As B2B businesses grow and evolve, the data in their CRM systems oftentimes does not age like fine wine. Research from Demand Gen Report shows that more than half (51%) of B2B companies said their data acquisition strategy needs significant improvement, and 83% said that old and outdated data is their biggest challenge.
Progressive companies are combatting these data issues by reaching across the aisle to other departments to better understand ideal customers — as well as the data they need to market to them.
TimeTrade, for example, created a cross-functional team between marketing, sales and business development reps (BDRs) to understand where the company was successful. The team came up with their ideal customer profile (ICP) and various personas, as well as made the decision to ignore the millions of data points in its CRM to identify prospective accounts and key stakeholders through ZoomInfo, a market intelligence solution provider.
With a mix of email touches, direct mail and BDR follow-up, the company saw 25% of the accounts targeted convert into opportunities — accumulating $6 million in pipeline. The company also saw a roughly 2.5X increase in its average contract value in the accounts it closed compared to past deals.
“For us, moving to ABM was really about focus,” said Lauren Mead, CMO of TimeTrade. “From a marketing perspective, before we decided to adopt this approach, I wouldn’t say that marketing and sales were aligned on exactly who we were going after. Marketing was taking a haphazard approach in terms of acquiring data and what companies we were sending [messaging] to. And sales reps weren’t loving the leads because they wanted to go after different companies. From a focus perspective, as a team, we really weren’t aligned internally and cross-functionally.”
TimeTrade proceeded to create a cross-functional team that was comprised of the BDR team, members of the sales team, members of the marketing team, members of the leadership team and members of the services team.
The company partnered with ZoomInfo two years ago, strictly onboarding it with just the BDR and sales teams to gain contact information straight from within Salesforce on the big accounts they were going after. On the marketing side, they were using a different data provider to gather big lists that they would target with email campaigns.
“We were a little bit too reliant on email in terms of marketing strategy and, based on the results we were seeing from the BDR team, we decided to use ZoomInfo across both the sales and marketing departments,” said Mead.
Using insight gained from the team and data points gathered from ZoomInfo, TimeTrade was positioned to drill into their ideal accounts by focusing on the vertical markets they wanted — such as the retail, financial services, technology and service sectors — as well as the most successful ideal account size and what the general use cases were for the TimeTrade solution. “This also helped define who the stakeholders were within these ideal accounts that we’d want to reach out to from a campaign perspective. That was really critical when we began to acquire data.”
Once they decided on that criteria, it was clear to the company that the data found in their CRM was unreliable.
“We have millions of contacts in our Salesforce database, and as a company, we tend to always look to Salesforce when we run a campaign because we believe we have all the information we need in our system,” said Mead. “When we implemented this campaign, we pretended that we had no records in our database and were starting from scratch.”
The company came up with 10,000 accounts that fit its ICP, in which Mead and her team further refined down to 400 “priority target accounts” by leveraging closed/won intelligence from the sales and BDR teams to find accounts fitting that ICP in the tech, financial services and banking verticals that looked like current customers. These 400 accounts would receive the most investment with one-to-one ABM initiatives. Any other accounts that fell into its total addressable market were not targeted with outbound initiatives. The team then used ZoomInfo to supplement those accounts with contact information for key stakeholders.
“We decided on 400 accounts because we wanted to make sure we were able to handle that number of accounts with one-to-one ABM,” said Mead. “It takes a lot of time to do this effectively. Those 400 accounts are also not a static list. We rotate accounts in and out based on how successful — or not successful — we are in engaging these accounts.”
Based on this workflow, the company planned out the types of campaign support it would provide to each tier of accounts. The 400 priority accounts received:
“The priority accounts are where we are putting our time and money,” said Mead. “We’re really focusing on penetrating those accounts where we know we will win and get more bang for our buck.”
Ultimately, the company was able to drive $6 million in pipeline by converting roughly 25% of its top-tier accounts into opportunities with hyper-targeted messaging based on insights gathered from tools such as ZoomInfo. One of the TimeTrade use cases used to identify target accounts, for example, was for a Salesforce app offered by TimeTrade. The company was able to find accounts that fit their ICP that also leverage Salesforce as their CRM.
“Using ZoomInfo to better understand target accounts’ tech stacks not only helped us pick target accounts, but also use that information in the messaging and campaign strategy afterwards.”