An Interview with Ian Moyse, Sales Expert | Punch!

An Interview with Ian Moyse, Sales Expert

Recently, I was able to pick the brains of inside sales expert, Ian Moyse. He was awarded Sales Director of the year 2015 by the Institute of Sales & Marketing, is rated #1 Social Influencer on Cloud by Onalytica in 2015 and 2016 and is listed on a growing number of sales and social sales expert lists. He sits on the boards of Eurocloud, Cloud Industry Forum and FAST.

Ian was able to share his thoughts on inside sales, sales development and social selling, here’s what he had to say.

Chris: Why has the sales development role become so important in the modern sales process?

Ian Moyse: Sales engagement cycles are often far longer now and a customer has typically done 50-70% (depending whose stats you use and believe) of their research before engaging with a salesperson in any form.

It’s rare now that you speak or meet with someone looking for your solution or service type and they have not already gleaned a ton of information, opinion and contacts prior.

Therefore, engaging with a prospective client at the right time and making sure you are at that buying table is essential. This historically was left in the hands of marketing to market to and nurture prospects.

In today’s world, a combination of outbound & inbound marketing needs to be combined with sales nurturing.

Chris: What tips would you give to companies who feel their sales and marketing functions aren’t aligned as well as they should be?

Ian Moyse: It starts with the leadership. The heads of both departments need to be aligned in their goals and KPIs, as often this is where the conflict stems from.

If you have a marketing department who are judged on the number of leads generated for example, then they will focus on doing that. Sales then gets pressure from marketing to follow up everything, to allow marketing to tick the relevant KPI boxes.

Will Sales consider these all to be leads though? For example, a student writing a thesis may download a whitepaper to help with their research and use a University email address, this doesn’t mean the university is now a lead.

I often download content not because I have a particular ‘project’, but because I want to stay informed. I’m often then treated as a ‘warm lead’ simply by virtue of being a sales director.

Listen to your customers, prospects, the market and what your sales people are telling you, do not get stuck in the ‘we’ve always done it that way’ approach.

Put yourself in the shoes of the customer, when you are approached, perhaps called at home unexpectedly, do you welcome the call cold, do you engage, do you even pickup when you see it’s not a number you recognise, or do you as your prospects do, filter, block and avoid?

Chris: How would you respond to people who argue that these days you only need inbound marketing?

Ian Moyse: Marketing, advertising and traditional campaign methods are not increasing in success, far from it.

Today’s buyers are far smarter than ever before, they have more information at their fingertips and can gain peer influence easily through social networks and influencer networks.

I always ask my salespeople what they would do if they were to get no inbound leads and still had to hit their targets. If you have a sales development plan to feed your pipeline and view inbound leads as bonuses, you cannot go far wrong.

Relying on inbound leads alone is a dangerous game. What happens when the flow of leads slows down and your sales team has no strategy to get more?

Leaving the destiny and outcome of sales to marketing is a risky strategy I would suggest. Sales leaders need a cohesive strategy to drive sales ownership of delivery supplemented by marketing efforts.

Chris: What would be the first steps you would recommend to a business looking to transition away from the legacy cold approach?

Ian Moyse: Recognise that sales and marketing now need to use a wider variety of approaches in parallel to engage with prospective clients and that some ‘change’ will be necessary. Often there’s a resistance to change, people focus purely on the number of calls being made and on applying old approaches to new customer engagement methods.

Support the change from a leadership position and be willing to explore new ideas and approaches. Nothing dared, nothing gained.

For example, social selling is often feared and misunderstood and many sweep it aside, dismissing it as “a marketing thing” or “whimsical and not real selling”. Social selling does not replace normal sales methods, it enhances them, it’s another tool in the toolbox of selling approaches. It also falls firmly within the realms of sales people and isn’t simply a marketing owned initiative.

Ensure your leadership is trained in and understands new methods and is supportive of integrating them into the business. I have seen people in leadership positions push their sales teams to continue with legacy approaches in the social world, driving negative behaviours.

For example, a salesperson gets a contact at a target company to accept a LinkedIn connection invite and then their sales leadership push them to reach out and pitch or call them now! Do this too soon and the walls will go up again. Social selling requires a ‘softly, softly’ approach and can be used on multiple social platforms not just Linkedin.

If the business leadership don’t understand or appreciate new selling methods, then the business will not be successful in adopting them or attracting staff who are successful in the buyer-centric world we now live in.

Chris: What is the biggest mistake you see companies’ inside sales departments making?

Ian Moyse: Resting on their laurels, waiting for marketing to own the creation of leads and prospects and only relying on traditional methods of call rate KPIs. Outbound calling is only going to get harder. It’s cited that in 2007, it took an average of 3.68 calls to reach a prospect and today we’re at 8 attempts (source: Telenet and Ovation Sales Group).

When you factor in that 92% of buyers delete emails and voicemails from people they don’t know (Source: Social Centered Selling) you realise that the game has and will continue to change.  We all have less time, more intrusions on that time and are being approached and marketed to by more companies than ever before, so it’s no wonder people’s barriers are up.

Recognising that inside sales and sales in general must change and adapt is important. Management needs to listen to its inside sales teams and the challenges they face and find new tools and methods to differentiate to the customer why they should speak to us over the droves of calls and cold outreaches they get, all promising to deliver things better, faster, cheaper.  Customers are increasingly blasé, having heard it all before. How do you make your approach different and valuable enough to get their attention and time?

Chris: Where do you see the future of sales development and inside sales going?

Ian Moyse: We need to recognise that it’s a skilled profession and encourage our sales staff to see it as such. By registering for mailing lists like Top Sales World and following key sales educational accounts on twitter such as @SalesldMgmtAssn, @socialselling and @SellingPowerMag.

Also, encourage sales to take part in Associations such as the Institute of Sales & Marketing (ISMM) and Association of Professional Sales (APS) and support your sales people in awards such as the Women in Sales Awards.

Social selling is an area that helps warm up cold approaches and listening, sharing and engaging will start a conversation with the prospects that your competitors won’t reach. However, it is a long term approach, not a quick win, and needs to be run in parallel with other sales and marketing efforts.

You need to educate your sales people on how to socially sell, how to use tools like Linkedin and Twitter effectively, what other social tools you can use to make your selling smarter and the quirks of engaging using this approach.

I have engaged, met, and won new business using social selling over the past 3-4 years, where I would not have done using traditional methods, but this does NOT replace traditional good fundamental selling methodology.

I’d recommend reading ‘Social Selling: Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers’ by my friend Tim Hughes.


One-to-one, one-to-few, one-to-many, programmatic, lite…it’s understandable why account-based marketing can seem daunting at first! But regardless of the ABM terminology being used, the basic principles are the same. Putting more resources into fewer target accounts who are more likely to convert, and provide a greater ROI. Which kind of ABM approach you should adopt depends on a number of factors. In this blog you’ll find out what the 3 types of ABM are, and which is right for your business.

the three types of ABM

So you’ve decided that adopting an ABM strategy is right for your business and that’s definitely a wise choice.


It’s understandable that you might have some concerns, running an ABM programme requires a shift of mind-set. It takes sizeable marketing ‘balls’ to shift resources from more typical marketing strategies to account-based marketing.


But that’s exactly what organisations are doing – the number of companies with an advanced ABM programme doubled from 2017 to 2018. And why?


Simple – because in a recent study, 97% of marketers reported a higher ROI from ABM than other marketing campaigns. Any successful ABM campaign is one that balances these three measures –


  • The likelihood of a given target account buying
  • The resources required to acquire them as a customer
  • The potential ROI to your business if they convert

The differences between the 3 types of ABM are driven by a need to align these factors, so let’s look at exactly what each approach involves and what factors should inform your ABM strategy.

One-to-one ABM

The original and probably best known of the 3 types of ABM, and the approach you’re most likely already familiar with.

One-to-one ABM is a strategic approach that treats your most valuable target accounts as their own individual markets. This means engaging with each of them in a specific and bespoke way.


A typical one-to-one campaign would involve targeting 5-10 key target accounts, the ones whose business would make your year or even change the direction of your company.

The resources required to engage with each account in a one-to-one ABM campaign are significant. With that in mind, it’s vital that you have deep insight into how likely the target account is to buy. Intent data is a great way to choose your target accounts based on whether they’re starting a buying journey.


By focusing on 10 accounts that you know are likely to buy, you can allocate more resources to engaging with each, knowing that they are more likely to convert and provide you with a great ROI.

You should consider one-to-one ABM as your strategy of choice if –


  • You can research the accounts in detail and gather detailed insights on how likely they are to buy
  • Your products and solutions are high-value and high-consideration
  • You’re selling into a mature or even saturated market
  • Your opportunity to close rate is high
  • You have clear and genuine points of differentiation from your competitors
  • Each account has a large number of key stakeholders from whom you need buy-in
  • You have the resources available to create content bespoke to each account
  • You have the available people resources to engage and nurture each target account

One-to-few ABM

One-to-few ABM, or ABM Lite as it’s also known, is a way of using the one-to-one ABM principles and applying them at scale to a greater number of target accounts.

For example, you might be dedicating 40 days per month to your top 5 accounts in a one-to-one strategy.


If you then wanted to reach out to your top 30 accounts, you most likely wouldn’t be able to scale up the same approach unless you have 240 days worth of resources available to do this. So what’s the answer?


Your best strategy would be to focus on small groups of target accounts, rather than individual accounts. These groups can then be treated as their own individual markets, in the same way as individual accounts were with one-to-one ABM.


The most common way to organise accounts into groups of 5-10 is by sub-sector. If you’re targeting the retail sector, your sub-sectors might be fashion, groceries, DIY and homeware.

You can then build specific content that will resonate with that sub-sector, identifying trends and solving their challenges.

Consider one-to-few ABM as your strategy of choice if –


  • You have a small addressable market of target accounts
  • You’re selling high-value, high consideration solutions or products
  • You have to get buy-in from 3-4 key stakeholders at each account
  • You’re able to gather insights into the challenges facing each target sector
  • You have the resources available to create sector specific content
  • You have the available people resources to engage and nurture each target account
  • Your product or solution has clear points of differentiation from its competition

One-to-many ABM

One-to-many ABM takes the ABM approach and scales it so the principles can be applied to a larger number of target accounts.


How many? That’s up to you, as there are no hard and fast rules as to where one-to-few ends and where one-to-many begins.


Similarly, you might be wondering where to draw the line between one-to-many ABM and just ‘marketing’? Well you’re not alone, there’s not a clear agreement even among leading practitioners of ABM.


It depends on the lifetime value of those accounts to your business, the greater the value, the fewer you should go for.


The average number of accounts for a one-to many campaign according to the ITSMA sits at around 100. However you may choose to go for more than this and dedicate fewer resources to each, or use an approach closer to the one-to-few model, and dedicate more resources to engaging with each account.

You should consider one-to-many ABM as a strategy if –


  • You want to increase brand awareness whilst also creating engagement at key accounts
  • Your solution is new to market, or the market need educating on its potential
  • There is one or a couple of key stakeholders at each target account
  • You have the available people resources to engage and nurture each target account
  • Your pipeline to close rate is low and could be improved
  • You don’t have access to information on which accounts are starting a buying journey
  • You need some accounts to convert more quickly in order to see ROI sooner


In these times of uncertainty, making the most out of your marketing budget is more important than ever. In Account-Based Marketing you reduce the number of accounts you target significantly and then increase the amount of resources you spend on them. This makes the actual account selection process very important because you can’t afford for an account that receives significant resource to just fall by the wayside. So with that in mind, here a five tips for best practice account selection.

Have you thought about targeting different industries?

People are getting scared and more cautious about taking meetings and calls. So, who is engaging?


Some industries are booming at the moment such as:


  • Video conferencing technology
  • Project management tools
  • E-learning
  • Ecommerce
  • Gaming

With an influx in demand, they might just be looking for your solution. But for industries heavily effected, you need to rethink your GTM strategy to be as humane as possible; if your solution is something that would be deemed essential to these businesses – keep helping. If it’s more of a luxury, consider targeting different industries where an influx of demand means they might be on the lookout for your solution.

Sales and Marketing, Name a Better Duo

We always talk about the importance of sales and marketing alignment, but it comes into play with regards to account selection as well. A common mistake is allowing one department to select all of the target accounts for a campaign.


If the sales team are solely responsible then you run the risk of them giving you all of the ‘problem’ accounts that they have yet to achieve any traction with. As Jamie Hardin, Senior Marketing Manager of ON24 explains “ABM should be viewed as augmenting the current strategy, not a ‘Hail Mary’ initiative on an inactive account.” Similarly, it would be foolish for marketing to be solely responsible without using the information that sales already have on the accounts that they’ve been engaging with.

This could be information on which accounts are reaching a contract renewal date, previous positive conversations with the clients, or even contacts that could have used your services in a previous role at another company.

By combining the information marketing has alongside insights from sales, your account selection can lay the foundation for a successful campaign.

Are you intent on this?

Utilising intent data is the best way to select accounts. This helps you understand which companies are in a buying window based on the websites they’re visiting and the content they’re consuming. However, platforms such as Bombora and Nexus aren’t at everyone’s disposal, which is why a combination of the above tactics gives the next best chance of selecting accounts that are most likely to convert.


Account selection is perhaps the biggest factor in the success of an Account-Based Marketing campaign. Good accounts, that fit your ICP and are showing intent are bound to be successful, whereas accounts that aren’t selected on insight and reasoning are likely to fail. There’s never a sure fire way to pick accounts that are destined to convert, but by following these tips you’ll have a solid foundation for your ABM programme.

Do it early!

One of the most consistent mistakes we come across with account selection is doing it too late in the ABM journey. After first defining your ideal customer profile or ICP (link to other blog) and selecting your sector, you should be looking to choose your accounts. Prioritising selection early on in the process will give you ample time to gather insight into them, allowing you to really personalise your message that will resonate with the target DMU.

Make Sure They Fit Your ICP

Using an ICP to frame your account selection ensures that your target accounts are most likely to be a good fit for your business. It also ensures that you don’t fall for those ‘dream’ accounts that you may have put on the list because you want the logo on your website, or you’ve always dreamed of working with. If they aren’t right for the programme, you shouldn’t be targeting them. It’s not about if you want them, as much as it’s about if they want you.

So, you’re thinking about adopting Account-Based Marketing…

Fantastic! But there are three different types of ABM; one-to-many, one-to-few, and one-to-one. So, which one is right for you? Luckily, we have a handy little calculator that will tell you exactly that.