As a business owner, focusing on the quality of your marketing campaigns, leads and customer relationships should be fundamental to optimizing your sales process, outreach efforts and demand generation. The quality of the contacts data is a key component of the buyer funnel in any business. When it comes to data on your prospects, it’s not only about numbers, but also about accurate information to help you get to the right decision maker. Low quality leads end up wasting your sale organization’s time on research, data collection and chasing stale leads. On the other hand, high quality leads facilitate smarter targeting, segmentation and marketing automation.
In our experience, B2B sales and marketing databases decay over time. Your business contacts data gets out of date sooner than you realize. When your contact database is not actively enriched and cleansed, your sales teams do not realize the full potential from their email marketing and outbound calling efforts due to high bounce rates. Eventually they end up doing their own research on LinkedIn, Google, ZoomInfo and other tools. This doesn’t help your organization’s growth goals since you would rather have your star sales reps closing deals instead of building prospect lists.
Your contact database is always in flux. People are hired and fired. Companies shut down or get acquired. New positions are created. Businesses fail and succeed every quarter. People are always on the move to better or different opportunities. Thus not only does an organization need to make a constant effort to grow their CRM database with new accounts and contacts to prospect; but they also in parallel need to keep updating the existing data to make sure it is accurate and targeted.
Lead generation is the first step; lead enrichment is an ongoing process that should not be ignored. After all, how effective is your sales strategy if you are still nurturing a contact at a company who no longer works there or is not the right decision maker? Thus, it is imperative for today’s highly competitive sales and marketing teams to have access to accurate and updated customer data to run an efficient outbound sales operation.
You can look out for a few indicators that would tell you if your CRM database is in dire need of lead enrichment:
- What is your email bounce rate? How many emails bounced back from your last email campaign?
- How many of your emails get auto replies which are not “out of office replies.” Was your email delivered? The person you were email nurturing may have left the company and the “undeliverable” email will not even show up in your bounce report.
- Is your team reaching out to prospects on personal emails? Well, pull that list out and enrich those Gmail, Yahoo and others free personal emails with business emails.
- When was the last time your team got in touch with a prospective contact? If it has been more than 6 months then it’s highly probable that the contact person may have changed or has a new position in the company.
- If your “lead” hasn’t responded even after repeatedly attempts then there can be two possibilities a) they are clearly not interested. b) You may have the wrong contact information.
As startups grow and ramp up their sales teams, it is important to set up a dedicated lead generation and enrichment support team. You can set up your own team of interns, temp workers or full-time researchers in-house or partner with a company that does it well. Whichever route you go, if you manage this process tightly and refine it as you measure the results, it will help you close new accounts.