Target Account Selection - Where to begin? What do you need to know?
The base for formulating a successful “Account-based” sales and marketing plan should ALWAYS start with effective and considered target account selection. It is not just one of the most important things when producing an ABM strategy, it is the MOST important element and one of the things we as a business enforce from the very beginning of any program with our clients. So, where to start? What target companies? Who within those companies? How much do you already know?
Well here’s a few things to consider: firmographic data, technographic data, and behavioural data.
Firmographic data is to organisations/businesses what demographic data is to people. The aim of this is to try and identify the characteristics of a target business, including everything from company size to industry, financials, locations (National & Global), company structure etc.
Technographic data is a relatively new data form but highly relevant in today’s high-tech and digitally focussed world. Knowing which technology and digital systems a business is using can give great insight into how it functions and where there might be an opportunity to introduce change or efficiencies. This data would incorporate anything from current technology to competitive technology, complementary tech/systems and technology that indicates further company information (i.e.: a startup is unlikely to be using Sitecore or Hybris).
Behavioural data is less concrete than Firmographic & Technographic purely because it’s often timelier – event or trigger based – for instance: high-level personnel change, company takeover, investment/large round of funding, market fluctuations or even current events. Therefore, behavioural data is always open to change but often includes:
- Job postings
- Interactions with your content
- Relevant industry news
These three types of data are a solid place to start, and we endeavour as a business to find out as much from each area as possible. You will have to figure out whether you utilise all three or which combination will give your Sales and Marketing Teams the most accurate data to predict which accounts you’ll have the most success targeting.
It goes without saying that the more data you can accumulate and incorporate into your account selection process, the more accurate you can be with your ‘Top’ target accounts. Once you’ve figured out which data points are most important for your businesses ABM strategy then, and only then, can you effectively create & curate relevant content to engage with your target accounts.