The B2B buying journey has never been more complex than it is today. According to research from Gartner:
- The typical buying group for a B2B solution involves 6 to 10 decision-makers, each bringing 4 to 5 pieces of information to the discussion table
- Independent, online research takes up 27% of their time
- Your sales reps only get 5% of a customer’s time during their buying journey
In this scenario, the most effective sales and marketing teams must engage impactfully with individuals across accounts throughout their buying journey. And that requires accurate, accessible data to identify, profile, segment, target, and personalize outreach.
Herein lies the role of Account Intelligence.
Account intelligence is the gold standard of aggregated, curated, high-quality marketing data. It encompasses the breadth and depth of relevant information you need to know about your prospects to sell effectively.
- Data enrichment: the process of supplementing your existing data with new, relevant information
- Demographics: personal data about who your prospects are
- Firmographics: organizational data about where your prospects work
- Technographics: data about what technologies their teams already use
- Intent data: timely information about what topics they are interested in
Overall, account intelligence reflects a picture of your prospects’ current state to prepare your sales and marketing teams with the information they need to prioritize and customize their outreach.
Let’s unpack each layer of account intelligence: what it describes, how it supports marketing and sales teams, and examples of how you can leverage it to win more deals.
Data enrichment involves adding new and supplemental information to enhance existing data sets, usually within your customer relationship management (CRM) system. This additional information comes from reputable third-party sources, including:
- Company addresses
- Job roles
- Industry sectors
- Phone numbers
With enriched CRM data, your marketing team can improve segmentation and target prospects with more personalized campaigns. And your sales team will have more information to use when communicating with leads, making it easier to tailor engagement.
Demographic data is the foundation of creating detailed buyer profiles. It includes information about specific individual prospects, such as:
- Job title
- Years of experience
- Educational background
- Employment history
With rich demographic data, your team can segment your audience and tailor campaigns and messaging to resonate with individual prospects. Sales and marketing teams can also use demographic data to support account-based marketing (ABM) efforts, identifying and prioritizing the most relevant individuals to contact at target companies.
For example, you could share different versions of educational content addressing the specific concerns of individual contributors, managers, or executive-level roles, respectively, with the right members of your audience.
Firmographics is like demographics but applies to companies instead of individuals. For example, firmographic data points include:
- Industry (such as finance, healthcare, or retail)
- Number of employees
- Annual sales
- Growth rate
Marketing teams use firmographic data to enhance segmentation, messaging, and targeting, while sales teams can use this information to prioritize outreach, address objections, and tailor conversations.
For example, you could use firmographic data to target accounts in the consideration or evaluation stages of their buying journey with relevant case studies from customers within the same industry, around the same size, or in the same geographic region.
Technographic data describes a company’s use of tech products, solutions, or services — including renewal timelines. These can include:
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
- Marketing automation platforms
- Cloud hosting services
- HR and recruiting software
- E-learning tools
- Analytics solutions
Organizations can use technographic data to identify in-market buyers who are ripe for considering fresh solutions. You can also use this information to make educated estimations about prospects’ budgets and levels of tech savviness. Marketing and sales teams can create tailored content and customize their outreach strategies based on the prospective client’s current tech usage and potential needs.
For example, if you know a company is using an outdated CRM and their subscription is up for renewal in three months, your sales team can step in to share a piece of content that speaks to the legacy tech’s specific pain points — and a tailored pitch for your more innovative solution.
Intent data is information collected about a prospect’s online behaviors. For example, it may include:
- Visits to product comparison pages
- Downloads of an industry whitepaper
- Email open rates
- Social media interactions
- Search engine queries
When you can access intent data, you grow a deeper understanding of what topics, products, or services your prospects are interested in — and their current likelihood to purchase. Then, you can use the data to prioritize segments of your audience or reach them at the right time in their buying journey.
For example, let’s say you have data that a prospect visited a pricing comparison page, downloaded a buying guide, spent several minutes reading customer reviews, and clicked a link to a case study within an email. Given those bottom-of-funnel indicators, you can deduce that it is the right time to reach out with a personalized demo or free trial offer.
Getting started with Account Intelligence
In B2B marketing, possessing account intelligence is a game-changing advantage for marketing and sales teams. To manually gather, verify, consolidate, and integrate this data is impossible for most teams to achieve. To get started, learn how an account intelligence solution can give your team a competitive edge.
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