It is no secret that marketers are constantly on the lookout for new business leads, since lead generation efforts are geared towards converting those leads. But, when too much emphasis is placed on generating and closing sales instead of strategic thinking, conversions can result in short-term wins at the expense of nurturing long-term customer bonds.
Traditional lead generation models tend to not pay enough attention to relationship building, focusing on just getting the lead and the sale in one fell swoop. This lead gen framework follows a 5-step process of fulfilling, capturing, qualifying, nurturing, and closing — with each step given the same level of importance.
According to Mike King, founder of iPullRank, you need to understand who you are trying to reach with a campaign before you even start that first step of fulfilling a lead goal. King continues that it’s not necessary to attribute the same amount of effort on each step of the lead process. Instead, you should be using data-driven personas to drive the transition of each step.
Determining user profiles before a campaign allows for more accurate lead gen targeting as it uses practical, measurable data to determine what your particular market wants. Once you’ve uncovered your customers’ needs and have created a data-driven persona, you will be able to drive conversion and brand loyalty.
Read on for reasons why data collection is such a crucial step in B2B lead generation.
1. Customers expect a seamless, consistent buyer experience.
Big data has given marketers the opportunity to readily find out more about their target audience. They get to know who their clients are, what they want, their pain points, demographics and preferences without having to go through laborious processes.
According to ReachForce, a data consultancy company, “consumers are no longer tolerant of mixed messages coming from a brand. If you seem to know them one day and throw something out of left field at them tomorrow, they notice, and it doesn’t impress them.”
2. Data collection will help you understand the buyer’s sphere of influence.
According to Eric Matlick, CEO of Madison Logic, a digital marketing consultancy firm, it is important to know who the decision makers are in a B2B lead generation scenario. In the buyer’s journey, your prospective customer must convince their team that your products or services fill their company’s needs. In order to do that, you need to provide them with information to help them convince their purchasing manager to close the deal.
You will have to find out who these stakeholders and decision makers are, and figure out which features of your company’s solutions can best fulfill their requirements.
3. Use big data and analysis to enhance buyer engagement.
As you usher your prospective client through the lead generation process, insights gained from big data can be used to adjust your message so it remains relevant and on point for your client.
Matlick advises you to “start with a large pool of prospects, and then nurture them with relevant, multi-platform content. Use the data to stay fresh and present in their buying cycle.”
Take advantage of various multi-touch, multi-platform messages to keep your prospects interested and nurture trust until they are ready to make a commitment to buy. Different software and services such as FullContact will help you gather enriched data about your contacts, which includes details such as demographics, social profile info, general behaviors and much more. You’d be amazed at what you can discover about a company from their Twitter feed or LinkedIn posts.
Data collection is the first step towards gathering better insights when generating leads. Taking the time to create a data-driven buyer persona increases the chances of reaching a targeted group of people who need and want your product. It is also a crucial step towards building customer relationships, brand loyalty, and long-term profitability.