A B2B Perspective on Actionable Intelligence and ABM

“To me, data is just points of information. There’s bunches of it, and you can get choked and die from it. But, if you can make sense out of it, then you have intelligence.” -Bob Samuels

In a recent episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, Bob Samuels – co-founder of TechConnectr – shared his experience and insights on actionable intelligence. He discussed how to understand, organize, and strategically sort through intent data. He also commented on ABM and the future of B2B lead gen. 

What is Actionable Intelligence?

Actionable intelligence is the information that you have that can give you a strategic advantage when acted upon. Samuels introduced actionable intelligence with the idea of learning and being smart about who you reach out to. It’s about using the information you have to talk to people that are valuable, rather than just randomly picking people. 

However, the advantage comes only after understanding and using the information that you have to find those people. Data is just data until you can make sense of it, and “then you have intelligence,” explained Samuels.

When you can make sense of the data, then you can cluster it and figure out the patterns and outliers. That is when you can make the intelligence useful where you can actually do something with it. At that point, it will start to affect your pipeline. 

To get the intelligence down to specific people is more actionable. Even if you can get it down to a specific company of what their leads are, it’s more actionable as well.

Samuels offered suggestions on how to narrow down the people or groups that are showing intent. He recommended using first party surveys and interviews in order to actually start talking to prospects. In this way you will be gathering a lot of information directly from the audience of interest. 

Thoughts on ABM Marketing

ABM marketing is basically targeting the right accounts, which are the ones that have the highest propensity for success. 

It’s important to know what the “right accounts” look like for your business. Do they have enough money to spend? Are they the right audience? What are they currently using? Do they align with your ICP?

Samuels emphasized how just switching to a certain technology does not create an ABM solution. Most of the work is upfront research and figuring out what to go after. Then you can personalize the outreach to make it resonate with them. “I attribute a lot of the success of [ABM] to upfront intelligence,” he stated.

There has, however, been a struggle with the disconnect between sales and marketing in ABM. Samuels noted what alignment should look like between the two teams. 

“When marketing and sales speak well, it works out well because they complement each other,” explained Samuels. “Marketing is generally more general, but getting the big picture of the whole market. And then sales is more specific down to the very specific cases. If you can combine that with third party intelligence, then you can really make a nice story out of all those pieces.” 

Looking to the Future

Intelligence needs to head in the direction of figuring out what customers want, and knowing how to explain to them why they should want you. There should also be a race to the top as far as quality goes. Using the actionable intelligence that you have and an ABM strategy will create quality interactions with customers promising potential for the future.