What is a Named Account List? (And Why It's Crucial for B2B Organizations)

January 14, 2020 Jesse Miller

If you’re familiar with account-based marketing (ABM), then you may have heard that you need to come up with a named account list. But you may not fully understand what a named account is or how to get started. 

What is a Named Account?

A named account is a company that your business has identified as a qualified prospect. Each named account should also contain a list of buying committee contacts within that company. 

This list allows you to create an outreach strategy that is personalized not only to that company, but also to each key decision maker within the company. Each account on your named account list will be assigned to a single sales representative and supported by targeted marketing efforts. 

Assigning each account to one representative ensures that multiple people don’t contact the same company. This makes it easier to begin building a relationship with that company.

And since one person is assigned to each account, it’s easier to evaluate what’s working and what isn’t when it is time to look at your account-based program effectiveness. 

Why is a Named Account List Important?

Traditionally, marketers have focused on casting a very wide net for lead generation. They nurtured accounts with automated emails and identified target companies only when they’ve raised their hands.

ABM takes the traditional marketing funnel and removes the noise of unqualified companies or buyers. Instead, you start by identifying your named accounts, and then engage and build relationships with those companies.

There are three reasons why a named account list is a crucial first step to getting started with ABM.

1. It Helps You Avoid Duplication

Few things can sabotage your marketing efforts faster than duplication. This can be when you send one prospect multiple versions of the same automated email. 

It can also happen when the same account is targeted by multiple sales or marketing reps. Duplication wastes your marketing budget and ruins your personalization efforts.

By assigning a named account to only one sales rep, you’re ensuring that you avoid duplication. 

2. You Can Personalize Your Marketing Approach

One of the unique things about ABM is that it recognizes the different perspectives within the buying committee of each account. You cannot “sell” every person the exact same way.

Using named accounts allows you to begin developing a personalized marketing strategy for each company and key decision maker on your list. 

3. You Sell Your Services to Multiple People

Focusing on individual leads is not enough in B2B marketing. Research from Gartner found that there are typically seven to eight people involved in the buying process. 

So if you’re trying to sell your product or service, you actually need to sell multiple people on the decision, from individual contributors to members of the C-suite 

By building relationships with multiple individuals, the deal has a higher probability of moving forward. 

How to Get Started

So now that you understand what a named account list is and why it matters, how do you get started? Here are four steps to moving forward with your named account list:

1. Come up with your ICP. Before you can come up with a named account list, you’ll need to spend some time thinking about who your ideal customers are. Think about your best customers and what they have in common. 

What size are these companies? What industry are they in? What is their annual revenue? This will help you come up with an ideal customer profile, and from there, you can start developing your named account list. 

To help get you started, check out our ICP template.

If you’re just getting started with ABM, keep your named account list moderate before you prepare to scale. This will help you test and iterate. This of course depends on the size and might of your team, so for ambitious marketers, you may expand your list depending on resources. 

2. Define your messaging. Next, you’ll spend some time figuring out how you will engage with each of your target accounts. 

Remember, you can’t engage every account in the same way. The messaging has to be personalized not only to each account but also to each key decision maker within that named account. This can take into consideration their title, industry, sales stage, and various other insightful attributes that lead to on-time, on-point messaging.

3. Identify the channels you’ll use. You also need to determine what channels you’ll use to engage your named accounts. How do your target accounts gather information? Are they even actively looking for a product or service like yours?

As savvy B2B marketing teams know, the ecosystem is brimming with channels. Before you go all in, it's best to try this out on your best bets for top performance. This may be digital campaigns, email, events, direct mail — you name it. 

4. Execute and measure your results. Once you’ve developed your messaging, and you know what channels you’ll be using, you can begin executing your campaign. Make sure you continue to measure your results and make changes along the way. Once you have initial metrics around your named account performance, you can begin to negotiate greater budget for programs and to expand your experimentation.

Next Steps

80% of marketers that measure ROI say that ABM initiatives outperform other marketing investments. And on average, companies that use ABM generate 208% more revenue from their efforts.  

So why do some marketers resist implementing ABM in their own marketing strategy? Often, it’s because many marketers encounter common challenges when setting up their named account lists. They may struggle to identify the right contacts or are unsure of which accounts to prioritize.

If this sounds familiar, then RollWorks can help. We have a database of over 320 million contacts. And our software can help you track your campaigns and identify which accounts are the most engaged.   

If you’re interested in learning more about our account-based platform, feel free to request a demo. 

About the Author

Jesse Miller would call himself a marketing swiss army knife. The majority of his career has been in B2B, specializing in digital and account-based marketing. He is passionate about executing multi-channel campaigns from first touch to closed won and building the reporting to prove the impact of them. When he isn’t marketing, he’s outside playing disc golf, camping, or at a concert (oh how he misses concerts).

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin More Content by Jesse Miller
Previous Article
Why We Turned Everything Upside Down for B2BMX
Why We Turned Everything Upside Down for B2BMX

Tired of checklist marketing? Break the insameity.

Next Article
The Missing Third Revenue Platform
The Missing Third Revenue Platform

In 2020, we're making one clear prediction: ambitious B2B organizations will realize there is a missing thi...