More data has been created in the past 5 years, than in the rest of history. This enables us as Marketers to be increasingly powerful, increasingly able to generate business for our organisations. To reach that Holy Grail: knowing our customers so we can market to them in a smarter way that leads to relevance for them and cost savings for us.
But are we making the most of all the intelligence that’s our fingertips? Without analytics and without actually acting based on the results, we are wasting a huge opportunity.
Data is the cornerstone of any Marketing activity. It underpins everything we do. It determines our success. It allows us to understand our customers’ behaviours so we can identify new opportunities. It saves our Sales and Marketing budgets by allowing us to put the right message to the right audiences and build profitable relationships. In essence, it is the most important part of an integrated marketing strategy.
We need to constantly review how we’re managing, reporting and improving our activity based on the insight data provides. We need to provide insight to our Sales teams on contact behaviour in order for their engagement to be more profitable.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. That may be the vision of ultimate success, but where do we start? Data Quality, that’s where.
An essential part of Lead Management, lead scoring enables you to define what a Sales Ready Lead is within your organisation and helps to ensure that only truly qualified leads are passed to the Sales team.
It works by monitoring how your prospects behave across your channels to market – web, events, email engagement… so you can see how interested they are in your solution. Couple this with facts you know about them in terms of their company and job role – how they fit with your target audience criteria – and you’ll be in a position to deliver Sales-Ready Leads to your Sales team.
It’s often the case that Sales’ view of what a qualified lead is and what Marketing perceives it to be are poles apart. Working together, the Sales and Marketing need to agree on what defines a qualified lead.
Take a look at our “How to” guide here to find out more
An organisation specialising in accountancy software was feeling increasing pressure from its competition. Existing clients were being drawn elsewhere and prospects weren’t turned on by its proposition.
They recognised the need to refocus their product and service offering, but in order to do that successfully, they needed to stand back and take an objective look at their data. Was it accurate? Was it current? What were clients and prospects actually looking for in an accountancy solution?
Find out how they:
· reduced customer churn
· saved on Direct Marketing costs
· increased the number of Sales-ready leads
We see it time and time again: companies with tens of thousands of contacts in their database, thousands of leads that “need to be followed up” and Marketing and Sales teams at loggerheads.
Marketing: “Why aren’t you following up these leads we’re passing to you?”
Sales: “Why aren’t you passing us any decent leads?”
We’ve already talked about what makes a lead a lead, so how do you get to the stage where you can start from a foundation of fact? It’s our good old friend: data. It can be the bane of our lives, but treated properly and with the respect it deserves, it’s our saviour.
Out of the entire database, how many have we touched in the last year? How many have responded or contacted us? Where have we had success? Why? What do they “look” like? What do we want to know about them that we don’t? How could we target our messages better?
Armed with the knowledge that well-cared for data can provide, we’re in a stronger position to create programmes which resonate with our audiences, making better use of our hard-won budgets, and not randomly “blasting” Financial decision-makers with the same message as User Buyers. That’s not a good look.
Even more importantly, when we acquire our leads, we can build enough knowledge about them and their behaviours to guide them through the sales cycle so when they’re passed over from Marketing to Sales, they’re ready to be converted!
The question is as old as commerce itself, “when is a lead really a lead?” We are asked this frequently by our customers who are faced with the daunting task of creating, attributing and managing sales leads out to a time challenged sales team.
Of course, for each particular business and industry sector, the criteria to be applied will be slightly different but overall, there are some simple guidelines to score rate leads, so that they are as close to sales ready as possible.
Digital marketing has re-shaped the way that business can communicate with prospects and customers to drive lead generation and more importantly, valuable pipeline engagement at the right touch point to close a sale.
Today, we are able to identify, clarify and build data that maps our customer base as never before and the outcome of this should be less volume of leads but a higher enrichment of the value and readiness to purchase of each lead in the bottom of the sales funnel.
BANT (budget/authority/need/timing) qualification is a standard way of addressing and rating leads, often used in telemarketing but there are additional considerations that can be applied to broaden the depth of rating of a lead.
– Behaviours – what has the ‘prospect’ done when engaging with your offer? – What does the prospect business look like – do they match your customer base, are they a good fit for your services – Are they working with your competitors? – Is the contact within the organisation the real decision maker or do they have other influence? – What do the prospects customers look like? – What knowledge does the prospect have of your offer? – All of these considerations should be added to the lead generation mix in order to produce creative and informative campaigns to engage.
So when is a lead really a lead – when you know so much about them that they can’t not work with you!