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8 min read

The Brains Behind Your Enterprise’s Next Growth Spurt

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“Every company wants to increase revenue.” That’s a pretty safe and agreeable statement to make.

“Every B2B company should invest in sales, marketing, and customer success to achieve revenue growth.” That’s a statement which we like to believe is safe but might generate some debate.

“Every company who wants to achieve B2B enterprise growth needs a research/intelligence department to support their sales, marketing, and customer success teams.” ….This, on the other hand, is a statement which will surely raise some question marks.

At Infinityn International, we believe in all 3 statements. However, we understand that there needs to be a bit of explanation in order to clarify why we find a research team so crucial. You might wonder, “Why have a separate research function when our existing teams already do their own research?”, or, “Why would research be so important anyway?”, or, “How does a research component support our overall revenue goals?”.

In this brief article, we’ll lay down what a research/intelligence team is, its importance, and in what ways this intelligence team contributes to the overall revenue generation model. At the end of this article, you’ll also find out how quickly you are able to set up one of your own intelligence teams according to the Agile ABG framework, so that you can see your organization surge with Account-Based Growth!

 

Lessons learned from ABM: Intelligence paves the way to success

 

Account-Based Marketing (ABM) had swept through the B2B world, thus impacting the way we do business forever. However, ABM as a standalone strategy is arguably a thing of the past. As time has marched forward, our knowledge and technology have expanded. We now have methods which build upon traditional ABM, such as Agile Account-Based Growth (Agile ABG), which encompasses a wider range of activities to reach revenue growth through a more personalized, data-driven and holistic approach.

Despite newer frameworks such as Agile ABG appearing, there are some key takeaways from ABM that will remain relevant throughout time … all of which happen to relate to the importance of research and intelligence for B2B success!

  1. Quality>Quantity
  2. Personalize to create connection
  3. Sales cycles can (and should) be shortened
  4. Research sets the stage up for success

Quality>Quantity

 

ABM focuses on serving top accounts, hence the name “Account-Based”. B2B organizations have found that time and resources can be wasted when trying to cater for everyone. Instead, time is invested to figure out which accounts are worth pursuing and which aren’t… all before the first conversations even take place!

While it might seem counterintuitive to spend time figuring out the ‘who’s and ‘what’s so early on, ABM has shown us that it’s worth finding out. Quality target accounts lead to quality clients, and thus the investment in time and research pays off.

 

Personalize to create connection

 

Imagine you set up a meeting with a prospect, Sam, at an annual business conference. You arrive at the meeting and greet Sam with, “Hello, prospect! It’s great to finally meet you”.

Surely this kind of interaction would be off-putting, leading Sam to believe you’re uninformed and not genuine. This reinstates the notion that personalization can go a long way. In the B2B world, this might mean gathering some facts about a target account’s competitors, growth goals, struggles, mistakes, etc in order to have more focused and relevant communication with them, which helps you position your offers to solve their actual problems.

And how to get this kind of vital information?

ABM platforms are one of many tools to gather data about their needs, but the more general answer would be: people who conduct research and intelligence!

 

Sales cycles can (and should) be shortened

 

ABM boasts its ability to shorten a long cycle, and this is something surely any business person will appreciate. Instead of endless calls, emails marketing materials, demos, etc, which might not ever pan out, ABM helped marketers figure out who is worth talking with in the first place. This meant the likelihood of a sale was much higher, thus shortening the end-to-end process.

This learning helped us realize that if it can be shortened, then it should be! And shortening the sales cycle is possible through good research and intelligence.

 

Analyzing data sets the stage up for success

 

Any company can purchase an ABM platform which helps collect relevant firmographic and intent data about our target accounts.

But then what?

Extracting insights from the data and putting these insights to use is what actually creates transformation, rather than the data itself. ABM has shown us how effective crafting communication around data can be, and how much time was wasted before communicating with accounts that weren’t ideal.

 

The lesson:

 

ABM showed us some valuable things, but some questions still remain.

Who should be the one to analyze this data? - Some organizations say the marketers should handle the task, and we don’t completely disagree, as the sales and marketing teams are very capable. However, from our experience with next-gen ABM, it’s best to let people specialize in the intelligence function in order to streamline processes and allow marketers to market, and sales teams to sell. In other words, there needs to be a team of people who know exactly what to do with your data, who to pass it to, and at which stage to step in with these various insights. With this in place, the intelligence team will be your expert analytical geniuses who help craft the perfect target accounts and support the entire growth journey.

In all the above takeaways, there is a main commonality we’d like to focus on in this article:

People who provide intelligence for the growth journey end up fueling the entire process to success.

Now that we know just how important research and intelligence is, let’s take a look at what a specialized “Account-Based Intelligence” team looks within the Agile Account-Based Growth framework, and what it can do for your organization:

 

Revamping The B2B Growth Model For Greater Intelligence:

The Agile ABG Framework

 

Flaws did still exist in ABM when being used as a standalone strategy to achieve the utmost potential for growth. Account-Based Marketing still did not pinpoint the best moment and the best type of outreach, and it still did not perfectly connect the later stages of customer success. Beyond this, there continues to be a missing sense of human-touch within sales and marketing which persists throughout time. These gaps triggered the development of “Agile Account-Based Growth”, a framework which allows B2B enterprises to achieve their growth goals to the maximum potential.

The Agile Account-Based Growth (Agile ABG) model encompasses a range of activities relating to the entire buyer journey, not only marketing and sales, but also in alignment with customer success. The framework enables the right type of conversations to take place, at the right time, and adds the human connection needed to create connections and deliver real solutions. The 5 components of Agile ABG created a repeatable, scalable way to gain clients, keep them happy, and grow exponentially. And the brains behind the framework?

…while all of the Agile ABG functions are important, we have to say that the intelligence function glues the whole operation together and supports growth at every stage of the funnel.

How does Agile Account Based-Growth work for B2B enterprises?                                Watch this video to learn more in detail!

“Account Based Intelligence” - The role of a research team

 

The “Research” function is the information-based beginning of the Agile ABG framework, and also acts as the constant support to the whole Agile ABG process.

The goal of this function is to build a foundation of data-driven insight in order to set the rest of your growth process up for success. ABI researches any relevant information that could help distinguish the account and its importance from the rest, frame the sale for a fruitful close, or ensure ease and clarity for stakeholders who need to know information about this account and its journey down the funnel.

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The following image shows the visuals created from ABI research, which include an Infinityn-International creation - The “Opportunity Heatmap”.

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Find out more about the Opportunity Heatmap here!

 

This function is arguably the most unique part of the Agile ABG process. While other companies rely on the sales or marketing team to do quick research, the Agile ABG framework includes an entire function specifically for gathering data and insights. Having a dedicated research-specific means that you’ll be able to take a deep-dive into specific information that can transform the sale, finding that diamond-encrusted needle in the haystack that other organizations are bound to miss.

Although the “Research” function can be thought of as the ‘beginning’ step, there’s more to the story. This phase actually is present throughout the entirety of the Agile ABG process.

Here are some of the ways that the ABI function kicks in throughout the journey:

  • Data collection, gathering extra information as needed
  • Data cleaning and organization
  • Data analysis to build reports and extract insights
  • Any research support which guides the entire end-to-end process, ensuring each step of the journey remains data-driven

The bottom line: Account-Based Intelligence will power your growth machine… and it’s available to you!

 

If your organization is relying on ABM alone, or on any other B2B sales and marketing methods which might not be serving you best, it might just be time to consider what you’re missing out on. An Account-Based Intelligence (ABI) team can be tailor-made to fit your organization according to the Agile ABG framework, so that you can get started with new “brains” to power your revenue-generation machine.

When your ABI team is in place, you’ll have richer information, perfectly timed support, and greater efficiency, so that your organization can spend more time on winning deals and serving clients!

 

 

Download our Agile ABG white paper:

CLICK HERE

 

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