By Peter Larkin, Chief Revenue Officer, True Influence
Data accelerates stages of B2B revenue funnel, and you’ll often hear our team talk about how data drives every aspect of successful B2B revenue operations.
Seems self-evident, right? But in application, you need to ensure that your data is clean and accurate, and that it provides the real-world insights required to win at Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and other B2B revenue strategies. And you must put that data to work in tactics that move accounts and prospects closer to becoming customers.
Where Data Accelerates B2B Revenue Stages
Of course, there’s no way to list every possible application of intent and contact data, our two main focuses at True Influence, in a quick blog post like this one. But here’s a look at how these data can lift key tactics at each stage of the classic marketing and sales funnel.
Revenue Stage 1: Awareness
In any approach to account-driven rev ops, overlooking potential targets is always a critical risk. Intent is a great tool for solving what our CEO Brian Giese calls the look-alike problem – if an account acts consistently like your best customers, then you need to get your brand on its radar, even if not on the current wishlist.
Intent-driven programmatic display advertising may well be your most powerful tool at this stage. It’s affordable, it adjusts in real time to response, and you can ramp it up when the pipeline is a little thin.
You should also invest in firmographic data from a trusted partner at this stage – you don’t want to cast your net so widely that you generate high-funnel leads at accounts that are just completely off your sales map.
Revenue Stage 2: Interest
Careful analysis of intent, coupled with augmented contact demographics and buying group modeling, gives you a powerful framework for evaluating account-level interest.
For example, if you see that a C-level “ratifier” shows more interest than the account does as a whole, you’re likely seeing the recognition that there’s a problem, but the account is still 6-12 months from a purchase decision. It’s exactly the right time to become a trusted source of information on your category.
At this stage, you need to be personalizing your offers to key contacts’ job roles and begin to seek them out on social media channels as well.
Revenue Stage 3: Consideration
By the time an account reaches this level of qualification, you should have the entire buying group fleshed out in your contact database. (Intent data would have helped you with that.) And offers need to be personalized to both job role and firmographic criteria – if an account has been involved in major M&A activity in the last six months, you want to be talking about that.
Highly personalized webinars are a good touchstone here, as well. Begin feature and corporate comparisons, but don’t get too far down in the weeds, except for highly tactical job roles. If you first identify an account or key individual at this stage, introduce yourself quickly and then move onto the key value points.
Revenue Stage 4: Evaluation and Decision
When you see intense bursts of intent around product features and vendors in your space, it’s time to move the account to sales. Note that I said “move,” not “pass,” because marketing and sales need to work together to close business.
Marketing needs to continue running intent-based programmatic and email series to support the message that sales is driving home. In fact, the two teams need to be closely coordinating all their messaging efforts, including sale collateral, at this point. Intent can also give you keen insights into what secondary “gotcha” issues the buying group is researching.
Data Takes Guesswork Out of B2B Funnel
With intent and enriched contact data, you know who is doing purchase research, their role in the buying process, and where they are in their purchase journey. How you get that data can be in the form of demand generation or by data feeds into your marketing stack. In either case, the data needs to be driving your strategy and tactics at every stage of the funnel. Why? Predictable, growing revenue.
Get Deep into Data, Sales and Marketing at the True Influence Summit
From emerging data platforms to software tools and modeling, Oktay Arifkhan (SVP Data, ViacomCBS) can visualize the far-reaching business implications of a brand’s research practices. He understands how sales, marketing, finance, product development and other stakeholders can benefit from data. Join him and Salesforce Global Innovation Evangelist, Brian Solis, on an interactive panel at the True Influence Summit Jan 21 to explain “Actioning for The Future: Aligning Intent Across Sales, Marketing & Data.”