A study of 61 million customer records by NetProspex reveals that 84% of marketing databases are barely functional. 88% of those same customer records lack basic data such as industry, revenue and employee fields.
The marketing technology landscape nearly doubled in the past year from 947 to 1,876 companies, with almost $22B in investments. Despite the sophistication of marketing automation software such as Hubspot, Marketo, Eloqua, Oracle, Pardot, and others, B2B marketers are losing ROI due to incomplete and flimsy customer data.
Inbound form fields never tell the whole story. In order to maximize the value of costly marketing automation software, marketers need to actively enrich customer records for key data not captured through web forms.
Inbound lead enrichment is one way companies can ensure that their marketing automation machinery works efficiently from inbound to close.
What is lead enrichment?
Lead enrichment is the strategic improvement of customer data.
Like lead generation, lead enrichment is not an event, it’s a process. Also like “lead generation,” “lead enrichment” is a loaded term. Lead enrichment can take place in tandem with lead generation or be a retroactive improvement of a CRM or marketing automation database.
Some types of lead enrichment – especially deduplication and validation – can be fully automated with the use of a particular technology such as Ringlead or Interactive. However, most lead enrichment requires a human touch.
Whether you choose to enrich your leads in-house using an SDR or intern, outsource to a virtual worker, or adopt a technology solution, here are a few ways you can enrich your inbound to improve the efficiency of your marketing and sales processes.
1. Increase Conversions By Reducing Form Length
Say you run an A/B test on your webinar signup page and, sure enough, the 5-field form performed better than the version with 10. A lot better, actually. Cutting your form fields in half boosted your landing page conversion rate from 9% to 17%.
- First Name
- Last Name
- Company Website
- Job Title
Phone Number of Employees State Industry Content Management System
You know it makes sense to slim down your webinar signup form, but the thing is, your sales team really wants that extra data.
Perhaps a lot of good leads came from last quarter’s webinars. If you didn’t have those extra 5 fields on your landing page form, your SDR would not have been able to go back and separate qualified buyers from the unqualified — at least not without doing additional research on every registrant. In fact, your whole team agrees that Number of Employees, Industry, and Content Management System are required Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) criteria. Without these fields, you’re not getting any closer to hitting this quarter’s KPIs.
Many marketers think to themselves, “If I don’t ask for a field, I’m never going to get the data, right?” But that’s not necessarily the case.
Companies frequently find themselves weighing a higher conversion rate against asking for additional key data points. Everything is a trade. Customer information for value. On the one hand, you know there are companies like ImageScape who reduced the number of fields on their form from 11 to 4 and saw 120% conversion increase. On the other hand, your marketing automation machine is utterly dependent on high quality lead data. Less data means less efficiency later on in your selling process.
2. Work Around Conversion-Reducing Fields
Unbounce reports that including a Phone Number form field will result in an average 5% dip in conversion rates.
There are other fields that some people just don’t feel like answering. These have all been specifically shown to significantly reduce form conversions:
- Twitter Handle
- LinkedIn URL
Expedia’s VP of global analytics and optimization, Joe Megibow, credits the elimination of a single field on Expedia’s checkout page with saving the company $12 million in lost revenue.
Whatever the reason, don’t let a single field tank your conversion rate. There are other ways to get the data.
3. Collect Extra Data Points For Message Customization
Emails with personalized subject lines have 26% higher unique open rates than emails with generic subjects, yet 70% of marketers are still not sending personalized emails.
So, what’s the problem? They have the tools. They have the technology. They have the know-how. What’s missing? The data.
Marketers see the value in personalization. 75% of marketers say “dynamic, personalized content” across channels is very important, yet they remain stuck in planning stages. Leads that are nurtured with targeted content produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities.
Custom data points for the solar industry might include data points like regional cost of a kilowatt-hour, utility rate structure of a certain county, or recently enacted green tax incentives.
These data points can not only be used for targeting and audience segmentation, they can also be used to to deliver highly personalized emails on a large scale.
Here’s an example of how a commercial solar company might use merge fields to message a user who recently signed up for their newsletter.
 commercial property owners in [Fulton] county have already installed solar panels since [Georgia]’s [Solar Buy Back Program] went into effect [September 1, 2014].
Installing a Solar Photovoltaics system in [Fulton] county will reduce your energy cost from about [$0.67/kWh] to [$0.17/kWh]. The average savings for commercial property owners is [$412.22] every month.
Have you considered taking advantage of [Solar Buy Back Program] savings for your property on [1442 Northside Drive]?
These data points can act as game changers when it comes to getting positive responses.
4. Identify Additional Contacts For Your Account Based Strategy
An account based marketing strategy is similar to “enterprise sales,” but can be used to target a company of any size.
Instead of messaging only to inbound leads, in an account based strategy, sales and marketing work together to simultaneously target multiple decision makers within a company.
Say your company sells receipt tracking software to the rapidly growing marketplace for HR products and services. An HR Director downloads your ebook, Configuring & Implementing Workday Payroll.
Based on an analysis of your current customers, you know that someone with the title “HR Director” is typically an influencer, not a primary decision maker. Key insight from a recent customer satisfaction survey states that marketing departments – particularly those who travel to trade shows frequently – benefit from using your software.
Rather than wait for the CEO to inbound separately, or simply rely on the HR Director to make an introduction, companies using an account based strategy aim to speed up their sales cycle by targeting additional influencers directly.
By the time the decision maker at the company requests a demo, there will be a panel of people at the company who are knowledgeable about about what you offer. When they go into their next meeting, your company’s name is on the tip of everyone’s tongue.
5. Identify Lookalike Prospects For An Outbound Campaign
Many marketing automation platforms and web analytics tools let you see viewing behavior from unidentified visitors. Hubspot’s Prospects is one such tool. Prospects is able to detect the IP address associated with each pageview on a site, and can then provide you with your visitor’s company name, location, number of visits, and more.
If you observe that over 30 people from a company that fit your ideal customer profile have visited your site recently, it might be a good time to reach out, even if no users have inbounded yet.
6. Lead Grading
Lead scoring typically refers to user behavior such as time on site, pageviews, videos watched, and buttons clicked. Lead grading deals with firmographics and demographics such as department, job title, company size, location, industry, and revenue.
According to a RainToday.com report, less than 25% of new leads are sales-ready. The other 75% are in need of further nurturing. So how do you decide what content to send and when to make the call?
Here are a few examples of data points LeadGenius customers commonly enrich for:
- Alexa and Quantcast Rank
- Number Of Employees
- Company Revenue
- Physical Location
- Number Of Divisions and Additional Locations
- Social Followers
- Number Of Products Sold
- Website Plugins And Tools
- Yelp Reviews
- Payment Types Accepted
Marketo’s lead scoring resources are a good place to learn more about scoring and grading leads.
7. Qualify Leads Using Subjective or Hard-To-Find Criteria
You go to tradeshows every quarter. You walk away with a list of around 1000 new contacts who visited your booth at each time. About half are B2B and half a B2C. You only sell to B2B.
How long is it going to take for your sales reps to go in and filter out the companies you don’t sell to?
Your AEs could look up each company’s website before they call, but even determining something relatively simple like B2B vs. B2C is not always readily apparent by looking at a website.
Perhaps you only sell to companies that have their own warehouses, accept Bitcoin, or offer health and wellness benefits to their employees.
The only way to really find out is for someone to do some research. The only question is, who?
According to Marketo, a 10% increase in lead quality can translate into a 40% increase in sales productivity. Because quality leads are the fuel for your marketing automation machine, seemingly small gains in efficiency make a big difference in the long run.
8. Equip Sales Reps With Key Data Points
The average sales reps only spends 33% of their time on actual selling. The rest of the time is spent researching prospects and data entry.
Before a call, almost every account executive does 2 things: Google the company and look up the prospect on LinkedIn.
Empower your reps to spend more time closing and less time hunting and pecking for info by adding key data points before they get their hands on a lead.
9. Enrich Closed Lost Inbounds
You have a database of inbound leads stamped Closed Lost. They are probably gathering dust while you read this.
Budget, timing, competition, authority. A lot can change in year. Companies get funded, points of contact get promoted or move to other companies. Perhaps you have a new product on the market or you are targeting a slightly different customer.
Old lists of inbound leads still possesses a lot a value, if you know how to give them a new coat of paint.
Efficiency is key. By actively taking these 9 steps you can effectively get more bang for your buck with your sales and marketing processes.
And, remember, don’t eat glue!