Original Source: Sales Hacker
Selling has changed more in the last 10 years than it has in the previous 100 years, and this is especially true in B2B markets.
We hear the below terminology and acronyms often when working with Accounts
- Account-Based Everything (ABE),
- some people know it as Account-Based Sales Development (ABSD),
- and others call it Account-Based Marketing (ABM).
Regardless of what you call it, it all starts with selecting the right accounts, and that requires an account targeting strategy based on good data. We’re going to look at what data you need to develop an account targeting strategy and where to get that data.
- The foundation of an account-based sales program
- 3 types of data you’ll need for account-based sales
- How to choose the right data vendor
The Foundation of an Account-Based Everything Program
ABE is more than just a marketing campaign or a sales process — it’s a mindset.
Account-Based Everything is a strategic, go-to-market approach that orchestrates personal-marketing, sales, success efforts to drive engagement, and conversions at named accounts.
Account-based models focus on a few specific accounts, so you need to invest substantial time and energy to select the right ones.
In other words, account selection is the foundation of any account-based program.
Jon Miller, co-founder of Engagio, states:
The goal of the account selection process is to optimize your sales and marketing resources — time, headcount, and budget — by focusing on the accounts most likely to drive big revenue.
In the past, managers would give their SDRs free rein to prospect whomever they wanted. The smarter managers would write down a list of target accounts they hand-picked based on gut-feel or, at best, data collected in their CRM.
Today, technology enables us to become laser-focused on who we should target. It’s worth repeating — your entire Account-Based program hinges on the account selection process.
The Three Types of Data Required
To select the right accounts, you need the right data.
There are three types of data inputs you should take into account when building your account targeting strategy:
- Firmographic data
- Technographic data
- Behaviour data.
These three types of data allow you to analyse your target accounts and more accurately predict success.
Firmographics (Company Profile Data)
Just as demographics are characteristics of people, firmographics are characteristics of organizations. Firmographics look at the characteristics of a company that correlate with a higher close rate. Some common company profile data includes:
- Organization size
- Industry, market, and vertical
- Projected financials
- Growth trends
- Number of locations
- Market share or industry position
Technographics (Technology Stack Data)
Technographic data looks at what technology a given organization uses and interacts with. This form of data is highly relevant in today’s high-tech environment. If you know what technologies power an organization, you can acquire valuable knowledge on how that organization functions, and even what they might need in the future. Technographic data includes:
- Technologies the target company uses on a regular basis
- Technologies used by their competitors
- Technologies used by complementary product or services
- Technologies that signal status (e.g., a startup won’t be using Netsuite)
Buyer Behaviour (Behavioural Data)
Buyer behaviour data can get a little tricky, but it can also lead to very valuable insights. Behavioural data is less concrete, and therefore takes more thought and creativity to find. It can range from intent and engagement data to trigger events.
Behavioural data also includes:
- Activity metrics and Interaction with your content (eBooks, webinars, whitepapers, etc.)
- Job postings
- News regarding the company as a whole – company updates (e.g., a round of funding, welcoming a new executive, acquisitions)
How to Choose the Right Data Vendors for ABSD
It’s possible to gather all the above-data yourself, but that takes valuable time away from developing the rest of your account targeting strategy. There are plenty of companies and vendors that deliver the data points listed above. The bad news is that it’s hard to tell the good vendors from the bad until it’s too late.
Every vendor has strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to take the time to select the right one for you, your company, and your industry.
Follow these 6 steps to find the vendors that can provide you with the right information on target accounts.
It’s important to remember that an increase in data doesn’t always lead to an increase in insights. You still have to sit down with your team and make sense of the data.
Developing an effective account targeting strategy is just the start when it comes to building your overall ABSD program, but without a good foundation of data, your account-based program won’t survive.
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