotaFactory & PersistIQ’s ebook, “Account-Based Sales Development Playbook for Revenue-Driven Teams.”