The essence of marketing lies in catering to the needs, wants and aspirations, said and unsaid, of potential customers. Marketers often spend hours trying to understand their leads better, in the hope of improving their lead conversion rate.
But whether it is due to limited information, or contrarily due to information overload, figuring out what exactly triggers a sale for a particular client is easier said than done.
That is where lead enrichment comes into the picture, to better lead conversion prospects by building a thorough understanding of a lead profile.
What is Lead Enrichment?
Lead enrichment is the investigation of a lead for the purpose of better understanding a potential client. A lead is basically a potential sales contact, and can be anything such as a person, a company or an institutional entity. Knowing how your product or service caters to your lead’s requirement, is the core purpose of lead enrichment.
Lead data enrichment is the logical next step to lead generation i.e. when you stimulate a potential client’s interest in your offerings.
Once a lead expresses interest, you must convince them that your product or service is the perfect choice for them. For this, you must enrich lead data by studying your lead’s personal preferences, lifestyle, technology choices, and other insights.
But only data mining is not enough for contact data enrichment, it is important to verify the available data to take the right marketing and sales decisions.
Why Lead Enrichment?
Lead enrichment is all about knowing what influences a buyer’s buying decision. One must then add actionable intelligence to the lead generation outcomes.
Some of the reasons marketers should enrich lead data are:
- Better Segmentation and Targeting: In depth knowledge of the likes, dislikes and preferences of your leads based on hardcore data points helps carry out detailed segmenting of your target population.
- Lead automation: Due to auto-updation and management, your leads are kept relevant and up to date.
- More customised marketing communication: With better segmentation, sending more personalised communication to potential clients just got easier. Whether it is emails, personal conversations or any other marketing collaterals, you can now address client’s specific needs with carefully curated marketing content.
- Passive lead generation: By knowing more about an existing lead, you may be able to discover more associated or similar leads.
- Better sales efficiency: All the above equip your salesperson with real insights and tools to sell effectively. Automation is the hallmark of lead data enrichment, and it greatly reduces the time that salespersons spend on pre-sales activities.
How to embark on the Lead Generation journey?
For best outcomes, it is advisable to devise a well thought-through lead enrichment strategy, right from data-builds to investing in the right lead enrichment tool:
- Build Data: Lead enrichment uses an extensive array of CRM and data mining tools so that you can extract more information about your prospects. Data is the armor that can help you convert more leads to deals by helping you know your leads better. The data-build strategy varies as per lead type.
For example, if the prospect is a person, make it a point to parse his or her social media channels, and trigger him or her to fill forms. For a company, the annual reports and shareholder interactions are a great source. Other data points to access are a lead’s career history, and how the lead has been interacting with your offerings or website. But it is not enough to simply collate data, the quality of data is equally important. Use the right verification tools that identify, deduplicate, and verify the data you have collected, as per the purpose. Last but not the least, sometimes it is good to add a human element i.e. employ human reviewers who manually conduct checks and balances to ensure that your foundational data is even more accurate.
- Devise suitable systems and workflows: Engaging with and learning about your audience is an ongoing process if one were to reap its true benefits. It is humanly not possible to scourge multiple sources manually to get the apt data. Hence, design or buy the best suited lead enrichment tool and define appropriate workflows to do all the tedious data-work efficiently and effectively.
- Integrate with other systems: Data needs to be extracted continuously and from many sources, for better lead enrichment. Integrating your lead data enrichment tools with your marketing and sales applications aids an automated and holistic contact data enrichment process . For example, your CRM may hold valuable historical information of an ongoing lead. This data, combined with information collected during web-form submission or social media analysis can give you a high quality insight into the lead. Sales and marketing systems must talk to one another in real time for lead enrichment to occur on the fly.
- Establish multiple communication channels: Lead enrichment must be followed with real action i.e. customized interactions for continuous lead engagement. Get armed with all the enriched information and engage with your prospects in a personalized tete-a-tete through varied channels and in different ways. Customized emailers, personal calls, chat pop-ups- explore what works well based on the lead’s technographics and communication behaviours. This can greatly up the recall value and coax prospects into considering your offerings, because when a lead is familiar with a marketer, it builds trust and increases conversion chances.
- Real-life action: Most important thing is to action all the intelligence you have gathered through your lead data enrichment efforts. This means you must prioritize the above and much more with the right resources and ensure the field team is aware of and trained to follow up on these enriched leads.
Data is the foundation of any lead enrichment initiative. Naturally, lack of enough data, incorrect and outdated data serves as the biggest hindrance to effective lead data enrichment. Sourcing valid and reliable data is the starter’s dilemma, because not all information about a lead may be available online, or the lead may not be willing to part with personal data. Designing input-forms to capture critical details without offending leads, running the right algorithms to scourge the right online sources, and applying proper verification tools are aspects that companies need to think through if they were to succeed at the lead enrichment game. Even if you manage to get these initial steps right, actioning them with the right marketing and sales campaign designs and deployments requires significant commitment and costs. Often, there lies a chasm between marketing and sales functioning. Hence, the top leadership must buy into the lead enrichment agenda and both functions must work hand-in-hand to take enriched leads to the point of sales-conversions. Even the ground-level marketing and sales staff must be knowledgeable and accepting of this new way of working. You must orient them to the new leads enrichment process- what tools to use, how to use them to up their sales productivity.
Lead enrichment is a non-negotiable to derive greater ROI from your sales and marketing efforts. It brings you closer to your potential buyers, enabling you to make smarter sales choices. All this know-how must be backed with the right action-focus. This is possible only if there is an ongoing commitment towards lead enrichment.
Lead enrichment is a powerful tool to stay relevant in today’s dynamic sales environment.