Casting a wide prospect net will always bring leads into your sales pipeline, but getting those leads to engage, progress down the funnel, and ultimately convert is where B2B marketers focus the bulk of their energy. The availability of intent data from B2B data sources & providers has given marketing and sales teams unprecedented insight into the buyer journey, identifying behaviors and trends as quickly as they emerge.
But not all B2B data sources are created equal. Many providers use only first-party intent data, identifying only visitors who engage with their own website content, display ads, content downloads, and other digital collateral. Others may source data from third-party B2B database providers, some of whom are also self-reliant in their reporting, using only what they gather in-house. These databases only offer part of the picture — think of it as a single pixel within an image.
When it comes to choosing B2B data providers for your business, consider these four key benefits to using databases that pull from multiple quality sources:
1. Improving overall data quality
So how do you ensure your B2B sales leads database is giving you a comprehensive view? After all, monitoring the online behavior of your prospects is key to boosting engagement, recently cited as the number one challenge to generating good leads in Chief Marketer’s 2018 B2B Lead Gen Outlook. While 51 percent of respondents said conversion was their biggest challenge, 59 percent selected “engaging targeted prospects.”
The key is finding a B2B data provider that draws from multiple high-quality sources, ideally dozens or even hundreds. Big data is everywhere, but clean, objective, multi-source data is not. If you put all your eggs into a single-source basket, you’re not only minimizing the picture of your lead funnel, but also basing important decisions on any flaws in that data. Multi-source B2B database providers offer you a more complete and accurate view.
(Source: 2018 B2B Lead Gen Outlook, Chief Marketer)
2. Boosting engagement with a data-driven content strategy
Whether you define content marketing as a specific, targeted approach to customer conversion or simply strategic storytelling, it’s now part of the fabric of B2B marketing. A whopping 91 percent of respondents to a recent Content Marketing Institute survey of B2B marketers said their companies use content marketing as a regular part of their strategy.
But where does data come in to telling a story? Knowing what your audience is looking for allows you pinpoint hot topics and serve them up to your prospects before they move on to the next trend. Having a B2B sales leads database tracking this intel can guide your content strategy with actionable intent data, taking the “guess” out of your work.
(Source: 2018 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America, Content Marketing Institute)
3. Accelerating the crucial mid-funnel conversion from MQL to SQL
High-quality intent data is particularly effective when it comes to converting marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) into sales-qualified leads (SQLs) — a critical stage in the process of getting leads over the conversion line.
Anuj Agrawal, CMO of Earth Networks, tells Chief Marketer why in its latest lead-gen survey: “We want to make sure that when sales people take the time to engage someone, that prospect is highly qualified.” MQLs who are engaging with your content may still be researching competitors, getting free content downloads with no intent to buy, or be otherwise unready for a webinar, product demo, or sales call.
Assessing that readiness with multi-source, integrated intent data can guide engagement and content strategy that pinpoints exactly where MQLs are in the sales cycle. Knowing what prospects are searching for and where, seeing spikes in activity around specific content, and aligning it with known factors in your CRM is an equation for highly targeted outreach that can move the needle for that account.
4. Making a business case for your bottom line
Conversion cost is another major concern for B2B marketers. Earth Networks CMO Anuj Agrawal comments again to Chief Marketer that “getting access to all of this data in once place is tricky” when it comes to measuring the cost of conversion at each stage of the funnel.
Quality B2B data sources, though they may pull data from hundreds of databases, offer you a single platform from which to access the intelligence you need, often integrating it with your CRM and/or MAP software. This seamless connection allows you to manage business contacts and leads throughout their individual journeys within the campaigns you’ve already defined.
Data analysis is complex business, but it doesn’t have to bog down the time you spend on marketing strategy and creative development. The best B2B data providers make it easy for you by offering intuitive solutions sourced from numerous quality data warehouses, resulting in objective, actionable data.
Anyone can fill a funnel with leads, but all good marketers know the magic happens when you match the content with the prospect who’s looking for it. Having intent data from reputable B2B data sources at your fingertips makes that process faster, more accurate, and more likely to convert prospects into clients.
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