Sales

What is Lead Enrichment and why it matters?

by Alexandr Sura
What is Lead Enrichment and why it matters?

What is Lead Data Enrichment - how exactly does it improve your bottom margins; how does it help your sales and most importantly how do you take full advantage of it?

In this article you’ll find out:

There used to be a time when the sales rep’s job was to decide which leads to reach out to and which ones were not worth the effort. Then the same person would contact the inbound lead and start developing it to potentially convert and close it.

Naturally, this process was incredibly slow, from finding new outbound leads, due diligence and consecutive development & closure were fraught with unreliable data or a huge failure percentage.

Not to mention it required a huge staff of sales reps to work over a relatively small number of leads (by today’s standards), so much so that it created the common perception of a typical office “clerk” sales rep, they even made shows for it.

Photograph: Zach Long – The Office set experience in Chicago

Modern B2B Sales Funnel – What are SDR, BDR & AE?

Today the process has been more thoroughly refined with the separation of these duties into multiple roles as well as automated Lead Enrichment tools. These roles are:

SDR – Sales Development Rep. This role analyses the data from your CRM and decides which inbound leads (those brought in by marketing efforts) are worth developing, it then contacts them via email, calling, or other means.

An SDRs job includes developing this client at the top of the funnel, he must convince the client to be interested in their product/service. If the lead is worth pursuing further it becomes a “hot prospect”, for subsequent closing, or even upselling - it’s sent to the AE further down the pipeline.

BDR – Business Development Rep. These people take care of outbound leads, what this means is they are the more commonly known sales reps to the public - the ones that go out into the world and try to develop new leads. This is done by research into the market, lead lists, cold-calling, email campaigns, etc. All in the effort to find a new prospect and convert it into a hot one.

AE – Account Executive. This role is further down the sales funnel, they receive hot prospects from both the BDR and SDR and essentially try to close the deal.

They are the ones that will push the client over to make that ultimate step, they will also maintain the client for a time, both in the interest of upselling and a smooth transition towards the AM – Account manager, or if it’s a product, successful closure.

Of course, these are not the only people taking care of your sales funnel - there are multiple other positions, however, today we’ll focus on these as they are the ones benefiting most from Lead Enrichment.

What is Lead Enrichment?

All sales representatives will keep some sort of data tracking method, be that full-fledged CRMs or simple excel spreadsheets with their prospects. The approach heavily depends on the size of your enterprise. In smaller companies, you will find that all the aforementioned roles will be occupied by one or two people.

Regardless of who does it, due diligence into your prospects is a must when it comes to understanding which leads are worth pursuing, and which ones will be a bust.

In comes Lead Enrichment, it is not enough to have a list of John Does & John Smiths with their emails. That is a barebones lead list that is arguably less efficient than simply looking for prospects via LinkedIn.

Lead Enrichment by definition is the process of gathering and structuring supportive data around your leads & prospects within your CRM or other forms of a client database.

Also known as contact data enrichment, it means - supplying additional data that gives you valuable insights into your client or his intentions even before you try and contact the prospect.

This data can be acquired in two ways, manually gathering the information via googling, market analysis, and surfing LinkedIn-like platforms. This process can take an unresponsible amount of time that could be focused elsewhere.

Another way is using ready-made automatic lead enrichment solutions, a third-party ready-to-use database of contacts, emails, roles, companies, industries, market share, and even the latest news regarding their prospecting leads.

This gives your sales reps a head-start in developing the most efficient outreach approach, thus increasing their efficacy and your lead’s experience as well.

What kind of data should you focus on?

Regardless of whether you want to gather this data manually or use a third-party solution, you need to understand which data truly matters, and which will be superficial for your list of leads.

So, assuming you already have your list of “names/emails/phone numbers”, what other data will enrich your lead development and qualification process?

This data is spread between:

Firmographic – over-encompassing company information telling whether the company is fit for your product/service.

Demographic – all the info about actual people, figure out if you’re talking to the correct person you want to, decision-maker or marketing manager, etc.

Commonly sales teams focus on the following key datasets:

  • Industry – knowing precisely which industry your prospect occupies is possibly the most important dataset for your list. This gives you valuable insight into potential business challenges commonly encountered by your possible lead.
  • Annual revenue – a clear understanding of what kind of money this company has to play with.
  • Growth metric – this tells you whether the company is going through an upturn or downturn.
  • Number of employees – the overall size of the company, again, giving you insight into possible challenges this business might encounter on a day-to-day basis.
  • Owner or Board of Directors – understanding the overall structure and who is the ultimate owner of the business you’re trying to establish contact with.
  • Location – everything from country, region, city, address, etc. this can be particularly important for possible tax or governmental oversight into the industry.
  • Credit score – a no less important dataset, the company might show all the signs of a growing and successful enterprise with its profits or growth, but in reality, it could all be a huge smokescreen.

Consider this the minimum data you should look for when generating lead enrichment. An important thing to take note of is that not all B2B industries are created equally, so at the end of the day consult your sales representatives about which data is most important within your market segment.

And where do I get this information?

This information can be acquired by correctly using Google, checking LinkedIn, visiting the company’s website, consulting a solution such as Global Database, and of course official gov business registries.

That is of course if you’ve decided to do the entire process manually, otherwise, there are ready-built lead enrichment services out there.

Using third-party Lead Enrichment services?

What about setting up an automated lead enrichment tools? We’re talking about connecting the Lead Enrichment API to the CRM of your choice.

Deciding on which CRM to use is completely up to you, all we can say is that using any CRM empty, a barebones database to keep your emails and contacts in, is simply not enough. It is akin to using a jet propeller to mow your lawn. It can certainly do it, but that is simply wasted potential.

Global Database crm lead enrichment integrationSo, it is incredibly important to enrich your CRM with actionable data to use it to its full potential. When deciding on which third-party solution to employ first make sure it is compatible with your CRM.

Best results are achieved when you completely automate the process and make a “live feed” from your CRM to the solution you decide upon – an active CRM data enrichment paradigm

This means that when you create a new contract/contact within your system it would automatically fill up all the relevant data in all required fields.

Proper CRM platforms not only make the sales process far more convenient with notifications, notes, and UX, but they also give you valuable insights into your clients with data analysis.

You could request a separate spreadsheet, but then you’d only have it by that date and would still require manual input by your sales rep, again cutting into that valuable time better spent elsewhere.

Alternatively, you could just manually double check your CRM information with a dashboard for instance.

Why use Lead Enrichment tools? – Main benefits

As we said, the main reason for using Lead Enrichment is to transform that list of potential leads into valuable and most importantly convertible prospects, vetting out all the ones that are a sure-fire miss from the get-go.

Automating the process via a third-party solution also improves the overall efficiency of your sales reps, as they spend less time qualifying the leads and more time developing them. This is what we call a lead enrichment sales paradigm.

List of main benefits:

Find the decision-makers that matter & vet out the rest.

Using proper Lead Data Enrichment in your sales pipeline, not only cuts costs on trying to develop fruitless prospects but also gives your sales rep so much more to work with on how to approach the customer. Most importantly he knows which prospect is the decision-maker.

Reduce “form abandonment” during a client’s journey.

When it comes to inbound leads, one of the main ways to generate those is by your form, on your own website. And those are tricky, to say the least.

According to some studies, up to 81% of people abandon an online form at some point, the main reason for that is its length. Hence requiring only their name and email is more than enough if you have an automated system that will fill out the rest.

Improve the overall sales pipeline.

Contact data enrichment improves a whole lot of your sales department. With a properly set up system, it enhances the work of not only your SDR working with inbound leads, but also your BDR, AE, AM, CSR, etc. during the entirety of the customer journey and the sales pipeline.

All of your reps will have easy access to all this info via their CRM and they can take quick action in either upselling, customer care, or any other situation.

Main takeaway for B2B Lead Enrichment

Your sales reps can only do so much when they are given an unenriched lead list. They either spend an inexcusable amount of time qualifying the leads or rely on pre-built email campaigns that have a ludicrous bounce rate - spam.

Lead Enrichment is especially important for the business-to-business industry as the overall pool of your prospects is far smaller than that of B2C. Hence you cannot be ill-equipped when trying to develop them, and having that extra information is crucial to actually convert.

Another important aspect to mention is data hygiene when it comes to your datasets, hopefully, if you’re doing your own manual research you will try to create it properly based on reliable data.

However, entrusting yourself to a third party, you must take extra caution and make sure they source their information from official and reputable sources. There is nothing worse than telling your client erroneous information about their business. The same goes for basing your sales pitch, and cold email/call opening on flawed data.

So, take extra measures to verify the data you have as it can potentially do more harm than good.

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