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Imperative # 5 - Buyer Based Selling - Not ABM
What is Outbound .Digital?

of a Sales Person's time is not spent selling.

Harvard Business Review

Why being Buyer Based is the future

The term “account-based marketing” (ABM) has been around for over a decade.  ABM is the latest buzz word being used by marketing types, all purporting to promote the newest silver bullet to obtaining new logo's.

In fact, ABM has reached an all-time high in attention of marketing and sales professionals and, for those not familiar, account-based marketing refers to B2B marketing strategies that target their efforts across the entire landscape of an account in the hopes of a more controlled "spray and pray".  

"Spray" because in essence that is what is happening to prospective buyer.  "Pray" because the sales person will pray they connect with key persona's and have a substantial conversation as a results of his/her company's communiques.  The word is substance.

Pesonalization and why Buyer Based Selling is the future.

With this ever increasing interest in ABM, the core objective is to formulize targeted and personalized marketing. Those of us who have had an Amazon  "experience", understand how the Behemoth has mastered the art of personalization down to its science.

In the consumer world of B2C, this is referred to as one-to-one or people-based marketing.  In B2B, targeting and personalization is often done at the account level and limits the opportunity to "connect" with substance.

While ABM empowers B2B marketers to take a more data-driven, customer-centric approach, the results are failing to deliver marked improvements.  Why? BEcause of teh lack of human connection.

In our research for The Age of The Buyer™, our 40 years of marketing experiences, professional sales training, and digital programming as well as exposure to the very like Xerox who invented B2B sales and today's Oracle's of the world who are reinventing B2B sales, our observations point to the need for Buyer Based Selling.

Buyer Based Selling Begins with Hiring the Right Talent

Most sales hiring practices continue to rely on finding someone with previous industry experience.  In the Age of the Buyer, it requires a new formula using assessment instruments that can predict with a high degree of proven accuracy, the competencies and behaviors of selected candidates alignment to the role.

According to U.K. based Sales Assessment International,  there are more than 20+ different descriptions of sales reps whose unique responsibilities must align to the buyer/audience.  Thus the need to carefully hire the exact talent with individuals who understand buyer psychology, possess industry specific business acumen and critical thinking skills to speak the language of the buyer. 

Sales roles are broken down into five groupings; Sales Leadership; Sales Management; Field Sales; Inside Sales and Sales Support Roles.  No longer should management rely on conducting a generic "opinion based" assessment of an individual or use their "gut" instincts to qualify a candidate based on usually unstructured interview.  Today's CXO's in order to compete and win new logo's need to arm themselves with quantified data that focus on these sales attributes;

  • Armed with insight based selling strategies, you develop and initiate appropriate sales talent strategies to drive revenue, sales and business performance – creating a genuine competitive advantage.
  • Industry specific business acumen is no longer optional in the Age of the Buyer. Sales resources need a deep understanding of the buyers' business environment, the audiences of the prospect and know how to align their offerings to the exact buyers addressable needs.
  • Selling today has become more sophisticated as buyers seek to engage with sales sources further down the decision process in the "sales life cycle".  This requires talent that can quickly amass buyer insight and buying data and convert it into the required business advantage that maps exactly to buyer's expectations.
  • This new sophistication in hiring means management must not hire in their own image, but obtain the sales persona's that match those of the intended buyers as well as the buyer's persona. That requires the use of  insights based thinking we provide at



Sales management must understand the behaviors and traits that focus on human characteristics that include:
Sales Effectiveness
of a Sales Person's time is not spent selling.

Harvard Business Review

Talent Acquistion

  • Motivation

Selling Insight Engineering

  • Industry knowledge

Sales Enablement

  • Enterprise Buyer Intelligence

Buyer Empowerment Portal

Visualization + Performance


Territory Design

  • Firmographics

Channel Strategy 

  •  Being able leverage the buyers' trusted partners

E+M Training and Coaching

  • Every sals person needs constant attention and there is no such thing as a lone wolf for your business should operate as a wolf pack.

Compensation + Incentives

Incentives, rewards and trips may ignite your sales but it wont address pipeline and quotat acheivement. While you may think it does, it a distraction and more self serving.


Outbound Advisor | Larry Rudolf

Larry Rudolf  | Larry is the co-founder of (RPM), a business strategy firm to the Technology Sector. He was formerly the Vice President of Marketing and Global Investor Relations for Hummingbird being the catalytic force on their 14 years rise to a high of $350m before being acquired by OpenText. His insight, approach and understanding of the marketing and sales of technology products and services today can be found in many in of our clients across North America and Europe.

Larry provides guidance and advisory services to many global information technology firms assisting several large vendors secure multi-year $10m+ million dollar contracts. More notable was the award of a $200m+ contract for one of RPM's offshore partner clients. He is an avid tennis player, Liverpool soccer pendant and as a musician himself, a devoted follower of the Beatles since their origins in his homeland of London, UK.

He is a graduate of York University, certified soccer coach and tennis instructor.

Current projects include business development strategy for Hitachi Consulting, the 7th Largest Information Technology firm, as well as projects with QA Consultants, North America's largest Independent Quality Assurance firm and Shore Consulting Group, Canada's largest independent IT solutions provider to the Canadian Public Sector. 

Larry is the fomer Vice President of Marketing and Global Investor Relations for Hummingbird (OpenText).


In the Age of the Buyer, sales owns the last mile of the transaction.  That takes a very different profile of sales person to accomplish well. Making them effective is what you must do to engineer revenue growth.
Buyer Empowerment Portal


Your sales people are the representatives of your organization.  They are the initial point of contact once a buyer is ready to engage with a human contact.  Buyers are sophisticated and may already be  70% through the buyer process. They have however,  not yet crossed the "Chasm of Trust" with your brand.  The job of sales is to earn he right to be the custodian of enabling the buyer to cross the chasm with confidence in their decision to do so.  

An unknown fact is that buyers often judge the company based on the relationship they have with your sales personnel.  Therefore achieving exponential growth may be at risk if your salespeople do not fully understand the stage of the buyers' interest.  An ineffective salesperson may not fully understand the buyers needs or may misjudge the buyers appetite to engage thereby placing the opportunity at risk the conversion to purchase.

  • To avoid such scenarios, and increase the level of trust, the 'Empowerment Portal' integrates with your CRM providing up to the minute timely and often exclusive insight into the buyer's digital activities.  This may include notification when a visitor has download a white paper or recently visited your website and poked around.
  • A Buyer Empowerment Portal replaces the traditional sales playbooks and serves as the custodian of buyer interactions, their current state of readiness to act and provides sales with insight that enables the seller to conduct a higher quality engagement that accelerates their "crossing the chasm of trust."

What is the mindset of your prospective buyer when they contact your customer service or sales resource?  What stage of the buying process are they at?  Are in the early stages looking for information that is relevant to their needs?  Does your sales point of contact have the knowledge of the buyer state of readiness or are they required to ask them 20 questions.

  • What does your buyer believe is what they need?
  • What if you could accelerate the conversation in your favour such that the buyer align exactly to the capabilities you provide? 
  • What "social proof is needed to demonstrate to the buyer they are making the best decision in you favour?

By installing a Buyer Empowerment Portal you accomplish three things.  a better human engagement experience for the buyer, a better enablement experience from the seller and the ability to empower both parties such that they are synchronized on the outcomes that is mutually beneficial.




  • Given the fact that buyers are sophisticated consumers of information, they  have access to the answers to their questions at their fingertips. So what is the role of sales and what insight must they provide to be relevant?


  • Sales resources be channel direct or indirect must be armed with industry acumen, advanced knowledge of the buyers digital journey and know what high value to ask when a human interaction replaces the digital.  Organizations must create content, collaboration and communities to curate knowledge.  


  • Sales productivity is the greatest challenge facing every organization. Often, sales resources confuse productivity with activity which results in significantly lower ROI.


  • To grow and outperform competition requires continuous investment in sales as an investment  portfolio where coaching, training and performance based KPI's are treated like assets

TODAY | Act as if there is no tomorrow because the landscape of the buyer continues to evolve and what got you here won't take you there.

Invest in  Today

INSIGHTS.SERIES | Learn why Xerox has split their hardware and service business into two separate companies because of sales enablement challenges.

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