B2B Marketing Contact Database

The December CEO Conference was awesome and I had the pleasure of having a really good audience in front of me. They understood that we were talking about the strategic components of an organization’s marketing & sales and were excited to begin by building their marketing process with me… and I told them, it all starts with your contact database.

What Contact Data Do I Need?

Your contact database is one of the core and fundamental components of your entire sales and marketing process. Ultimately, it is a reflection of your organization's future revenue. Let's make sure we are looking at revenue as a function of three major groups:

Customers. These are organizations that you have current contracts with or that you’ve done business with in the past. We want to make sure that our contact database reflects our current / historical customers as it is much easier to generate a sale from a current customer than it is a new prospect. They makeup our future revenue in terms of reselling, upselling, and cross-selling.

Prospects. These are the organizations that most likely have a real business-driven need for what you sell and you have not begun working with yet. Think through this in terms of firmographic information: industry alignment, size alignment, servable geography, relevant technology stack, and performance alignment. Who are the actual organizations that fit these criteria for us? Get them in the database as they reflect future customers.

B2B Contact Database

Recommenders. These are the industry influencers, market analysts, economic development groups, etc. that are relevant to your customers and prospects. They reflect your future revenue as they have influence and are viewed as unbiased thought leaders amongst your customers and prospects. Let’s make sure we have them in our database so we can educate them on our insights, services, events, etc.

Once you have a running list of the organizations that you want to work with – it’s time to take this a step deeper by asking “Who in that organization should I market to?” And this is a huge area of debate that varies from industry to industry, and even within certain companies – one rep may think that they should contact the engineering department and one may think that procurement is the way to go… but in turns out that they are both incorrect.

 

Who is the real decision maker in B2B sales?

In B2B technology sales, we need to focus 100% of our targeting on the business-level decision maker. The business-level decision maker, or in other media are referred to as the executive decision makers, or the management decision maker, c-suite representative, etc. But basically, these are the people that have profit and loss responsibility for the business unit you are targeting. In other words, you should be targeting the person that is responsible for that business unit’s competitiveness around making money, saving money, meeting compliance, reducing cycle-time, and improving first-time quality.

One of the main reasons that deals stall out in a pipeline is because the sales team is not working with the real decision maker. The user or tech integrator doesn’t have final purchasing authority for the offering. Procurement isn’t involved with and measured by the business objectives of a company. But the business level decision maker does and is. We need to identify the titles of the executive level decision maker within the targeted organization’s that we want to go after, and then get those specific individuals into the database.

However, a name itself is not enough! We need validated contact information through major B2B mediums on each of these decision makers. We need to have:

  1. Their validated corporate email address
  2. Their mobile phone (or at the very least their direct line)
  3. A connection with them on LinkedIn and other relevant platforms
  4. The mailing address of where they work

 

How often should you contact a prospect?

Here’s why: In 2020, on average, it will take a minimum of 20-36 “touches” or “contacts” with an organization to get them aware of your brand, connected with your reps, and converted to paying customers. And 20-36 is a big number that requires strategic planning over a period of time with consistent messaging and through high-probability avenues.

To reach that number, to promote through those mediums – your sales and marketing team needs to have the right contact information of the real decision maker, in your targeted accounts. Without it, your organization will most likely not be able to produce the number and quality of outreaches needed to get noticed.

My advice to you would be to allocate a proportion of your staff’s time and budget towards getting clean and reliable data for lead generation purposes. Why waste effort on targeting the wrong people with broken contact records?

The rest of my talk consisted of once that database is in place – what do we say to those people and through which ways do we say it?

For those parts, I pulled heavily from the Smart Sales Method, specifically Chapter 4 on Smart Prospecting and Chapter 8 on The Integration of Marketing and Sales.

You can dig into effective position messages and lead generation mediums by downloading the PDF version today.

Thanks to all that attended and keep an eye out for when we promote the 2020 conference!