True to long-tail form, by targeting a narrow group of prospects, marketers are able to deliver a message that resonates with their target audience and creates better leads for sales. Presenting a large list of contacts with a generic message and praying that message will reach the right people has led to average response rates of less than 3%.
Compile your Target Audience
Instead of wishing and hoping with a generic message, consider building a database of targeted prospects based on where you are winning customers today. Identify these companies with customer wins analysis. Once you've identified this winning profile, start the search for other businesses that match that profile.
A good starting point is your in-house database of current customers and prospects. Find the companies that match your wining profile and start there.
Focus Your Message
Narrowing the focus allows marketers to deliver a targeted message that has a better chance of resonating with your audience. Instead of cleansing an out-of-date, in-house database, review your sales pipeline and customer win data and to identify your top market segments and determine key qualifying characteristics. Look at the size of the open and closed deals, as well as the velocity of those deals as they move through the pipeline to answer the following questions:
- In which market segments am I closing the most deals?
- In which market segments are deals closing the fastest?
- What are the common characteristics of companies in those market segments?
- What other market segments share those common characteristics?
Clean Up Your Lead Data
Relevancy is key here. The more relevant the data used to feed marketing programs or automation systems (like Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot, etc.) the better and more powerful the results will be.
With sales win analysis, you can also build a profile of your best customer accounts to develop qualifying criteria. Do you close more deals with Fortune 1000-size enterprises or are you moving more deals with small- and medium-size businesses (SMB)? Is the number of employees of an organization a critical success factor or is a global, distributed environment more important? Are there key trends you can identify in certain industries that are driving the need for your product?
Now that you've documented your top markets and qualifying criteria, you can use this information to discover other target accounts. While these companies have not yet purchased from you, they share many of the same characteristics of your best customers, and therefore will likely have a higher propensity to purchase your products or services.
Next, complete an enterprise buying profile to identify the people involved in the buying process. Just as you identified the profile for targeting new companies, you need to have an understanding of the profile of the buyer(s) within those companies. You'll want to understand their role both in the buying cycle and within the organization. With this information, you will be able to refine your augmentation program and standardize data collection requirements for more targeted marketing programs.