Account-based marketing as a practice has empowered marketing teams to achieve a new level of personalized engagement with their ideal customers with a more focused approach to targeting buyers. Now, as the industry accelerates to digital transformation, it is more important than ever to conduct more relevant, personalized outreach to drive sales and develop real relationships with the accounts that matter most to a business.
Intent data has played a critical role in ABM strategies, identifying accounts that are in market and providing insights into their behaviors that organizations can’t get from a form fill, especially with face-to-face engagements being off the table for the time being. But, historically, intent signals would provide intelligence at the account level versus the individual level. This has allowed B2B organizations to personalize their campaigns to a certain extent, targeting specific groups of buyers and accounts instead of the key influencer within those accounts.
TechTarget, a B2B technology purchase intent data and services provider, is looking to change that with the release of Prospect-Level IntentTM, which is designed to provide an understanding of individual prospects based on their research, engagement and buying team associations. Having these granular insights will empower teams to engage with opted-in individuals to quickly and effectively key in on in-market buyers.
“The change in Priority Engine is that previously — because our clients were marketers and marketers tend to do things in larger buckets — they only needed to do their segmentations one-to-many,” said Andrew Briney, Senior Vice President of Products at TechTarget, in a conversation with Demand Gen Report. “But in ABM, since we're talking about a reduced list of accounts and our goal is doing better marketing and sales to get more revenue, the individual becomes critically important. So, we realized we had to make this individual available in a more granular way and we changed the way you could analyze it to now deliver that.”
Specifically, the Priority Engine updates include:
- A fresh interface designed to provide quick access to buying team contacts within the context of their buyer journey, making it easier for sellers and marketers to act on prospect-level intent;
- Deeper prospect insights that include visibility into active prospect behavior within a market category, who downloaded a company’s content and whether the prospect is net-new to CRM;
- A customized view of active prospects from accounts that match a company’s ICP, as well as scoring and ranking of prospects from specific accounts to provide a complete view of engagement; and
- User-defined prospect entry points that are designed to empower users to better personalize emails, nurture programs and sales scripts with specific details about someone’s research and interests matched to user strengths. The entry points can be customized based on a user’s go-to-market strategy and historical sales wins.
Fostering Sales & Marketing Alignment With Individualized Intent Insights
ABM fosters greater alignment and collaboration between marketing and sales. However, the term “account-based marketing” doesn’t necessarily depict the importance of sales’ involvement in the process.
“ABM began, as so many things do, as a thought process, perspective and an innovation pursued by marketing,” said John Steinert, Chief Marketing Officer of TechTarget. “You can see that because it’s embedded in the term ‘account-based marketing’. Of course, we all know that sales have gone to market by account historically. So, ‘Account-based’ was nothing new. And we see a lot of our clients don't even use the term ABM; they use ‘target account’ more commonly. And one of the reasons they do that is that they don't want sales to be confused by the term ‘marketing.’”
Steinert agreed that sales and marketing alignment and collaboration is critical, and the measure of success is revenue performance of a specific list of accounts. Ironically, ABM is about improving revenue performance at a specific list of accounts and that's what sales have always been interested in. But it’s up to marketing to equip sales teams with relevant messaging for specific buyers and enable them to take the next best action.
“You have to make it easy for [sales] to be able to very quickly assess what they need to do in order to take the next best action within their territory with the accounts and prospects that they're going after – it’s all about enablement,” said Steinert. “Having that connection with marketing allows sales to easily do this and take the easiest, fastest path to revenue with key target or ABM accounts easily leveraging precise data and intelligence.”
Prospect-Level Intent aims to provide that necessary level of data and intelligence to accurately enable sales teams to create and then seal the deal, empowering them with key insights into the buyer’s challenges, pain points, research level and more. These insights allow B2B organizations to deliver truly personalized campaigns and outreach for their target accounts and buyers at the level of each individual within the buying team.
TechTarget clients who tested the new Priority Engine in beta have already reported an increase in sales and marketing productivity and yields:
- “Priority Engine helps our sales team be more efficient with their time,” said Paul Penn, Regional Sales Director at ServiceNow, in a statement. “My sales reps use the account and prospect-level insights on a daily basis. Priority Engine shows them where to fish and what prospects are biting on, so they know who to contact and exactly what to say to generate a response.”
- “Continuously improving the efficiency and productivity of our marketing and sales efforts is a top priority at SolarWinds,” said Morag Keirns, Director of Customer Marketing at SolarWinds, in a statement. “With Priority Engine Prospect Insights, we’re able to align our solutions to what each prospect is researching. As a result, we achieve better response rates with less effort.”
TechTarget also announced an upgraded Salesforce integration that aims to help find and engage with ideal prospects directly within existing workflows. With the “Connected App” tool, users are able to give prospect-level intent directly through Salesforce. Capabilities include the ability to:
- Add high-priority prospects to Salesforce, filling sales cadences and call lists with the prospects that matter most;
- View Priority Engine’s prospect- and account-level insights directly in Salesforce without having to leave the app; and
- Augment existing Salesforce records with behavioral intelligence to build intent-driven, prioritized contact and lead lists.
“We strongly believe that at the end of the ABM process, it is all about having stronger relationships with the customer,” said Steinert. “And delivering improved customer experience is achieved in two ways: By caring to do so and then having the insights necessary to cut away the noise and speak directly to customer’s needs. Prospect-Level Intent is the best way to do this. In study after study that we've done, we find that when the properly trained salesperson or whoever's doing the outreach uses the insights successfully, they will get better response and conversions that ultimately leads to more pipeline.”