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Tuesday, 11 March 2014 10:22

How to Use Account Profiling to Gain a Competitive Advantage in B2B Marketing

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Imagine having deep insights into your target accounts that can give you a competitive advantage in marketing and sales. They enable you to prioritize who to call, create customized messages that grab their attention, encourage decision-makers to consider your products, shorten the sales cycle, and close the sale. 

 

 

What You Need to Know to Grow

To gain this level of understanding you’d need to answer the following questions:

  • Which accounts offer us the best opportunities?
  • What challenges do they face?
  • Do they have the budget necessary to solve their problems with our solutions?
  • Do they have a sense of urgency and timeline to resolve their issues?
  • Where do we have the greatest potential for cross-selling and up-selling our products and solutions?
  • Which competitors are we up against at these ideal accounts?
  • Are we positioning our company effectively against competitors or do we need to refine our message?
  • Are we approaching our prospects and clients in the most effective way based on their organizational structure and decision-making process?
  • Is all our account data up-to-date and complete?

  • Why the Business-to-Business Sale is Complex

    Let’s face it. Selling complex products in a business-to-business environment is challenging. Sales cycles often run from three months to over a year. And you’re not selling one-to-one. Within every company there’s a tangled web of people who influence the decision to buy—all focusing on different issues, and some with more sway than others. You need to understand each stakeholder’s role in the business and tailor your message accordingly.

    If you don’t know what you’re dealing with, you’re likely to walk into a maze and wander around aimlessly until you reach a dead end. But account profiling provides a map to the maze. It deciphers who’s involved in the decision, what their role is, and the issues they’re facing. In addition, it gives you a glimpse whether the prospects may meet the BANT criteria—Budget, Authority, Need, and Timing.

    Map the Maze

    You can think about the questions above or discuss them with co-workers, but there’s really only one surefire way to discover the answers.

    Put a team of professionals on the phone to talk with your clients and prospects. The maze is intricate so you may need to make several calls to one account before you can map your route. You may also need to tap into online and offline secondary information to complete the picture, but you’ll discover most of what you need through personal conversations.

    Gain a Competitive Advantage in Marketing

    Your marketing initiatives will be more impactful and you’ll gain an edge over your competitors when you deeply understand prospect and client needs, and how they make decisions. You’ll also be better prepared to avert the problem of losing the sale to no decision at all.

    Account profiling enables you to:

    • Reach out to the right people at companies that are the best match for your products and solution;
    • Craft a message that resonates;
    • Clearly position your offering against competitors’ products;
    • Know when and how to upsell and cross sell;
    • Navigate the decision-making process with multiple players.

    The bottom line is that account profiling provides the market intelligence to give you a competitive advantage. And that’s what you need to succeed.

    For more information about account profiling call +1 718 709 0900 or +39 06 978 446 60 (EMEA).

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