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Avoid ABM Blind Spots: Use Quality Data to See Marketing Results — Part 1

Have you ever received texts or calls from a wrong number, and politely told people they had it wrong, only to have them contact you again? What were your thoughts when they called you the first time—mild annoyance? What about the second time? Even if you fancy yourself a gentle soul, you likely thought (albeit briefly) the offending caller/texter is a terrible listener at best, and an incompetent idiot at worst. This is how your customers and prospects feel when you use dirty data to populate ABM campaigns. Even if you mean well, when you don’t clean up your data’s act, your campaigns and your company come off as oblivious and idiotic.

A High-Performance ABM Strategy Requires High-Quality Data

There are three key components to executing a great ABM strategy, and all require top-shelf data. The three components are:

  1. Identify and target ideal customers
  2. Send highly personalized messages
  3. Foster synchronous sales enablement

If you use data of a questionable quality, you can’t target the right customers. Populating campaigns with the wrong information will always do more harm than good, since customers quickly learn that you don’t know their preferences (i.e., email, not text; quarterly reminders, not weekly; etc.) or keep up with what’s important to them (i.e., promotions, title changes, new offices, etc.). And finally, if sales and marketing are both guilty of using dirty data, they’ll continue to experience lackluster results that they inevitably blame on one another instead of the real perpetrator—bad data.

The 5 Cs of High-Quality Data

If you want to max out the potential of all three ABM components in producing more lucrative campaign results and customer relationships, you need contact information that continuously embodies the five characteristics of high-quality data. Your databases need information that is:

  1. Complete: Data that’s missing key attributes hinders your ability to understand customers and prospects. It also prevents you from customizing communications effectively.
  2. Correct: Using inaccurate data leads to misunderstandings, irrelevant communications, and deeply unsatisfying customer relationships, a.k.a. churn.
  3. Current: Outdated data makes it impossible to address the current needs of customers and prospects. What’s more, it makes your company and its communications appear out of touch.
  4. Consistent: When data hasn’t been standardized and normalized, it leads to dreaded duplicates and confused messaging that damages your brand reputation and customer experience.
  5. Centralized: Data that’s spread across multiple systems without centralized control makes it impossible to get a unified view of prospects, or to send personalized communications.

Use Data to Identify High-Value Accounts

According to SiriusDecisions, 91 percent of companies that employ ABM strategies increase their average deal size. This statistic demonstrates the importance and effectiveness of correctly identifying high-value accounts. ABM is not for everyone — literally. With ABM, your focus is not on how many you reach, but who you are reaching. Instead of casting a wide net and seeing who might respond to your campaigns, ABM requires you to think about who your ideal customer is first, and then create a marketing campaign tailored to their interests. In short, you widen the horizons of your sales funnel by narrowing your focus and spending the majority of your time, efforts and budget on a select set of ideal customers.

Be Strategic About Targeting the Right People

Using a dashboard to analyze your organization’s data is the best way to quickly and accurately identify accounts in your database that have the potential to bring in the most revenue. To ensure you choose wisely, look at the historical performance of each account and compare it to your ideal customer profiles to determine who will make the list of accounts upon which your teams will focus their time, energy and resources. A few questions to consider include:

  • Which accounts are most profitable now?
  • Which accounts have dropped in profitability?
  • What data characteristics are good indicators of sales success?
  • What attributes are ideal for our products/services?
  • What characteristics are best for exempting an account from ABM?

Use Data-Driven Customer Personas

Selecting the right accounts to focus on can be intimidating, especially if you have thousands upon thousands of contacts and are used to casting a wide net. Creating customer personas before selecting target accounts for ABM can help your marketing teams connect a real person to the segment they are marketing to and develop messages that resonate. However, this is a step that needs to be data-driven in order to have meaning. Yes, a persona has creative elements, but it shouldn’t be wholly woven out of hunches from what sales and marketing leaders think is the right type of customer.

Use Data to Eliminate Account Selection Bias

Whereas all humans are biased, data is not. To ensure you target the right people, search your data dashboard for actionable insights. A few places to look for patterns and similarities in the data are:

  • Customers who regularly spend a certain amount
  • Sales spikes and dips by location
  • Customers who dropped out mid-funnel
  • Repeat vs. lapsed customers
  • Revenue generated by first time customers

Some marketing dashboards include the ability to identify ideal customers based on current and historical sales and marketing data. This makes it much easier to create segmented lists that are founded on characteristics linked to increases in purchases.

Keep in mind ABM is about building personal relationships with your best customers and those who have the potential to become great customers. When you understand who your best customers are, you can use those data insights to target similar people, create campaigns that inspire action, and enjoy all the success ABM promises.

In It to Win It

To learn more about how Sureshot can help you do more with your data, reach out. We love solving data problems and making martech work precisely the way you want it to.

Stay Tuned

In Part 2 of Avoid ABM Blind Spots: Use Quality Data to See Marketing Results, we’ll explore the role that high-quality data plays in sending highly personalized messages and fostering synchronous sales enablement.