“Know thy Customer”—the First Commandment of effective marketing. And yet, for many of us, the process of getting to know the customer seems to be a continuous struggle. Where do you begin? What information will help your sales people with account mapping? Is your team bored just thinking about an information overload? Do you cringe at the sight of long, endless pages of “useful insights”? Possibly all of these, right?
Yet gaining account intelligence is done so easily in today’s environment. There’s a flip side to it though—you have to check your sources much more carefully and sift the credible sources from the not-so dependable ones.
Everything we have talked about with regards to demand generation for your products and services requires knowing your target market. Effective social media marketing requires you to listen, personalize and be relevant to your prospects—that is account intelligence.
Unfortunately, very often, it is the one thing that falls between the cracks in your lead generation process. This happens for one of 3 main reasons:
- You neglect or overlook critical steps in your research methodology in order to get lead generation campaigns and programs implemented faster. You need to aim for “better,” not just faster.
- You are not using the right tools or you are looking in the wrong place for the right
- You are confusing “data” with “research”. Your CEO is fumbling in the dark trying to make sense of it all—like drinking from the fire hose.
5 Essentials Your Audience Studies And Reporting MUST Deliver:
- Offer actionable intelligence.
- Create transformative frameworks.
- Offer beacons of light to enhance sales, marketing and product performance.
- Help you make informed decisions.
- Provide the foundation for a lead generation program that has a sound process, is worthy of repeating, can be measured and facilitates marketing and sales alignment.
If you use the right tools to improve your research, you can do it faster and also make your lead generation more effective.
5 Tools To Make Your Account Mapping And Intelligence More Efficient And Effective
- Build targeted prospect lists and reach out with customized communications. Here is a good article with a review of the leading research and automation tools for B2B lead generation.
- Look in the right places. As I said earlier, if you are looking for the right information in the wrong place, you are wasting your time. See this list of the best places to find information about your prospects.
- Personalize communications. Try com if you haven’t already. It will not only tell you about your prospect but will help customize and structure your email too – how to start the email, what tone to use, what details to include, how to sell to the recipient, and so on. It is known to be fairly accurate. Give it a try.
- Make real connections. Even simply looking up a prospect on LinkedIn doesn’t take too long. I get a lot of spam in my LinkedIn folder but how many of these people have even bothered to visit my blog, leave a valued comment on it to catch my attention, start a discussion? Far too many B2B vendors neglect to initiate and then nurture a relationship. Instead, they expect me to jump in with both feet when I don’t even know them. That’s totally the wrong approach and one that does more harm than good. Do you know what your audience is craving? Find out!
- Follow up at the right time, in the right manner. How many of you research people who sign up for your online mailing list? Do you then follow up with an email to talk about something they are interested in that you found out about from their LinkedIn profile? Of course, you have to do it in a professional, non-creepy way. But wouldn’t you rather do that for your top quality inquiries instead of continuing to send general, vanilla-flavoured content? When you meet a prospect on their field of interest, you stand a better chance to progress an inquiry towards becoming a qualified lead. Here is a quick refresher on the definition of a lead.
Do you have questions about how to drive better performance for your B2B lead generation campaigns? Join this exclusive, B2B LinkedIn Group to exchange notes with thought leaders in the industry.
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