Globally, the cloud computing market size was valued at $266 billion in 2019 and is forecasted to expand by nearly 15% every single year between 2020 and 2027.
For cloud sellers, understanding your prospects’ comprehensive digital footprint can give you a massive advantage, accelerating sales cycles and leading to more wins, faster. Data around total cloud spend, usage, and adoption is what we call a prospect’s ‘cloud wallet’.
Many marketing and sales teams don’t even realize that this data is available. They instead continue to rely on firmographic data to drive their marketing and sales activities, leaving opportunities on the table and creating friction in their sales cycles.
Revenue band and employee count don’t mean much when you’re selling a digital product. Cloud behavior can reveal a company’s total cloud spend (their cloud wallet), as well as shifts in digital services spending. This allows sales and marketing teams to efficiently target and prioritize the most appropriate prospects with the right messaging at the right time.
Acting on firmographic data alone means flying blind; cloud spend data acts as your radar.
Leveraging the comprehensive picture of cloud usage, spend, and adoption data in your go-to-market programs makes for more effective prospecting and better messaging. Here’s why (and how).
Firmographic data is outdated for sales qualification
There is no shortage of data to help marketing and sales teams identify their total addressable market (TAM) and leads within their ideal customer profile (ICP).
But marketing and sales teams spend time sifting through information to hopefully find the best prospects and attack those first.
Many companies still rely on firmographic data to complete these exercises: number of employees, the magnitude of their sales organization, and HQ locations. The problem is today’s digital footprints are complicated. Nike, for example, has more than 100 domains. You can see where Nike’s HQ is, but you’d have no idea how much Nike spends on CDN around the world.
In short, firmographic data is not effective in generating accurate or comprehensive ICPs or TAMs. Translating it into sales opportunities time consuming at best and imprecise at worst.
Firmographic data also has the more insidious effect of laying the groundwork for poor understanding of target accounts as the sales cycle progresses. Once marketing departments have this data, they use it as the foundation for automated campaigns, retargeting efforts, and lead scoring. If that groundwork is inaccurate or misses the point entirely, sales ends up with fewer quality leads.
Creating campaigns based on this incomplete data results in the following:
- Time and energy wasted on “spray and pray” prospecting efforts.
- Inaccurate leads logged in the CRM based on irrelevant triggers.
- Reps calling on unqualified leads that do not need their service or product knowledge to begin with.
These outcomes are an all-too-familiar reality for sales reps. Companies that rely on firmographic data don’t arm their sales teams to accurately gauge buyer propensity or to reach out to prospects at the appropriate time.
The limitations of firmographic data
Many companies measure sales metrics by the amount of meetings booked (“X number of calls = Y number of qualified opportunities resulting in a close rate of Z”).
But the traditional discovery phase of the sales cycle is actually the least efficient stage. Discovery calls are a manual way of gathering information. They’re time-consuming for both the prospect and the salesperson. An hour-long conversation could end in discovering that the prospect is not a fit for the product, resulting in wasted time and opportunity cost.
Reps usually struggle to land these meetings to begin with and when they do, prospects are also often reluctant to share key pieces of information with salespeople they don’t personally know. The result is further inefficiency, greater uncertainty and lower performance.
To reduce frustration and increase opportunities, reps must be armed with more granular insights, actionable intelligence, and complete data sets that help them more efficiently and confidently navigate the complex B2B sales process.
This is doubly true as the buying process becomes more complicated. What was once a one-person decision made by a senior-level executive now involves as many as seven different stakeholders and can take up to seven months to close.
Reps need a strong, clear understanding of the relationship between applications, the companies that deploy them, and the products that power them so that they can use this data to sell more efficiently into accounts. They need insight into a target account’s cloud footprint.
Customers use Intricately to size markets and territories, assess/score buyer propensity and attain a comprehensive understanding of growth and activity across the digital ecosystem.
What is a cloud footprint?
A “cloud footprint” is the digital map of a company’s critical operations and buying signals for cloud software. The intel to form this map is usually collected from their IP addresses, DNS records, message headers, and API call content.
Intricately provides these insights to give sales and marketing teams more detailed and relevant information about potential target companies. The intel helps them prioritize the most lucrative and likely to close accounts based on the services they’re using, their cloud configurations and whether their spend is trending up or down.
The Intricately Global Sensor Network constantly maps and monitors Internet based digital activities, actions, contributions and communications. With thousands of physical deployments spread across 6 continents and 150 countries, Intricately can deliver answers to the most challenging questions about a company’s cloud spend propensity and potential.
Learn more about how Intricately collects data.
Match prospects to your ICP with cloud footprint data
Identifying the cloud footprint of target organizations validates whether prospects are worth the time and energy to pursue. To make sales and marketing decisions that result in ROI, companies need to discover the following information:
- Total Cloud Wallet: Validates that a prospect is worth your time with a big picture view of how much they spend on cloud solutions.
- Service Usage Volume: How much a company is spending on each service. It can also indicate whether your product will be used as an early experiment or considered paramount to a company’s success.
- Service Usage Trends: Where a target company plans to spend its money. It provides future insight into which areas or applications will receive the most funds, allowing you to focus on the most substantial opportunities.
- Duration of Service: Whether the company has just begun using a service or is a long-term user. These timelines inform you whether a contract is up for a renewal or if a bid will likely go out soon.
Cloud footprint data also helps address a specific question for sales and marketing teams: how do I translate spending patterns and trends into use cases for teams selling cloud products?
Cloud wallet in action: Sales and marketing plays
The benefits of cloud wallet and usage data go beyond identifying prospecting opportunities. Granular insight on prospects means you can queue and sequence messaging that matches an account’s particular challenges and plans for growth. Here are a handful of potential plays to run using the information described above.
Capitalizing on lack of service diversity
Most businesses have multiple providers of critical cloud services to ensure continuity and as a protection against lock-in. A marketing team selling CDN services can search for prospects that meet total or estimated CDN spend who are only leveraging two CDN providers. This is a great opportunity to position your product as complementary to other CDNs or to provide product feature superiority.
Replacing the weakest link
What about a company that is leveraging three separate CDN services? Most commonly, an organization will be extremely reluctant to rip and replace the tools they leverage the most. They are, however, much more likely to consider replacing the CDN service they leverage the least, given that it’s probably in place as a backup.
Identify patterns of prospect’s purchasing
Most digital SaaS products run in multiples of 12-month periods. Volume of traffic is a telltale sign of expansion of an existing service or if a new service is being deployed. Knowing when a service first came online allows for opportunities focused on giving a better value or solution than the incumbent competitor.
Identifying new services as opportunities for expansion
Prospects seeking to deploy new types of services will often signal expansion through the deployment of small footprint testbeds. Typically, a company will set up an internal service offering to test the product before making a purchase. By observing these footprint testbeds and gathering supplemental information (such as SME job listings) gives sales and marketing teams the opportunity to make the first move and lead with a strong presence.
Account based marketing (ABM) has been shown to be far more efficient than legacy approaches. But the main issue for most teams is quality prospect prioritization. It is paramount that ABM touches are directed at the correct personas. Otherwise, a campaign can be highly ineffective and a waste of marketing team resources — especially since ABM campaigns are expensive and time-consuming already. By leveraging a company’s cloud wallet, marketers empower themselves to conduct tightly targeted campaigns matched with accurate messaging.
Benefits of utilizing a prospect’s cloud wallet in sales and marketing
Using cloud footprints can help sales and marketing teams with their biggest bottlenecks: lead prioritization and the ability to match prospects to the ICP.
Here are some ways this approach can benefit your sales and marketing initiatives:
- Save significant time and effort during the discovery phase of the sales cycle. Teams will be able to focus on critical steps in the deal cycle. They can devote more time to preparing for calls and product demonstrations, allowing them to close deals more effectively.
- Identify the right accounts by understanding how they spend on SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Using the information provided in a company’s Cloud Wallet allows marketing and sales teams to get a comprehensive view of a company’s digital infrastructure spend, adoption, and traffic.
- Forecast and create more accurate and defensible pipelines. Cloud footprint data empowers sales leaders to more accurately project quotas, goals, and overall growth expectations.
- Sales teams are armed and prepared with the best possible pitch. Sales reps, armed with valuable background knowledge on the prospect, will know the best products and features to focus on. They’ll also be able to handle timeline and budget objections adequately.
- Marketing and sales teams can collaborate more effectively. Good data reduces the common disconnect between marketing and sales departments. The cloud footprint enables marketing to provide sales reps with data backing up why the prospect was chosen as a marketing-qualified lead. This information allows both departments to coordinate efforts and work as a singular unit, particularly for Account Based campaigns.
- Companies will receive more ROI on marketing and sales initiatives. Understanding a prospect’s cloud wallet (and how it’s changing) leads to an accurate selection of marketing technology spend, resulting in increased overall closed business.
The bottom line
With the right data, your sales teams can prioritize target accounts and shorten the B2B sales cycle.
Those selling into the cloud market must realize that firmographic data is not an adequate foundation for marketing campaigns and sales efforts today. With cloud wallet data for your ideal customers, you’ll be able to target and prioritize cloud computing accounts and close more deals.
Companies like Cloudflare, AWS, Verizon Media and Fastly are already integrating cloud wallet data to power their marketing and sales teams. Schedule a demo to see how Intricately can provide your sales and marketing teams with the detailed infrastructure insights they need to sell more, faster.