By Paul Gibson, Demandbase
Just when we thought we were in the clear following Covid-19 disruptions, the recession monster is now rearing its head. Economic pressures are causing companies in every industry to cut back: Workers are being laid off, budget and resources squeezed and return on investment (ROI) is the name of the prevailing game.
Marketing is almost always one of the first victims of cost containment measures, but it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Account-based marketing (ABM) technology offers a cost-saving solution in the form of intelligence you can exploit to ensure your company emerges from the upcoming downturn unscathed.
The Low-Down On Account Intelligence
Account intelligence is the amalgamation, analysis and processing of B2B first- and third-party data, which is then transformed into actionable insights by applying artificial intelligence (AI). Account intelligence allows companies to eliminate data siloes and capitalize on clean, robust information by delivering details of targets’ intentions, the products and services they are interested in and when they’re likely ready to buy.
The resulting information empowers your marketing and sales team to understand prospective customers’ needs and pain points and create stronger, more targeted ABM pitches that increase conversion rates.
Why You Need It
It might seem odd that spending money on technology can cut costs, but it’s true. Imagine that every ad impression, marketing campaign and sales engagement is focused only on those well-fitting accounts that your business can close on. How well does that turn out?
The short answer is that it doesn’t.
Companies spend a big chunk of their media budget blindly, without knowing who sees their ads or where they appear. Even worse, they depend on anonymous click-through rates (with zero insights on who is clicking) and impressions delivered (with no idea to whom or where) as the only success metrics. Incredibly, this still happens in B2B environments. It’s fine as a B2C tactic, where companies can cast an addressable market net to cover almost anyone. However, it makes no sense in B2B, where the pool of in-market accounts is already much smaller.
From a sales perspective, the best companies can hope for with a blind approach is sifting through a pipeline filled with poorly fit opportunities that are unlikely to close. This kills the much-desired alignment between sales and marketing. Even worse, it results in sales teams wasting their time focused on the wrong opportunities, with nothing to show for it at the end of the quarter but a missed quota.
Suppose you can’t determine whether your advertising is showing up in front of your target accounts and you’re unable to report on the influence you’re having. How can you align sales to the effectiveness of your activity? Even more notably, how can you get buy-in from the CFO/CEO to continue throwing money around aimlessly, effectively wasting much of that budget?
By using technology to generate account intelligence, organizations can massively reduce the budget, time and resources needed to achieve their sales goals. This enables sales to maximize their precious resources with 100% effectiveness. From a business perspective, it results in a stronger, more relevant pipeline that consistently delivers accelerated sales cycles, higher average order values and improved close rates.
Benefits Of Beating Account Blindness
Beat blind selling with comprehensive ABM campaigns and planned sales outreach activities. The top nine benefits of account intelligence include:
- Identification of ideal customer profile characteristics, which you can then apply to find more accounts fitting the same criteria;
- Creating compelling, personalized marketing experiences to engage prospects at critical touch points during the buyer’s journey;
- Tailoring all communications with personalized ads and customized outreach options;
- Knowing exactly when to engage with prospective accounts based on industry developments and other recorded activities;
- Reclaiming time spent on cold prospecting tactics and minimizing lost opportunities;
- Heading off competitive approaches with alerts and insights on where an in-market account is looking for solutions;
- Unifying sales and marketing teams by providing a single view of each account, the issues that are important to them and where they are in the buying process;
- Aligning channel strategies to avoid overwhelming prospects with irrelevant marketing messages; and
- Reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.
Companies can cultivate prospects and existing customers at multiple touchpoints, move them through the buyer’s journey frictionlessly and offer value at every stage.
Generating ROI: Economic Downturn Edition
With account intelligence, your company can turn cold calls into warm introductions. Although saving time and money while delivering better results should be a best practice for everyone in B2B, it’s critical to succeed in today’s business climate. You can make this scenario a reality by implementing account intelligence technology to help focus on marketing to the right prospects. It really is as simple as account-based experiences.
Paul Gibson is VP, EMEA for Demandbase, a go-to-market company.