Database maintenance can be seen as a chore, but it is one whereby the percentage of attention it is receiving each year is growing. The business world we now exist in is one driven by data and your database – with a little polishing – can provide a wealth of information that can drive sales decisions and grow pipeline. A 2015 marketing report saw 74% of respondents prioritising lead quality over lead quantity, with 59% stating that the improvement of database depth and accuracy was a top priority.The growing demand of high quality data has led to both sales and marketing increasing the demand for data enrichment tools and processes – both in direct marketing and digital marketing activities. While digital marketing efforts can ultimately be wide spread and of vast reach, which is essential to delivering targets, both sales and marketing understand that an unfiltered conversion flow of visitors to contacts will produce a high volume of poor quality MQLs.
Added depth and insight to a database can provide an increased number of business opportunities of a higher quality. Gathering supplementary information to those neccessary to progress a prospect provides sales with greater contextualisation and understanding of a prospects needs and challenges, thereby enabling the sales team to increase their close rates and grow sales pipeline.
Data enrichment can be considered in 4 different manners:
1. As a form of qualification
Lead information can be broken down into three distinct categories: qualification criteria, conversational points, and market trends and company insight:
At a basic level, general information on your potential prospects that will enable you to quickly determine if a lead meets the qualification criteria required by sales in order to close a deal. Information such as job title, industry, and revenue are essential information that will quickly determine if your database has the potential to produce the leads required.
This kind of data, provides supplementary information about a prospect or lead that enables you to draw them into fulfilling and engaging conversations. High quality conversations enable you to demonstrate to your prospects that you understand their challenges and are able to consult with them on how they can be relieved. This information is specific to the company you are engaging with and even more specific to the contact and their individual needs and challenges.
Market Trends and Company Insight
This information can be highly useful in the conversion and sales processes, however, it also servers the critical function of providing insight on up to date and relevant industry trends. This information can be used to shape service offering, marketing messages, sales and marketing collateral and nurturing or future campaigns and can include things such as:
- Existing or previous product or service used
- End of life software
- Contract end date
- Number of users
- Project triggers within the market (e.g. data breaches)
Although we consider these elements seperately they indeed overlap and influence eachother.
2. Within a lead generation campaign
When some of this information is missing or incomplete, a direct and digital lead generation campaign can be used to quickly grow the quantity and quality of the information contained in the database.
Valuable pieces of content can be placed behind a form that is crafted to collect the information necessary to deliver high quality leads. By understanding a prospects conversion pathway, you can position content of increasing value and relevance across your digital channels. With knowledge and tracking information of how leads progress and engage with your content, forms can be designed to ask for unique and insightful data each time through the use of SMART forms and CTAs.
With digital marketing channels the onus is on your potential prospects to give you the information you require to enrich your database. However, by combining inbound marketing with outbound marketing efforts you are more directly able to elicit the information you need. Rapport can be built between sales consultant and prospect, and often a prospect in this situation will share unique snippets of invaluable information which would not be gleaned through the inbound funnel. This relationship and exchange of knowledge allows for the enrichment of the data contained within a database – providing it is recorded and stored appropriately.
3. To improve nurturing process
Some leads just aren’t ready to commit, and to avoid them becoming wasted effort a nurturing process is essential. Using the information previously gathered about them, a personalised nurturing strategy can be created that fosters their continuous engagement with your organisation, whilst also collecting supplementary information about them. Thus further enriching your database until they can become a fully qualified sales opportunity. Read more about old lead re-engagement here.
4. As a standalone campaign
Data enrichment has a symbiotic relationship with a lead generation campaign; as each further the development of the other. However, database enrichment can also be conducted as a stand-alone campaign; this process often generates the types of information that can be classified as market information. This information, collected either as a bi-product of lead generation or as a focused campaign, can help drive sales and marketing strategy decisions that are highly responsive to the insights gained from the market and industry.
An organisation's database contains a wealth of information that is essential to the deliverance of high quality B2B leads. However, without consideration to the quality of information collected, sales pipeline can suffer along with organisational strategy development. Data enrichment can be considered as a standalone focus for a campaign, yet most importantly it should be an ongoing activity and by-product of sales and marketing efforts.
Find out more about the importance of data enrichment as part of your sales and marketing campaigns.