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Navigating Inbound Account Based Sales Development

3 min read
Updated Aug. 4, 2021
Published Sep. 16, 2016

As sales moves rapidly to the Account-Based model, all across the industry, Sales Development Reps are attacking accounts from a multitude of different angles. As opposed to prospecting a lead, reps are touching each lead at least seven times in the hopes of converting it to a qualified opportunity before moving on to the next.

We’ve already discussed how Outbound SDRs select and tier their accounts, but for inbound reps, like me, this strategy is slightly more challenging. In the case of inbound Account Based Sales Development, I have to wait for the accounts to come to me.

Here’s how the rest of the Salesloft Inbound Team and I have discovered how to execute the iABSD approach:

Leads come into my inbox every day. Because of this, we’ve built a set process on how to handle each one of those leads using a tiered approach, where each tier is handled a little bit differently.

So, the first step here is to discover into which tier the lead falls. To tell most of this story, we use predictive data, which helps us determine whether the lead account fits our Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). Accounts we believe to be a perfect fit are labeled as Tier 1; those that are good fits, but not necessarily “perfect” are labeled as Tier 2; and finally, our accounts that are still in the testing stage are labeled as Tier 3.

Leads coming in from Tier 3 accounts are put on automated cadences to continue testing, but leads coming from those accounts that are identified as Tier 1 or Tier 2 are handled with a bit more care. The key here is that the tier of the account is just the first piece of the puzzle.


The next piece is the lead itself. What’s their role and how do they fit into the decision-making process? Are they a decision maker or an individual contributor?  The former is put on a 12-touch cadence, designed specifically to convert the prospect into a qualified opportunity. The latter, however, is added to a discovery cadence, built to learn more about the systems and processes of the account before moving towards a conversion.

But whether or not the lead is a decision maker or not, it’s important to then prospect further into the account, finding new ways to attack it from multiple angles. For this process, our team has a 3 different buyer personas, and anyone in an account that falls into one of those personas is prospected and added to the proper cadence.

Each inbound lead has a different story, and that story is a powerful piece of information for an inbound Account Based Sales Development Rep. You can make assumptions based on the piece of content that brought the into your inbox. It is invaluable insight into the challenges the organization might be facing, and in some situations, the content can give you credibility with a prospect.

For a more comprehensive look into Salesloft’s internal SDR process, download our free playbook and optimize your sales efforts to start crushing your sales development goals today.