Given that we are in the Age of the Customer according to Forrester, it’s surprising that so many organizations are still at a loss when understanding what their customers actually want, when, how and why. And, worse how many companies still accept this lack of knowledge as the norm. Marketing campaigns are often devised without prior in-depth audience knowledge so messaging is wide of the mark. Sales teams fire off emails and make floundering calls with minimal understanding of customer challenges. Meanwhile customers become more and more turned off your brand. When considered through an ABM lens, understanding the customer is not a luxury item, it’s essential. In a customer-driven market expectations are high and if you can’t demonstrate your knowledge of a customer’s pain points at the right time, they’ll go to an organization that can. Real customer understanding is the foundation for your entire ABM campaign and underpins the strategy, from inception to purchasing decision and advocacy. A deep dive profile of the company needs to include everything from the right stakeholders and buying groups, to the investment priorities, risks, opportunities, customers, challenges and customer’s challenges and the global context in which they operate. It sounds a lot because it is.
By using a range of sources such as government fillings, social media, intent data, as well as news articles and your own internal CRM database for whitespace analysis, a deep dive profile will illuminate what the customer needs, why and when. And the benefits of having this level of detail far outweigh the time, budget and resources needed to acquire it. A deep dive customer dossier, accessible and dog-eared by both sales and marketing teams, provides a single, joined up view of the customer and unites the two teams under the shared goal of winning a new customer or penetrating deeper into an existing account. It also heralds a raft of other benefits for each team:Marketing:
- Your marketing team know what your customer is interested in and what their challenges are. This ensures messaging is on target and resonates with your prospective decision maker or buying group
- Just as importantly, deep customer profiling illuminates what messages your competitors are using, giving you the competitive advantage of differentiation in your message
- The insight reveals the right people or buying groups to target and on what channel they are most prolific so marketing can pitch the message accordingly
- Sales teams can use an account deep dive to build their account plans, understand where products have been targeted or sold previously and where the best gaps are for opportunity
- Products and services can be prioritised according to the opportunities ensuring specific sales KPIs are hit
- Sales teams will know the right person to contact and the right conversation to have, which instils confidence that the individual is more likely to be receptive
- The profiles ensure even a small window of opportunity is taken full advantage of, because individuals are already armed with enough information to hold meaningful conversations
Given the customer-obsessed nature of business and the speed of value demanded by customers, using deep dive customer intelligence to inform your ABM strategy is key to driving growth. And, even if in this instance your customer goes elsewhere, your reputation as a knowledgeable, informed supplier will be reinforced for the next opportunity.