In a data-driven era, success in business is largely the result of thorough market research — research conducted to know 1) why you’re selling your product or service and 2) who you’re directing your product or service towards.
That may sound like simple logic…but you’d be surprised how many startups fail to solve a valid need and target the right people.
“Targeted Account-Based Marketing(ABM) practices are increasingly being used to identify key businesses and decision-makers…Yet, more than 75% of the sources we processed lacked data on Industry, Revenue and Employees.”
When it comes to market segmentation, B2B salespeople and marketers are challenged quite differently to B2C professionals:
- Demographics are customer profiles and segments based on consumers, known as business-to-consumer models (B2C)
- Firmographics are business profiles and segments based on client accounts, known as business-to-business models (B2B)
“75% of B2B marketers said that accurate and complete
data is critical for achieving their marketing goals.”
And accuracy is an issue when essential information quickly becomes outdated:
So, if firmographics are possibly difficult and time-consuming to obtain (and maintain); how do you go about this process?
HINT — It won’t involve you manually scouring databases, don’t worry! More on that in a tick…
First, you need to know:
Which Firmographic Data To Use?
There are many granular firmographics a business can utilise.
Here are the main top-level categories of firmographic data for targeted sales and marketing efforts:
- Industry: To which markets would your product or service deliver the most value? What products or services does your target market provide? Knowing your audience allows you to be very specific when producing content and outlining possible prospects for your salespeople to approach.
- Annual Revenue: What is the target’s turnover — has it increased or decreased over the years? What is the projection? Are there key trends you can pounce on?
- Employee Count: Is their employee total growing? Have they cut staff at all? What job roles are they advertising right now?
- Structure: Who are the decision-makers? Who has influence over these decision-makers? How do they prefer to communicate? Are there any non-executive directors?
- Location: Where is this company located? Have they opened new offices anywhere? Similarly, have they downsized at all?
- Stage In Buying Cycle: Is the target account in a position to purchase now or are they in research phase? Are they likely to require your additional products or services via an upsell? Do any of the factors above affect this?Content is critical here! Lead nurturing is the process used to warm up prospects until they are ready to buy — and should progress after they buy! How do you know what stage they are at..? By using automated lead scoring to determine their propensity to purchase from you.
How To Obtain Firmographic Data?
This is the juicy part you’ve been waiting for!
Intelligent automation is absolutely essential for any B2B company.
If you saw my article covering the use of Artificial Intelligence in sales, you will know the power it can bring to your business.
As mentioned, firmographic data can take a long time to research and gather…while quickly becoming outdated. It just doesn’t make sense to manually collect or update this information — that can leave businesses suffocating in erroneous data.
The solution? Applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) removes human error and time input, freeing up staff to concentrate on bottom-line activities.
- AI gathers huge amounts of data from many sources
- This big data is constantly kept up to date — in real-time
- You are alerted when a prospect’s status changes and they are likely ready to buy
- No more time wasted on leads that aren’t qualified
Using multiple sets of business triggers, AI determines the prospects you should be focusing on right now, including those you shouldn’t.
There are some key advantages here:
- A shortened sales cycle
- Increased conversion rate
- Targeted personalisation
- Improved client loyalty
- Insight as to who to contact (key decision makers)
- Reduced mistakes from sales teams
- Less marketing crossover or mishaps
It’s like having your very own intelligent, virtual robot running your sales operations on auto-pilot.
Is it time for your B2B to revamp its acquisition methods?
The automated solution can be found here.
Why Apply Firmographic Data?
The benefits above can be categorised into three overarching and compelling reasons to use firmographics for market segmentation ASAP:
Competitive Advantages: Your business gains the upper-hand by offering specific and personalised solutions, enabling it to be highly accurate and respond faster by reacting to opportunities (as and when they arise).
New Market Identification: By deeply segmenting your market, fresh niches often surface which may not have otherwise been discovered. This means they are also unlikely to be uncovered by your competitors.
Cost Cutting + Streamlining: Hyper-targeting always results in lowered costs due to reduced time and resource investment, especially when an automated approach is applied.
Through elimination of low-quality leads and improved focus on qualified prospects that are likely to buy; profits thrive and the formation of strong relationships is expedited.