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Deal-Based Marketing Basics

Getting the Deal-Based Marketing basics right can be the difference between a sales pipeline that converts, and one that stagnates. Done well, Deal-Based Marketing can really accelerate warm leads through pipeline stages and see competitors out-maneuvered.

What is Deal-Based Marketing?

Deal-Based Marketing (DBM) is the art of marketing to an already engaged prospective customer in order to amplify sales messaging, differentiate the business, and increase the chances of sales success.

Deal-Based Marketing Basics

Often referred to as 'opportunity marketing', Deal Based Marketing is an increasingly popular method to drive a solid sales pipeline and bring a concerted effort from the combined sales and marketing team. Getting the team on the same page is crucial and to do that there are a few 'Deal-Based Marketing Basics' that need to be adhered to - and some really cannot be ignored. The most important of which is account research as it underpins the entire process.

Deal-Based Marketing Account Research

Account research is the foundation of everything that makes up Deal-Based Marketing. It is the keystone, the core piece of work which cannot be ignored. It also has to be the first activity completed as soon as an account is nominated as a DBM account.

Why is account research so important to DBM work? Unless the sales and marketing teams understand the customer better than their competitors, there is no way to really differentiate messaging and demonstrate the difference between their approach and that of the competitors. It is also the one piece of information that the sales and marketing teams can share - such that they can build a solid DBM plan.

What Needs To Be Included In Your Research?

Account research is never easy to conduct - and the larger the account, the more time it will take to complete. This is often the reason why companies fail to deliver it - and why their DBM efforts fail to really gain traction. On average, for a reasonable-sized business, it can take a couple of days to find the information needed to really build a great DBM plan. So, what are you going to need to research?

  • Company strategy - what are they looking to achieve and why? What timescales are they working to? What targets are they looking to hit? What terminology are they using when referring to the strategic goals?

  • Leadership Team - who makes up the executive team - particularly those that will have an influence on your project.

  • Influencing Team - which roles will have an influence on the project decision? Are there some key managers or influential users of your future product or service?

  • Current Partners - who do they work with? What aspect of the business do they engage with? Do you have relationships with any of those partners?

  • Latest News - take time to investigate the latest news surrounding the business. What are they saying in the press and what are others saying about them? Is there anything new and pertinent that you can refer to?

  • Terminology and Language - are there any three letter-acronyms that they use that might differentiate your messaging? Do they refer to their employees in a specific way or talk about a project in a certain language? Anything that helps your DBM messaging land better is really helpful.

  • New Joiners and Open Roles - are there any new employees that have recently joined the business and may impact your project? Are they recruiting new employees - and if so, what skills are they looking for? This can be telling.

Who Should Research The Account?

Different businesses have different opinions about who should conduct the account research. If DBM is to be commonly used across the sales and marketing team, account research might be a regular occurrence and therefore it is important to assign the right employees to the job. Ideally, the person researching the account should be experienced and skilled in customer research and messaging. The sales lead is an ideal person to do it, but if they have more than one strategic account, it can be difficult for them to find the time (or dedicate enough time) to the task. External vendors like Viewpoint Analysis do this on a regular basis and have a team focused just on this exercise - you can find out more here.

What Should You Do With The Research?

As discussed, DBM account research should be the foundation - the keystone of your work and a Deal-Based Marketing basic - a priority. Once the research is completed, it should be distributed far and wide within the business. The sales and marketing teams should be on the same page and all members of the two teams should have had an opportunity to review the document and add any relevant information that might improve the research. It should also be shared with adjacent teams - management, pre-sales, consulting - anyone that has a role to play in the sales or marketing effort.


Getting the Deal-Based Marketing basics right can be the difference between a sales pipeline that converts, and one that stagnates. Done well, Deal-Based Marketing can really accelerate warm leads through the pipeline and see competitors out-maneuvered.

Put the work in. It can feel difficult and dull when going through the account research exercise, but the results can be phenomenal.

If you want to know more about DBM Account Research, drop us a note at

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