Archive for the ‘Data Quality’ Category

The Golden Rule of Lead Generation

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

More and more, marketers are beginning to embrace quality over quantity and putting in place steps to help the sales team improve their odds of closing the deal. Brian Carroll sheds some light on the issue of cost-per-lead vs. cost-per-opportunity in his post, Why Cost-Per-Lead Budgets Fail and Fewer Leads Are Better. Though it can be hard to accept such a claim - why would any one want fewer leads, isn’t it a pure number game? - Carroll says, “The truth is that sales people care very little about the cost of the leads we generate. What they really care about is how many of those leads will actually become viable sales opportunities.”

For a small sales team, the information being passed in to the CRM system can be overwhelming, making it difficult to efficiently sort through the “noise” and determine which leads to focus on. It’s easy to dedicate too much time to unqualified leads and unknowingly passing by valuable opportunities. One step marketers are taking to improve lead quality is developing a system to triage leads and evaluate them for “sales-readiness.” Instead of dumping huge numbers of leads in to a CRM system, marketers are using this lead qualifying system and keeping the junk out of the sales team’s hands. Management and web automation systems can serve as a great “holding pen” for leads before they are passed in to the CRM, allowing the marketing team to review prospects, assign a grade or score and pass the record to the appropriate sales rep.

If marketers can begin to live by the rule of quality over quantity, they will see a great improvement in their conversion and greatly increase their percentage of qualified opportunities. Not to mention, they will get a big “thank you” from the sales team!

Segmenting for a Quick Lift

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Earlier this month, DM News published a quick feature on a a company that saw great sales increases simply by segmenting their email campaigns. The piece profiles a promotional products company called Graphic Business Solutions. This company found that they increased their open, click and buy rates by 20-50% simply by creating segmented emails that contained product samples featuring local sports teams. The personalized approach helped the peak the recipient’s interest and form a connection in a way that can’t be achieved with a generic blast.

There are many options for dividing these key groups based on your specific product. All that sorting sound overwhelming? It’s not. All of these email campaigns can be easily created and distributed using an web marketing automation program. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Geographic Segmentation

As discussed in the Graphics Business Solutions example, adding a little local flavor to your emails can help give your customer the feeling that you know and understand his interests, even from halfway around the world.

Behavioral Segmentation

Setting up a set of automation rules that send messages based on user activity, also called drip marketing, can help you create an easy multi-touch campaign to reach new and returning visitors. For example, you may automatically send an introduction email to a prospect who has requested information, follow up with a pricing list three days after their last visit to your site, and send a special offer one month later if they still haven’t bitten.

Purchasing Power Segmentation

Collect data on your leads and create campaigns specifically targeted to your key prospects. This can be especially helpful if you sell multiple products to different audiences, such as a software solution for the IT department and another that would be more helpful to the HR department. This way the HR manager receives only information that is important to her and not a generic catalog of your offerings. You can also use this setting to ensure that your email goes to the CEO and not the intern.

Segmenting is nothing new, it simply used to be a tedious process. Now B2B marketers have enough technology in their arsenal to make this not only worth doing, but easy to pull off as well.

Third Party Data via APIs to Massage Your Data

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

In a recent post, Brian Carroll talks about evaluating on-demand lead generation solutions. Needless to say that as a big proponent of marketing automation and demand generation software I was excited to read further. A steady stream of leads to pull from is part of the battle, but what is even more helpful is using this data to augment or “massage” your existing leads.

I’d rather have my data mart of prospects be able to call out to Dun & Bradstreet, Hoovers, or Web 2.0 technologies such as Jigsaw or LinkedIN, and pull in additional data points or company information. It is now possible to do things like this because so many services make their APIs avilable.

  • Dun & Bradstreet: API available through StrikeIron
  • Jigsaw: No API available but planned within next year
  • LinkedIn: Major API /platform to release within next 6 months

I am definitely excited about all three and am sure that marketing automation companies will look to integrate with them once available. Imagine having an anonymous visitor on your site from a company that matches your ideal customer profile. With one click, you can get the D&B, Jigsaw, and LinkedIn data to find objective company data as well as any contacts that are available. Pretty powerful stuff.