What’s the most effective way to grow your sales pipeline – inbound or outbound marketing?

That’s a trick question! The answer is – both, and neither.

The traditional sales approach has consisted of breaking leads into inbound and outbound, “he’s calling me” and “I’m calling her”. The problem with this approach is that it’s very self-focused in its application.

The leads are categorized based on where they come from, not on how your company can help them solve a problem. The contacts that are most valuable to you are the contacts who will benefit most from the use of your service – and these are the leads you need to be reaching out to.

To improve the quality of contacts you’re sending down your sales pipeline, stop focusing on inbound/outbound terminology, and start using a holistic, Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) approach.

Using Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD) to Connect With Leads on a Hyper-Personalized Level

What is ABSD? In short, it’s the process of treating each potential client as a market of one – using hyper-personalized targeted campaigns to reach them.

Rather than categorizing your leads as inbound/outbound, hot/cold, you focus on each one as a unique market, with specific needs that your organization can meet.

By understanding the needs of your leads, and categorizing them based on what you can do for them, rather than on what they can do for you, you’ll discover leads who are actually delighted to speak with you and your team! Not solely as a vendor, but as an industry expert and business partner.

When your SDRs reach out to leads with an understanding of their industry and how your tools can benefit their bottom-line, the contact is no longer left with the responsibility of evaluating how and if your product will be beneficial. Instead, they are clearly shown how implementing your service will fill a direct need that they’re experiencing.

How to Expedite Your ABSD Process

While the idea of using ABSD to grow your sales pipeline obviously sounds appealing, you’re still left with one massive hurdle – where do you find the time to implement a personalized sales approach with each and every one of your customers?

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be as time-consuming as you would first think.

By using tools like email tracking you can group leads based on a variety of criteria, save templates, and allow for “semi-automation”. In short, you can segmentize your contacts quickly, effectively, and accurately – while still keeping contacts hyper-personalized.

Next, encourage your SDRs to use LinkedIn and a quick Google search to gain an understanding of each active lead before making a sales call. By spending just a few minutes understanding the company, the SDR will be able to connect with the client based on their needs.

Finally, if you encourage your SDRs to specialize with specific types of clients, they will already have an understanding of how to connect with these companies when making contact.

How ABSD Grows Your Sales Pipeline

People don’t do business with businesses; they do business with people. By recognizing the unique needs of each one of your leads, and taking a keen interest in their success, you’ll find yourself selling more – to leads who are excited to work with you.

Business is personal. The sooner you stop trying to push and pull your leads, and start focusing on connecting through ABSD, the sooner you’ll find yourself as a leader in your industry.

 Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Jonathan is a SaaS strategist and SalesLoft content specialist. He has extensive experience in sales development, account management, and B2B strategy.

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