Ever had a commercial prospecting campaign fall flat, despite having a relevant message and a competitive offer? It happens, and many times, the culprit is data. If using B2B prospecting lists purchased from third-party providers, or simply mining your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) data for new prospects, it can be challenging to optimize that data for marketing purposes. Maybe you’re not getting enough details about prospects to effectively segment and target the audience, or maybe your list management process is highly manual, which can lead to delays and human errors. These are the types of issues that impair businesses to reach the right audience at the right time with the right message.
But, if you’re on Salesforce®, you’re in luck. There are tricks for drastically improving prospecting that can save you time, money and resources, while also helping identify and engage the best-fit prospects for business so you can efficiently win, retain and even grow their business throughout the account lifecycle.
Tip #1: Consider using a commercial prospecting data resource that is integrated with Salesforce. Since Salesforce is a cloud-based software system, it’s easier to access and integrate third-party data with your customer data using a Salesforce-compatible solution. In some cases, these integrated solutions allow you to control everything through the Salesforce User Interface (UI). This includes selecting and customizing the type, level and detail of data, viewing samples of that data and editing your list details. What’s more, it saves you the time, costs and hassle of visiting additional web sites to build separate prospecting lists that must then be manually cleansed and optimized.
Tip #2: Once you tap into a reliable data source via Salesforce, search for as much detail as possible on both businesses and specific contacts. Whether you search by company size, industry and sub-sector, employee size, annual revenue or other filters, build lists with as much detail as possible. If available, include years in business, phone number, industry code (SIC or NAICS) and whether it’s a branch office, parent or headquarters. The more data you can get, the better it will help you understand, segment and target your prospects.
But, don’t stop with the business. Go ahead and dig deeper to get information on specific contacts within businesses if possible. This can be as simple as modifying your search from “company search” to “contact search.” Here you can usually search by name, title(s) and branch or headquarter locations. By including a named contact and title on your marketing message, you can customize your campaign materials.
Again, the beauty of this is that you’re accessing unique, differentiated business data to strategically expand your customer and prospecting database without leaving the familiarity and convenience of Salesforce.
Tip #3: Strengthen contacts within existing accounts by finding additional contacts. It can be extremely limiting to only have one reliable contact at a company. Why? Purchasing decisions are rarely made by one contact; instead, functional teams often collaborate on purchasing decisions. For this reason, use your data resource within Salesforce to expand prospecting reach by adding new contacts to your existing customer or prospecting accounts. This way, if a message fails to resonate with one contact, for example a procurement manager, you still have a chance to connect with a more functionally-focused contact such as a sales director, risk manager or credit analyst. Obtain as many relevant contacts as possible for each account, and include all of them in your next outbound campaign series for optimal performance.
Tip #4: Enrich existing contact information with updated and expanded information. The more details you have on prospects and customers, the better. Since being aware of this information, try using your Salesforce data resource to beef up your contact information. It’s usually pretty simple. Once you have your contact open, there’s often a button—for example, “Enrich Account”—that you can click to automatically expand the contact information with the contact’s email address, phone number, job title and more. Some solutions will even “data stamp” when the contact file was enriched, so you know when it was last updated by the data resource (versus a manual update). This helps ensure that you have the most current and comprehensive information possible on file at all times, which can come in handy for future prospecting campaigns.
Tip #5: Uncover new prospects by understanding corporate family trees. Some solution providers give the option of instantly researching the affiliate and legal hierarchy of business accounts. When a relationship is detected, this gives you a “foot in the door” advantage. You’ll uncover new prospects from your existing customers to identify their other relationships. Depending on the capabilities offered by the solution provider, you can then easily create new accounts that stem directly from the family tree.
Identifying and connecting with quality prospects is an ongoing challenge for many marketers, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s all about the data. The more detailed and current data you have, the better you can identify prospects who align with your ideal customers, and engage them with meaningful messages and offers. You can do all this and so much more when you have access to the right information, and you can do it with ease and efficiency when that data resource is integrated through Salesforce.com.
Equifax BusinessConnect™ for Marketing, available on Salesforce, can help by giving you integrated access to comprehensive commercial prospecting data, including unmatched coverage of small to mid-sized businesses. All of your data is saved within Salesforce for a single source of truth on your customers across the enterprise. It’s part of our broader BusinessConnect solution—the only customer lifecycle management Salesforce-native application built on the Force.com platform that provides industry-leading security, uptime and native functionality, including workflow management and reporting.
Learn more about the many ways BusinessConnect for Marketing can provide insights that drive business growth.