Find the right people with Opportunity Finder

Join us for this six-part blog series where we’ll spotlight each of the key pillars of Opportunity Finder – the end-to-end revenue generator that can help you identify, engage, and close key accounts.

how to find the right people

As we discussed in part one, data is the core foundation to a successful marketing campaign. But enriching your database with all the company data and intent insights in the world is a futile exercise if you don’t know who the right people are to speak to in your target accounts.

From influencers to decision makers and budget holders, there are many touch points and contacts along the pipeline that make a sale possible, and finding the right people is crucial to influence a company that fits your ideal customer profile (ICP).

BNZSA, powered by Anteriad’s Contact Findr service aims to reduce the time involved trawling through platforms like LinkedIn Sales Navigator and other similar resources so you can target the right people at the right time with the right message and discover the buying committee.

Finding the right ICP:

When we enrich a database, this often populates company information, but lacks insights into the actual people and profiles you want to reach. Contact Findr is powered by our Data Researchers who complete contact records manually using public domain resources such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Zoom Info, Hoovers etc. saving you time trawling through multiple platforms.

By combining the intent insights gathered in the “Enrich” stage, and contact information in the “Find” stage, you have a complete, tailor-made database with accurate information of the people you want to target.

Now you have a complete database that’s ready for the next step of Opportunity Finder – “Ignite”.

Come back for part three where we will discuss how you can use Opportunity Finder to ignite the lead generation eco-system and generate the first touch points with your prospects.

Enrich your customer data with Opportunity Finder

Join us for this six-part blog series where we’ll spotlight each of the key pillars of Opportunity Finder – the end-to-end revenue generator that can help you identify, engage, and close key accounts.

How to enrich your customer data

Businesses are always trying to crack the code of getting better return on investment (ROI) from marketing spend, and with growing uncertainty over the current economic climate, finding ways to optimise budget for best results is key.

Pipeline generation and activation requires applying various strategies along the full sales funnel to fully engage and convert prospects to opportunities effectively.

This first instalment of a six-part blog series will delve into the first element of Opportunity Finder’s key pillars – Enrich – defining the importance of data to set your campaign up for success. Each blog will show how each step was designed with revenue generation in mind to identify real opportunities, not just leads that sit stagnantly in the pipeline or are discarded.

Data Science in B2B marketing:

When it comes to developing a valuable B2B marketing strategy, it goes without saying that accurate data is key to building a sturdy foundation. Companies can often fall at this first hurdle – they struggle with siloed, inconsistent, and incomplete data. In the data science world, garbage in i.e., poor quality data, is garbage out that lacks actionable insight.

Better decisions start with better data, so Opportunity Finder starts with data to derive the information needed to select the right contacts to accurately target our client’s messaging. We use our first party and intent data enhanced with technographic and firmographic data to optimise outreach from the offset.

In a fast-paced marketing and sales environment, it’s crucial to strategically direct your resources to where they will have the biggest impact.

Usually, a wide range of data is analysed to reach informed decisions, help define Ideal Customer Profiles (ICPs) and identify high potential opportunities more accurately.

Insights are gathered from first and third-party data sources to enrich your database with key information and intent data about your target companies, so you are fully equipped to understand what influences your prospects buying behaviours so you can adapt your outreach strategy from the outset.

Part Two will spotlight the second pillar of Opportunity Finder – “Find” – and will showcase our Contact Findr service which can help you pinpoint the right people and buying committees to speak to.

Hope For The Best By Preparing For The Worst: BNZSA Examines The Five Key Trends For ITDMs For 2023 And Beyond.

As we enter the last few days of 2022 it is a customary tradition to do a bit of navel gazing about what the next year will hold for the IT Market and what hot topics will keep ITDMs awake at night next year.

As we end what has been for many, a rollercoaster of a year, there seems to be plenty of things that will cause a few sleepless nights in the months ahead!

Therefore, it is important to identify and adapt to these trends in a world that has had a perpetual round of shocks in the last decade that in more recent times has seen: a global pandemic, inflation, global supply chain issues, energy and food crises and latterly geopolitical instability through war. There are also many concerns over increasingly sophisticated criminal and state sponsored cyber-attacks. 

With another global recession on the horizon, it is more essential than ever to have the best and most actionable data, combined with continued investment in employee and customer value propositions, in order to ride the wave of these uncertain times.

In the first of this two-part piece, BNZSA will identify the key trends and challenges in the market for 2023 and beyond.

1. Hybrid Infrastructure

Many commentators have been tracking the long-lasting implications of Covid on the workplace and what knock-on effects it has had on the provision of IT services and employee working practices. While the race to look for more collaborative technologies during lockdowns and social distancing measures was a necessary first response to a natural disaster, most industry watchers believe that hybrid and remote working will continue after the pandemic.

In November 2022, a YouGov study on behalf of IT service and consultants NSC noted “… organisations should expect this to be a permanent and persistent pattern in their workplace and to prepare for this long-term shift.”

It also believes that this paradigm shift is the ‘new norm’ and that increasingly companies will move to a ‘distributed enterprise.’ The report also noted that the global market for IT and business services grew 29% to $84.2 billion in 2021 as businesses reviewed and implemented new technology to improve “overall long-term business resilience.”

In order to fully utilise hybrid-infrastructure, ITDMs must factor in the following trends. With opportunity, comes potential challenges and risks, which if not fully planned for may bring some nasty surprises along the way.

2. Modern Workplace

The knock-on effect of the long period of remote working is that many employees now associated office-based jobs with an unnecessary and expensive commute on backed up highways and overburdened public transport networks.

Whereas hybrid and remote ways of working offer more flexibility, productivity and time to be with family. Many workers have decided that going forward they want to work for companies that will offer remote or hybrid working, according to analyst Gartner.

It found that nearly half of employees surveyed wanted to work for companies that offered more hybrid work and latterly shorter working weeks. It also stated that the “employee value proposition must change for hybrid work and respond to shifts in employee expectations”

In its report, Gartner has identified these key future work trends:

In conclusion, Gartner believes because the ongoing transformation in the way knowledge workers work, the move to hybrid working will prove great opportunities for companies. However, it will also provide potential risks such as increased exposure to cyberattacks, which we will examine below.

Other factors such as the way companies have traditionally  procured and managed hardware look likely to change as demands for more bring (or use) your own devices (BYOD) grows and the demand of  purchasing more mobile devices rather than traditional desktop devices grows.

Break fix services will also be a consideration for the future in terms of maintaining, services and replacing devices. And with a growing need for employees to monitor activity and productivity of remote staff, there looks likely to be some concerns about how much data companies are holding on employees, how it is processed and other concerns that ITDMs will have to manage as part of ongoing privacy policies.

3. Digital Transformation

While YouGov/NSC found, in a survey of 263 business executives, that 79% of respondents had a digital transformation plan in place, almost half cited that legacy technology as a key constraint. Many are now looking to cloud migration or companies that offer as-a-service solutions, to not only help with their digital transformation plans, but to also maintain solid customer value propositions and customer experience.

To this end, YouGov predicts that demand for as-as-service offerings will rise. And this can also mean how companies hire staff. According to Gartner, in looming recessionary times functional leaders must get “recession ready.” And this means being agile in securing talent.

For BNZSA’s clients, the demand for BDRs-as-a-service and SDRs-as-a-service also looks set to rise in 2023 and beyond as companies look to backfill existing shortages or look to grow pipelines and closed won revenue by adding instant ‘virtual’ resources at a fraction of the cost of traditional FTEs.

During the pandemic, a lot of the traditional face-to-face (F2F) ways to educate potential customers on IT products and solutions and generate sales pipeline such as conferences and events were put on hold. In turn, this has accelerated many companies to look to digital solutions and social platforms to educate and also for lead generation provision.

While it is universally accepted that ‘content is the backbone of any buyer journey or customer experience. Analyst company Forrester notes that currently marketeers must catch up on critical skills to ensure content will deliver its ‘intended impact’. It also notes that having a pre-pandemic approach to content provision and content syndication in an increasingly sophisticated digital landscape will not yield the results or ROI that marketeers and sales people expect. While we may have to wait for the Metaverse or some similar virtual reality platform to interact with brands, there are plenty of smarter ways for companies to use content on current digital platforms.

To this end Forrester advises five important focus areas for content provision, effective digital campaigns and providing the right content to the right people at the right time:

As we approach 2023, it seems that while most companies may claim they have a digital transformation in place, it may be hindered by a number of factors that need to be addressed and fixed.

If for example, legacy hardware is the reason why cloud migrations and as-a-service provision is faltering, looking to companies that provide managed services and have the necessary infrastructure in place could be a short-term solution to allow ITDMs and marketeers to focus on other areas of the business that need to be fixed such as content.

Like managed service providers, there are a number of agencies like BNZSA that can not only create the content for your campaigns but also manage both the awareness and the generation of marketing qualified and sales ready opportunities.

4. Cloud Computing

While the migration from on premise infrastructure to cloud computing has been happening the enterprise for some time, it is quickly becoming a top priority for the mid-size market. According to YouGov/NSC, it found that: “in 2021, cloud spending by small and midsized businesses shot up significantly, with as many as 53% spending more than $1.2 million annually on the cloud - up from 38% in 2020”.

It also states that companies are increasingly looking for cloud-based solutions “to keep up with digital transformation and ensure remote workers have what they need to stay productive”.

Considering the above trends and challenges of modern workplace, hybrid computing and digital transformation, it is small wonder that YoGov/NSC found that execs from all sizes of companies ranked cloud services between 80-93% as the most important technology for their business post Covid.

In terms of best practice around cloud migration, there is a whole range of advice around whether to ‘lift and shift’-migrating existing architecture to cloud-based services, ‘refactor’ or fully refactor, according to AWS cloud migration partner Cloud Bridge that notes

“In our experience, there is no ‘right’ way. The key decision is whether to modernise as you move, or afterwards.”

5. Cyber Security

With the move to more hybrid and remote working combined with the growth of using more “as-a-service” offerings by cloud migration and outsourced human resources is creating more security threats for both enterprise and mid-size companies.

The holiday period is also a prime time for cyberattacks according to managed services provider, Transputec that warns:

"The main issue with cybersecurity over Christmas is that many organisations are severely understaffed during this time. Employees are often underprepared when the cyberattack takes place, and even struggle to deal with recovering from the damages done after the cyberattack. Detection and response times are much higher in Christmas than any other time of year as a result."

"Cyberattacks are more prevalent since organisations just don’t have the defences in place to deal with the numerous forms of cyberattacks. In particular, ransomware attacks increased by 70% during the holiday period of 2021."

According to Transputec, as well as raising awareness of cyberattacks over the holidays with staff and running compliance courses, it is also important to add things like multi-factor authentication to accounts and devices:

“This will provide an additional layer of security that makes it more difficult for cyber-attackers to bypass. Cyber-attackers have often been able to guess or steal passwords. Having multi-factor authentication helps your organisation become less susceptible to social engineering.”

Going forward into 2023, YouGov/NSC notes that “67% of the C-suite see the single biggest "headache", with technology today, as Cybersecurity.”

While Analyst Gartner also notes that for audit departments, executives see Cyber threats as a growing risk in 2023.

“Fewer than half (42%) of audit executives are highly confident they can provide assurance over cybersecurity risk — although 81% plan to cover cybersecurity in audit activities. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting geopolitical hostility could lead to increased cyberthreats. Even before war broke out, organizations believed that actors sponsored by the Russian government targeted them.”

However, there are certainly solutions. Having a strategy and backup in place to deal with cyberattacks is crucial concludes Transputec that observes:

“Since cyberattacks are more common during the Christmas season, it’s also important to have backups of your data in the case of a successful cyberattack. With cloud computing being commonly used, having a physical backup of your data could be a life-saver”.

Stay tuned for part two where we will offer some tips and advice from our internal experts, clients and ITDMs, using real world examples on how to adapt for these challenges.

BNZSA Spotlight

Demand generation powered by people: the future of effective account based marketing (Part 1)

In this series of three articles, Paul Stacey examines the current state of Account Based Marketing (ABM). He looks at the necessary alignment with sales and marketing strategies; an appraisal of the ABM vendor landscape and where to invest; and considers the essential linkage between high quality data and timely human intervention. 

Account Based Marketing – A difficult, but rewarding ‘new normal’ for B2B sales

With greater uncertainty about technology investments, the current pandemic has ushered a necessary change in traditional B2B sales and marketing strategies and accelerated a greater need for effective account based marketing (ABM).

ABM has been with us for some time. So, it’s not a new and recent readjustment of B2B sales and marketing augured by Covid-19 per se. But the changes in how sales and marketing teams have had to rethink their alignment – perhaps rationalising their account or industry focus – in the current climate means that companies have this year had to respond quickly to new priorities and audiences.

ABM is an obvious plan of attack in our new world. But effective ABM is particularly challenged today as previous direct and personal – in-person channels like face-to-face meetings and networking events – have evaporated. In-person client activities of yore like hospitality at sporting occasions or the arts were arguably on the wane anyway, but intimacy with clients and prospects has never been so challenged. And yet have never before been so important.

Relationships in our increasingly virtual world are less direct and personal, and decision making far more dispersed – both geographically and organisationally.

Effective ABM is expensive, it’s difficult, but executed well, has the potential to deliver exceptional returns.

As most of you know, ABM, also known as key account marketing, is a strategic approach to B2B marketing based on account awareness in which an organisation considers and communicates with individual prospect or customer accounts as markets of one.

Despite its name, ABM is really less about marketing to an ‘account’, and more of an understanding that B2B investment decisions are made by buying committees from varied internal silos. So, their collective actions constitute an indicator of interest, intent and engagement. But reaching the decision-making group is hard and is inevitably increasingly complex. Getting your ABM strategy right has never been more important or tougher. 

A significant part of the promise of ABM is the ability to personalise messages, content and programmes to differentiate by addressing prospect’s specific needs.

How it works, who it’s for and its benefits

ABM is typically employed in enterprise-level sales organisations. If you do it well, you can realise these benefits:

While business marketing has been typically organised by industry, product/solution or channel (direct/social/PR etc.), ABM brings all of these together to focus on individual accounts. Done well, you will reap the rewards of your tailored solutions. Done badly, you will waste a lot of time, effort and money.

So, sellers today need to rely on integrated marketing and communications in a way they have never done before. Marketing needs to be personalised, and it needs to be intelligently deployed across multiple channels. It needs to be joined-up, complementary and highly relevant.

But going the multi-channel way brings risk. A multi-channel approach inevitably waters down spend levels within each channel. The temptation is to increase media spend at the expense of creative personalisation. When this happens the uniqueness of a message is lost, and marketing activities become commoditised and potential customers see little or no difference between suppliers and their competitors. When that happens, price becomes the only obvious differentiator. Personalisation is paramount.

Organisations which are currently seeing the greatest benefit from ABM are IT, Services and Consulting companies. With complex propositions, long sales cycles and large customers, these organisations are ideal candidates for the approach. This is because ABM is ultimately dependant on data, and these sectors major on the value of data. They have complex solutions, and they have complex buying groups.

ABM is, though, spreading into other sectors and a benefit can be seen to be an increased return on investment. Consequently, there is something of a ‘gold rush’ in the ABM automation space.

If you read the ABM technology vendor’s marketing claims, you would be led to think that automation can overcome marketing and sales teams’ current challenge for intimacy with clients and do it all instead – identify, reach and engage with your highest-value prospects – at the touch of a button. But can these off-the-shelf solutions truly automate at scale while retaining key customer insights and preserving intimacy? I think not.

There is a place for automation of course, but it’s worthless without high quality data, and essentially, the intervention of people.

I would argue that the human touch is necessary in at least one, if not multiple touchpoints in any company’s ABM campaigns. Demand generation must ultimately be powered by people.

But how to achieve the perfect marriage of automation, data and people?

Tune in for the next instalment. But in the meantime, what do you think? I welcome your thoughts and comments.