Everything You Need to Know About Target Account Selling (Strategies + Examples)

Janhavi Nagarhalli
min read
November 9, 2023

Tired of running sales campaigns that barely attract qualified leads? We know that finding high-quality leads is like searching for a 4-leafed clover in a meadow of weeds. Creating a sales funnel where every lead is high value, every prospect is a perfect fit, and every deal turns into a lifetime customer is the ultimate goal for any sales team.

However, achieving this requires a shift in approach and an innovative sales strategy prioritizing quality over quantity instead of chasing countless leads. Enter: Target account selling.

Target account selling (TAS) is designed to help sales reps stay focused on high-potential buyers. You can increase your chances of success by focusing solely on selective high-value accounts, tailoring your approach to their specific needs, and delivering a personalized, consultative sales experience.

In this article, we'll break down the basics of the target account selling process and how it can help optimize sales plans by filling your pipeline with high-value leads. 

What is Target Account Selling?

Target account selling is a strategic B2B sales methodology that focuses on a select group of high-value accounts rather than casting a wide net. It involves identifying specific, high-potential accounts, creating personalized marketing and sales strategies for each, and nurturing these accounts through tailored sales outreach.

TAS helps you unlock the doors to enterprise-level opportunities by concentrating resources and efforts on these critical accounts, organizations aim to increase conversion rates, revenue, and customer retention. It is a strategic, focused, and data-driven approach that can be adapted and scaled to align with changing organizational goals.

What are the benefits of target account selling?

Target account selling offers a plethora of benefits in comparison to traditional sales tactics, some of which are as follows:

A checklist depicting the benefits of Target Account Selling
  • Higher Conversion Rates: Tailored solutions boost conversion rates.
  • Increased Revenue: Focus on high-value accounts for substantial revenue growth.
  • Improved Customer Retention: Personalization builds lasting relationships and upselling opportunities.
  • Resource Efficiency: Efficient resource allocation minimizes waste.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Personalization leads to positive word-of-mouth.
  • Sales-Marketing Alignment: Promotes better collaboration and consistent messaging.
  • Data-Driven Insights: Deeper data analysis aids strategy refinement.
  • Competitive Advantage: Personalized value propositions differentiate your brand.
  • Scalability: Adaptable to various segments and industries.
  • Faster Sales Cycles: Shortened sales cycles due to direct engagement with decision-makers.

How to Implement Target Account Selling in Your Sales Strategy? 

Target account selling outreach is not about quick wins but building sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships with key accounts. 

Here are a few steps you must follow when implementing TAS:

Step 1: Set goals for your sales teams

Target account selling requires focused effort and resources; hence, setting clear goals for salespeople from the get-go is essential for achieving success.

Some TAS goals can include:

  • Revenue Growth: Increase overall revenue by targeting high-value accounts such as enterprises with 1000+ employees
  • Profit Maximization: Improve profitability through focused efforts on these accounts that offer better margins and long-term value.
  • Account Selection: Analyze the current market and identify and prioritize accounts that align with your ICP.
  • Expansion and Upselling: Not only secure initial sales but also seek opportunities to expand and upsell within target accounts.
  • Accelerate Sales Cycle: Shorter sales cycles contribute to cost savings and ensure that sales efforts are spent on accounts ready to convert within the desired time frame, maximizing revenue and minimizing resource wastage.

Step 2: Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

Yes, we know we’re stating the obvious, but creating a robust Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is crucial for target account selling. Identify key factors such as industry, company size, geographic location, pain points, decision-makers, budget, solution fit, and cultural alignment. Prioritize those that align with your business objectives and competitive strengths. Regularly review and refine your ICP to ensure it remains relevant.

A table showcasing different elements of a sales ICP

A streamlined ICP serves as a guiding document for sales and marketing teams to identify, prioritize, and engage high-value accounts, enabling customized sales strategies for more effective engagement, relationship-building, and revenue maximization. The ICP must evolve as your business goals and market dynamics change to ensure continued alignment with your ideal customers.

Step 3: Make your Target Account List

Creating a list of target accounts and conducting due diligence is critical in the sales process. The goal is to make meaningful relationships with prospects and advance your sales process while continuously refining your list of target accounts as you gain more insights and feedback from your outreach efforts. 

To get started, follow these key steps:

  • Use various resources like industry reports, business directories like Bombora or Apollo.ai, and social media platforms to identify companies that match your ICP.
  • Investigate whether these companies have expressed interest in products or services similar to yours in the past. ‍Identifying the buyer intent data can provide valuable insights into their potential needs and interests.
  • Identify the key decision-makers within these companies who have the authority to make purchasing decisions, which may include CEOs, CTOs, or procurement managers.
  • Analyze whether these companies have a budget likely to accommodate your product or service.
  • Once you have gathered this information, prioritize the companies that appear to be the best fit based on your research.
  • Start reaching out to these companies with personalized messaging and tailored solutions, addressing their specific needs and pain points.

Step 4: Personalize Your Selling

Once you've identified your target accounts that fit the ICP, the next step involves crafting tailored messages and value propositions that speak directly to their needs, challenges, and pain points. Building relationships with key decision-makers is paramount. Each contact should receive a unique, customized message showcasing your understanding of their company's situation and how your product or service can provide a solution.

To engage with your potential buyers, utilize multiple communication channels, such as email, phone, social media, and in-person meetings whenever possible. Being responsive, persistent, and attentive to their changing needs paves the way for long-term campaigns and constant engagement that leads to sustainable partnerships with your target accounts.

However, personalization isn’t simply about adding “Hi, First Name” in the email. Here’s an example of personalized outreach:

Subject Line: Are you missing your (insert KPI) targets?

Hi {prospect name},

Has {company name} ever {missed/failed to achieve specific results}? While you and {key decision makers} look for {ways to resolve the issue}, we have a {product/service} that can help.

[Insert image] 

A {feature name} with {how it helps deal with pain points} that ensures you never fail to meet your (insert KPI) targets.

What's the best way to show this to you, {prospect name}?


(Your Name)

But if you want to go above and beyond for your prospects, you can provide personalized demo experiences to really highlight your product’s UVP.

A pie chart explaining the conversion rate for personalized and non-personalized demos
Source: Storylane 

A personalized approach sets target account selling outreach apart from traditional sales models, focusing on quality over quantity and fostering lasting connections. Continuously analyze and adapt your approach to sales based on feedback and data to maximize your sales team's success

5 Target Account Selling Strategies You Can Follow

The goal of target account selling is to assign resources efficiently and increase the likelihood of closing complex deals with key accounts. Here are 5 Target Account Selling strategies:

1. Account Segmentation and Prioritization

Begin by categorizing your potential target accounts into different tiers based on criteria such as revenue potential, industry relevance, or strategic fit. Prioritize your efforts, with the highest priority given to Tier 1 accounts. Allocate your resources, time, and efforts according to these priorities. Your top-tier accounts should receive the most attention and resources.

For instance, if enterprises in the SEA region seem to show more interest in your product, prioritize them and nurture them through the sales cycle.

 Here are a few aspects in which you can segment your customers:

A flowchart explaining the different ways to segment customers
Reference Image: Zendesk

2. Account Research and Personalization

TAS encourages in-depth research on each target account. While this research takes time, it ensures that sales professionals understand the account's needs and challenges completely. This insight helps develop a deep understanding of the key decision-makers and influencers within the target account, making interactions more productive.

Gartner has released an “Account-based Everything” framework, making account research a breeze for B2B sales teams.

Gartner’s “Account-based Everything” framework
Source: Gartner

Personalizing your B2B sales approach for each target account can take more time upfront but often results in shorter sales cycles. By addressing the account's specific pain points and needs, you're more likely to gain their interest and trust, speeding up the sales process.

3. Multi-Channel Sales Engagement and Account-Based Marketing (ABM):

Engage with target accounts through various channels, such as email, social media, phone calls, direct mail, and in-person meetings. A multi-channel approach enhances your chances of reaching key decision-makers.

A flowchart explaining the different sales enablement channels 

Implement ABM tactics to create highly personalized and targeted marketing campaigns for each account. This could involve creating custom content, webinars, or events designed explicitly for a particular target account. Collaborate closely with marketing and leverage their expertise in reaching and engaging key accounts effectively.

4. Collaborate and Automate

Automation and tools such as sales automation software and CRM systems are pivotal in enhancing efficiency for sales reps. They effectively streamline time-consuming administrative tasks like data entry and appointment scheduling, liberating valuable hours for sales professionals to focus on meaningful interactions with their target accounts.

Collaboration with marketing and cross-functional teams further compounds these gains. Sharing insights and resources with marketing can lead to more personalized and impactful campaigns. At the same time, coordination with other departments ensures a cohesive approach, ultimately saving time and effort and increasing the chances of success in targeting high-value accounts.

5. Use Personalized Interactive Demos

Interactive demos have a “show, don’t tell” approach that speeds up the buying process. With Storylane’s no-code platform, sales reps can create personalized interactive demos for different stakeholders in the buying process in as short as 10 minutes. These interactive demos can be used in various types of sales engagement activities which will eventually help shorten the sales cycle.

Here’s an example of an interactive demo that was made for users with a specific intent. Sevdesk created product-specific product demos and showcased them on pages that people who had a high buying intent visited. They were able to convert up to 25% of the visitors and generate 527 leads. Read the complete case study here.

4 Examples of Target Account Selling

Here are a few examples that illustrate how well-established companies use targeted and customized strategies to approach key accounts in different industries:

1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS assigns dedicated account managers and solutions architects to enterprise-level customers. These teams work closely with consumers to understand their needs and provide customized solutions. They also organize events and training programs tailored to individual customer accounts.

This approach has helped AWS establish long-term relationships with large enterprises, offering solutions that meet their unique demands and, in turn, drive significant revenue growth.

2. Salesforce

Salesforce uses its own CRM software to track and manage interactions with its target accounts. They have a dedicated account team for each major customer and provide tailored solutions, along with extensive training and support, to help customers maximize the value of their platform.

Salesforce's account-based selling approach has successfully retained large enterprise clients and expanded their usage of Salesforce products over time. This has contributed significantly to their consistent growth.

3. Adobe

Adobe uses a combination of personalized marketing campaigns, dedicated account managers, and customized product offerings to cater to the needs of its enterprise customers. They also leverage their data analytics capabilities to better understand customer behavior and preferences.

Adobe's account-based selling approach has resulted in strong relationships with enterprise customers, higher customer satisfaction, and increased cross-selling of their various software solutions.

4. Groundswell

Groundswell is a modern philanthropy-as-a-service platform for companies that aim to make philanthropy an employee benefit. They implemented target account selling by tailoring product demos to different personas. By using Storylane, they could spin up multiple demos in minutes, and the sales representatives could improve the sales experience for prospects while easily updating demos as per the new features released. 

Read the complete case study here.   

Improve Target Account Selling with Storylane

Targeting the right prospect is crucial for boosting sales, and when you have done your research – closing the deal becomes easy as pie. Interactive product demos can take your selling up a notch, and that’s where Storylane can help!

With personalized demos in your arsenal, you can shorten your sales cycle and win more deals in no time. Schedule a demo with us today to find out how you can supercharge your funnel. 

Q1. What are some target account-selling best practices companies can follow?

Target Account Selling best practices include thorough account research, tailored value propositions, personalized sales engagement, cross-functional collaboration, continuous nurturing, and effective use of technology, such as CRM systems. Companies should prioritize relationships, stay agile, and measure success with metrics like customer satisfaction, revenue growth, and customer retention.

Q2. How can you use technology to implement target account selling?

You can use software throughout the TAS process in the following ways:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for account data management.
  • Data analytics tools to identify target accounts and track their behavior.
  • Sales engagement tools for personalized cold outreach that you can scale.
  • Sales enablement software to provide sales teams with valuable insights.
  • Communication tools for consistent and efficient customer engagement.
  • Artificial intelligence for predictive analytics and account prioritization.
  • Interactive demo software for the sales, marketing, and CS teams.

Q3. How do we measure the success of target account selling?

You can measure the success of your Target Account Selling (TAS) efforts by tracking key metrics such as revenue growth from target accounts, and the successful completion of account-specific goals and milestones.

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."
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"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."


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