The Intersection of Financial Institutions and Technology Leaders

Evolving Your B2Bank Marketing to Grow Sales

By Mark Nelson

Every new year inspires the same, familiar resolutions from people. Companies also weigh in with a familiar resolution: increased sales. Will your team meet 2023’s elevated sales goals using the same approach it used last year?

The easiest way to dramatically augment your sales success rates is to prospect better. The first and most critical step in evolving your B2Bank sales model is identifying the accounts that your team will pursue. An account-based marketing approach is a sales and marketing strategy designed to efficiently allocate your team’s efforts toward higher probability subsets of the market. This approach can facilitate more personalized campaigns, with marketing messaging tailored to the specific attributes and needs of the financial institution accounts.

Better identification of target accounts will lead to elevated sales success rates. The key to better identification is better data.

B2Bank sales in the U.S. have one major advantage over other verticals: regulatory data on every bank and credit union. The data provided by these institutions’ quarterly call reports can be converted into insights on their profitability, growth and risk. But this is no longer sufficient in an era of digital transformation. Prospecting precision needs to produce insights on the financial institutions’ strategy, market, customer offering, technologies deployed, vendor partners and purchase behavior.

To provide the prospecting precision necessary to significantly increase sales success rates, the data you use to gauge financial institutions needs to cover these categories:

  • Firmographics: the basic identifiers traditionally used in the banking vertical, such as regulatory ID, geography, domain and size gauges, such as total assets.
  • Financial data: leverage the call report data for financial metrics or statement items.
  • Performographics: Use peer analysis to convert financial data into institution-level strengths, weaknesses and primary themes around profit, growth and risk, enabling your company to identify the relevant performance deficiencies that your solution addresses.
  • Technographics: Identify the unique banking technologies deployed by each institution at a vendor-product level, including core processing, digital channels, customer acquisition and other technologies.
  • Customer offerings: This data should differentiate the technologies deployed from the retail and commercial offering of the institution. Offering examples might include certain types of rewards programs or whether the institution caters to specific business niches like medical professionals or cannabis banking.
  • Market area: If your solutions are more innovative and appeal to more to early adopting institutions, then your company may want to focus on larger markets that typically contain younger demographics. Dense, urban markets create greater external pressure on financial institutions to provide enriched digital experiences to customers.
  • Segmentation: Segmenting financial institutions by purchase behavior can reveal their internal interest in digitally transforming their business. Calculating the proportion of technologies that a bank purchases from its core provider allows a company to segment the institutions on vendor diversity, ranging from best-of-breed purchasers that are early adopters to core-centric purchase laggards.
  • Financial institution contacts: Once those previously described data sets have narrowed the company’s focus to the right accounts, the next step is to direct your messaging at the decision makers and influencers within those institutions. This contact data should be organized in a banking-specific title hierarchy and identify different functional areas like mortgage or IT.

Designing prospect queries to identify higher probability conversion candidates is relatively easy if your firm has access to these data sets. A query could identify the top overall financial institution prospects, and build specific campaigns. The final step is to export the data into a spreadsheet or directly into your customer relationship management system.

The most important — and easiest — step towards improving your firm’s B2Bank sales model is prospecting better. Invest in that capability to achieve your firm’s 2023 resolutions.