Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Using Lead Data to Improve Your B2B Close Rate

Platforms that automate marketing and collect contact data are helpful to marketers, naturally. But did you know marketing automation has immense value for sales teams, too?
By using the marketing data collected on your leads, you can craft a sales message that has a higher chance of receiving a response. And more responses mean more opportunities, sales calls, and deals closed.
In traditional sales, reps are driven by a “cold call” mentality. Every outreach looks the same, sometimes with slight personalization based on what the rep knows about the company. But imagine the value if each outreach was personalized to the lead — and if you knew:
  • Which topics were of interest to that lead?
  • Which pain points are they trying to solve?
  • Which services and web pages they were browsing on your website?
By adapting your outreach, your outcomes will be more favorable. But this is only possible with the richness of marketing data and the inbound sales methodology.

Collecting Lead Data to Improve B2B Close Rates

Lead data can come in several forms, and it is most helpful when your marketing team invests in a CRM tool such as HubSpot that accounts for all types: conversion and engagement data, contact data, and company data.
Data pattern
  • Conversion & engagement data tells you how a contact has engaged with your site. This valuable information can drive a sales outreach.
    • Which content offers (like white papers, eBooks, and other offers) did the lead convert on, or provide contact information in exchange for? This can guide how you position the outreach, i.e. “As you explore more information about [offer topic], I’d love to provide some insights and guidance.” Buyers today expect to guide their own purchase path, so noticing which content they downloaded can help you address their core concerns and opportunities. See also: Most Valuable Types of B2B Sales Content
    • How many conversions did the lead make, and what was the quality of that conversion? If the lead has only converted on top-of-funnel content, your sales outreach should be educational. However, if they downloaded several content items, especially company material, you can conclude they are considering solutions. Then, your sales outreach can speak more candidly about your company and its solutions.
    • What other digital engagements did the lead take? Which emails, blog posts, and web pages did the lead click and read? This provides additional context around which topics the lead is interested in or problems they are trying to solve — all great entry points in your outreach.
  • Contact data is freely provided information that tells you who the contact is and how to contact them, their job title, their company, and other relevant information. This data should be collected explicitly — AKA, the lead provided it in a conversion form or sign-up. Otherwise, you’re engaging in a cold outreach, which has a significantly lower success ratio.While company and job title are useful qualifiers, don’t ignore the benefits of other information. Other data can help guide your outreach and positioning, especially if you have content offers mapped to specific buyer personas that you can attach and reference. For example, questions such as, “What is your biggest objective?” or “Which services are you interested in?” should be specifically referenced in your outreach.
  • Company data can be manually scraped by using a CRM like HubSpot. This can show you the website URL of the company, estimated revenue, company size, and other qualifying factors that can help you trace down the quality of the lead, do research, and identify common connections.

The Inbound Sales Approach

By reacting to the marketing data above in your outreach, you are already practicing the inbound sales approach.
The core tenets of the inbound sales approach are:
  • Be helpful and ask questions — Avoid any sales language until you’ve built rapport, asked positioning questions such as “Does this sound familiar to you?” utilized your research, and offered solutions. You can attach content offers, for example, which showcase case studies and company positioning guides.
  • Use videos — Video tools such as Soapbox can be great to embed a quick, self-recorded video for personal touch. In our internal testing at Ironpaper, we’ve seen great engagement on sales videos.
  • Reference content and resource material —  Work with your marketing team to identify content pieces, like case studies, eBooks, white papers, and brochures, to include at the relevant time to the right persona. Content provides a talking point and also stands out past a plain-text email.
Inbound sales is a natural progression for the sales funnel when it comes to inbound marketing-generated leads. And by using lead data to inform your outreach, positioning, and follow-ups, you increase your chances of closing the sale.


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