Marketing collects a lot of information about the leads they generate, much of which is made available to Sales to make their jobs easier. But it doesn't do much good if nobody actually, well, uses that information. And often all that lead intelligence falls to the wayside because nobody has explained how it can be applied to the sales process.
That's where this blog post comes in! We're going to take a look at some of the intelligence Marketing gathers on leads, and explain exactly how it can be used in the sales process. We will demonstrate where this intelligence lies within HubSpot software , but there are several free and paid tools on the market you can use to collect this information as well. Or if you'd like to follow along using HubSpot software, you can set up a free trial of the software right now!
7 Sales Applications of Marketing Intelligence
1) Leverage prospects' social media profile information.
There's a very good chance your leads are active on social media, and your marketing software should be able to easily direct you to their profiles.
Use this information to get a picture in your head of who your prospects are. What are they tweeting about? What is their job history on LinkedIn? What are their skills and areas of expertise? For example, at HubSpot, we'd speak to a prospect differently if they were a seasoned marketing director well versed in inbound marketing than if they were working in their first marketing job out of college and only had experience in social media marketing. That kind of information can be gleaned with social media intelligence so your conversations are more pointed.
You can take it one step further and search for common connections with your lead, too. At the very least, you can do a little name dropping to help put your prospect at ease. Or you can take the time reach out to your common connection to get an even more in-depth inside scoop!
2) Get to know leads with landing page form data.
Marketing collects all that information when they're generating leads for a reason -- it gives them insight into leads that lets them segment, target communications, and route leads to the appropriate salesperson. Sounds pretty useful for a salesperson too, right? Imagine taking a look at data of this nature before speaking with a prospect:
Not only do you know company information about this lead, but you can also gauge their level of engagement in your product ... and this lead is very engaged! She not only attended a demo of your product -- an action leads typically perform when they're further along in the buying cycle -- but she stayed for the entirety of the webinar. With this knowledge, a salesperson can prioritize their pipeline based on concrete indicators of sales readiness.
3) Track social media mentions.
Social media monitoring is often looked at as a marketing function, but sales teams miss huge opportunities when they aren't actively tracking social media mentions like you see below.
Track mentions for your brand name, product names, competitors, industry influencers, and industry terms. This is a scalable way to surface sales opportunities Sales and Marketing might otherwise miss if the person mentioning your tracked term either hasn't been entered into your leads database yet, or hasn't been rotated to a salesperson yet.
In the image above, for example, the last tweet that mentions "marketing automation" offers a salesperson a prime opportunity to reach out to ExecNetwork. Whether they are seeking marketing automation vendors with social media savvy (that's HubSpot!) for a personal solution, or they are a potential partner with whom we could work and receive referral business, building that relationship could reap great benefits for a salesperson's future pipeline.
4) Use the best performing offers when prospecting and selling.
It's not every business that can close a sale after just one conversion event; it's more common that a prospect reconverts time and again as their relationship with your company grows and they move further along in the sales process. So when Sales is working with prospects, it makes sense for them to elevate the highest converting offers to move their leads along in the sales cycle more swiftly. Access to landing page conversion information can empower Sales with the information they need to refer the content and offers to their leads that will actually help them close deals.
Take this landing page data, for example. Let's say a salesperson was monitoring social media mentions and found that great marketing automation opportunity we just talked about -- it would be wise to include a relevant offer when reaching out, right? Well, taking a look at landing page analytics like these show that this particular offer converts quite well on social media. You can also look at the rate at which those who redeem these offers convert into leads and customers for a closed-loop view of your offer's success.
5) Build an arsenal of your most powerful content.
People buy from people they trust, so it's crucial that every salesperson establish themselves as a trusted resource when speaking with prospects. One way of doing it is referring prospects to helpful, educational content that helps solve the problems that come up during discussions. But how do you know you're passing along the best content? Use the analytics Marketing uses to decide that! Let's take a look at blog analytics , for example:
Sort content based on page views and inbound links -- two excellent indicators that others find that content helpful and authoritative. Then begin bookmarking that high-performing evergreen content that addresses the questions you commonly hear during discussions with your prospects. That way, you have all of the resources you need to establish authority with prospects, and you can send them out at the drop of a hat -- in real time, even! How great will that make you look?
6) Jump on leads right when they come in.
Quick lead follow-up is crucial for sales success. The Harvard Business Review found that companies that contact prospects in an hour or less are 7 times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a decision maker than their less eager counterparts. Intelligence about when and how much time leads spend on your site helps Sales be the "eager" ones in the industry.
First, enabling site return notifications for leads is a simple but crucial step toward a quick sales follow-up. But you should also take a look at how long ago a lead was on your site, and on what pages, in order to prioritize your pipeline. For example, if a lead is visiting a product page, you'd want to follow-up with them ASAP -- they might be ready to talk about a solution! If they're visiting your blog, however, waiting 31 minutes for a lead to navigate through your site and browse your content is a-okay.
7) Prospect smarter, not harder.
Sales is often tasked with prospecting on their own to fill their pipeline, but what tools are given to help them do it effectively? Unfortunately, many salespeople are left Googling a stranger's contact information and cold calling with the hope they connect with someone who actually wants what they're selling. We use a tool called "Prospects" that tells Sales who is visiting the website (even if they haven't filled out a form) so they have the kind of intelligence they need to nurture relationships with people who are actually interested in HubSpot software .
Collecting site information like company name, location, name, number of visits, and length of visit lets prospecting salespeople do some serious recon work before hopping on a call with a new prospect. In the sample above, for example, a salesperson could be prepared with a document about how to fix the PC Load Letter error. Or let's say you see a certain company is repeatedly visiting your site and exploring more pages than other visitors -- that's a great indication for a salesperson that the prospect is interested in their company and may be ready to speak to Sales.
What marketing intelligence do you think helps the sales process? Share how you use your customer and lead intelligence in the comments!
Image credit: Marcus Vegas
Originally published Apr 16, 2012 2:00:00 PM, updated July 28 2017