We B2B marketers are a simple breed. We don’t ask for much. Some good leads now and again; enough SQLs to keep sales from chewing our ears off; license to throw around some silly acronyms every so often.
We’re easy to please.
But, alas, it’s all easier said than done.
When you’re not working thanklessly to conjure qualified leads from nowhere, your sales team keep throwing them back at you, or ignoring them altogether!
Sound depressingly familiar? Well, you can draw some solace in knowing that pretty much every B2B marketer struggles with similar same demand gen problems. And more often than not, the cause is inadequate or faulty data.
For example, when marketing and sales are working off separate databases (e.g. CRM vs Marketing Automation), data can conflict; which either causes marketing to inadvertently field unqualified leads, or sales to mistakenly view genuinely qualified leads as irrelevant. Similar sales-marketing misalignment can occur if leads aren’t matched to the right accounts, or if important data fields are missing altogether.
Marketers in businesses big and small alike are dreaming wistfully of a time when data quality is no longer a problem and they’re armed with enough good leads to deliver qualified accounts and leads to sales consistently.
Even RingCentral — the leading provider of SaaS solutions for business communications — faced similar challenges, which threatened to undermine one of the most sophisticated and effective demand generation programs in the B2B field.
More than 30% of their inbound leads had missing or inaccurate data in key fields. As a result, they couldn’t be automatically routed to the right sales team and were being ignored.
Worse still — given that RingCentral were among the early adopters of account-based marketing — 20% of inbound leads couldn’t be matched to accounts. Company (account) information was often missing or in a non-standard format.
Back to basics: B2B marketing lives and dies by its data
RingCentral’s data problems were by no means unique. In a data-driven world, B2B customers expect a level of personalization in the content and ad campaigns they see that’s on-par with the consumer industry. That’s something many B2B organizations — or, at least, their existing databases — aren’t always prepared for.
Data-driven marketing sounds like a buzzword (well… actually it is a buzzword), but in today’s data-saturated lead gen environment there really is no avoiding it. Data needs to be at the center of every demand gen activity you do, from content marketing and social media to marketing and sales ops. With account-based marketing that’s perhaps truer than otherwise, given ABM’s emphasis on targeting select (named) accounts and zeroing in on the few individual influencers within those accounts to make the sale. To embark on that kind of pinpoint strategy you need plenty of up-to-date, accurate, relevant data, on both the individual and account level — that’s fully synced and aligned.
Using real-time data enrichment — including lead-to-account matching — RingCentral more than tripled their lead-to-opportunity conversion rate — all while reducing the average amount of time it took to convert a lead by two hours. That added up to a whopping 65 hours saved per rep, per quarter! In great part, that was due to them having moved from juggling five separate data vendors, to just one, using Leadspace Audience Management Platform.
Rather than make do with basic insights like job title, company location or size, each lead was appended with dozens of granular insights including job functions, company revenue, industry, and familiar technologies. This made it much easier for marketing to assess which leads were truly likely to buy; which in turn meant more genuinely qualified leads to sales; which in turn meant a much happier sales team. In fact, their sales and marketing teams were aligned like never before!
Read the full case study below to learn more about RingCentral’s demand gen success — and how they did it:
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