Brandon Redlinger, Director of Growth atÂ Engagio discusses that it’s incredibly important to pick your accounts wisely. You’re only going to have the bandwidth to effectively work a certain number of accounts. Pick the wrong ones and you’ll be waiting time. Pick the right ones and you’ll be printing money
According to ancient Greek legend, there was a general who buried a large treasure in his tent when he was defeated in battle in 477 BC.
When the conquering general and his troops could not find the treasure, they consulted the Oracle of Delphi.
The Oracle advised them to look under every stone, and to leave no stone unturned.
When the conquering general returned to the site, he followed this advice and upturned each stone and eventually found the treasure.
We’ve been documenting the general best practices of a six-step Account-Based Everything strategy. First things first: align sales and marketingOpens a new window around a list of target accounts and existing customers most likely to deliver revenue. This is arguably THE most important decision you’ll make.
Step two in Account Based EverythingOpens a new window is to discover the right contacts and map them to your accounts. You’ll want to fill out these accounts and buyers with specific contacts based on your ideal buyer profiles. This is the fastest way to grow your account-based strategy.
In your quest to find every applicable contact for your target accounts, leave no stone unturned.
Where can you find contacts and enrich your existing database? Consider many sources of contact data, including:
- Your existing data â€“ You’re probably sitting on a goldmine but may not even realize it. Most companies have a database full of contacts that are not connected to accounts in Salesforce, thus are going to waste. You should think about investing in a Lead-to-Account matching solution that will, in the click of one button, map those contacts to accounts. This is a crucial part of any Account Based Marketing and Sales program.
- Desk research â€“ Manually prospecting, scraping, or compiling contacts from sources such as LinkedIn, event websites, industry forums, and social media channels. Use boolean search queries in LinkedIn’s advanced search and you can get pretty granular and build a list of key people at target accounts.
- Call programs â€“ Having Sales Development Reps call into the account to build out contacts. Give them call scripts, talking points, and voicemails outlines. Use power dialers for efficiency.
- List-building partners â€“Â An easy way to supplement your data and add it to your contact profiles in your CRM. Check out tools to build your list and enrich the data.Â
- Email conventions â€“Â If you know a company uses â€œ[email protected]â€, then you can figure out email addresses when you only have names. Tools can help you verify contact information. Also, some tools will give you social profiles of a contact all in one place.
- Purchased contact data â€“Â Buying laser-focused lists from reputable data providers is a viable option. Some organizations even provide organization charts filled with contact data.
- Predictive personasÂ â€“Â Some predictive vendors will determine the personas most likely to buy and supply more like them within your target accounts.
Finding the Right Vendor Partner
Once you decide on a data vendor for your contacts, you have to test to see if their data is going to work for your business and industry. Some vendors provide really good data for one industry, segment or size, while they may have less accurate or incomplete data for others. That’s why it’s always good to test.
Follow these 5 steps before making any large purchasing decisions to ensure you get good data with the most accuracy and integrity:
- Set the baseline that you need â€“ What’s the minimum standard that you’ll accept?
- Do some background research â€“ Read reviews and talk to other peers in the industry to determine their reputation.
- Talk to a representative â€“Â You must determine the accuracy and integrity of the data first hand. See how much the vendor will work with you.
- Ask for a sample set of data â€“Â Verify the data (one of my favorites is Clearbit). You can also run email addresses through tools offering validation services.
- Choose a few â€“ Never rely on a single resource.
Whose Job is This, Anyway?
SiriusDecisions found that 60% of companies are operating with an unreliable contact database. Data quality is of utmost importance â€“Â with bad data, campaigns risk hitting dead ends, whether via an invalid email address or incorrect phone number.
Marketing should play a key role within your largest and target accounts in sourcing contacts to fill out organizational charts â€“sourcing from these outside vendors helps.
Your Sales Development Reps might take on the job of contact capture for the next tier of accounts, perhaps in advance of a big calling campaign.
Whatever route you choose, Sales and Marketing need to work together to make sure you’ve got maximum coverage within every target account. Sufficient contact coverage could be your best weapon in the fight to conquer target accounts, or the achilles heel of your Account-Based Everything strategy.
Once you’ve selected your accounts, researched the company, and found the right contacts, there’s only one thing left: launch your Account Based Everything Plays! Having a playbook with all of your Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success Plays is key to ensuring a consistent thorough process is upheld across your entire team.
What other stones have you overturned in your search for the best contacts for account coverage?