What is Account-Based Sales

Reaching out to your prospects is the basic foundation of sales. There are many sales techniques and systems, and one of them is Account-based Sales.

As the name suggests ABS is Account-based, you strategically pick a list of prospects, do good research on them, and spend your resources to cultivate a relationship and close the deal with them.

To better understand how Account based Sales works, we can compare ABS to the most common sales strategy out there, Outbound sales.

Here are a few key differences from the POV of the Sales team

Outbound Sales

  • Needs huge volume of data (10,000s to 100,000s leads)
  • To reach a higher target require a large team of 50-100+ SDR
  • Most time of SDR is spent in Cold calling
  • Can be excruciating and boring for the sales team
  • All prospects are treated the same

Account-Based Sales

  • Needs considerably smaller data
  • A smaller team of 10+ SDR is enough
  • Most time of SDR is spent in Research
  • The sales team is introduced to new challenges and requires creative ways to work around
  • Prospects are divided into 3 tiers

Here are a few key differences from the POV of the C-suite

Outbound sales

  • The top of the funnel is huge
  • The bottom of the funnel is tiny
  • Closed deals are of small denominations
  • A large portion of the budget is spent on acquiring an email or phone number list
  • Required team size is big but cheap as anyone can make calls and send emails
  • Results can be achieved in weeks or months

Account based sales

  • The top of the funnel is small
  • The funnel becomes larger as it goes down
  • Closed deals are big cheques
  • A large portion of the budget is spent on tools to find and analyse prospecting customers
  • Required team size is small but expensive. As the sales team has to comprise analytically aligned and research-driven teammates.
  • Results can be achieved in months or years

How Account-Based Sales is better

The KPI for most sales teams is the number of outreach they’ve made. This works out for most companies only if they are working on a massive scale. Sending 100,000s emails a month to get maybe 500 meetings. At this sale, you will also need a diverse team to achieve the goals. The Economics of this approach works out. But is this the only way? How can an Account-based sales approach be better?

Account-based sales flip the approach. 

Instead of focusing on reaching out to 100,000 leads, the ABS team carefully picks the winners and focuses their efforts on creating a relationship with them. This leads to much better collaboration between two businesses, and a healthy cash flowing bond is formed.


While with traditional sales, businesses spend a huge portion towards hiring talent to make calls and send emails, In ABS, data and insight get the highest allotment. When you have the data to study ICPs you end up getting a better picture of which clients are worth reaching out to.

Tiering in Account-Based Sales

As we have discussed above, Account-based sales need a lot of data. But What happens after you analyse the data? You realised not all suitable accounts fit in one category. You like some accounts despite what the data says, and others could be the opposite.

To maintain order during the chaos, we divide the winner accounts into multiple tiers. Generally, we have three tiers.

Tier 1

Your biggest accounts. your dream accounts. For all accounts in this Tier, you can Customise campaigns and deal with 1:1 level

Tier 2

Most Approachable Accounts in your territory.

Tier 3

Accounts you want to target but don’t have the resources for personalization and customization.

Summary and TL;DR

Before we end this article let’s go through a few important takeaways

  1. Account-based sales (ABS) is quite similar to Outbound sales.
  2. The difference is Outbound sales rely on high volume with low research, and
  3. ABS rely on low volume and high research.
  4. ABS winners are divided into 3 tiers based on priority

Hope this article has proven useful to you. If you have any questions about ABS for your business please reach out to us by Commenting box