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Using Customer Contact Data to Target and Sell Decision Makers
Blog / Sales Management / Oct 30, 2015 / Posted by Austin Duck / 8821

Using Customer Contact Data to Target and Sell Decision Makers

Let’s face it: the ability to target and sell directly to decision-makers is basically the Holy Grail. We build email strategies for it, wade knee-deep into profoundly uninteresting LinkedIn groups for it, and buy list after list hoping that the info we get is current enough to at least get the scent of who and how we should reach out to the people calling the shots and signing the checks.

And yes, there are resources aplenty that help us get there, and sure, we could keep buying org charts at a premium in the hopes that not too much has changed since they were assembled. But truthfully, we don’t need to.

All the information we’ve ever needed has been sitting right there in your CRM all along. Our current customers – the contact data for people we’ve already landed – can be leveraged for access to more like them: more CTOs in West Coast Tech startups, more marketing directors in mid-market enterprise organizations… They’re all profoundly accessible if you only know how to ask.

Why is Contact Data Important to This?

Having accurate, complete contact data for your customers – and I’m talking title, company, work phone, and work email – is vital for a few reasons:

1) It can provide a new level of directionality to your lead gen strategy
2) With a little bit of sorting and reorganization, it gives you everything you need to leverage Facebook “Lookalikes” and LinkedIn “Audience Expansion” audiences for targeting.

Whichever way you choose to leverage the data (realistically, a combination of both is ideal), you’ll quickly find a new level of granular insight into your audience, you’ll better understand (and can strategize against) gaps in adoption of your product within industries or particular segments, and, most importantly, you’ll have everything you need to deliver compelling messages directly to the folks making decisions.

And all from 4 little fields in a database.

Here’s How You Do It

Start With Sorting.
After exporting your customer list from CRM, you’re going to need to sort it based on what you’re looking to do. To locate decision makers, you’ll want to sort first by title, then by company.

Doing this exposes decision makers, yes, but it also gives a better sense of which industries these people are associated with, offering you more opportunity to personalize in your targeted messaging later on.

Additionally, you’ll want to pay close attention to what you don’t see – which businesses in industries you dominate haven’t yet been sold on your product. This allows you to revisit your current lead gen strategy and tweak elements of your messaging for the piece of the industry that isn’t biting. After all, the right message to the right person… you know the story.

Refine Your Strategy / Collateral
Inevitably, your excursion into sorting offers all kinds of insights into who’s biting, who isn’t, and you probably have a pretty good idea as to why they aren’t. Armed with this, it shouldn’t be difficult to put creative services to work 1) tweaking existing collateral to be “just right” for your lookalike / audience expansion audiences and 2) developing personalized pieces specifically for businesses that you want to acquire but haven’t.

Yes, it will take research and time, but the kind of micro-personalization and targeting we’re talking about in #2 is, at this point, not done, and it offers you serious competitive advantage and opportunity.

Build / Launch Your Campaigns
With your sorted contact lists – and the email addresses of the decision makers you’ve already acquired, specifically – and your strategy in place, it’s time to build your campaigns. You’ll be building a minimum of two – one macro and one microto cover your bases on both Facebook and LinkedIn.

  • For the macro campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn, upload your current list to the audience managers and request the platform build lookalike audiences. This will allow their algorithms to search their user bases for people with similar attributes to the ones you uploaded: others with the same job titles, employers, similar income brackets, etc.In essence, it will put your messaging in front of people similar to those it’s already worked on,
    offering you access to 1) decision makers and 2) decision makers who are predisposed to
    adopting your product.
  • For the micro-targeted campaigns aimed at those specific decision makers found missing in your gap analysis, you’ll want to turn to the incredibly granular targeting options available in Facebook and LinkedIn. For just a few dollars a day, you can deliver ads or content specifically to – for example – the CTO of Microsoft or the Head of Sales at Spotify. If nothing else, it creates the opportunity to top-of-mind recognition with these people, nudging them into one of the many purchaser journey’s you’ve inevitably created.

And that’s how it’s done. By leveraging current customer contact data and the incredibly smart targeting tools available today, you can deliver exactly the right message at the right time to the right person and ensure your spend is as meaningful as the highly qualified leads you create.

About Author

Austin Duck is Senior Copywriter for HZDG. He regularly contributes to StartupGrind, Business2Community, and elsewhere and lives in DC with his wife and army of cats.

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