My Secret Weapon For Increased Database Health
July 17, 2018 4:22:57 PM | By Matt Benati
I’ve talked about sales and marketing alignment extensively and how, particularly with an ABM strategy, alignment increases productivity and revenue. But there’s another often-overlooked facet: how alignment supports the health of your database.
Think about it, traditionally the job of database maintenance falls on marketing. But sales needs current contact information for leads, too! I’m not suggesting you ask your sales team to start calling up your database asking for updated contact information – far from it. I’m going to share a strategy for leveraging something sales is already doing every day: sending emails to leads.
While there are a number of traditional database maintenance strategies you can employ, replies to your emails are still the freshest and most accurate data source possible. Although we usually talk about reply emails to marketing campaigns, the replies to your sales/lead development professionals’ emails are pure gold.
The combination of traditional marketing (demand generation) and lead development (LDR/SDR) have so much more potential when we close the loop on email outreach. When you add reply email mining to the mix, your databases become even more powerful – you’re able to not only maintain existing records, but enrich them with additional intel straight from the leads that sales is already engaging. As VP of Marketing at BedrockData, Zak Pines puts it, “Sales is often an underutilized, albeit key resource, for database health. They’ve got their ears to the ground having conversations with leads every day, and the intelligence and new contacts they learn about is low-hanging fruit for database health.”
A big part of those conversations is email – and the resulting replies.
Let’s explore this topic.
Database Decay Is A Real Problem For B2Bs
It’s painful to acknowledge, but research has shown that B2B data decays at an alarming rate of around 70% annually. That accounts for all the people changing phone numbers, changing roles, moving on to other jobs, and even for all of the companies that change names (and subsequently email domains) each year. But all those movers and shakers doing better for themselves can be a nightmare for your database.
In fact, a Zoominfo study found that bad data costs US businesses more than $611 billion annually, and some organizations spend as much as 50% of their IT budgets rehabilitating. The study also brings to light the 1-10-100 rule that: it costs $1 to verify a record as it’s entered, $10 to scrub it later, and $100 if nothing is done.
B2Bs can’t afford to NOT have a plan for database maintenance. But how do you do it efficiently and cost-effectively?
Traditional Means Of Database Maintenance
An entire industry exists to help you maintain the health of your database. You may even already employ some of these tools:
- List vendors – Purchasing lists can be an effective one-off solution, but as soon as the list is compiled, it begins to decay.
- Database cleansing services – Vendors that provide cleansing services use multiple sources, such as LinkedIn and press releases, to continually track the movement of your leads and provide you with updated contact information. Unfortunately, this data is often dated by the time it is discovered. These services do not pick up on job changes throughout an organization, but rather just the VP/Executive levels, where press releases deliver new hire announcements.
- Data cleansing projects – Internal projects that include email, phone calls, direct mail, and other types of outreach to ask for updated contact information. These projects are incredibly time-consuming, do not easily scale, and are not practical for maintaining your database over time.
- Signature scraping – Software solutions that analyze all incoming email and extracts the name, phone number, title, and any other information listed in the “signature” of a sender’s email. While this is an effective tool for collecting basic contact information, it’s not without limitations. Also, because the software scrapes every incoming email, it dirites your database by adding irrelevant contacts (i.e. someone trying to sell to you or invite you to a webinar).
Obviously, these solutions can be costly, time-consuming, and still leave you with stale information. Whether you’re paying someone else or doing it yourself, there is a cost to the resources required to continually update your database.
Thankfully, there’s a better way.
SDR/LDRs Are On The Front Line
They’re already engaging account-specific customers and prospects every day through phone calls, email, and social media. They are the first source for the freshest intelligence possible. But at the same time, their time is best spent selling, not updating your database. While their routine communication will produce great intel that they’ll enter into your CRM as part of their job anyways, it’s not an efficient way to maintain your entire database.
And now we get to the heart of the matter. There IS a better way. The secret weapon to increased database health is already sitting right in your SDRs’ inboxes.
An SDR’s Email Replies Are Pure Gold
Every email your SDRs send to prospects and customers has the potential to return a reply (Out-Of-Office, Left-The-Company, etc). Instead of deleting these replies, look at the wealth of intelligence they actually contain.
Let’s look at a standard Out-Of-Office reply:
First things first, receiving an OOO validates the lead’s email address. Your SDR didn’t receive a LTC or hard bounce, so they know Mark is still a viable contact at the account. Additionally, they can update your CRM by:
- Adding Mark’s title
- Adding Mark’s cell phone number
- Adding Stephanie and Bruce to your CRM
Your SDR can also use the date Mark will be back in the office to schedule a personal outreach. In the meantime, they can reach out to Stephanie and Bruce, introduce themselves, and ask the new contacts to opt-in to receiving communication from them.
They’ve now added valuable contact information to your CRM, tripled their reach into a target account, and increased their chances of personally connecting with their lead.
All by paying attention to an Out-Of-Office reply instead of deleting it.
And here’s the thing, the platforms sales is using (Yesware, Salesforce, Outreach, etc.) allow them to increase engagement – send more emails – by automating the process and making it more controlled. This equals more replies – and more data – that many organizations are simply not looking at.
I know what you’re thinking: “Who has time for that?!” And you’re right. You may have access to this amazing, revenue-driving insight from your SDRs’ reply emails, but sales cannot be expected to analyze every auto-response, extract the relevant data, and update your CRM. Their time is best spent SELLING.
Automate The Email Mining Process With LeadGnome
LeadGnome is an automated reply email mining solution that seamlessly integrates with your SDRs’ email platform. Every reply to their emails is automatically analyzed, categorized, and relevant information synced to your CRM or MAP. A reply sorter feature then automatically moves responses to applicable folders, keeping their email organized and tidy. Finally, integration with major CRM/MAPs (such as HubSpot, Marketo, Oracle, and Salesforce) allows your SDRs to create workflows to automatically trigger tasks such as notifications, follow-up emails and calls, etc.
But beyond making life easier and automating a process to get current information about your leads, email mining uncovers additional contacts in your target accounts – as we saw earlier with the OOO example.
One LeadGnome customer recently requested a CPL (Cost Per Lead) analysis, which is a standard metric for demand generation. Based on this analysis and LeadGnome’s pricing, LeadGnome finds leads with a CPL range of $0.10 to $0.40. This is a fantastic CPL, especially when you consider that these leads are known to be account-specific (i.e., sales-ready) and not just poorly converting ad-driven leads.
Bottom line? Aligning with your sales folks and paying attention to their reply emails delivers incredible insight into your accounts for increased database health, productivity, and ultimately more revenue.
Ready to try LeadGnome and see how effortless it is to stay on top of changes within your accounts? Setup takes just minutes, and with a free trial you’ve got nothing to lose. Or, take a look at the most popular reply emails we mine and the quality sales intelligence we uncover by downloading our free eBook, Transformative B2B Demand Generation:
Take a look at the most popular reply emails we mine and the quality sales intelligence we uncover by downloading our free eBook, Transformative B2B Demand Generation: