It’s a common problem for marketing and sales organizations this time of year. It’s now two weeks post-Dreamforce and the marketing team brought home a lot, and I mean a lot of leads, but now what? The customary thank you for meeting us email already went out, a few people engaged and downloaded some complimentary content, but the traffic to the site has slowed, conversions have stopped and the sales team is still hungry. Fall events are winding down, the end of year is looming and there is a continued push to drive leads, build pipeline and convert existing opportunities into revenue. So, what’s next for the marketing team?
Marketing experts and best practice experts would likely say stay the course. You have a well-planned strategy that should drive the anticipated and required MQLs and SQLs to meet revenue goals. However, in the spirit of being an agile and responsive team…what can you do to pivot and help inject a few more opps into the pipeline?
Start with your data. Take a good look at your prospect and customer data before you think about investing a dime in any new demand generation programs or content. According to a November 2013 article in Marketing Charts and statistics in the 2013 CMO Council Know More to Grow More Executive Summary, data quality in B2B is not very reliable. In fact, 84% of those surveyed do not think their customer data is accurate or reliable.
Why? It might have to do with the fact that only 24% of those surveyed update their data regularly and only 17 % do so in real-time and 14% daily. The study and article point out that data sources for B2B are varied, including events, trade shows, third parties, list brokers, social media, telemarketing and the list goes on.
It stands to reason if you had a more accurate or relevant data, you could potentially segment and connect with your prospects and customers more effectively. For example, the leads coming back from Dreamforce may have been great, the majority of them may have even seen a demo at your booth, but did the lead capture identify what marketing automation platform they used or if they only sell through distributors verses a direct sales model? These would be great things to know when trying to creating email content after the event. What is going to make your organization stand out as you continue that Dreamforce dialogue via email or phone?
Look at your customer and prospect data in detail. Do you have all the relevant information you need to connect with them in a meaningful way? When was the last time your data was appended or cleansed? A lot happens in B2B in a year – titles change, organizations restructure, acquisitions occur, and of course, people leave organizations. Your ability to start a conversation with your prospect depends on accurate, relevant and socially-driven data (socially-driven data is self-reported so most accurate).
If your data isn’t great, do something about it before you think about new new demand gen campaigns. Better customer and prospect data will enable you to better connect with your existing opportunities, help accelerate stalled deals and up-sell or cross-sell existing customers. Want to drive more pipeline…start with better, more relevant and socially-driven data first.