For growing companies, your enterprise marketing journey begins with figuring out how to close bigger, or even the biggest, deals at large corporations.
The pain point that many marketers at these growing companies face is that they are used to companies approaching them (inbound marketing) and are less familiar with outbounding—the penetration and engagement of target accounts—which is critical to reaching enterprise companies. It’s also important not to outbound in the traditional way, which can be very disruptive, but rather use an engagement marketing framework to understand who your prospects are and where they are in their buyer’s journey to effectively engage them.
While marketing to the enterprise is such a large topic that it could fill a series of books, here are four simple steps to help you get started on your journey:
1. Identify accounts that have already engaged with your company
Start by looking at your database to see whether there are already large companies engaging with you. If you can identify a group of them, then consider the different ways you can engage these accounts further, perhaps through a sales introduction email or even a direct mail piece. A helpful tip for identifying engaged accounts, but more importantly the right accounts, is to look at the first-touch and multi-touch attribution of your programs and identify accounts that engage with them. An example of this at Marketo would be accounts that engage with the Gartner Magic Quadrant report that we send, which is a late-stage asset.
At Marketo, we also look at whether or not we can run accelerator programs, which are automated campaigns that track a prospect’s behavior and then trigger a relevant follow-up aimed at nudging that prospect further along desired behavior paths (e.g. reaching out to sales or watching a demo). For example, if someone goes to our demo page, but does not view it or views it but doesn’t finish, then we send out an email asking if we can be of assistance. Start thinking about running these types of campaigns for accounts that you are looking to target and have already engaged with you. Keep in mind that for enterprise accounts, you will only want to run accelerator campaigns for assets and programs that are targeted towards the enterprise, such as an enterprise-specific demo.
2. Profile target accounts and their geographic density
Who are your current customers and what attributes do they have? If you are able to build an accurate profile of them, then you can start scoring your enterprise prospects based on how well they fit that profile. But because you may have a smaller group of these customers, you’ll also want to couple this with basic account profiling. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, there are plenty of vendors who do account scoring.
Once you have your account scores, you can map them by region to see what territories these companies are in. This provides you with the insight you need as a marketer to identify which companies you should be targeting, in what region, and hopefully, if done well, at larger deal sizes.
This is also a good segue to introduce the concept of account-based marketing. You can pass your account scores to sales so they can determine their target accounts and if there are specific verticals they want to target. Then, this more finite list can include special campaigns targeted towards engaging those accounts.
3. Leverage brand advocacy and customer referrals
At some point in your company’s growth trajectory, you’ll have a lot of customers and advocates who are willing to vouch for you. Your company wouldn’t have gotten so far if you didn’t. It will become incredibly important for you to ask your customers to do case studies and act as referrals for you since larger companies often look for validation from others when it comes to making their decisions. The more customers you have within an industry that is similar in size and scope to your prospect’s, the more validity you will have within that space, which in turn will help you more easily penetrate larger accounts. To build a repository of these customer stories and testimonials, you may want to consider an incentive program within your organization to make sure your most enthusiastic customers connect with your marketing team.
4. Align and coordinate prospecting efforts
Marketing can help sales penetrate larger accounts in a variety of ways through direct mail, email, appointment-setting campaigns, and more. The important thing is to make sure that these efforts are aligned with your sales team. At Marketo, we like to think of marketing as air coverage and sales as the ground attack team. It’s through this combined effort that a large enterprise company will become aware of your company, engage with you, then get to the point where sales can step in to try to discover whether there is an opportunity. We meet with our enterprise sales reps every month to align on what they are working on and what marketing resources we have available for them to leverage. All our plans also go through sales approval to make sure that we are coordinated in our efforts.
The journey of marketing to the enterprise becomes more advanced as your company builds the muscle to be able to close larger deals. Predictive scoring, strategic account work, and coordinated prospecting plans will become a larger portion of your marketing mix. But until then, as you transition from small and medium sized deals to larger deals, remember to start with accounts that are already engaging with your marketing, begin the first iteration of account scoring, leverage the existing customers you have, and work as closely as you can with sales.
Have you embarked on your enterprise marketing journey? What other tips do you have? I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.