That’s the problem with most high-level account profiles: They’re not actionable at the “why should I call” and “what can they buy” levels. They’re also not helpful to marketers who want to determine the most relevant messaging and offers. They’re a start, but not enough.
Quick quiz: You’re a sales professional with a large, global account to manage. You’ve been managing it for a year. Your marketing team gives you an account profile with the company’s total revenue, employee count, senior leaders and most recent public market filing. What do you do with it?
The answer: Not much.
That’s the problem with most high-level account profiles: They’re not actionable at the “why should I call” and “what can they buy” levels. They’re also not helpful to marketers who want to determine the most relevant messaging and offers. They’re a start, but not enough. The more focused you are on an account-based business model, the bigger this problem becomes. There’s a way to fix it, however: If you sell into a defined universe of companies and want a sure-fire way to be more successful, there’s no better investment than building actionable account insight.
How do you get started? Collect data on the elements that help most for sales, marketing or other executives who communicate with clients. This is action-oriented profile information. Action elements are insights into buying centers (not just the parent company) and the contacts in them, as well as signals that indicate opportunity (or not). This knowledge helps focus sales efforts on near-term winnable deals, and positions marketing to support accounts with long-term nurturing plans if no deal is imminent.
Sample components of an action-oriented profile include:
Where do you find the information to build these profiles? Secondary sources that offer repositories of account and contact data are a first step, and working with internal knowledge sources is also a must. In addition to these sources, primary data collection is often needed. Companies can use third-party firms or internal tele-based resources to do this work. Yes, it costs more to get custom data. While it’s tempting to save money on data collection, in the end this savings may cause sales and marketing to waste resources on accounts that won’t help meet goals. The cost of information is very low compared to the cost of missing deals that you could have won.