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, eventually finding what he sought.
We’ve been documenting the general best practices of a six-step Account-Based Marketing strategy. Step one was to align sales and marketing around a list of target accounts and existing customers that are most likely to deliver revenue. This is arguably THE most important decision you’ll make.
Step two in an Account Based Marketing process is to discover the right contacts, and map them to your accounts. You’ll want to fill out these accounts and buying centers with specific contacts based on your ideal buyer profiles. This is the fastest way to grow your account-based strategy.
Leave No Stone Unturned
In your quest to find every contact for your target accounts, you too must try every possible course of action in order to find the people you’re looking for.
Where can you find contacts and enrich your existing database? Consider many sources of contact data, including:
- Your existing data – currently living in your CRM, Marketing Automation, or ERP systems.
- Desk research – manually scraping or compiling contacts from sources such as LinkedIn, media or event websites, industry forums, and social media channels
- Call programs – having Sales Development Reps call into the account to build out contacts
- List-building partners – an easy way to supplement your data and add it to your contact profiles in your CRM.
- Email conventions– if you know a company uses “email@example.com”, then you can figure out email addresses when you only have names.
- Purchased contact data– buying laser-focused lists from reputable data providers such as ZoomInfo, Dun & Bradstreet, LeadGenius, etc. on is a viable option. Organizations such as DiscoverOrg even provide organization charts filled with contact data.
- Predictive personas – some predictive vendors, like Leadspace, will determine the personas most likely to buy and supply more like them within your target accounts.
A (no-doubt partial) landscape of contact data sources to consider:
For a full list of ABM vendors, take a look at our ABM Market Map.
Whose Job is This, Anyway?
Analyst firm SiriusDecisions found that 60% of companies were operating with an unreliable contact database. Data quality is of utmost importance, or your campaigns risk hitting dead ends, whether a bad email or incorrect phone number.
For your largest accounts, marketing should play a key role in sourcing contacts to fill out organizational charts within target accounts – often sourcing from these outside vendors.
For the next lower tiers of accounts, your Sales Development Reps might take on the job of contact capture, maybe in advance of a big calling campaign.
Whatever route you choose, sales, marketing and SDRs 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 Marketing strategy. Which would you prefer?
What other stones have you upturned in your search for the best contacts for account coverage?
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