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The Role of Sales Development in Account-Based Marketing

Smart involvement of sales development in your account-based marketing strategy can lead to outstanding results. Learn more about this practice and tactics for successful collaboration between your sales and marketing teams.

Nemanja Terzic

May 12, 2023
account-based marketing

Marketing and sales ― two independent but closely related sectors. One can’t achieve results without adequate effort from the other. But, we often hear marketers complain about sales not following up on leads, and, on the other hand, sales executives gripe about not getting enough leads from marketing in the first place!

But I don’t want to debate who is right, but rather emphasize that it actually doesn’t matter. The point is that these teams bring the best results when they work together.

This is especially evident in account-based marketing, which requires high compliance between sales and marketing. Luckily, there is a method that allows for that perfect alliance ― sales development.

Account-based marketing and sales development: linking marketing and sales

Account-based marketing (ABM) is all about making interactions with leads more personal and direct. Sales development is all about preparing prospects for the buying decision. Combine the two, and you get a perfect strategy for identifying and converting the best clients.

This way, sales development representatives (SDRs) actively participate in marketing, developing campaigns and suggesting sales messaging. At the same time, the marketing team acknowledges SDRs’ insights and hence drives high-quality leads, improving campaigns’ results.

5 best practices for utilizing sales development within account-based marketing

Here are some of the greatest techniques for fostering successful collaboration between your sales development and ABM teams.

Include SDRs in campaign development

The first step is to encourage sales and marketing team leaders to work together and specify the details and goals of the ABM campaign.

Typically, marketing is in charge of developing and planning campaigns. However, SDRs’ thoughts and experiences can greatly benefit campaigns. These sales development experts understand which accounts to target and what information most appeals to prospects, allowing them to support campaign development with valuable insights.

Specify responsibilities and tools

To have successful ABM processes, you must define the operational structure and provide the necessary tools for the collaborative work of sales and marketing teams.

One of the most effective ways to create that structure is to develop an agreement that defines everyone’s responsibilities. Within the framework of this agreement, sales and marketing leaders should allocate their team members to certain activities. This way, SDRs understand their specific responsibilities and can work efficiently on a list of target accounts that the marketing team acquired.

It’s also critical to provide both teams with the necessary tools to speed up and streamline workflows.

Acknowledge sales development representatives’ feedback

SDRs’ contribution to marketing goes beyond assisting in campaign development. Since SDRs are the ones who directly communicate with prospects, they’ll have more and more feedback on the content the marketing team produces as the campaign progresses. 

It’s crucial to acknowledge this feedback as it’s coming directly from prospects and, as such, represents valuable insights into what your potential clients expect and need to hear. For instance, BDRs can notice that some messages or topics get more responses and engagement. This information helps you enhance ABM campaigns and achieve more excellent outcomes.

Encourage a collaborative spirit

Another tactic that helps you maximize the presence of sales development within ABM is to use it as a perfect opportunity to promote collaboration between sales and marketing teams. Here, the goal is to achieve a sense of shared accountability and supportive culture.

Therefore, promote joint meetings and team-building activities to increase trust between two teams and improve the company’s overall work atmosphere.

Support professional development 

Last but not least, ensure your company supports continuous training and development mentality in sales and marketing teams. Investing in your people will undoubtedly bear fruits for your business.

Here, it’s an excellent strategy to observe your SDRs and notice what each of them is best at. Once you know their biggest strengths, support their growth around that skill and let their talent shine. For instance, if a team member excels at communicating with contacts on LinkedIn, ensure they get more chances to approach prospects in that manner.

Another way of supporting teams is to offer them opportunities for career advancement in both teams. Feel free to promote your SDRs to account executives or other roles in the marketing sector. What’s most important is to be aware of your people’s strengths and ensure everyone’s thriving in what they do best.

A necessity for the success of account-based marketing

Sales development plays a vital role in an ABM approach ― it calls for unity and collaboration between sales and marketing, two pillars of ABM.

By acknowledging SDRs’ tremendous hands-on experience with prospects and using tactics shared here, your SDRs will perform outstandingly, contributing to ABM’s success and improving revenue.

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