Account Based Marketing vs. Account Based Selling: Defined

By Danni White - Last Updated on January 6, 2020
Account-Based Marketing

To stay ahead in the marketing world and generate the best revenue for your business, it is essential that marketers understand the difference between account-based marketing (ABM) and account-based selling (ABS). These two teams use different strategies and approaches to reach their end goal that can collaborate to a successful benefit or sometimes can conflict based upon the methods. While they may have different goals for focus, operations, communication, and targets, they can collaborate for success and overall revenue.

Top differences between ABM and ABS

Below are five differences between ABM and ABS that marketers should be made aware.

Central Focus

One of the main differences between account-based marketing and account-based selling is the focal point that their goals are set from. While both are essentially concerned with revenue, the ABS team takes revenue to be their sole focal point, operating solely around that focus. For ABM, they grasp at leads that generate from the details and focus more on that aspect. It is important to ensure that both teams properly communicate and follow the leads in order to meet the shared goal of revenue.

Essential Operations

Because the ABM team is centralized around leads, they work operationally on the details manifested through data, working to manipulate this information to solidify these leads and gather information around potential audiences and clients, working to move them to the current client position. For ABS, their goals are to communicate and work with satisfying existing clients, reinforcing the revenue.

Comparing Targets

Both the ABM and ABS teams can work compatibly towards targets. With the same goals and audience data, they have the ability to market and sell for the same target. With the same targets, it is essential to maintain thorough communication and not leave the client lacking services. Although the ABM team may be generating a lead to the target, the ABS team should maintain the standard communication processes like follow-up messaging and ensure that they are not receiving standard messages as though they are being reached for the first time. This could negatively impact their perception of the ABS team.

Comparing Communication

The ABM team spends their time reaching out to potential targets and past targets to bring them into the B2B. Their communication is often reflective of how the company can assist them, highlighting features that Once they are in as a solidified client, the ABS team is responsible for ensuring that existing clients do not receive new welcome emails when they received it and have an active account. Essentially, ABS communication is featured more as maintenance of the clients’ communication, checking in on their needs, and seeing what these clients may need for future services.

Working Together for the Big Ones

The ABM team will review target accounts and their services, determining what their current revenue is, and how beneficial your company can be to them for their own operation. Once the ABM team works on a large target that will generate an impacting revenue number, it is critical that the two teams together work to communicate with these potential clients until they are moved to active client status. It is essential for the ABM team to promote through ad targeting and web personification, allowing the ABS team to generate the necessary email communication and other social media channels in the attempt to move the target to a client.

Both teams within a B2B are essential for the revenue generation. While some of their operations and goals are similar, it is essential that they are not preventing the other from completing their operations and work cohesively for the overall revenue. While one team is looking at the overall audience and target potential, another team is making the more personable approach and really working on the new clients and past clients that can still generate revenue. Knowing these differences can give your marketing team the ability to strategize and maximize your company success.

Danni White | Danni White is the Director of Content Strategy and Development at Bython Media and the Editor-In-Chief at, a top B2B digital destination for C-Level executives, technologists, and marketers. Bython Media is also the parent company of,, List.Events, and

Danni White | Danni White is the Director of Content Strategy and Development at Bython Media and the Editor-In-Chief at, a top B2B digital destin...

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