The set of companies and individuals to which B2B marketers sell their wares is finite and, in many cases, quite limited. That’s probably one of the biggest challenges of B2B marketing and what makes it distinct from B2C.
How do you identify those very specific individuals in very specific companies that truly care about your product and have a true need for it? In other words, B2B marketers want to uncover their “space” of leads who have the propensity to buy their product and then find ways to effectively engage with them—rather than using a shotgun approach and hoping something sticks.
I’ve been working with a lot of B2B companies over the last several years and I haven’t come across a single one that says they already have a reliable and accurate database of their potential buyers. In fact, the State of Salesforce report recently released by Bluewolf quoted that 38% of Salesforce users are not confident in their instances data.
In order to achieve this goal of having the ideal database, B2B marketers need to follow a few key steps. A lot of these are worth a much deeper discussion and will likely be part of a series of posts on this topic:
- Leverage organizational insights as well as analyses of closed opportunities to come up with an “Ideal Customer Profile.” This sounds simpler than it actually is given the amount of information needed to accurately identify your ideal customer.
- Understand which of the people you’re already engaged with are potential matches of this profile and enrich them with actionable and fresh information.
- Discover more of those companies and people with high a propensity to buy.
- Select the right approach to engage with your “lead space.”
- Analyze and optimize your understanding of the Ideal Customer Profile.
These steps need to continually be revisited as the B2B world is constantly changing with new products being introduced and people switching jobs and positions frequently. This is what makes your target market a “living” lead space and, your challenge as a B2B marketer, is to always be on top of it.