Get Certain in Uncertain Times: How to Capture Prospects Before the Competition

September 12, 2023

When the going gets tough, what’s the first thing most marketers hear? ‘Cut costs.’ 

The reality is most of us will face this in coming months, and have dealt with it throughout our careers. When there is budget left, the key is to be very clear on what strategies will work the hardest for you to secure profitability and future investment in your engine. That’s why we challenge you to flip the script — what can’t you afford to cut? Closing customers that are ready to buy today.

Despite what we’d like to believe, there isn't an infinite pool of customers out there for us to share equally. Everyone is vying for the biggest slice of a finite pie, and if you sit back and let them — your competitors will take it before you get to the table. How do you get to the table first to get the best serving? Getting in front of high-fit, in-market accounts with precision. Now is the time to focus your efforts on deals that have the biggest potential to convert, and account-based data and marketing has all the tools you need to win deals and fast. 

Where to start to beat the competition?

Double down on the ‘95-5’ rule. That's right, focus on getting in front of the 5% of in-market accounts that are ready to buy now. If you’re not actively out pursuing this 5% of in-market accounts, it's inevitable that your competitors will swipe them up first. Here’s how you can beat the competition without creating complicated new programs or adding another layer of complexity to your current marketing strategy—all while closing business before EOY and kicking off Q1 super strong.

The Right Data to Capture In-Market Accounts Quickly

With fewer accounts looking to buy, it's time to work smarter, not harder. Never miss an in-market deal because you didn't have the data ABM delivers. ABM is the go-to downturn strategy to budget more effectively, get in front of the competition, and maximize all your resources at any given time. Here are 3 key sources of data that helps capture in-market accounts quickly to close deals faster:

  1. In-Market Surges on Intent Data: Make sure you are targeting the top priority accounts by monitoring intent keywords. These are target accounts that are actively looking today, and are researching your solutions online ( Ex: on the web, searching your product category, keyword, topics and you and your competitors (e.g. on G2) and your website). This may look like tracking keywords that are considered bottom-of-funnel (your brand name, your product capabilities, competitor keywords, etc. — anything that indicates they’re in consideration). For example, you could track your competitors and see when in-market accounts are searching and swoop them up. Talk about detective work and securing your bottom line. 

*Bonus tip: Get suggestions on accounts that are within your ICP, but may not be on your target account list today,  that are surging on your brand or feature keywords.  It’s make-or-break that you have quick access to this data and can then translate it into active marketing/sales campaigns to bring them in with precision. 

  1. Engagement signals: Catch your prospects while their on-site interest is high by using customizable engagement signals. This will not only help you find out who is highly engaged (code: hot lead), but the specific content they’re engaging with so you can ensure you’re reaching out at the right time and with relevant content that’s sure to grab their attention. We call this the one-two punch of prioritization and personalization: both are key to stand out against the competition. Bonus: use proprietary RollWorks data features like Trending Accounts and Spiking Accounts so your sales teams can easily see which accounts are hot and ready for outreach to accelerate time to close. You’re ultimately looking for those who are both hot on intent + engagement, creating your ideal 5% to pursue and snag before competitors. 

The Precise Targeting to Stand Out 

We’ll keep this simple: once you have the most accurate, quick data — you’ll need to put it to use. The accuracy of your data is only as good as the reach across marketing and sales channels you have access to. Here are some questions to ask yourself about your targeting capabilities to make sure your budget is being used most effectively: 

  • Can I reach personas and accounts not in my database?

  • Can I switch up messaging based on the sales stage?

  • Can I automate  personalized messaging? 

  • Can I integrate across RevTech platforms (CRM, Outreach, Sendoso, RollWorks, etc.) for surround sound impact?

  • Can I measure impact throughout account journeys and activate campaigns?

  • Can I gain access to a database of millions of businesses and buyers and reach them across display? 

If the answer is no, it’s time to ask more of your vendors and be selective of those who can support your targeting. 

*Pro tip: Max on High Performing Channels. Double-down on your highest performing channels (and current MarTech investments) to get in front of buyers with multi-prong plays. From there, create dynamic campaigns that change the message/offer throughout each stage of the funnel to accelerate deal cycles and support your sales team to be top of mind against the competition.

Your EOQ and Q1 Secret? Closing Deals Fast with ABM

ABM can deliver fast results and value in as little as 90 days. Within only 3 months of their first ABM initiative, BlackBaud saw 4x larger sales opportunities using ABM by focusing on the singular goal of using targeted display ads to increase the number of engaged target accounts. Blackbaud’s digital marketing team lead Sam Kuehnle said, “Thanks to [BlackBaud’s] new targeting abilities — we don’t have to throw out 20 messages and hope that one lands. We can mention the specific pain points we know you're going through and how we can help you.” 

For more on how to navigate these uncertain times with a bit more certainty, check out our Insider's Guide to Marketing in a Downturn.
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