(Part two of a two-part series)

In part one of this series, Account-Based Selling Technologies: What You Need To Know, Anne Slough defined account-based selling (ABS) technologies and the business value that users can expect from these solutions. When properly selected, deployed, and adopted, these solutions deepen the understanding of key accounts, allowing sellers to focus on winnable deals, increase average deal value, and maximize customer lifetime value.

We see three major trends in this market that will drive roadmaps and enhancements from ABS providers:

  • A rapid shift toward capturing large amounts of data from diverse sources. Vast amounts of data about buyer interactions are typically spread across multiple data sources. These sources have moved beyond manually entered records of emails or phone calls to include automated activity capture, conversation intelligence, buyer activity, and intent data from first- and third-party sources. Armed with sufficient data, ABS providers can develop and deliver AI-driven insights and guidance that help revenue teams personalize and improve their interactions with buyers and customers.
  • An improved ability to facilitate collaboration. We expect to see improvements in the ability of these tools to share information and enable collaboration both externally (e.g., between buyers and sellers in the form of a digital deal room) and internally (e.g., with all members of the revenue team, key executives, and stakeholders). The goal is to ensure that the voice of the customer is captured and understood while improving relevance and response times throughout the customer lifecycle.
  • An improved end-user experience. Providers are finally focused on improving the end-user experience to improve seller adoption and value recognition. They are finding ways to reduce or eliminate the time and errors associated with manual data entry. They are simplifying navigation, embedding the solution in sales force automation platforms, and adding real-time alerts and potential action triggers. Providers are trying to ensure that these tools are an integral part of the sales motion — used daily, instead of quarterly or annually when an account plan is due.

For providers of ABS solutions, the future is both exciting and challenging. It’s exciting, as these solutions prove their value, move into the mainstream, and become a critical sales tool. It will be challenging, as buyers of these solutions demand greater integration, ease of use, and overall simplification. At the same time, we see a decrease in available funding (e.g., from venture capital and private equity firms) and established sales tech providers enhancing their offerings to compete with point solutions.