— July 23, 2018
In order to succeed in business, you need to make sure that you focus your efforts on a very
targeted group of people who are your potential buyers. When we talk about a targeted group,
we don’t mean that this group has to be small. On the contrary, it needs to be big enough, so
that your sales pipeline is always full. Using B2B data platforms as an additional source for
business leads has proved to be effective for many companies. In this article, we’re going to
show you how they benefit from B2B data and how you can also win new clients for your
1st step: develop an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)
You should start with the description of an Ideal Customer Profile. One of the easiest ways to
start building your ICP is to take a closer look at your current client database. Take the most
profitable accounts and try to figure out what they have in common in terms of behavior,
demographics, firmographics, and other attributes. Your goal here is to create a list of
characteristics that could be used as filters in a business data platform. The best case scenario
is that after setting these filters, you get a list of leads that you can approach immediately.
While building an ICP, consider these factors:
- Position title of the key decision makers
- Position title of people who influence the decision to buy
- Company’s size in terms of the number of employees
- Company’s industry
- Company’s location
- Company’s revenue
Once you have answered these questions, put your ICP on paper. It’s a must, really. According
to Tenfold, it’s enough to create a simple editable template that can be easily used on a daily
basis. Don’t worry about choosing the right template – most of them will work, simply pick one
and customize it to your business specifics.
This is what an ICP template could look like:
It’s worth mentioning that Ideal Customer Profiles are useful in other business areas as well. For
example, you can use your ICP in product development, marketing, etc.
2nd step: find leads in a business data platform
Finding new clients is the biggest challenge for most businesses. According to InsideSales.com,
40 percent of sales teams spend their time trying to find out who is a decision maker in a target
company. With a business data platform, sales teams can save time that is usually dedicated to
prospecting and find potential clients much faster.
The most efficient way to start looking for potential buyers on a business data platform is to start
on a company level. Let’s take a look at the ICP description we used as an example in the
previous step. The first few rows contain information about the company:
You can take these characteristics and put them as filters in a data business platform, such as
Oxyleads Prospector, which we’re using in this example.
By running the first search, we get more than 1900 companies that fit our Ideal Customer
Profile. Now we should go deeper and look for the right decision makers. We’ve already
identified that people who make the buying decision are a company’s CTO, CIO, or CEO.
Let’s add these search keywords to the business data platform. Remember, if you’re using the
Position keywords filter, you should try to think about other ways to name the same position. For
example, instead of using only abbreviations, write the full position title.
As you can see, we get the list of more than 1600 decision makers in companies that perfectly
fit our ICP. We can now simply extract business email addresses and get ready for the
Statistics show that getting a response from potential clients is becoming more and more
difficult. Time that is saved on lead generation (thanks to business data platforms) should be
dedicated to writing better emails.
3rd step: approach with a valuable offer
The final step is to approach your potential clients with valuable content and offer something
that they really need. This is much easier to do when you have your ICP and the lead list in
According to SalesHacker, businesses that effectively map their sales process to their
customer’s buying process report a 16 percent increase in deal size and a 26 percent shorter
sales cycle. Therefore modern companies are now shifting their focus on creating value for
customers and selling relationships. Usually, it’s done via email, as email is still the number one
choice when it comes to business communication.
If you’re going to approach your potential clients, make sure that your emails are personalized,
deliver value, and offer a solution to a certain issue your prospect is facing. If you’re going to
talk about your product or service, make it easy to understand what your product or service
does, what the main benefits are of using it, and why you’re different than everyone else on the
Successful outreach is closely related with great copywriting. To make sure that your emails
stand out, follow these tips:
- Know your product and how it can benefit your potential client.
- Learn as much as possible about your audience.
- Appeal to key driving emotions such as fear, guilt or exclusivity.
- Keep it simple and easy to understand.
- Emphasize benefits, not features.
- Provide a reason why your potential clients should be interested in buying your product
- Include numbers and specific metrics.
- Create a sense of exclusivity.
- Finish with a clear call-to-action.
According to GoSchedule, 35 percent of working professionals use email on a mobile device,
therefore writing a good subject line is crucial. Make sure that your subject line is unique, very
specific and convey a sense of urgency. According to GoSchedule, 21 percent of marketing
emails are marked as spam. Moreover, 69 percent of emails are marked as spam based on
their subject line. That’s why following the best copywriting practices is a must. Avoid using a
question mark and an exclamation mark because they might trigger spam filters. Don't try to
trick your potential client by using subject lines that start with “Re:” or “Fwd:” if it’s your first
To sum up, the general rule of thumb is to send emails that are useful and provide actual value
to your potential client.
Business data platforms can be a game-changer for your business. However, you should
develop your ICP description first and use it as a baseline while searching for contacts on a
business data platform. Usually, B2B data platforms contain millions of data entries and you
need to apply at least several filters before discovering companies that could be interested in
buying your product or service. With ICPs, this task is much easier.
Once you have a list of contacts, you can use them for automated outbound campaigns or
approach each prospect one by one. Understanding your target audience’s needs is the key to
a successful outreach; therefore we recommend doing some additional research and using the
best copywriting practices before sending any emails.