A B2B lookalike or a B2B lookalike audience is a selection of (as yet unknown) companies that have recently been generated with the help of artificial intelligence on the basis of a list of companies (e.g. target, existing customers or leads). These lookalikes have certain key attributes or some of the same properties as the companies on the entered list. B2B lookalikes look like customers or companies that have high sales potential because they are similar to existing customers or promising leads.
Working with Lookalike Audiences is already established in the B2C sector. With Facebook, for example, these can be generated from the page visitors in order to obtain a target group of similar people and to be able to address them directly. The lookalike or “find similar companies” function is therefore part of Account Based Marketing (ABM). This term stands for a targeted B2B marketing strategy in which the marketing and sales of a company work together for a personalized shopping experience. Using high-quality analysis data, users can focus on the right potential target customers and do not waste time with companies that do not fall into the target group anyway.
Sales Intelligence: AI helps to find similar companies
Data provides the basis for B2B lookalikes or a lookalike audience, as Echobot explains. By data we mean an imported list of target customers, including the data available to the AI to match against the list. The more qualified the database, the more appropriate the resulting list of potential customers will be. For this reason, customer lists, for example, are often better suited than just lead lists because the customers – compared to leads – have already made purchases.
With the help of an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), it can be ensured that the company list is optimally set up and provides the right lookalikes. An ICP is a hypothetical description of the ideal customer, i.e. the type of company for which the product or service offered is most useful. With these customers, companies typically have the fastest and most successful sales cycle, the highest customer retention rates, and the most enthusiastic customers.
The ideal customer is defined on the basis of certain criteria – such as the average number of employees, company turnover, ideal industry for the product and much more. Additional data points can be added depending on the product or brand. After this data has been entered or imported into a list, the AI searches for precisely those companies that have similar attributes to the listed companies. In a sales intelligence software with a “Find Similar Companies” function, publicly available data (e.g. from websites, social media, etc.) and various databases (e.g. the commercial register, etc.) are used, which are used for comparison in the background.
A sales intelligence tool is useful for even a small amount of data
With a sales intelligence tool, for example, a lookalike list with hundreds of similar companies for the respective target group can be generated from just one company. Such a tool is of great use even if there is not a lot of data available or if there are corporate customers. The lookalikes can then be further optimized and filtered, for example according to the criterion “At least ten employees in sales” or according to minimum sales and much more.
“I recommend entering more than one company to get a better result. For example, if a company is looking for a pasta manufacturer and you enter a company that manufactures pasta and pasta sauces, then some of the results also show pure sauce manufacturers, ”explains Michael Larche, Head of Sales at Echobot. “If you add another company that makes pasta, the lookalike list gets better. The AI-generated list can also be used for cold calling, social selling and much more. In the lookalike audiences on LinkedIn and Co., however, the lookalikes are not visible and can therefore only be used for advertisements on these platforms, but not outside of them. ”
Which data are required?
Echobot names several possibilities with which data can be used to generate B2B lookalikes. A list or audience doesn’t necessarily have to be an existing customer. It can also be lead lists for which the AI then looks for similar companies.
- Lookalikes to customers: The most common way to create B2B lookalikes is to use existing customers as a basis. Nothing is more advantageous than getting lookalikes to companies that already use and value their own product.
- Lookalikes to leads: The “Similar Companies” search function can also be used excellently for lead lists. Companies that have already downloaded a whitepaper or requested a test account are ideal. Lists from a sales intelligence, prospecting tool or even addresses bought from an address trader can also be used for B2B lookalikes.
- Website visitor lookalikes: Tracking companies visiting a website provides valuable data for creating B2B lookalikes to find out in the next step whether they are potential customers.
- Lookalikes to selected target customers: It is also possible to select some of the target or existing customers who serve a market that has not yet been specifically targeted. With the help of lookalikes, a few companies that match the perfect customer can be seen directly which could still belong to the target group.
Advantages for business success through B2B lookalikes
Even if there are only a few companies in the inventory for which lookalikes are required, modern sales intelligence tools already generate a suitable list for this. A “similar company” search function facilitates business life in many areas. Modern companies should not let this potential go unused.
“Regardless of whether the initial customer base is to grow or companies that are as similar as possible are to complement existing customers: B2B lookalikes provide every company with numerous advantages. B2B lookalikes are effective, they save time and resources. Companies can qualify their leads more quickly, get to know their competitive environment better and gain advantages over their competitors, ”Michael Larche sums up. “In summary, it can be said that salespeople who use B2B lookalikes can take it easy while the AI is working for them.”
Also read: Customer Journey – Personalize B2B customer relationships in 5 steps.