laptop and stethoscope

The goal of the marketing department is to generate interest in a product or service while capturing enough potential prospects that sales are generated.

In today’s rapidly advancing world, data overload is a reality for B2B marketers. Without some sort of machine in place to efficiently harvest new prospects into their marketing databases, you end up with wasted opportunities, unrealized goals, and potential business failure.

On the other hand, the benefits of having a method installed that systematically acquires, cleanses, and enhances new prospects can lead to an array of benefits that includes:

  1. An improved ROI from your marketing budget
  2. Reduced sales costs
  3. Reduced prospecting wastes of both time and money
  4. Increased prospect-to-revenue conversions

Simple Systematic Acquisition
When it comes to lead generation, the fact is: the better your sales intelligence is, the more effective your customer intelligence will be. With the rise of interpersonal interactions, social media marketing has found its way to the top of lead generating process. But, how do you leverage your contacts and social media to benefit your venture?

For starters, be sure to ask all of your associates, partners, and existing clients to subscribe to you. Then, ask them to share your subscription with their sphere of influence. Next, you’ll want to be sure to include mention of any of your other related projects, products, or services as a possible “cross-promotion.” In all other interactions and correspondence you’ll want to be sure to brand your messages with a simple request asking the prospect to subscribe to your updates/list.

Two useful tools that increase your odds of acquiring these new prospects are optimized landing pages and analytical email tracking.

Landing pages are basically a single web-page that exists so that when a prospect clicks a link in an email, social media post, or online ad they are taken to a page that has been customized just for them and the message you are relaying. These type of pages have been shown to increase the conversion of site visitors into new sales leads.

The Process of Data Cleansing
Getting the data to start flowing is one thing, putting it to work for you is another thing. Before your raw data can be useful it needs to be cleansed. There are several things you’ll want to do now before you start working with it to avoid costly mistakes and possible embarrassment.

First, you want to establish a few quality checkpoints. As data comes in from web forms, online ads, business events, and etc. you want to have a set format of what it is you want and don’t want added to your database. This is extremely important to look at with data collected online as some prospects might fill in complete gibberish that results in a worthless entry. If you put worthless information into your marketing database, when it comes time to leverage that information you’ll be left with nothing of value. Set standards and stick to them.

You also want to constantly check for duplications and remove the redundant data. At the same time, you want to go through and find incomplete entries and take time to complete them. For example, if you want to be able to call the lead you will need phone numbers or if you want to email you need email addresses.

Finally, be sure that you go through your databases at least once a quarter and remove any out-of-date contact information. If a company has gone out of business, merged with a competitor, or your contact has left for another position elsewhere, your database needs to updated to reflect these facts. Whatever you can do to keep your data fresh, do it.

New Prospect Enrichment
Once you have a steady flow of new prospects being filtered into your marketing database and protocols in place to ensure those databases are cleansed of errors, it is now time to look at enriching or enhancing the quality of your data. Lead enrichment is basically a process in which you make your data more valuable. This added value then translates directly into better marketing intelligence, which in turn produces better profits.

To enrich your data you need to think about what you can add to your prospects entry that increases your representatives’ ability to use your data to close more deals. For example, would it be helpful if the representative had links to the prospects’ web and social media pages so they could see what activities the client is focusing on right now? What about a list of all the markets in which the lead is currently active? What about a simple “notes” section that acts as a diary of each contact and its results?

Never the less, it is these types of additions and processes that will take your prospecting from a jumbled mess of raw data to mechanical marketing tool that drives revenue.