What is Intent Data & How Can You Use It?

What is Intent Data & How Can You Use It?

According to research, the average B2B buyer is already 67% of the way through the buying journey before having extended contact with a salesperson. By that time, they’ve likely formulated some ideas about possible solutions to their pain point and might even be leaning toward buying from your competitor. Intent data is the key to identifying those leads sooner, nurturing them earlier in their buying journey, and making more sales. This comprehensive guide will outline the fundamentals of intent data, including:

By the end, you should know exactly how intent data fits into your marketing and sales processes. You’ll also learn how to pick the right intent data supplier for your needs, so you don’t end up with the wrong strategy for your business.

What is Intent Data?

Intent data shows the likelihood that a person or company is in the market to purchase a solution for a pain point. It’s derived from information about the online research a contact or account is conducting about a particular topic, as well as context clues that might signal their purchasing intention. Topic and context data are the two main types of intent data. Both rely on tracking cookies and IP addresses to form a complete picture.

Topic Data

If a hiker needs to buy new hiking boots, she may scout online reviews of top brands before she ever goes to the store and tries on a pair. Anyone looking at her search history might assume she’s interested in the topic of “hiking boots”. The same is true of B2B leads and target accounts. Forrester claims that 68% of B2B buyers research by themselves, a significant increase from 53% in 2015. In addition, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before connecting with someone in sales. Even before signing up for a free trial of the software that might solve their problem, your lead is probably researching their pain point and weighing multiple options. Topic data tells you what they’re researching. There are four types of topic data available.

Anonymous First-Party Behavioral

These are unknown visitors to your company’s site and the actions they take while there. They haven’t yet filled out a form or explicitly revealed information about themselves, but it’s possible to identify their company by tracking their IP address. unknown visitors A lead generation tool like LeadBoxer can help fill in the gaps and show more contact information about these otherwise anonymous visitors, giving a more complete picture of who they are and what they’re researching on your site.

Known First-Party Behavioral

These visitors to your company’s site have provided their contact information by filling out a form, therefore they are “known” individuals. Lead generation or marketing automation software can track what pages they visit and other ways they engage with the site.

Anonymous Third-Party Behavioral

These are unknown visitors to sites you don’t own but that might still be relevant to your business. You can track different topics over a network of sites and see what’s most popular. aberdeen intent data
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If you’re a supplier of project management solutions, and someone from a company that fits your ideal customer profile is reading articles about “project management” on Business Insider, you can access that information through intent data suppliers, a few of which we’ll review in a future section.

Known Third-Party Behavioral

These are visitors to sites you don’t own that have shared some of their contact information. Like with anonymous third-party behavioral, you can access their information and the topics they’re researching through the right supplier.

Context Data

Context data tells you whose intent data is valuable and who only has a passing interest in a topic. There are a few details that are especially useful for establishing context.

Job Title

If a sales professional is researching “sales pipeline management”, it’s possible they’re looking for a CRM tool that can help manage leads. If a marketing professional or content creator is researching the same topic, it may be more likely that they’re putting together a blog, video, or another piece of content on the subject.

Job Postings or Leadership Changes

Job postings and leadership changes can tell you whether or not to reach out to a lead. If you sell advertising services but the target account is in the process of looking for a new marketing director, now might not be the best time to approach them. If the account has announced the recent hire of a marketing director, it’s a better opportunity to pounce and offer a better option than what the predecessor left behind.

New Funding

A new round of funding is another indicator that a company could be open to new solutions, both because they have a bigger budget and because they may be growing their operation and need more sophisticated tools to manage their company.

New Legislation

Did new legislation just pass that requires an account to operate their company in a certain way, or opens them up to new business? If you have the solution they need in response to these changes, this context lets you know if you should act.

Press

Keep a close eye on accounts that make the news. Press about an expansion of operations or increase in earnings might indicate that they need new solutions, while bad press may mean that they need some space to do damage control before focusing on other things. However, not all bad press is a sign to stay away. If an account makes the news for poor customer service, maybe now is the time to reach out and offer information about your CRM software.

What to Use Intent Data For

There are several uses for intent data, but before diving into the specifics, know that if your competitor isn’t already using intent data, they might soon. Polls show that nearly a quarter of B2B companies are already using intent data, while another 35% plan to use it within the next 12 months. Using intent data in some capacity will become increasingly necessary to stay competitive. These are the main ways that it can benefit your business.

Reaching Leads Early

The most obvious use of intent data is to establish contact with leads earlier in the buying journey. Getting in touch with leads before other salespeople do is one of the biggest ways to get a leg up on the competition; research shows that in 70% of cases, the first salesperson to connect with a lead is ultimately who they give their business to.

Lead Prioritization

Context data can help make a distinction between who is actively researching a pain point and who is just reading about a certain topic without any intention of making a purchase. This information illuminates whether or not a lead fits your ideal customer profile. prioritize leads A tool like LeadBoxer quickly shows you the highest priority leads by allowing you to search by filters such as location, industry, and company size.

Automated Outreach

First-party leads that give off certain signals can trigger automatic marketing or sales processes, such as an email series, that can instantly start nurturing them when it matters most.

Account-Based Marketing

Hone in on what content works best at engaging first-party leads, and what needs more refining.

Personalization of Outreach

By knowing what topics and articles leads are researching, sales agents can personalize how they make contact and develop a relationship with them. They can mention specific topics and establish relevance quickly to capture and hold a lead’s attention.

Targeted Advertising

Get even more granular with your advertising strategy by honing in on leads who give off certain signals. That way, you’re not wasting any of your advertising dollars on people who only have a passing interest but have no intention of buying your product.

Targeted Account List

Develop a list of accounts who are engaging with third-party sites about relevant topics but aren’t yet engaging with your company. You’ll be able to connect with leads who your sales team might have otherwise never considered.

Analyze and Retain Customers

Intent data works with existing customers, too. Monitoring what current clients are researching so you know if they’re thinking about switching to a competitor or if there’s something you can upsell them on. With intent data in your toolbox, you can continue to anticipate and solve problems long after the initial purchase has been made.

How to Obtain Intent Data

There are several intent data vendors out there who can help you access intent data on your site or data available on third-party sites.

 

First-Party Intent Data Vendors

First-party intent data is nothing new. You may already have access to some thanks to free tools such as Google Analytics. Other vendors can provide you more details about who is visiting your site and turn anonymous visitors into known visitors.

 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that monitors the activity on a site, such as page views and how visitors arrived at the site. While it can’t identify individuals, it can hone in on IP addresses and show you what accounts are active on the site. google site visitors
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In the example above, several businesses use branded aliases, making it possible to identify which accounts are visiting a site. However, Google Analytics can’t provide any further context than that. It also can’t go into detail about what the visitors’ unique actions were on the site.

 

LeadBoxer

LeadBoxer catalogs all known visitors to your website. If a visitor fills out a form, the information they provide automatically populates their profile within the software. LeadBoxer can then calculate a lead score for that person using other data points such as what pages they visited, what topics they seem most interested in, and how engaged they are with the site. leadboxer 360 view Source With this information, you’ll know exactly when to act on a lead. LeadBoxer takes it one step further and can help identify previously unknown visitors. For example, if the visitor didn’t fill out a form but arrived at the site via LinkedIn, LeadBoxer can trace back to that person’s LinkedIn profile and use the information to populate the visitor’s information within the software.

 

BounceX

Like LeadBoxer, BounceX can identify many website visitors (40-70%) who would otherwise remain anonymous. It then creates personalized marketing experiences – similar to account-based marketing – for these visitors based on their engagement. Screen Shot 2019 08 17 at 7.54.31 AM
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BounceX can automatically engage with visitors who have not yet filled out a form or appear that they’re about to leave the site. In a way, it identifies users who are displaying intent and then begins to nurture them before a sales agent ever steps in. While sophisticated, BounceX is said to have nearly a $4,000/month price tag, making it a serious investment for most businesses. It also doesn’t prioritize showing you accounts who express high intent but instead tries to let the AI nurture users through website personalization.

 

Third-Party Intent Data Vendors

If an account is researching topics around the web that are relevant to your product or service, these solutions will help you find them.

 

Bombora

Bombora can tell you what companies are expressing active intent to purchase your products or services long before someone from that company ever lands on your site. Bombora does this by monitoring 6,000 intent topics across 3,800+ publisher websites. bombora
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Bombora only tracks IP addresses, cookie IDs, and company domains provided by the publishers’ registration data. They can tell you what companies are expressing intent, but they can’t tell you exactly which employee is doing the research or who your sales team should engage with. In short, there’s no context data with this vendor.

 

Aberdeen

Aberdeen bought The Big Willow, and intent data supplier, back in 2018. They offer a lot of the same value that Bombora does but take it a step further by integrating their solutions into Salesforce. aberdeen intent for salesforce 1024x682
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Companies expressing active intent pop up in the Salesforce dashboard so sales teams know exactly which accounts to jump on. You can also see how those accounts will impact the pipeline. You can also choose to integrate Aberdeen Marketscape, a product that shows all the topic keywords researched by each account showing intent. This helps establish more context. If you’re not already using Salesforce, getting started with Aberdeen’s intent data (and then Marketscape) might be a little too complicated and cost-prohibitive.

 

How to Select an Intent Data Vendor

There are several different suppliers of intent data out there. It’s important to work with the one that best fits the needs and size of your company, or else you risk losing time and money. Here are a few considerations to keep at the top of mind when screening vendors.

 

How many sites are in the vendor’s network?

Ask this question if you’re considering third-party data vendors. The network refers to the websites they monitor, which tend to be publisher sites like Forbes. The larger the network, the better, as this gives them a bigger pool of data to draw from.

 

How many topics does the vendor monitor?

Third-party data vendors monitor a finite amount of topics. At the time of this writing, Bombora claims to have nearly 6,000 topics in their system, while Aberdeen claims to have hundreds of thousands of keywords at their disposal.

 

Can the vendor give context?

On its own, a list of names and topics they’re researching isn’t very useful. You need context to know if their company fits your ideal customer profile, as well as what their job title is and if they have any purchasing authority. Third-party data vendors can’t give much context at this time, but some solutions for first-party intent data can.

How to Use Intent Data

Trying to make use of intent data in its raw form is inefficient. Intent data works best when used to calculate a lead score. A lead score is a concise, visual way to describe how promising the lead is and therefore how much it’s worth pursuing them. Some solutions, like LeadBoxer, will not only capture intent data but will automatically input it into a lead score. You can adjust what data points to use for calculating a lead score based on the needs of your company. set lead score 900 Source Here are three of the most important factors to keep in mind when adjusting what data points to use for a lead score.

 

Fit

This is as simple as asking the question: does this lead fit our ideal customer profile? Are they the right size company, in a certain location, etc.? If an account showing active intent doesn’t fit the mold of your ideal customer, then their lead score will go down.

 

Intent

Take into consideration not only the topics researched by that account but the frequency and recency of the research.

 

Engagement

Has this account not only engaged with relevant third-party pages, but with your site or social media profiles? A solid first-party data vendor will be able to track and show you individual actions. Use that information to increase their lead score. track actions The more specific the data points used to calculate a lead score, the more accurate and useful the lead score will be. This will help weed out accounts that aren’t the right fit or are researching topics without having any intent to buy a product or service.

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While it’s certainly useful to know which accounts have an interest, you’re still limited by not knowing who to reach out to.

 

When Used At the Expense of a Sustainable Sales Pipeline

Relying on intent data is no reason not to have robust marketing strategies that help draw new leads into your sales pipeline. Like most sales tactics, it’s best used in tandem with other processes.

 

Get an Edge Over the Competition With Intent Data

Intent data is a hot technology that more and more businesses are using to gain an edge over their competitors. By seeing what topics leads are researching, you can reach out to them sooner and have a better chance at closing the deal. While it’s not the end-all, be-all way to keep your sales pipeline full, it is a valuable tool to have at hand. Third-party intent data still isn’t as precise as some would hope it to be. Vendors can only provide accounts, not individual contacts, and don’t offer much in the way of context data. Third-party data also decays more quickly than first-party data. Some first-party data is free and already at your fingertips via Google Analytics. A tool like LeadBoxer can keep you apprised of who exactly is visiting your site whether or not they’ve filled out a form. It’s also easy to get context data and use each data point to calculate a lead score, showing you exactly which leads to act upon at that moment. If you haven’t already started taking advantage of the intent data laying untapped on your site, now is a great time to start. Try a free trial of LeadBoxer today.

 

 

When Intent Data Isn’t Enough

Intent data isn’t a magic bullet for identifying leads earlier. There are limitations to this technology that will hopefully improve as time goes on. Be aware of the following when incorporating intent data into your marketing and sales processes.

 

When a Visitor is Registered Under the Wrong IP Address

If an unknown visitor to your site or a third-party site is registered under the wrong IP address, you won’t be able to tell what company they work for. This often happens by accident but nevertheless makes it impossible to identify the correct account.

 

When a Buyer is Conducting Research Out-of-Network

Third-party intent data vendors like Bombora and Aberdeen don’t aggregate data from every corner of the internet. They only draw information from sites within their networks. If a buyer is researching on sites not covered by that network, then you’ll never know.

 

Decay Rate of Third-Party Data

Given the amount of content people consume regularly, you shouldn’t expect sales agents to always be able to reach out to a lead and reference content they read a week or two earlier.

 

Third-Party Data Lists Account But No Contacts

Bombora and Aberdeen only list the account, not the contact information of the individual who was searching. bombora surge report
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While it’s certainly useful to know which accounts have an interest, you’re still limited by not knowing who to reach out to.

 

When Used At the Expense of a Sustainable Sales Pipeline

Relying on intent data is no reason not to have robust marketing strategies that help draw new leads into your sales pipeline. Like most sales tactics, it’s best used in tandem with other processes.

 

Get an Edge Over the Competition With Intent Data

Intent data is a hot technology that more and more businesses are using to gain an edge over their competitors. By seeing what topics leads are researching, you can reach out to them sooner and have a better chance at closing the deal. While it’s not the end-all, be-all way to keep your sales pipeline full, it is a valuable tool to have at hand. Third-party intent data still isn’t as precise as some would hope it to be. Vendors can only provide accounts, not individual contacts, and don’t offer much in the way of context data. Third-party data also decays more quickly than first-party data. Some first-party data is free and already at your fingertips via Google Analytics. A tool like LeadBoxer can keep you apprised of who exactly is visiting your site whether or not they’ve filled out a form. It’s also easy to get context data and use each data point to calculate a lead score, showing you exactly which leads to act upon at that moment. If you haven’t already started taking advantage of the intent data laying untapped on your site, now is a great time to start. Try a free trial of LeadBoxer today.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

30 Sales Prospecting Tools to Fill Your Pipeline

30 Sales Prospecting Tools to Fill Your Pipeline

Are you struggling to find enough time in the day to fill your prospect pipeline?

Truth is, every sales rep has the same amount of time in their day. But the difference? Only some of them use sales prospecting tools to help them find prospects faster, and close deals quicker.

In this guide, you’ll find:

Let’s look at the best 30 sales prospecting tools on the market that can fill your prospect pipeline:

 

Tools to Help You Find Prospects.

 

1.LeadBoxer

Price: Starts at $99/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:  

LeadBoxer is a sales prospecting tool that tracks activity on your website and email behaviour and finds prospects before they even contact you. The tool provides vital information you need to follow up with a prospect such as their interests, their company name and the size of their organization:

By giving you a birds-eye view of the lead or customer, you can then decide if they are worth following up, or if they aren’t a good fit for your company.

Plus, you can set criteria to exactly what you need from a website visitor to flag them as a prospect. LeadBoxer will automatically assign the profile with a leadscore. This gives you a super clear visual of prospects who are a good fit for your product.

If you’re prospecting and would like to focus on identified leads, you can do that easily with LeadBoxer. When you’re setting up your criteria in the LeadBoxer dashboard, all you need to do is adjust the email address slider and visitors with a known email address will be given a higher lead score.

The same criteria can be added to company size, phone numbers and number of times the person has visited your site.

No more dead ends, LeadBoxer only puts verified leads into your pipeline.

 

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

 

2. Dux-Soup

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Price: Professional Plan – $11.25/month, Turbo Plan – $41.25/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about:

If you find the majority of your prospects on LinkedIn, this tool is about to save your life.

Dux-Soup automatically scrapes leads for you and invites them to connect with you over LinkedIn.

What the tool does is looks at your LinkedIn prospect profiles, tracks their movements and then, sends them a personalized message from your account. What’s more, the tool will also follow up on warm leads through 2nd and 3rd LinkedIn connections for you.

Not only does it contact prospects for you, but the tool interacts with your CRM as well. Once Dux-Soup reaches out to a prospect, it then tracks the progression of the interaction and transfers everything into your CRM. This means your entire team will stay in the loop with the clients you bring into the company’s pipeline.

 

3. LeadSift

Price: It’s a mystery! The company offers “custom” price plans.

Free trial: Yes + forever free plan for first 50 accounts

What it’s all about:

How many times have you contacted a prospect and found out that they aren’t actually ready to buy?

It’s not only frustrating, but it takes a big chunk of time out of your working day as well.

That’s where LeadSift comes into play. It tells you when you’re prospecting and only targets people who are on the buying journey.

No more wasted time on those who aren’t ready to buy.

According to LeadSift, only 3% of leads are actually interested in buying a product, which means a lot of people you’re putting an effort into are never going to buy your product. This tool eliminates prospects who are months or years away from purchasing and leaves you with a pool of prospects who are ready to buy. Right now.

But we’ve saved the best until last with this one. LeadSift steals some of these prospects from your competitor’s websites. The tool automatically watches your biggest competitors and, if a prospect begins engaging with one of them, you’ll be the first to know (along with getting their email address, too).

 

4. Capterra

Price: It’s free!

Description:

Not exactly a prospect scraping tool, but Capterra is great for finding new companies to target.

Depending on what industry you’re selling your product to, Capterra can filter through millions of companies in a matter of seconds and give you a list of potential targets.

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From there, your sales team will be able to filter through them and find prospects a lot quicker than they would if they stuck to Google searches.

 

5. MatterMark

Price: Starts at $49/month.

Free trial: Yes! You get 14 days.

Description:

Mattermark is a sales rep’s best friend because it searches for prospects using super specific filters.

Want to narrow down a prospect search by company size? How about a business model? B2B? Industry? Niche?

You can do all of that on Mattermark.

It’s also integrated with a lot of the big name CRMs on the market, so the tool can cut back on dreaded admin time.

A neat hack with this tool is it lets your sales reps save a specific list. If one of your reps has searched for B2B companies with 50+ employees in the Seattle area and found promising results, they can use the same search for next time (and change it up when they need to).

 

6. CrunchBase

Price: Starts at $29/month, then moves up to a custom plan

Free trial: Yes, CrunchBase offers a free plan

What it’s all about:

CrunchBase is THE tool to use if your company is looking for prospects in growing companies and innovative startups.

For sales teams, the tool gives your reps an important insight into a company’s funding rounds, business category, and their date of establishment. A lot of companies on the database also have contact information on their listing, along with a bit of information about the company’s structure.

Once you’ve conducted a search, you can export your findings into a CSV file and add them straight to your CRM to make following up easier.

 

7. LimeLeads

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Price: Professional Plan – $11.25/month, Turbo Plan – $41.25/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about:

LimeLeads is a great tool for sales prospecting as it doesn’t cooperate with fake data.

The tool was built by a bunch of B2B marketing veterans that were sick of a lack of credible data being available. Its main goal is getting you prospect lists that are accurate.

The tool integrates with CRMs and will enable sales teams to put together a list of prospects in 30 seconds or less.

 

8. Salespanel.io

Price: Custom pricing plans depending on your needs.

Free trial: Yes + free forever plan.

What it’s all about:

Salespanel.io is a relatively new tool in the sales space. The tool scrapes your website visitors and tracks their activity.

It finds the person’s social media profiles, company details and bio before feeding them straight back into your dashboard to follow up.  

9. ZoomInfo

Price: Custom pricing depending on your needs

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

ZoomInfo is a huge database that can help your sales team qualify prospects.

It gives you more than just a company’s name and address. It can also find an email address of key decision makers in a company.

 

Tools for Finding Email Addresses

 

10. ViolaNorbert

Price: Starts at $39/month

Free trial: Yes, your first 50 leads are free

What it’s all about:

To use VoilaNorbert, you’ll need a prospect’s first name, last name, and company website. In return, you’ll get their email details:

11. Hunter

Price: Starts at $39/month

Free trial: First 100 email lookups are free

What it’s all about:

Hunter is a Google Chrome extension that can dig up any email addresses linked to a specific domain name.

If you are looking for an address for a key decision maker but you can’t find it, Hunter will figure out a pattern behind the company’s email addresses so you can effectively guess the email.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to get in touch with Mirko Rakic, a software engineer at Hunter. Just let the tool do its thing:

We are going to hazard a guess that Mirko’s email is mirko@hunter.io

The tool also has a Google Sheets add-on so you can gather email addresses in bulk automatically, and then add them to your CRM.

 

12. Prospect.io

Price: $99/month for 1000 leads.

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

Prospect.io is one of the few tools on this list that can integrate with most big name CRMs.

Apart from being able to work with CRMs like Salesforce and Hubspot, you can build and manage email campaigns from the tool’s dashboard as well.

If you’re working on Google Chrome, Prospect.io has a custom extension to use on the browser.

 

13. SellHack

Price: Starts at $3/month for 100 leads

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

SellHack sells itself as a tool for sales reps who want to completely automate the prospecting process.

The tool can gather a list of prospects automatically, so sales teams can spend more time closing.

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But you won’t get a list full of bogus emails either—SellHack verifies every single email it pulls through LinkedIn.

 

14. LeadFuze

Price: Starts at $97/month

Free trial: First 25 leads are free

What it’s all about:

Here’s another tool that works well with LinkedIn. It takes a look at your prospect list, with a focus on those on LinkedIn, and switches them from contacts into prospects.

If you feel like you’ve run all your resources dry, LeadFuze has an email finder tool that can fish out emails from a bunch of third-party sources.

According to LeadFuze, they “find the most accurate email possible.”

 

15. AeroLeads

Price: Starts at $49/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

AeroLeads is more than an email finder, it provides a full breakdown of information on a prospect.

With the tool, a sales rep can do a simple web search and find out not only an email of a prospect, but also their business name, key decision maker names, phone number, location, and even social media profiles.

It’s a tech tool. AeroLeads has an algorithm that filters through all the results and only gives you the best ones.

Not only does the tool scrape the entire internet for you, but when you’re finished, you can download your results into a CSV file and add them straight to your CRM.

 

16. Skrapp

Price: Starts at $49/month

Free trial: Free for your first 100 emails

What it’s all about:

Skrapp is built with one goal in mind—finding email addresses from LinkedIn accounts.

The tool has a Google Chrome extension which you can use when you are on a prospect’s LinkedIn profile to see what email address they used to sign up to LinkedIn with.

Once you’ve found their email, you can save it to a list to use later while you search for more targets.

 

Tools to Help Pitch Prospects

 

17. Charlie

Price: It’s all very hush and varies by team size

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

If you want to set yourself up for a pitch with as much information as possible, Charlie is your guy.

Just provide a prospect’s details, and it’ll return to you a one-page sheet on your prospect. You’ll be given information on prospects like their passions, hobbies, professional history, and any news about their current company.

Who knew prepping for a pitch could be so informative?

 

18. Owler

Price: It’s free!

What it’s all about:

Owler is a free database that’s filled with information about who a company’s top competitors are.

Plug in the company of a prospect, and you’ll not only find out who they’re up against, but you’ll also be given their social media accounts, number of employees, and annual revenue.

Plus, you can find about their funding history and any acquisitions that have taken place.

19. Crystal

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Price: Starts at $29/month

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

Crystal is like having a coach for pitching prospects.

It doesn’t give you links to a prospect’s Twitter account. But what it does do is provide eerily detailed insight into how your prospect talks, how they behave, and what drives the decisions they make in their business.

The tool uses social media and text analysis and runs them through an algorithm to figure out exactly what conversations and tone you should approach a prospect with.

It’s like a mind-reading tool for sales teams.

 

20. Nudge

Price: Starts at $19.95/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Nudge digs into the background of a prospect so you don’t have to spend hours doing it yourself.

Ever prepared for a pitch and thought, have I contacted this person before? Maybe I’ve dealt with their company on another occasion? Is there anyone at the company who has actually worked for your company in the past?

Instead of spending hours of your day trying to find out yourself, Nudge does it for you. Plus, it can rate the relationship you have with a prospect from “very weak” to “very strong”, so you know if you need to put in a bit more work with them.

 

21. Mention

Price: Starts at $25/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Struggling to get a prospect on board? Try sharing in their successes with the help of Mention.

Mention is a media-monitoring tool that can help you follow a prospect’s success. If a prospect’s company just celebrated a major win, or they were recognized for an award in their industry, congratulate them first.

What better way to shine a good light on yourself and your product by shining the light on them first?

 

22. Siftery

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Price: Starts at $160/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Siftery does one thing and it does it well: finds competitors. You can plug in a prospect’s company to find out exactly what products they’re using so you can plan your next move.

Not only that, Siftery can filter what tools your prospect’s company is using down to individual departments. So if your prospect is in the marketing department, you’ll uncover all the tools the marketing team uses.

 

23. Apollo.io

Price: Custom plans available

Free trial: Yes + forever free plan

What it’s all about:

Apollo finds the perfect things to say to your prospect for your next email or call.

The tool gives you recommendations on what to say by judging a prospect’s online persona. It also integrates with your email, CRM, and professional networking sites like LinkedIn so you’re covered no matter what platform you’re using.

 

24. Emissary

Price: Custom plans depending on your needs

Free trial: No

What it’s all about:

Emissary was built by a product leader at Google, so you know it has to be good.

Using the tool, you can unlock critical information. Information that goes beyond the standard analytics and data you’ll find on other tools.

Is a prospect you’ve been working on really a key decision maker in the company? Or is there a hidden influencer that you’ve failed to spot? Emissary can tell you.

Plus, the tool will chart the best paths on how you should approach your prospect.

 

Tools to Automate the Boring Stuff

25. PandaDoc

Price: Starts at $49/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Nobody likes doing admin work, especially your sales team. We all know they would rather be out selling than creating quotes.

This is where PandaDoc comes in. The tool can save your team a massive amount of time by automating daily tasks like quote creation and tracking contracts. It also gives your sales team access to a bunch of proposals so they can just fill in the blanks, rather than drawing one up from scratch.

Everything is kept in the PandaDoc dashboard, so your team can track sales activity and check if a contract has been signed. If it hasn’t, the tool will automatically send a reminder.

 

26. Calendly

Price: Starts at $8/month

Free trial: Yes

What it’s all about:

Back and forth emails to organize a meeting with a prospect is high on the list of the worst parts of preparing for a pitch.  

If you’re constantly getting caught in a 15-email exchange before settling on a meeting time, you need Calendly.

The tool lets you set up a schedule, and then your prospect can choose what times suit them best.

Image source

Once your prospect has picked a date, Calendly automatically removes the time slot from the system so you won’t be double booked, and adds it to your chosen calendar.

 

27. Outreach

Price: Custom pricing depending on needs

Free trial: Yes, a demo is available

What it’s all about:

Outreach sets up touchpoints for your prospects so that when they’re interacting with you, they are replied to straight away.

The earliest stages of a customer’s journey are the most important, and if they aren’t looked after, they’ll leave. Outreach will automatically reply to a prospect, and then if you don’t receive a reply from them, it’ll follow-up with them again.

Don’t think of it as a bot, but more a sophisticated messaging system. It’ll A/B test every message that’s sent, so you know which ones work best and why.

 

28. Boomerang

Price: Starts at $4.99/month

Free trial: Boomerang offers a free basic plan

What it’s all about:

Are some of your prospects in a different timezone? Maybe you get distracted by new emails hitting your inbox every 5 minutes?

Boomerang can help your team stay on track with scheduled emails. It has a function that will let you schedule an email to be sent in advance, so it hits your prospect’s inbox at the perfect time.

Plus, you can set it up for automatic follow-ups. If a prospect hasn’t replied to an email in a couple of days, Boomerang will follow up automatically.

 

29. Yet Another Mail Merge

Price: Starts at $24/year

Free trial: First 50 emails of the day are free

What it’s all about:

Want to see who’s opening your emails?

Yet Another Mail Merge links your Gmail with Google Sheets and tracks your email opens. If you’re casting a wide net to prospects and want to know who is actually biting, this tool is for you.

 

30. GlobalMeet

Price: Starts at $12/month

Free trial: Yes + limited free forever plan

What it’s all about:

Every company uses different tools for meetings, so it can be frustrating when you end up with dozens of tools on your desktop.

GlobalMeet lets you have meetings through their cloud-based software, so no download is required.

To get a prospect to join you in a meeting, all you need to do is send them a link and the meeting is ready to go!

 

Smarter Prospecting Closes More Deals

If filling your pipeline is taking up too much time, there are ways to automate a lot of the work that goes into landing a new client.

Spending hours trawling through LinkedIn, following up on emails, and preparing for pitches are all tasks that can now be done with a sales prospecting tool.

Picking the right tools will save your team hours of time on admin work and get them back to doing what they do best—closing deals.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

MQL vs. SQL? What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

MQL vs. SQL? What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?

Our world is full of acronyms. And while there’s no shame in asking a colleague to define terms, few of us feel comfortable raising a hand in a crowded meeting and asking a speaker to unpack a sentence.

Consider MQL and SQL. You may know that the “L” in these terms stands for “Leads.” If you’re in sales or marketing, you may even be tasked with increasing MQLs or SQLs.

However, that is a basic understanding. Digging in a little deeper about the similarities, differences, and uses of these two terms can help you to be even more effective. Let’s learn more about both.

Defining Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

The acronym MQL stands for “Marketing Qualified Lead.”

In the shortest definition we could find, courtesy of Hubspot, an MQL is a person that is more likely to become a customer when compared to a typical person.

Think of it this way: Many people may connect with your company. They may visit your website, attend your webinars, or chat with you at a trade show.

For some of these people, the goods and services you offer are exactly what they’re looking for. But for others, your product or service is not a good fit. They may never be in the position to buy anything from you at all.

The people in that first group — those who are interested and have the potential to buy your product — are your MQLs.

Separating MQLs from unqualified leads typically involves using a lead-scoring program. You’ll assign a certain set of points to actions people might take, such as:

  • Reading an email message you sent.
  • Chatting with you on social media.
  • Downloading an ebook.
  • Filling out an online form.

Once people have amassed enough points, due to all of the actions they’ve taken over time, they can be considered MQLs.

They’ve shown enough interest that it seems likely they are ready to deepen the conversation with someone — typically in sales — within your company.

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

Defining Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)

The acronym SQL stands for “Sales Qualified Lead.”

This person has not only shown a deep interest in your products and services, but they have also shown some sort of intent to purchase. They not only like what you offer, but they actually need to buy what you sell. They also may need to make that purchase in the near future.

While defining an MQL can be done through automated software that assigns scores, defining an SQL is a little trickier. Typically, this is something that involves a conversation between someone in sales and the potential lead.

A SQL:

  • May have specific questions about how your product works or how much it costs.
  • May not understand how your product fits into the other products they’re using.
  • May not be entirely sure the solution is right for them.
  • May not be able to find the answers they need in the marketing materials they’ve seen so far.

People like this need to have a discussion with sales.

At the end of that discussion, if the salesperson senses a real opportunity, this person moves into the SQL category.

Why Does Knowing the Difference Between MQLs and SQLs Matter?

You may be wondering why it’s so crucial to understand whether someone is an MQL or an SQL. After all, a lead is a lead, right?

Not quite.

Understanding where your leads fall into these two categories can help you understand who should be in charge of that next conversation. This could mean the difference between making or losing a sale.

For example, we’ve long been told that people move through a traditional sales funnel in which they become aware of a product, consider options, make a decision, and then become an evangelist for the brand.

While this simplified form of a sale might still make sense in some industries, others consider their sales moving through more of a “tornado”.

In this model, users are consuming a great deal of information throughout the entire journey, and they may bounce back and forth between channels.

They may use social media posts in the awareness phase, for example, and then leap back to social media to evaluate solutions and understand usage. They may swing far away from the product before purchase, rolling out to e-commerce before finally deciding to look at a product catalog.

Consumers are doing a lot of the heavy lifting here, and they’re relying on marketing resources to guide the conversation.

Pushing a savvy consumer to sales at the wrong time could cause a sense of pressure, and that could derail the sale. These people are doing their own homework. They’re not ready to talk yet.

Similarly, connecting a consumer with sales too early means sales must inform the consumer about the product’s ins and outs — and that’s a task best left to marketing.

On the flip side, sending a lead to sales too late might lead to missed opportunities. By the time these people get to the sales team, they may have made a decision and chosen a competitor.

When you have a firm understanding of the typical steps a consumer takes in order to become marketing qualified, and when you know what sorts of behaviors seem to suggest that a purchase is right around the corner, you’ll be well positioned to guide and shape these crucial conversations.

The Transition from MQL to SQL

By now, it’s probably clear to you that an SQL begins life in the company as an MQL. But this move from one state to the other isn’t spontaneous and organic. It requires an ongoing nurturing and communication process. It’s here that many opportunities are lost.

A handoff meeting between marketing and sales can be vital.

The marketing team can offer up a list of all of the resources the person has consumed over a period of time, typically pulled from marketing automation software program, which can help to guide the sales process.

For example, if the prospect has been almost exclusively researching one specific type of product, the salesperson knows the product that should open up a conversation.

Similarly, the salesperson can walk in the customer’s footsteps and read back through all of those resources, looking for knowledge gaps that the consumer might have. Those are ideal conversation starters that can pull the sale forward.

What happens if the sales call didn’t go as planned? This could be a sign that the MQL isn’t so “qualified” after all, but all hope isn’t lost.

When marketing teams are aware of this issue, they can add the person back into the content marketing program.

Maybe a series of follow up email messages about key features, or an invitation to a webinar, could help encourage a deeper level of comfort with the product. In a few weeks or months, that person really could be marketing qualified, and the next sales call could be a touch smoother.

 

Putting Theory into Action

While defining an MQL and an SQL is vital — it’s also personal. That means there’s no handy template you can download in order to sort your leads. Instead, you’ll need to have some in-depth conversations within your sales and marketing teams. You’ll need to discuss your:

  • Customer personas.
  • Typical time to close projects.
  • Marketing resources.
  • Customer/prospect lists.
  • Lead scoring method.

You’ll need to think about how each persona interacts with your company during each buying phase. You’ll define what steps are meaningful and signal a deeper commitment.

You’ll also identify the assets you’re missing that could compel action. Those are the decisions that will help set up your lead scoring method. You’ll use them to understand how an MQL is passed to sales — and what comes next.

When you have a theory in place, sales and marketing will need to keep that conversation going. It’s vital for marketing to know more about the leads that sales finds easiest to convert.

How long have these leads been in the pipeline? What assets did they touch? What sorts of companies are they from? What are their titles?

Sales teams may encourage their marketing colleagues to lock MQL rules down tight. That way, the leads they’re given almost always convert into SQLs and sales.

Unfortunately, a system that’s calibrated too carefully can lead to very empty, loose sales pipelines. And that can leave sales teams with little — or nothing — to do all day.

Meeting regularly to discuss opportunities won, opportunities lost and lessons learned can help the entire group to come up with a plan for the future.

 

Ready to Get Started?

Identifying MQLS and SQLs starts with capturing the right data. We can help you grab that data.

Use LeadBoxer to track activity from all of your leads at all stages of the purchase cycle. Try it for free to get the data you need in real time. Or, schedule a demonstration. We’d love to show you how it works.

 

Looking for more qualified leads?

We offer Website Lead Identification or Lead Generation through emails & newsletters

How to turn your (new) website into a lead generation machine

How to turn your (new) website into a lead generation machine

Our Hypothesis – get smart – get started

In our opinion, it makes sense to put a lead pixel in a (new) website as soon as possible, as opposed to waiting “until everything is in place”. Any web designer / developer or agency should be able to put the pixel in your site within an hour or less, and once the pixel is in place we will measure all activity on your site, and this will build up the history and touchpoints needed in order to to start qualifying your leads and turning your website in a lead generation machine.

From the moment you start measuring, we will show you the businesses visiting your site in real-time, providing you with qualified leads and sales intel on a daily basis. And why is this important? Current thinking as demonstrated by Lean Methodology techniques which tell us that constant iteration (change & improvement) is a key to success.

A definition of Lean: being a customer-centric method which seeks to continuously improve based on feedback mechanisms. In this case, the feedback mechanism is: which companies are visiting your site, and are they finding what they need?

Succeed with a plan

It happens on a regular basis that companies get in touch with us to talk about lead generation and then tell us that they’ll (re)-prioritise lead generation once their website is up and running. Our advice is to put the horse in front of the cart. Your website is, in fact, a lead generation tool. Therefore, you should plan to keep the (potential) pain of trying to generate new business front and center.

Getting a new business  website up and running is a labor of love, among other things. Another important ingredient is ‘smart working’.
Many people place lead generation as a second or third priority. In this article, we argue that Lead Generation should be an initial priority. Measure what’s happening, even if you’re not seeing good news – this should be your warning system that things need to change.

When you first put up a new site – this is the time to closely monitor who is coming, and who is not coming, paying particular attention to which Companies are taking a look (firmographic information).

Use smart technology to identify leads

How does LeadBoxer help you identify relevant lead activity? We have a Filter (email notifications) for example, which segments traffic based on Industry category (automotive, tech, health, etc) and can include Employee Size, 1000+ employees, among a long list.

Why should you be concerned about this? Because you are probably trying to sell something – and you need to pay attention not only to who is looking at your site, but how long they look, if they come back, and especially interesting if your site is not sticky (interesting) enough. Now that ‘search terms’ have all but disappeared – you need to pay extra attention to which of your pages attract people. At this point, conversion becomes interesting – which pages and traffic sources deliver conversion.

Improving a website

Launching a new website business is a multiple-step process. There is complexity involved.

In our experience, launching a new site can be an exciting project, often involving multiple people or teams, putting together the best of their expertise to include strategy, design, copywriting, technology, SEO, etc. It involves significant communication, planning, coordination, teamwork, etc.

Unfortunately, for these exact reasons, the process of launching a new site almost always takes longer than expected. And even if you launch your new site on schedule, it is not going to magically bring a surge in organic traffic or leads.

It takes time before the search engines pick up the new site and index all the content and start listing your pages. Most likely you will need some additional rounds of SEO and content marketing before the desired persona’s are able to find you.

Of course, you can work around this with search engine marketing (SEM) and purchase traffic by advertising on Google/Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

This is a good approach; almost all successful organisations have a healthy mix of organic and paid traffic. However, a quality Ad campaign usually works with dedicated landing pages to optimise the conversion of these paid visitors. So you will need to ask your team to iterate these pages once an analysis has been made and even more time will pass.

Plan ahead – how will you reverse engineer leads

Last but not least – do not wait until your website is online to consider your lead generation strategy.

Another aspect to keep in mind is forward planning – in other words – we get requests on a regular basis to incorporate lead capture into an existing site. Planning is the better option – plan (reverse engineer) how you want to capture leads- what types of leads you want, what you want to know about them (literally) and how you want to manage this information. These decisions should accompany the design + build process of your site.

What does this actually mean?
Well, for example, there are about 20 tried & true touchpoints, meaning different ways of getting information from your leads. We use the Free Trial method, because we are a SaaS Software-as-a-Service company. So we use a sign-up form. We also use a Demo Please – Contact Form. Here is a list of potential touch-points.

Conclusion and take-homes

  1. Your first site should go through several iterations as your value proposition pivots and you fine tune your message.
  2. The main function of your digital assets (website, app) should be to generate leads (clients, users, trials).
  3. Old adage: fail to plan – plan to fail. This is relatively easy to avoid – by asking the right questions early on.
How the DiSC profiling method can help you manage your leads

How the DiSC profiling method can help you manage your leads

A guest article by Yvan de Canson, content marketer at Salesbox

Being able to identify the natural behavior of your leads and adapt to it is one of the most useful skills you can develop when selling. Because selling in the end is all about building trust and truly connecting with someone.

In this article we will talk about the DiSC method, a method that will help you to identify the natural behavior of your leads and adapt to it. This method fits particularly well with Sales because of its simplicity in allowing you to take quick decisions; an important factor in the difficult Art of Selling. If you know the DiSC method, your closing, your lead generation, and your lead qualification will be more efficient.

The basics of the DiSC profiling method

 

First, let’s talk a little bit about the DiSC profiling method so you can have a clear understanding of what are its benefits.

The DiSC profiling method is used to analyze people’s natural behavior. It is based on the research studies of William Marston, an american psychologist at Harvard during the 1930’s. It’s a non-judgmental method which seeks only to describe the different types of behavior you can observe among people.

The conclusion of William Marston’s model is that there are four different types of behavior (D, I, S, C) and that everyone’s attitude exhibits a mix of them.

The DiSC method’s ultimate goal is to describe the natural behavior a person will adopt when confronted with a situation. Therefore, it’s based on two questions that everyone asks themselves subconsciously when any situation appears:

  • Are the surroundings naturally friendly or unfriendly ?
  • Do I feel stronger or weaker than the environment ?

Some people will always see the environment as hostile and others will naturally think that the surroundings are friendly. The same applies to the degree of control and influence on the surroundings.

Some people will naturally feel they have a tight control on the situation and others will instinctively feel the opposite. This natural feeling is not directly related with reality. It is more like an instinct and neither one is good or bad.

Based on the answers of these two questions the DiSC model separates behaviors into four different groups (D,I,S,C). Going further, each type is enriched with a color as well (Red, Yellow, Green, Blue).

Everyone is a combination of these different behaviors but what distinguishes us is our dominant type and the percentage of each one in our unique mix.

Dominant Style (RED) : This is the style that describes people’s behavior when they feel stronger than a hostile environment. They want to overcome obstacles in order to achieve their goals. They are challenge-driven and do not fear taking some risks and changing if they think it can help them because of their strong self-confidence.

Influential Style (YELLOW): This the behavior people adopt when they feel being in a friendly environment they can control at wish. Therefore I-Style behaviorists are looking to influence their surroundings through friendly persuasion; they want to be involved and accepted by others.

Steady Style (GREEN) : This behavioral style is adopted by someone who feels being in a friendly environment he or she can’t really control. That is why the primary goal of a GREEN person is to maintain good relationships with others and don’t do anything that can lead to the transformation of the friendly surroundings in a hostile environment.

Consciousness Style (BLUE) : People will adopt this behavioral style when they feel weaker than a naturally hostile environment. People with C-style behavior will try to protect themselve by using pre-existing rules and structures. They will try to do the “correct” thing and minimize the risks of making mistakes so that nobody can point an accusing finger at them.

How can the DiSC profiling method help you with your leads?

 

The DiSC profiling method will help you closing deals.

The first and direct benefit of the DiSC method on your Sales is your better ability to identify the natural behavior of your potential customers and adapt to it (communication, body language, writings etc.). That will help you to close deals more easily because your one-to-one communication will be more close to your lead’s preferred communication style (mirror your customer).

First, what is at stake is your ability to identify the DiSC color of your lead. To do that you can use the O.A.R method (Observe, Asses Recognize) that we will describe in one of our next articles.

Then knowing the behavior style of your lead you will be able to pick the right argument that will resonate in your prospects’ minds.

For example a BLUE person will pay more attention to facts and data in order to make the “correct” decision. You should be able to prove any points of your speech. On the other hand, YELLOW type will be more focused on what other people will think about them if they buy your products. Therefore, you should insist on previous successful clients that you know your I-Style prospect will value.

Finally, you will be able to say your argument with the appropriate tone, rhythm and through the relevant canals. For example, a D-Style will appreciate short, straight to the point emails that won’t waste their time. On the contrary, a S-Style will appreciate a warm phone call because they want to see if they can trust you before making any deals.

The take-away is that the DiSC profiling method will make it easier to connect and build trust with a prospect because you will know his natural behavior and adapt to it. Eventually, it will be easier to close deals.

The DiSC model will make your lead generation and lead qualification more efficient.

The more you can identify people’s natural behavior, the more you become efficient when selling. The first reason is that you can identify your own natural behavior. You can tell what are your strengths, your weaknesses, which type of behavior your feel comfortable with and which not.

It’s always easier to deal with people of your own dominant behavior since the interaction is natural.

Your lead qualification is easier because you are able to say quite quickly if a prospect will be a good fit for you or not. If you identify a lead with a behavior which suits you, that you can adopt naturally, then you can proceed but if not you won’t loose time and energy and maybe pass it to one of your colleagues. If you don’t have a suitable colleague then you can adopt your communication to suit the behaviour of your lead. It is crucial to mirror your customer and make them feel “at home” and trust you.

After a while selling your product or service you will most likely be able to detect certain patterns among your best customers. Maybe you will see that 50% of them have a D-Style and therefore you can use the DiSC model in a more proactive way for your lead generation.

You can add a DiSC colors to your Target Customer Profile and try to adapt your overall communication to it. That is to say your website (landing page), your content (blog, posts), etc…

You can even use a CRM, such as Salesbox, to send custom email marketing campaigns in function of each DiSC colors and increase your open rate. Salesbox also comes packaged with the possibility to add the correct DiSC-color to each lead or existing business contact, to make it easier for colleagues (managers, other sales reps, pre-sales, support, delivery, finance) to know how to communicate correctly with the lead/customer.

All of this will make your lead generation more efficient. The DiSC model, as we just saw, is a brilliant behavioral model that will make you more efficient as a sales representative. But on the top of that, the DiSC model can be used in various domains where behavior matters. For example it can help you to be a better manager : it’s easier to motivate someone if you know what triggers him/her. It can also help you in your recruitment process in order to determine if the behavior of a candidate will probably fit or not with his/her potential manager’s.

So, you see there is plenty application for the DiSC model within Sales and Business and if you want to dig more you can visit our blog: Salesbox Blog.

yvan-salesbox

Yvan de Canson

Content Marketer at Salesbox

Tracking Lead Engagement Over Time

Tracking Lead Engagement Over Time

 

Lead Generation and Analytics

 

In a previous article we talked about how to stay ahead of the game with Lead Generation strategies in 2017. Although Best Practice recommends to focus on Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media, the bottom line is that effective lead generation requires planning to ensure the desired results, unless you are selling water in the desert. In this article we focus on another important aspect of lead intelligence – tracking lead engagement.

 

Having a well-thought-out plan of action is only half the battle. You also need to follow potential customers through prospecting and sales cycles, nurturing them until they become paying customers. In this day and age, when information reaches people immediately, companies need to be flexible and adapt almost as fast. Your customers’ attention is not guaranteed – interests change, trends come and go, and people are always looking for the next big thing. So, why is tracking lead engagement so important?

 

 

 

Tracking lead engagement is important for multiple reasons:

 

 

  • Help the sales and marketing teams to focus their time and energy on the leads that matter.
  • Ensures you analyse current data to better predict future trends (and better prepare for future trends!).
  • Maps the users’ path so that you know exactly where they lose engagement in the product; which in turn will allow you to improve those “hurdles” and increase your customer retention rate.
  • Reduce your churn rate by better understanding what drives people away.
  • Confirms which lead generation strategies are most effective.
  • Improves your social proofing and SEO efforts because of the “positive feedback loop” that you have initiated.

The Turning Point

 

With those thoughts in mind we were researching the topic and stumbled upon a very insightful report by GetApp, which you can find here, about top Lead Generation channels that drive quality and quantity leads.

 

They surveyed 300 companies in North America to find their lead generation strategies and challenges. What grabbed our attention was the fact that close to 18.4% of salespeople stated that their model to measure ROI is inaccurate and that 69% are likely to invest in predictive analytics to better score leads. Those numbers are quite significant as it shows that companies realise the fact they have to focus on lead generation but they don’t understand their leads and they don’t know exactly when they are losing people’s engagement in the sales cycle.

 

After reading the report we just had to know more so we contacted GetApp. They were very kind to provide us with a commentary from Karen McCandless, the researcher that wrote the report. Here is what she had to say:

 

In May 2017, we conducted a survey of 300 businesses based in North America to find out their main lead generation challenges, the best channels for generating high quantity and quality leads, new lead gen trends, and the effect of software.

 

 

Generating high quality leads was cited by 28% of our respondents’ biggest challenge, followed by generating a high volume of leads at 22%. Reasons behind this include lack of budget assigned to lead generation, as well as not knowing or understanding the audience you are targeting. This means that any lead generation efforts will be more generic and less targeted to your target buyers.

 

The survey also revealed that many sales and marketers are still not tracking their lead generation campaigns. This can be attributed to the complexity of tracking different metrics across different channels, as well as a confusion over whose responsibility it is to do this. The lead generation experts who contributed to this report suggested that the marketing department should be tracking campaigns, rather than salespeople. However, businesses are often held back by the manual processes they have in place, or the wrong piece of technology for the job.

 

The take-home is that businesses need the right information in the right time in order to improve the ROI of their lead generation efforts. Following the engagement levels of leads from prospects to including them in your sales cycle to converting them into paying customers is not an easy task for every company.

 

What the GetApp report and the commentary show is that the most common reasons for not tracking a lead’s engagement successfully boils down to the complexity of tracking different metrics across multitude of channels, confusion over who is responsible for that, and using the wrong technology.

 

The Road Ahead

 

Given all the information that we have, it becomes obvious that the only way going forward is investing into a CRM that tracks a lead’s engagement over time. This will not only allow you to guide potential buyers across all of your lead generation channels but it will also pinpoint the weakest touchpoints along the way. The latter is probably even more vital as it can ultimately lead to improving customer retention and churn rates of your product/service. If you are still not convinced, here are some of the most eye-opening, CRM statistics for 2017:

 

  • The ROI on CRM is approximately $5 to every $1 invested (Baseline)
  • CRM gives businesses a 65% boost in sales quotas (Innopple Technologies)
  • A 41% revenue increase is realized with CRM (Trackvia)
  • CRM is used for email marketing 60% of the time for small businesses (MarketingCharts.com)
  • Leads that are nurtured in the CRM system convert 47% of the time (Annuitas Group)
  • Conversion rates can improve by 300% with CRM in place (Cloudswave)
  • Customer service can improve by 47% with CRM (Capterra)
  • Overall, 74% of businesses using CRM report better customer relationships (Software Advice)