Account-based marketing (ABM) can be defined as a highly strategic approach to creating personalized marketing and sales efforts that are heavily insight-driven to engage with key people within high-value clients. 

To put it simply, it's a type of marketing which personalizes all your marketing efforts for a small group of high value clients.

What makes ABM so powerful is the solid foundation which is built by insights and identification of decision-makers in a target company. 

There are essentially 3 ways to find the right contact of the decision makers

  1. Via Linkedin contact info section 
  2. Via Organization chart
  3. Via tools like Lusha, Zoominfo, Hunter.io and Easyleadz among others

If you find yourself asking yourself what is needed to make an ABM strategy successful? then you should begin with finding the right contacts to start your journey with. In this article, we guide you through the process of getting the contacts of decision-makers of a company after explaining why it is required in the first place.

Reaching the Right Contacts

Definition: 

Decision-makers are those few individuals who possess authoritative powers to take a decision of making a purchase or at least significantly affect the decision during the sales process. When the sale is made, they are the ones who sign the check and are typically in the Exec-suite when it comes to B2B sales.” 

The first step usually is to create a target list of companies that you want to target with your AB campaigns. Once you have created a list of ABM accounts, the next step consists of gathering information that can help you personalize and target these accounts, post which the next step is to start your campaign which can only be done when you have chosen the right contacts through account selection and positioning. 

These “right people” or “right contacts”  are in fact, the decision-makers and influencers within a company. 

How to find decision makers to direct marketing energy towards?

Finding decision-makers in a company is of utmost importance but luckily there are a few handy methods to do that explained below for your convenience;

  1. Asking qualifying questions

Identifying whether the contact you have obtained is of a decision-maker or not can be easily done if you can communicate with them. One has to relay a few qualifying questions that prove beyond any doubts that they are decision-makers within a certain company. These qualifying questions include necessary queries like 

  • Who else is involved with them in the buying process?
  • What does the purchase approval process look like?
  • What is their role in the decision-making process?

Questions like these can help you see the bigger picture in a company’s decision-making process while also leading you to the correct decision-maker without any mistakes.

  1. Identifying common connections

Suppose you have got a list of contacts that is filled with high-value accounts and some of them might be decision-makers but it is not clear who. The first thing to do in such a situation is to find any relevant and common connections between a person on the list and yourself. Having a mutual connection gives you the advantage of referrals to create a communication channel naturally.

Referrals can take you far if you can find some between yourself and the right decision-maker of a company. The next step would be to come in contact with them and verify their identity to be sure of their decision-making skills.

  1. Researching the company

Learning as much as you can about a company that you are targeting for ABM is vital in identifying their decision-makers. Find the org chart of the company from online resources, software, tools, or any other way you can to familiarize yourself with the company’s team structure. Keeping yourself updated with any company-related press that can be found on the internet has also worked for several marketers to find the decision-making team.

But the goal of this research should not be limited to knowing the decision-makers but also to find out what is happening within the company as a whole so that you can prepare a highly effective pitch for the right contact.

  1. Creating a decision-maker persona

People on the sales team are familiar with creating and using different buyer personas to map out their ideal customers effectively. In the same way, the approach of creating a decision-maker persona to identify the ideal decision-maker within a high-value contact works out conveniently. Creating this type of persona involves knowledge of all of the qualities that a contact must have to be considered the right one so that the research time is shorter and the proces gets simpler.

For more assistance, we have detailed a few must-have qualities to look for while identifying decision-makers;

  • Budget managing: having this authority for making purchasing decisions makes one a decision-maker. 
  • Longer tenure: although the time someone has spent in a company does not necessarily mean that they are decision-makers but usually, people with longer tenure have a chance of being the decision-makers. 
  • Designation: decision-makers have certain job titles that correlate to their responsibilities like a manager, executive director or even a vice president.
  • Overseeing strategies: people who oversee strategy implementations and solve problems that the company is facing are essentially the decision-makers. 

Simple Yet Effective Ways of Getting Contacts of Decision-makers

Once you have properly identified the decision-makers within an organization of interest, then it is time to reach out to them using a personalized and insight-driven approach. But in order to build a connection with them, one needs their contact information which is not readily available in most cases. This is where the internet comes in handy for ABM researchers who can find important contact information using simple methods.

Here are 3 of the most effective methods to obtain contacts of decision-makers:

  • Using LinkedIn to learn contact information

LinkedIn, the professional world’s social media channel is not new to any seasoned marketing individual. With proper research and some time on your hands, you can find any person related to a high-valued company easily. But that is not all. LinkedIn also provides you with minute details regarding decision-makers of an organization that you might need to create a personalized message reaching out to them.  

For example, on LinkedIn, you can check out someone’s previous work experience, educational background, up-to-date designation, and even a statement of their work. There is also an option to switch from LinkedIn profile search to LinkedIn sales navigator (paid service) to utilize their advanced search capabilities that can help you find the contacts of the right decision-makers.

  • Finding the contact via an Org Chart

An org chart is a collection of crucial information gathered after hours of deep research into a company, its team structure, etc. Org charts are used by experienced researchers, marketers interested in ABM strategies to take a deep dive into an organization. It gives you precise information about the company’s main decision-makers, their responsibilities, accurate reporting structure so you can verify who is associated with whom.

Creating an org chart takes years of experience and it can be found on the internet easily on a few websites and some highly useful sources. This structure contains everything you need to build a highly effective marketing campaign.  

  • Using tools like Lusha, Zoominfo, Hunter.io and Easyleadz

There are a plethora of solutions designed to assist you with account-based marketing, each with its own purpose, advantage, and price point.

Lusha is a B2B sales and marketing data platform that links sales, corporate development, and human resource professionals. Lusha assists you in establishing trust by providing easy-to-use solutions for enriching and verifying business profiles. 

ZoomInfo is designed to help you collect the data you need for ABM by allowing you to browse by contact and organization, then generate lists of people to contact at each potential company. Users may utilise ZoomInfo's Growth Acceleration Platform to quickly identify and connect with decision-makers in various sectors and job roles, as well as narrow their focus to engage with particular accounts. 

Hunter.io is a lead generating and email outreach plugin that will help you improve your company's outreach activities. Hunter.io is an excellent tool for crawling contact information, confirming email addresses, and generating leads.

EasyLeadz enables business professionals to connect with their prospects, contacts, and candidates quickly and effectively. EasyLeadz assists you in establishing trust by providing easy solutions for enriching and verifying business profiles. 

What comes after?

After you have obtained what you needed to make that first step in opening a communication channel between yourself and a company’s decision-maker, all that is left to do is 

  • Crafting personalized messages for starters
  • Building value-adding content for them
  • Strengthen a bond between you and your target persona