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Focusing on the ABMs versus the ABCs of Sales & Why It Matters

Focusing on the ABMs versus the ABCs of Sales & Why It Matters

When it comes to the ABMs (always be marketing) and ABCs of sales (always be closing), we see many different angles on this thought. Like most things in business, there are different approaches to sales. What works best for one company won’t always be the same for the next.

But there are also some universal truths no matter what kind of business you own: As business owners or sales professionals, we all have to generate sales and revenue.

The ABCs of Sales: Always Be Closing

Many companies have instilled the culture to always be closing. They focus on the ABCs of sales above all else. They sometimes push and prod until we agree or get annoyed–we can all think of a time we’ve been on the receiving of this, can’t we?

But many leading companies seem to have a strategic ability to create awareness of the benefits of their products and services and get us excited about wanting the product or service.

Focusing on the ABMs versus the ABCs of Sales & Why It Matters

The ABMs of Sales: Always Be Marketing

To me, this is (ABM), or “always be marketing.” And it’s something that can set a good business apart from a great business.

Apple, for example, does this very well. They create products that make us want to buy. When you go to an Apple store, you are likely going with the intent to purchase something. When you arrive, all team members are there to help you and answer any questions you have about a particular product.

This is not always the case with many businesses or sales professionals. Yes, I agree that not all companies are in the same position as Apple. But even Apple had to start somewhere! (Read about their incredible business history here if you haven’t yet!) People had to believe in the product and trust that it would fill a need.

Focusing on the ABMs versus the ABCs of Sales & Why It Matters

Understanding your customer vs. seeking to understand your customer

I can think back 10-15 years ago, going through many sales training programs. How to close a sale was critical, and lots of focus was given in that area of the sales process.

My philosophy on this has changed a lot over the years.

In our own business, and when we support sales teams through sales coaching or training, it is more about “seeking to understand” what the customer wants and needs and asking questions to gain more clarity.

It’s about building relationships and trust before earning the right to “close a sale.” There’s a place for the ABCs of sales, but not if the ABMs of sales don’t come first.

As I see it, the more you focus on the customer and less on you needing to close a sale, the more likely it is that you will gain the customer’s business. It’s not always fast, but it is effective!

(For more on creating a unique and unified sales and customer service approach, check out this post next)

Ask yourself:

  • What is their pain?
  • What do they want?
  • And what do they really need?

Or even better, ask THEM.

If you can address those areas, you may gain a new customer. “ABM” is a constant. The ABCs of sales might work for some. But we must also “always be marketing” and create awareness of what we do, how we do it, and ideally, why we do what we do.

The right customers will respond to this approach more times than not.

We offer training specifically for sales growth for all kinds of teams. If that sounds like the help you’re looking for, we should talk. Click here to learn more.

Did you like reading about the ABCs of sales? Here are three posts to dive into next:

Now is the Time to Deliver Remarkable Service
Does Your Team Know How to Team?
Sales Pipeline – Is It Half Full or Half Empty?

This post was first published in 2019. It was updated in 2021 just for you.

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