If there is one thing that sales and marketing executives can agree on, it’s the importance of lead generation. Marketers are continually challenged to deliver more leads and ensure that those leads are sales-ready, which is easier said than done. One fundamental challenge with lead generation is that the majority of campaigns start off on the wrong foot – with an untargeted, out-of-date list. While marketers have taken advantage of the latest technologies to reach audiences, they still rely on traditional lists to find leads. Luckily, new technology is moving the focus away from any one list toward a more interactive, on-demand lead generation database tool.
On-demand lead generation is a web-based lead research tool designed specifically to help marketers find and sell to targeted buyers. On-demand lead generation tools provide immediate access to business data and detailed contact information on millions of people, allowing marketers to identify prospects, conduct company research, and access the right individuals at all levels of an organization. The best data providers are able to develop their databases from multiple business information sources including published, Web, and member-contributed data to ensure the most accurate, up-to-date information available. The data provided goes well beyond a name and address; lists can be created by industry, title, geography, company size or revenue, as well as identify targets at multiple levels throughout the organization. These lists also offer the ability to do in-depth research on companies and people, including company and prospect profiles, bio, job history, and business connections. Unlike traditional list sources, you also get complete contact information, including e-mail, postal address and telephone number. Instead of that list you purchased for one-time use, you can customize the content and use the data as many times as you’d like, any way you’d like.
While list companies tout the ability to provide a lengthy list of contacts, that’s not really what you need. As a result, you need to spend time narrowing your target by industry, location, company size, and company revenue, then further refine your buyer by specific department and title within the organization. That’s time well spent – if you can even get this information. What most list sellers won’t tell you is that they can’t get you the contact data for the specific title you’re seeking, or they can’t guarantee the accuracy of the information. So when you buy the list, only a small percentage of that list is actually useful to you.
When comparing the two methods of identifying targets, the benefits of on-demand lead generation become clear. On-demand lead generation solutions are continually updated, and offer users the opportunity to go back to them as often as needed. By generating a list of more targeted, up-to-date contacts marketing campaigns generate higher response and conversion rates. And, because you can conduct multitouch campaigns and use the list multiple times, the leads generated are more sales-ready.
Frank Vaculin is CEO of San Mateo, CA-based software provider Spoke Software.