Account Based Intelligence Drives Account Based Marketing Success

May 3, 2016 5:31:29 AM | By Matt Benati

Last week, we talked about the role of Account Based Intelligence (ABI) within an Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy. Using ABI, you can identify your ideal target accounts, pinpoint key decision makers and influencers, and enhance and maintain your database.

Now let’s take a closer look at how ABI improves prospecting within accounts and allows you to sell into existing accounts, boost account penetration, and further segment and personalize messaging.

First, Have You Flipped Your Funnel?

The traditional marketing funnel aims to collect as many leads (qualified or not) as possible. These bulk leads are funneled through a series of generic messages with the hope of identifying a single prospect within an account to nurture and ultimately convert into a paying customer.

Founder of FlipMyFunnel and CMO and Co-Founder of Terminus, Sangram Vajre, suggests literally flipping this funnel on its head, starting instead with identifying target accounts that truly meet your ICP, and expanding within those accounts to identify influencers. Once identified, you can engage with those contacts through highly targeted messaging, ultimately creating brand awareness throughout the organization so that when it’s time to make a buying decision, you have advocates in multiple departments.

Where many businesses get stuck in the funnel is expansion. Whether you identify target accounts on your own, or you draw people into your funnel via inbound marketing strategies; once there, how do you expand within those accounts to identify the key decision makers and influencers you need in your corner?

The solution lies in utilizing Account Based Intelligence, and it is the key to prospecting and expanding within your accounts. Let’s take a look at some specific ways ABI boosts your prospecting efforts:

Selling Into Existing Accounts

Talking smartly to current prospects: According to CSO Insights, 42% of salespeople don’t feel like they have the right information before calling prospects. Selling into existing accounts requires sales reps to have a pulse on the organization: what they need, what their pain points are, what long-term goals and strategies they’re working on. Often called “outside-in” thinking, it’s what allows a salesperson to say something relevant, versus shooting off a generic marketing message. Using ABI to track, enhance and maintain changes within your accounts allows you to find these relevant nuggets and craft highly personalized messages to prospects.

Obtaining new prospects through referrals: If Sally in department A is already using your solution and you’ve discovered Betty in department B would benefit from it as well, Sally can be your advocate and talk to Betty. Without using ABI to penetrate target accounts and uncover new prospects, you may not have connected Sally and Betty, and could have missed an opportunity to grow your reach.

Turning hard bounce emails into opportunities: When a contact leaves the company, you’ll eventually get a hard bounce on one of your prospecting messages. Typically thought of as a negative, Craig Elias, creator of Trigger Event Selling, says hard bounces are actually opportunities to expand your reach within an account and potentially add new contacts. By doing a little research on where your contact relocated and who is replacing them, you gain new information and turn a negative into a positive. Elias says this method adds 3 new leads for every hard bounce.

Boosting Account Penetration

The concept is simple, but powerful: the deeper you go within an account, the more new and enhanced data you will uncover. This results in more net new leads and more detailed information about existing leads — allowing you to map out key players and influencers within an organization.

According to recent CEB surveys, on average 5.4 people have to formally sign off on purchases. Complicating the process, these contacts are often spread across multiple departments and geographic locations. It’s not uncommon for companies to require sign-off from the chief financial officer, chief operating officer, VP of marketing or even legal counsel before making large purchases. ABI allows sales teams to expand and maintain their databases in order to identify decision makers and engage them with personalized messaging.

Segmentation & Personalized Messaging

According to Aberdeen Group, it takes an average of 10 marketing ‘touches’ to nurture a lead into a customer. Their research also indicates that personalized messaging has a positive impact on sales.

This doesn’t mean simply referring to your lead by name; it means crafting a personalized message that is relevant to them in the moment.

While using each prospect’s name is recommended, you can further personalize messaging based on position by providing a solution to a need, inviting potential users to a webinar, or hosting an executive dinner when you’re in an account’s region.

How do you know who gets what message within an account? This is where the importance of segmentation comes into play. The deeper you penetrate an account and the more messages you send, the more feedback you get about new and existing leads, allowing you to group them by influence level, such as by users, buyers, decision-makers, and executives.

ABM is about aligning sales and marketing around target accounts that are the highest valued and matter most. Once you define those accounts, Account Based Intelligence is how you take your ABM strategies to the next level and turn leads into prospects, advocates for your brand, and ultimately into customers.

To find out how LeadGnome can help you gather more Account Based Intelligence and boost your prospecting, sign up for a FREE trial (no credit card required).

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