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Account-Based Sales Development Myth-Busting: Watch for These 3 Conversion Rate Killers

3 min read
Updated Aug. 24, 2020
Published Nov. 16, 2015

Sales development can be tricky, and metrics can be deceiving. Since well-structured sales development teams are highly metric-oriented and performance-driven, it’s no wonder that some wander astray and try to chase down goals that won’t actually produce success for the company.

Assumptions on what goals to chase down can sabotage your sales development team’s efforts. The rise of account-based sales development (ABSD) is turning these assumptions on their head. Is your team dropping the ball and chasing the wrong metrics? Find out below:

MYTH #1: More leads means more opportunities

ABSD is making waves because companies are starting to learn quality of appointments are more important than quantity. If you give marketers goals to produce leads for your sales development team, for instance, they will work to hit those numbers at all costs. This is a bad mentality for marketers, and it can seep into sales development teams. Worst of all, it catches up with you in the end when you look at the numbers and your conversion rates are terrible. This results in discouraged Account Executives who feel their time and efforts have been wasted.

Focusing on core accounts that your business wants to close (not just your sales team) will generate higher quality opportunities that will offset the lower quantity of leads.

MYTH #2: You can email blast your way to your numbers

Let’s say you’re in a “greenfield” market and you’ve been email blasting your target audiences with some success. The problem here is, as you scale, you will begin using more personalized methods of outreach. Combining mass email blasts and personalized outreach can actually have a negative effect on response. In ABSD, emails should be hyper-personalized. They should be a part of your sales development cadence, but limited to one-on-one, valuable interactions that are tailored for that specific account audience. Mass email blasts will kill your conversion rate metrics.

MYTH #3: Keep fishing for that ideal client profile

To illustrate this myth, compare targeting the VP of an outside sales company to a VP of an inside sales, SaaS-company. Two very different roles, so if you use simple criteria to target them, it’s misleading. If you’re fishing for prospects based on simple criteria such as title, industry, and size of company, it’s likely you’re going to hit unqualified prospects despite them fitting your “ideal client profile.”

A key component of a successful account-based sales development strategy is digging into the accounts that really matter, and not only understanding the ideal client profile, but the specific nuances of that account that will push the needle forward. You can also look inward for inspiration of who to reach out to, targeting companies based on your customer’s characteristics. Targeting prospects similar to your customers will help you understand the problems they face — and better yet — the context in which they experience their problems.

Chances are you’ve encountered these myths in your sales development team’s outreach efforts. All of them will equally hurt your team’s ability to convert conversations into opportunities.

What do you think? Do you see other potentially harmful myths in your team that you’ve busted? Drop us a line. In the meantime, check out our Top Secret Sales Development Playbook to learn how to build a sales development team that drives the results you need to succeed.