B2B manufacturing organizations are having a rough go of it lately. The old go-to-market strategy of trade shows and cold calls just doesn't work any more. Is it even...
Leads are the driving force of any business. And without converting leads to paying customers who eventually become loyal to your brand, your company cannot thrive. For this reason, most companies need to be methodical and organized in the way they manage their leads. Maintaining a lead database is essential for any business that wants to maximize the benefits of marketing automation.
Here are three best practices for lead database management that will help you achieve your sales and marketing goals.
1. Define the Perfect Lead
It starts by defining the perfect lead. Who are they? Where are they from? What are their interests and pain points? What type of content will they find compelling? And where do they spend their time, both online and offline? What channels are they using to communicate, and which online platforms do they frequent?
If you don't know who your target customers are, you're running your business blindly. Having insight into your ideal prospect allows your sales and marketing team to refine their strategies. And when you have a buyer persona, your lead generation efforts across all departments will be aligned.
Companies with effective buyer personas see a 20% increase in pipeline value, a 100% increase in sales qualified leads year over year, a 50% increase in conversions, and 5X more contacts mapped to a persona for targeted communications.
2. CRM Database Hygiene
Maintaining a clean database will help ensure your database is kept within your subscription limit, ensuring that you don’t need to purchase more storage which can be costly. Eliminating your old and inactive leads will improve your email deliverability rates and reduce the likelihood of your emails going straight to spam or getting blocked completely.
Remove duplicates as they can cause you to reach your database limit quickly. Regularly merge duplicate leads to free up space and to avoid data loss. It would be best if you also do away with leads that have no email address or whose email is invalid. There's no sense in keeping contacts that are unreachable especially if the leads are meant for email marketing campaigns. You'll also want to remove unsubscribed contacts, unengaged contacts, and contacts that have hard bounced.
Before removing unsubscribed leads, be sure your CRM database provider keeps a record of your unsubscribed contacts in a separate database.
3. Develop Buyer Personas
Markets change, and your definition of the ideal customer might too. While they probably won't change dramatically over a short period of time, revisiting your personas is important to ensure that you are still targeting and nurturing relevant leads. This may happen if your organization has gone through a transition or have changed their primary product line.
Because buyer personas are the foundation of sales and marketing efforts, checking their quality and accuracy ensures your strategies are still relevant. And in the event that your buyer personas have changed or need to be updated, you may need to clean your lead database of prospects that no longer qualify as qualified leads.
Having an optimized lead database is the best way to complement your sales and marketing efforts. Managing and maintaining it will save you money and keep you within your storage limits and ensure you are targeting the right leads and nurturing them throughout the sales cycle.