This week at EMM we have been in great spirits because of the surprisingly good weather in Chicago, and have decided to let you in on some of our insider tips about how to pick your B2B email prospect list.
Firstly it’s best to start your journey into the world of B2B data by targeting which companies you’re going to prospect before you select job titles or functions. This is because it gives you more potential ways to be referred internally. Allow us to explain. We’ll use our product, email data, as an example.
Let’s say we think the best target title for our prospecting is “database manager”. Here’s the problem with using that as your start point for picking a list:
- It’s a much smaller list than one that involves other executives
- If the executive you target does not respond, you’re stuck without a response or a potential way to talk to the right contact within the correct organization
- The companies these executives and titles are found at may not represent a good fit with what you are offering
- The prospect is less likely to respond since you have not been referred by anyone they like, know or trust
Next let’s say we agree that we need to create a list of target organizations first based on whether or not the organization fits our ideal customer profile. Said another way, does the organization look like an organization that can consume our product in a beneficial way?
If so, we then select that list of target organizations that includes companies that we can CLEARLY SEE THE BUSINESS FIT with. From that company name list, we search within our tool and pull out a few executives at these companies who we will use for initial outreach. The benefits of this approach are:
- You’ll have a few executives who are not necessarily the right target to execute a decision relating to selling your product, but who can refer you to the right person internally who handles those decisions.
- You’ll know those companies make decisions about your product because you selected them based on a business fit.
- Executives can respond directly if it is in their area of responsibility, if not they can refer you to the correct contact (only if your messaging is correct and includes asking for a referral)
- The end contact is more likely to respond after a warm internal referral
- If no one responds, you can select more executives to target for warm referral / response
Since our marketing executives have started to first target companies as opposed to job titles, we’ve seen positive response rates increase from 1% to 5%. We’re booking meetings in a scalable, long term way because we can always find more companies that we can do business with, but we can’t always find a fresh list of “database managers”.
In summary, pick companies first, fill in with contacts second, adjust your messaging to include asking for referrals if the person you reach is not the decision maker and watch your positive response rates climb.