Every GTM motion in a RevOps organization has its own distinct function. Yet somehow, they’re supposed to collaborate darn near seamlessly.
Data is the medium that facilitates that interdependence. It’s a common language that provides common context to everyone in RevOps, highlighting where resources are best focused and driving decision-making across the org.
But all too often, that data lacks integrity, coherence and meaning. We see this perhaps most prevalently in a RevOps team’s ICP. Where nearly every other function benefits from updated tools and cutting-edge practices, the role of data in shaping an ICP is frequently overlooked.
Here, we demonstrate the concerns with traditional ICPs that lack data. Then we look at the kind of data that can redefine and dynamize the way you identify best-fit prospects, strengthen and support the entire RevOps team and optimize your practices for driving business efficiency (and, of course, revenue).
Old-style ICPs lack data
Ideal customer profiles are as old as time… or at least as old as sales. And ICPs are rooted in sound philosophy: if you can identify what your best customers have in common, you can better identify great prospects because they’ll look alike.
Unfortunately, the ICP concept really hasn’t evolved much beyond superficial indicators in all those many years.
ICPs in practice are too often static documents with maybe half a dozen characteristics. These are usually fairly easy for salespeople to access, determine or estimate: an organization’s industry, headcount, revenue and geographic location might combine into a pretty standard ICP.
A sales team, or their company, might even settle on an ICP and rely on it for years—meaning that not only is their ICP built on superficial traits, but static ones, too.
But we know that the world is always changing. ICPs should be just as dynamic, in order to reflect the ever-evolving behaviors, strategies, attitudes and needs of your best customers (and your prospect audience).
ICPs can only become dynamic if they’re infused with meaningful, insightful data—data that goes deeper than surface-level firmographics in order to understand not only how a company looks but also how it behaves.
Exegraphics infuse dynamic ICPs with data
The demand signals missing from traditional ICPs already exist. We call them exegraphics.
Exegraphics are, in short, millions of pieces of information about a company that together build a comprehensive assessment of how that company ticks. Thus, they help B2B sales teams better understand what actually makes their best customers their bestthereby generating a much more powerful ICP.
(We call this an aiCP, for an AI-driven customer profile. At Rev, we utilize the power of AI to analyze where companies stand—and how they are shifting over time—from the value they bring to market to the functions of people within the organization.)
When companies first started aggregating consumer data in the B2C world, they focused on demographics. Learning the age, gender and ZIP code of their customers was a huge leap forward. But that leap could not compare to the leap of using psychographics. These enable retailers to predict when a couple is expecting a baby, or who is likely shopping for a new home, or any other of the uncountable predictors of customer behavior.
Exegraphics do for B2B what psychographics are doing to B2C: redefining the ways we can assess and understand our customer bases.
Think of it this way: if you specialize in HR solutions, you likely care less about a company’s headcount (firmographic) and more about where that company’s headcount is heading in the short-term future (exegraphic). Now, picture two prospects of equal headcount. What if exegraphics reveal that one is about to scale while the other is about to downsize? That knowledge, built from myriad individual data points, changes your RevOps strategy across the board.
And the whole of your RevOps organization stands to benefit.
Powerful data strengthens the entire RevOps team
RevOps teams need powerful data like exegraphics to build the strongest possible foundation for every GTM motion—not just in prospecting, but in retention, expansion and success as well.
With exegraphic data powering their ICPs, your RevOps team can:
… better identify new market segments.
With a traditional ICP, you’ll keep targeting more of the same. Why would you go prospecting in new industries when all your best customers exist together in one?
For starters, because that’s how you open up entirely new customer segments. But there’s also high risk in venturing into a new market segment, with no guarantee of success.
Exegraphic-driven GTM motions minimize that risk when expanding into new market segments. They can target the prospects who share the right “fit” and “ready” characteristics with their best customers (even if one’s in aerospace and the other’s in medicine).
Analyzing new market segments for prospects with similar traits arms a GTM team with strategies to test surgically and precisely.
… test outbounding strategies on the right target accounts.
Whether in a new market or a familiar one, testing out new strategies and collateral costs less and leads to clearer results when your teams can target their absolute best-fit prospects. Exegraphics enable what we call a SWAT method: a small, skilled team can implement a test strategy, pivot on a dime and adapt based on real-world results.
This kind of strategy doesn’t work with a buckshot approach and little-to-no intel. You’d never know if a strategy failed because the strategy didn’t work, or because the prospects weren’t going to bite anyway.
Powerful exegraphic data can identify which prospects are most likely to engage, so you can get meaningful results—both in new customers and in tighter feedback loops—faster.
… improve and track their aim.
Our research at Rev shows that up to 2/3 of the leads in the average pipeline sit untouched. The average RevOps org loses well more than half of its best future customers, simply because the pipeline is clogged with less-than-ideal prospects. This is what happens when you cast a wide net: you catch a lot of fish, many of them not the ones you’re fishing for.
A strategy driven by strong data helps your teams improve their aim and track results over time, continuously honing the ICP based on actual results.
… strategically expand existing accounts.
Of course, an efficient RevOps organization isn’t just prospecting; it’s also expanding existing accounts. Exegraphic data demonstrates the qualities of your customers that have already expanded—and you can better understand what makes other accounts ripe for the same kinds of expansion.
After all, identifying which exegraphic predictors exist among your current customer base is far more likely to lead to new expansion than the superficial predictors we often use, like “highest spending,” “high activity” and “most friendly.”
Plus, creating aiCPs for each of your specific products or services can optimize a RevOps team for not only who is ripe for expansion, but what direction they’re ready to expand in. (Your team may even be able to speak to pain points that the customer doesn’t yet realize they’re experiencing!)
… stay ahead of churn.
Powerful data also assists with the opposite of expansion: identifying the early signals of a customer’s likelihood of dropping off.
Of course, churn happens for all kinds of reasons, many out of your control. Unless your company is brand-new, you’ve experienced it. Those lost customers are learning opportunities! Exegraphics can identify the shared traits of your lost clients just the same as it can your best ones—then anticipate the most at-risk customers based on those same trends.
Imagine your RevOps team being able to connect with those organizations—and work to resolve their pain points—long before they begin conversations to shift away from your product or service. This puts you in the proactive role of helping customers succeed, rather than reacting to their deficits once they’re too late to fix.
Being proactive in this way is a powerful approach for reducing churn and sticking with companies as they transition.
Final thoughts: The competitive edge of advancing how you use data
Data is pervasive. It’s how organizations utilize and optimize that data that differentiates them from their competitors. It’s how they integrate data usage that connects them most efficiently with the customers that need them most.
We’re reminded of discussions around one of today’s worst baseball teams. The coaches, players, scouts and front office have access to essentially all the same data as every other team in the majors. But they don’t use the data coherently; they don’t mine it for all the value it contains; they don’t communicate it between departments and they allow old-school mentalities to override its lessons.
That baseball team is competing with the baseball equivalent of an ICP, ignoring the exegraphic-level data sitting on the tablets in the dugout. And the results show in the standings.
Data integrity matters to the success of all the GTM motions in a RevOps organization. What data is your team playing with—and are they maximizing its potential for optimizing results.
Curious to see the exegraphic data behind your best customers? Contact us and we’ll show you—and conduct a free ICP audit.