How to Build a B2B Contact List for ABM: Part 1 – Getting Started

How to Build a B2B Contact List for ABM: Part 1 – Getting StartedSuccessful ABM programs consistently engage the right contacts in the right accounts. That’s why every ABM strategy always starts out with a targeted account and B2B contact list. But an organization’s key decision makers can sometimes be very hard to identify and profile, even more so if you want this process to scale.

We’re putting together this blog series to help you out with ABM list building. In upcoming posts, we’ll take a detailed look at several proven strategies for creating ABM-focused contact lists that contain the right stakeholders and the right information about them.

To kick things off, our first topic will focus on the essential things you need to have in place to ensure a productive and successful contact list building program. Use this post as a checklist of sorts on the prerequisites of account selection and profiling.

Chief Marketer outlines three key ingredients to help ensure you choose the right accounts and pave the way for accurate contact profiling:

 

Define your ideal customer profile (ICP) and target personas

An ideal customer profile (ICP) describes the companies that you really want to sell to. It lays down the specific characteristics and attributes that represent your best customers (companies that will benefit the most from your product or service). ICPs often include the following types of company information:

  • Industry
  • Business size
  • Annual revenue
  • Location
  • Technology in use
  • Target customer

A target persona (or buyer persona) pulls together the common characteristics of a specific buyer role (end-user, economic buyer, technical buyer, champion, etc.). Each target stakeholder is associated with at least one buyer persona. Buyer personas often outline:

  • Job title
  • Pain points
  • Goals
  • Content preferences
  • Demographics
  • Preferred channels

 

Size up your market

The total addressable market (TAM) is the total number of potential accounts that meet your ICP. In short, it’s the total size of the market you can potentially sell to. Your TAM helps you determine if your market has sufficient amount of opportunities to meet your sales goals.

Another crucial number to know before account selection is your market coverage. Market coverage tells you how many potential accounts in your TAM are already your customers.

Getting the difference between your TAM and market coverage will give you an estimate of the opportunities still available in your target market.

 

Use the “3 C’s” to craft a data management plan

According to Chief Marketer, ABM targeting requires a marketing database that meets the 3 C’s of data quality: complete, current, and consistent.

 

Complete

Remember the attributes in your ICP and buyer personas? Each attribute will refer to a specific field in your target account and B2B contact list.

This is why no record in either list should contain missing values for any of those fields. Otherwise, your ABM targeting capabilities won’t be very effective.

 

Current

ABM data also needs to be regularly updated. As Forbes points out, B2B data decays really fast: each year, 18% of contact info changes and up to 60% of employees switch jobs.

Without continuous data maintenance, you won’t be able to reach the right people in your target accounts.

 

Consistent

ABM data comes from different sources, and it’s also used by different endpoints. Your website, landing pages, marketing campaigns, data vendor, etc. all contribute to the pool of data resources your ABM program relies on.

This opens up the possibility of inconsistent and incompatible data flowing through your ABM pipeline. In fact, as much as 41% of marketers say that inconsistent data across different technologies is their biggest barrier to maximizing ROI.

Conclusion:  Now, you’re all set to build your target account and B2B contact list for ABM. Next up, our topic will be building a B2B contact list for ABM using the data you already have, which most likely lives in your CRM.