Trade fairs, hit-or-miss ads, sifting through spreadsheets full of contact information to find that one customer worth your time… But even if you’re not in a digitally-native industry, we come bearing good news:
There are simple ways to reach your ideal customers and accounts (without increasing your workload).
And today, I’m here to walk you through the best technology and tools to identify the right prospects, make the most of your existing accounts, and improve your sales velocity – at scale and on auto-pilot.
Let’s take a look!
The Importance of Targeting in B2B Marketing
Traditional marketing is like a trade fair: the account knows you’re not here just for them.
But when you target individual accounts in your B2B marketing, feels like having a dinner. It’s just you and the account.
Since it’s impossible to grab a quick bite with every single one of your clients, you can use technology to automate the personalized approach at scale for the most valuable accounts in your book of business.
1. First, Centralize Your Customer Information
You’ll be hard-pressed to find more customers like your ideal customers unless you can identify what they have in common.
For example, a significant chunk of your revenue may flow in from a specific region. Suppose it’s from manufacturers based in SEA, but there’s a catch: you work with food, textile, and electronic equipment manufacturers.
How do you know which group brings you in the most revenue so you can reach out to them more frequently?
You use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool!
How Customer Relationship Management Tools Help
As you further develop your strategy, your CRM tool will help you:
- Centralize all your lead, prospect, and account information, from representatives’ names and company size information to preferred vendors and business challenges.
- Keep the information up-to-date so that when your sales representative reaches out to your clients, they can update the record, allowing you to present the right offer at the right time.
- Automatically filter and identify shared characteristics among your (best) buyers, so you can create an Ideal Customer Profile and campaigns that target them with the correct information and proof.
- Depending on your other marketing initiatives, your CRM tool will help you integrate different campaigns and tools under one roof.
Your CRM will be your headquarters for identifying and targeting your ideal accounts.
The Best Customer Relationship Management Tools for Account-Based Marketing
HubSpot allows you to organize all your contact and account information in one place.
You can customize which information you’d like your representatives to collect to make it easier to create reports showing where your best customers are.
You can easily create a strategy to automatically reach out to those accounts that meet your high-value signals:
As you learn more about what makes your high-value accounts convert, you can set up personalized campaigns and specific workflows that address them with the information they need to increase their account value.
Again, this won’t require more manual work on your part: enter the information and the parameters, and HubSpot will take care of the rest!
Salesforce is quite similar to HubSpot. Based on your pre-set parameters, Salesforce will help you identify the most valuable accounts and run automated communication campaigns.
For example, suppose your most profitable audience segment is textile manufacturers in SEA. In that case, you can tag them as a separate segment, and your email offering a specific service to textile manufacturers will go out to all of them.
Similarly, you can personalize your messages depending on their recent actions (on your website, with your representatives, etc.) and even target them with online ads.
Depending on the data you have (check the next section), you can also personalize this communication. If you need help configuring Salesforce, our team can help.
2. Do You Have All the Information You Need to Identify and Categorize Your Ideal Accounts?
You can’t manually stay up to date on every potentially valuable account or make them fill out endless forms to decide if they fit your high-value criteria.
However, ABM tools can provide the missing context.
How Do Account Intelligence Tools Work?
Account intelligence tools receive contacts from your CRM, run them through their algorithms, and provide you with more information on the following:
- Firmographics: Your accounts’ company size, revenue, location, industry, the technology they use, etc.
- Buying signals: Have your accounts shown interest in additional products?
- Contextual data: Which competitors are they considering? Which vendors have they been using? Are there any company updates they recently shared that might interest you?
In short: you see the big picture of your accounts, so you know when to “strike.”
For example, suppose your best customers are SEA textile manufacturers. One of them recently posted an update about switching to more eco-friendly materials (which is something you’re providing a new service for).
In that case, you can automatically launch a campaign that targets them with the right case study showing how you’ve helped other customers in their position.
Finally, account intelligence tools integrate with your CRM tool.
When you add a contact, their data is “enriched” – the intelligence tools fill in the blanks.
Categorizing Your Accounts
Some accounts are so valuable that they merit a face-to-face conversation, but what about the rest?
Account intelligence tools also allow you to organize your accounts by their value with lead scoring.
For example, you may decide that textile manufacturers who have already spent $500k+ with your company are worth a personal approach. In contrast, textile manufacturers in the $100-200k group could receive automated marketing campaigns.
The account intelligence tools I’ll mention below can help you with lead scoring, as can your CRM (HubSpot and Salesforce).
What Are the Best Account Intelligence Tools?
ZoomInfo provides you with plenty of information on your ideal customers, so you can easily flesh out the ideal customer profile, as well as automatically take sales action based on the data received.
You can curate the information you receive from ZoomInfo, which works well for specific industries. For example, if you were offering services to healthcare clients, you could retrieve detailed information such as their average patient stay.
ZoomInfo also uses predictive modeling. Based on your existing best customers, ZoomInfo can help you find more high-value prospects.
Similarly to ZoomInfo, Clearbit integrates with your CRM tool and automatically enriches your accounts’ information.
From there, you can set up categorization parameters (lead scoring), and Clearbit will filter through your entire accounts database to find the right prospects for your next conversation.
3. Start Talking to Your High-Value Accounts with a Strategy
Finally, with your accounts organized and categorized, it’s time to decide how you want to approach them.
Choose Your Approach to Targeting Ideal Customers and Accounts
You have plenty of options at your disposal:
Firstly, you can keep it simple, using the information you have to lead more relevant conversations. This is the most time-consuming strategy, but if your targets are few, it’s still an upgrade from other marketing approaches.
The next option is to separate your accounts into distinct groups and automate your communication workflow with your CRM. Identify what each customer in a potential segment has in common.
You want to categorize them, so your templated campaigns make sense to each account. For example, grouping textile manufacturers with other textile manufacturers, etc.
For example, our team created an automated workflow for Enovatek’s high-value clients. Their team wouldn’t be able to communicate with hundreds of customers simultaneously, but a CRM tool can tackle the mission.
Finally, you can use a full-blown account-based marketing (ABM) strategy. This is the best option if you want to make the most of your entire high-value account base instead of having to cherry-pick the accounts because you’re time or resource-constrained.
Are You Targeting Existing Customers or New Customers?
If this is your first time using account-based marketing, we recommend starting with your existing customer base. It’s simpler and more effective; the probability of converting an existing customer is 60% and up.
For example, suppose your customer visits your “Case studies -> Automation in manufacturing” page. You’d see they’d shown interest in hearing how you can help them automate their processes. You can automatically reach out with an email that explains how you can help them achieve the case study outcomes.
Then, as you grasp the tenets of this approach, you can use your insights to create even better ideal customer profiles and find the right prospects.
For example, you’ll understand which customers convert the most through your existing campaigns. Then, include your findings in your ideal customer profile and use predictive modeling to find and reach out to more similar leads.
You Will Need Advanced Targeting Tools
When you realize how profitable this kind of targeted marketing is for your company, weeding out all the low-quality leads and helping you focus on all the untapped revenue hiding in your book of business, you’ll want to give it more power with dedicated tools.
Terminus allows you to reach your ideal customers through various channels, from email to advertising. Everything is centralized within the platform, so you can easily measure your efforts and find the most profitable channels.
Ultimately, this isn’t a tool (or approach) for the faint of heart. You’ll be able to tailor your entire online experience to your customers, serving them with dedicated pages, chatbot prompts, and more.
But if you plan to modernize your marketing in the coming years, Terminus is a great platform for getting a headstart.
6sense uses artificial intelligence to analyze all your interactions with buyers and every available data point to help you create a customized approach.
Much like Terminus, 6sense centralizes all your marketing channels in one place. This way, you’ll quickly see which activities generate the best returns (and for which audience segment), so you can adapt your campaigns accordingly.
Win More Business with a Personal Touch
Marketing can get hectic, so it’s essential to remember the end goal. You’re always talking to that one person who decides to trust you with more of their budget – or not.
Account-based marketing presents the perfect way to market in 2023 because of its ability to personalize even when you’re simultaneously reaching out to hundreds of high-value clients.
It starts simply with a good CRM tool like HubSpot or Salesforce. Then, you collect more data and automate your workflows with ZoomInfo and Clearbit. When the time comes to scale, you can do it through Terminus and 6sense.
Your sales teams get more insights, and you realize the potential hiding in the unexpressed needs of your existing accounts.
It’s a small step for a marketing team but a giant leap for your bottom line.