The issue is that a smaller business doesn't have a CFO. They use a different job title, rely on someone with an alternative role to manage procurement, or don't publish their senior management team structure online.
Your first task is to conduct thorough research into your client companies and define a series of customer personas applicable to each type of company you'd like to do business with. Once you've narrowed down your data, you can figure out who the person is that you most need to engage and the right way to go about it.
Personas will vary between industries, company sizes and trading structures, and you can create a generalised target demographic by analysing comparable metrics such as differing job titles.
2. Narrow Down Your Target Accounts
Now we've got a defined buyer person for each business type; you want to start creating a lead generation strategy - and need a database of prospects to work on.
There are lots of ways to go about this, but the key is to filter your list of potential accounts to ensure you aren't wasting time talking to companies that have no interest in your services - say they already use a competitor's software or are tied into a contract with someone else!
Of course, it's possible to misjudge, but investing time into this exercise will help refine your efforts.
You can try tools such as:
It's best to create an initial account list and then look for behavioural markers such as industry, location, market position, pain points, objectives and budget to filter it down to the best prospects.
3. Find the Right Decision Maker
At this stage, we're ready to find the decision-makers for each of the target accounts we have selected - which means that you need to have mapped out your buyer persona for each category of B2B clients on your filtered list.
Sometimes, no single individual makes every purchase decision, and you might be targeting a procurement team. Still, it's a great starting point if you can hone in on the most influential person within the company.
Marketing automation software will usually begin with the Marketing Manager, department VP or CMO, but you should refer back to your research to ensure this position and organisational structure applies.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one potential resource to help you find the correct decision maker, which recommends contacts it thinks you'll want to connect with.
Some decision-makers don't publicise their business contact information, so you might wish to use a sales prospecting tool such as Echobot, Prospect.io or Clearbit Connect to find accurate contact details.
4. Design a Strategic Marketing Approach
It might be tempting to start cold-calling at a frantic pace now you have a curated list of decision-makers and know a fair bit about their businesses - but let's pause for a second!
Sales cadence refers to a series of actions you take and the tactics you apply to get the attention of your prospective client and ensure that you refine your approach to stand the best chance of success.
Marketers work on sequential communications, progressively providing further incentives to consider their B2B brand and building a connection as they go, considering:
- The timeline for the sequence from start to finish.
- How often they will send communications to their decision maker.
- Which channels or communication techniques are most applicable.
- The type and style of messaging used.
- How the sequence will communicate increased urgency or incentives.
While this might sound overly technical, the reality is that a procurement manager or senior officer within a company isn't likely to switch suppliers or make a knee-jerk buying decision with one email or one cold call.
Nurturing the lead and following a logical dialogue begins by introducing your brand, explaining the benefits you offer or the paint points you resolve, and leading your buyer along the funnel until they're in a good position to make a confident purchasing decision.
5. The Bottom Up Technique
Finally, let's talk about doing something completely different! If you've exhausted your access to decision-makers at the top of the authority spectrum, an alternative school of thought could help you establish your brand at the entry-level.
Strategies can include finding a contact with a more junior status who is interested in innovation, problem-solving, or recommending solutions to issues that senior executives might not even know exist.
Another is to target the gatekeeper who controls the communications that reach the decision maker. If you can establish a rapport and gain their support, you are considerably more likely to be allowed to contact your target prospect directly.
This approach requires as much skill, research and effort, but it can be an alternative way to gather information, learn more about your prospect, and tailor your marketing efforts to meet them in exactly the right place.
Interested in increasing your B2B sales?
Get in touch with Tiga B2B marketing agency today to discuss how we can transform your B2B marketing strategy and get your offering in front of the decision-makers.