3 Questions to Ask Before Executing a Named Account Marketing Strategy

Ben Bradley
Ben Bradley

Director of Strategic Accounts - Client Consulting

A named account list is a great way to focus your organization on a specific set of companies you are looking to sell your solutions into, but if not deployed properly, can lead to wasted time and opportunities for your sales and marketing teams. Before you execute a named account marketing strategy, there are a few questions you need to ask:

Named Account Question #1 – Where did this list come from?

Before you build out a named account marketing strategy you must first ask yourself, where did this list come from?

Was it simply a subset of the Fortune 5,000 list, or did you let intelligence guide your list? The old days of marketing were all about shouting your message until it was heard. Modern marketing and sales strategies are about monitoring digital behavior and using intelligence to target and draw potential buyers into your brand.

Don’t build a named account list that simply shouts at “ideal companies” who are not actively in the buying mindset. Today’s digital environments give us the opportunity to put intelligence into everything we do, so don’t skip this step when building your named account marketing list. Step 1 of a named account strategy should be determining behavioral insights at an account level . Let users and account research behavior guide which accounts make your list. 

Named Account Question #2 – When was my list last updated?

According to TechTarget’s 2014 media consumption research, the average IT buying process is less than 6 months. We also see a 30% churn in the most active accounts in any given technology segment. This means the companies that have real buying projects is constantly changing. You should be building a named account list based on people’s research behavior, and updating it as projects start and close out. Consider reviewing and updating your named account list at least every 3-6 months to stay relevant.

Named Account Question #3 – How does my list help with prioritization and follow up?

If you have a named account list, likely it’s been determined that this will help sales focus on a set list of accounts to sell into. However there can still be hundreds or thousands of contacts within those accounts to identify and prioritize. Does a list of 1,000 companies you want to target truly help people prioritize follow up? Not likely. The named account list is just part of the focus needed to penetrate accounts. Follow up should be determined by the behavior of the users on that list.

As marketers our job is to help identify the prospects that are ready to move to the next steps and engage with sales. Cross referencing your named account marketing strategy with digital behavior maps is the critical element to successfully prioritizing follow up.

Don’t let your named account strategy give your sales and marketing organization blinders

When properly executed a named account strategy can add focus to both sales and marketing teams. Wrongly executed, a named account strategy will add blinders, causing decreased mindshare and missed engagement opportunities with accounts that are ready to buy. Start any named account plan by asking these three questions to help ensure that your “focus” doesn’t create blinders.

We want to hear how you execute your named account marketing strategy – feel free to leave a comment or connect with me on TwitterLinkedIn, or Google+.


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