Account Based Marketing: Good idea but here’s the bad news…

Perception is reality, and the reality is flawed.

The fact is sales leaders often make their sales team member’s lives harder by the decisions (or lack of) that they make when it comes to where to focus sales efforts.

I began my career as a dial-for-numbers sales rep who was managed and rewarded for making as many calls in one day as possible. It was obvious to me then (a few years back) and it remains as such, cranking out calls on a numbers based reward system is one of the hardest jobs on the planet.

In contrast, I recently became President of an AI Growth Automation company whose purpose is to help reduce the stress and fear that many salespeople and sales leaders experience on a daily basis. The allure of Companybook was in the WHY. Here was an opportunity to use AI to answer the sales person’s and sales leaders daily question of “oh **** where is my next sales opportunity coming from?” and “how will I make my number?” The value of what CompanyBook does is in helping sales leaders grow their business more effectively and efficiently with a different approach – using AI.

Now some background on why Account Based Marketing is flawed.

If you’re a sales and marketing executive reading this, please allow me to share some insights that I’ve learned.

Full disclosure: My intent is change your perspective and paradigms on some commonly held beliefs that may not be serving you and your sales people any more.

My hope is that adopting some new beliefs will help you improve the quality of your life, your company’s sales results and those of the sales people who look to you for guidance and confidence. Here you go.

Do you REALLY know your TRUE addressable market?

Many of you may think you know the size of your total addressable market/universe or TAM (who your potential customers are). Other sales and marketing execs that I’m now working with would tell you there’s a high probability you’re wrong…and you’re missing out on revenue that could easily be yours (good news – your competitors are missing out too). That’s because they relied on segmenting their markets by SIC, or NAICS codes in the past. These old classification codes are woefully out of date and inaccurate.  As much as 20% of companies are categorized in the wrong industry or missing from the industry they should be in. This means the very foundation of your go to market or Account Based Marketing strategy may be based on a faulty premise/data. You could be selling to as much as 30x the customers you currently sell to.

Are you really increasing sales by increasing the number of contacts in your CRM?

Research from SHiFT Selling ( shows that 90% of the sales calls your sales people make are to contacts who are in status quo mode (I’m not calling them buyers on purpose because they aren’t at that time). They simply don’t have any latent or implicit needs. Another 5% have already adopted a solution to address their needs. That means 95% of the calls your salespeople are making are a total waste of their, your and your potential customers time. Any other profession simply wouldn’t tolerate such inefficiency. So buying contact data – email lists and telephone numbers for your people to call through really isn’t a smart investment. It’s the modern version of calling through the telephone catalog and hoping to get lucky. It’s outdated sales thinking and it’s a sales leadership mindset issue at its core. Please don’t be this sales leader. You don’t need to be with the sales resources available to you today.

Is your data set out of date?

With the speed of business today, traditional data gathering methods simply can’t keep up. Asking human beings to manually gather, sort and refine large volumes of data doesn’t scale and is costly. Data gathered is out of date very quickly and a perennial problem for all contact data providers.

Here are some thoughts on how to grow your business. Ask your current vendor:  Can they do this for you?

  1. Ask your current vendor if they can help you uncover customers, partners and competition that you’re not aware of and help you nail down exactly the size of your total addressable market without using out of date industry classification codes? For example: can they help you search and find all the companies in specific niches that you sell into – e.g. granite fabricators, heat pump manufacturers/resellers, green tech, CRM, wind turbine companies, vapor recovery, CLOUD VARs…whatever your customer niche happens to be?
  2. Ask your vendor if they can provide more than just contact data – role, email and telephone. I used to believe the adage that “companies don’t buy, people do.” BUT, even the right person at the wrong time, means no sale for you. You can make a profound difference to your sellers’ success and by implication your own – get your salespeople to focus on opportunities not contacts. The research shows that leveraging sales trigger events has an 8x probability of generating a sale vs. an outreach without a trigger (even the greatest insight, delivered at the wrong time, won’t get attention). That’s because sales triggers flag when your prospect is about to enter THEIR buy cycle. If you have implemented an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy and are contacting your prospects based on YOUR sales cycle and not THEIR buy cycle – you’re actually not doing anything different than random calling, albeit to a specified list of targets
  3. Ask your vendor how they keep their data up to date. Unless your vendor is a niche specialist and you happen to sell to the contacts they gather, it’s unlikely that they will be able to provide you with the volume of companies, contacts and opportunities you will need to keep your funnel full.

Do something different to get better results.

The challenges you face to grow your business are real. The number of obstacles in your way are many. Why wait until the sales quarter is over to take action? AI growth engines help you manage and grow your top line. Adopting a new approach is far easier than missing your number.  Be fearless.

Do you know where your next sales opportunity is coming from?

Companybook does.

Please feel free to share your experiences in selling whether they are similar or they may differ in your case.

Companybook is the world’s first AI Growth Engine that increases the number of high probability opportunities for sales to pursue. Our approach eliminates known issues associated with today’s technologies that are unable to identify opportunities in niche and emerging markets due to reliance on broad, inaccurate and often out of date standard classification codes. Companybook’s AI Growth Engine gathers and organizes both structured and unstructured web data; thereby providing a complete solution that identifies your ‘true’ addressable target market. With our Smart Search and Smart Match patent pending algorithms, Companybook identifies quality opportunities that make your sales team fearless.

Visit us at or call 844.811.BOOK

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Matt Conway

CEO & Principle at Matthew Conway
If you're a CEO or Sales Leader reading this and you want to fill your pipeline with quality opportunities, win more deals and reduce sales cycles by as much as 6x, then perhaps it's time for a chat?

If you want to learn more, feel free to email me at or call me on +1 647-402-2096.
Matt Conway
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