Live from LeadsCon: B2B Customer Acquisition – Effective Approaches to Finding and Securing the Most Valuable Customers

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Aug 14, 2014
More Articles by Janet


The first break out session for B2B LeadsCon was “B2B Customer Acquisition – Effective Approaches to Finding and Securing the Most Valuable Customers” featuring Chris Chariton, formerly of IHS GlobalSpec, and Patricia Dixen of Fortnet. Mac McIntosh of AcquireB2B was the moderator.

Chris discussed using a predictive model to understand the propensity to buy. She shared a case study from IHS GlobalSpec. They were trying to reach marketers in manufacturing, distribution, etc. of parts and equipment. To build the model, first look at the data you have about your customers:

  • External Firmographics
    • Number of employees
    • Company revenue
    • Number of locations
  • Proprietary/Internal Data
    • Yearly sales
    • Lifetime sales
    • Products bought
    • Sales pipeline data

Need help building your model? Look to data analysts, financial modelers, etc. who can help who may be within your own company. Also consider looking to external resources, such as a local university.

Chris shared a table of how they “scored” their customers in the data breakdown:

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The second step was to apply that same model to lead scoring. They separated the customers into two buckets — those that had a marketing lead association before becoming a sales opportunity and those that did not. Some major factors for lead score included:

  • Contact role
  • Budget allocated
  • Time frame (3 months)
  • Request a sales call
  • Spending in other online marketing
  • Type of marketing lead (whitepaper, webinar, etc.)
  • Timeframe

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Using this model really validates assumptions and uncovers myths. It gives you a methodology to evaluate companies and helps you plan your marketing investment. It also helps define how to assign sales leads.

The lessons learned? Marketing lead scoring combined with company scoring is very powerful. You will need to review the data and tweak as needed.

slices and whole tomatoPatricia was up next and started by sharing a great guiding principle: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

Step 1: Identify what sales support systems your leads will be feeding. What are the roles involved? What is their knowledge level? What automation is being used? What is this process?

Step 2: Identify who are or will be your most valuable customers. Look at firmographics, demographics and psychographics. Examine geographic location, vertical, purchase timeframe and existing market segments.

Step 3: Select 2-4 best options on where to find customers. Some examples include:

  • Referrals from existing customers
  • Retargeting
  • Events
  • Purchased lists
  • Content syndication
  • Telemarketing
  • LinkedIn
  • Webinars, microsites

Patricia then shared a case study. The situation was entering a new market area. They reviewed the sales support system which was comprised of an inside sales team and telemarketing. The revised approach used competitive retargeting and identified companies with a project identified and direct mail for appointment setting. The result? The increase in shortlisted projects was 122%.

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