Customer data can be one of the most powerful lead generation tools you have at your disposal. As a business owner, you no doubt have some idea of the vast amount of data available to you. In fact, there is so much data out there that it often overwhelms small businesses and startups, and they end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater: ignoring all of it because they simply don’t have the time or resources to sift through and discover what is useful to them.
Here’s just a taste of what happens online every single minute of the day:
- Google conducts 3,607,080 searches
- Twitter users send 456,000 tweets
- YouTube users watch 4,146,600 videos
- Americans use 2,657,700 GB of internet data
Amidst all of that data, there are incredibly valuable insights just waiting for you to uncover and use to grow your business. Here are five ways you can use readily available customer data to get more leads.
1. Use Social Media Data to Build More Meaningful Customer Profiles
Growth doesn’t come from just getting more leads, you have to find the right prospects using the right message. Customer profiles (also known as buyer personas) are an essential ingredient in any great sales and marketing effort because they help you target your message to your most qualified leads.
Traditionally, there are three common approaches to learning more about who your customers are, including:
- Running an online survey.
- Interviewing on the phone or in person.
- Having a marketing team member sit in on the sales process with a sales representative.
These traditional customer profiles are built using static data like demographics (age, location, income level) and psychographics (personality traits, interests). But by using tools like LeadSift, you can observe your customers’ online behavior across the web to gain some helpful insights.
For example, social data can tell you:
- What online content your customers are interested in.
- Who they engage with most on the web.
- Where they spend most of their time on the Internet.
Your customers are constantly sending signals on social media that can help you develop a complete picture of who they are.
By filling in the gaps of your customer profiles with dynamic social data, you’ll be giving your marketing and sales teams the tools they need to find and develop better relationships with the right leads – which will shorten your sales cycle and boost your bottom line.
2. Use Data to Improve Customer Development and Tailor Outreach Efforts
Customer development is hard but critical, especially for startups. And if you screw it up, your sales team will be wasting time going after unqualified leads. Startups don’t have the bandwidth to waste resources.
Instead, start by casting a wide net, using data combined with feedback to narrow your targeting down. Over time you’ll discover who your most qualified leads are and where to focus your efforts (i.e., spend your time and money).
At LeadSift, we understand that startups don’t often know exactly who to target when developing their initial sales and marketing strategies, so we help them by getting their message in front of a large audience and then use data like email open rates and psychographic commonalities to zero in on the right target audience.
We work with smaller clients to give them the lead generation tools and strategies they need to manage their resources smartly while they work through product market fit. So rather than throwing darts in the dark and hoping to hit your mark, we’ll help them cast a wide net, gather data, and hone in on qualified leads.
3. Leverage Your Competitors’ Marketing Budgets
Want to shave thousands off your marketing budget, while at the same time get your competitors to do some heavy lifting for you? The data is out there.
Lead generation tools like LeadSift allow you to see who is engaging with your competitors’ content. You can see things like:
- What topics they are most interested in.
- What keywords they are Googling.
- What their profile looks like.
By examining competitors’ social data, you can see all of this and more, without having to create any of your own content.
With a little savvy social listening, you can ride the coattails of your competitors’ marketing budget and use these insights to build better profiles, better content and better strategies – effectively outpacing your competition using the data they generate.
4. Use Your Competitors’ Data to Steal Leads and Reach Out at the Perfect Time
Buying lead lists or spending all day scraping contacts from LinkedIn will get you nowhere. The fact is only 3% of qualified leads are currently looking to buy. The question is how do you find that 3% so you can strike while the iron is hot?
Tools like LeadSift, scour the Internet and find targeted leads who are talking to your competitors or have signaled an intent to buy. You can track your competitors, complementary brands, and industry keywords.
You know who the leads are and where these decision makers are in the buying journey.
LeadSift users love intercepting leads who are ready to buy. And they get notified when their own prospects or customers start talking to competitors so they can reconnect before it’s too late.
That’s the power of data.
5. Generate Better Content and Get More Leads
Over the last 10 years, companies large and small have been using content as a top tool to capture and nurture leads. Content marketing can be one of the most cost-effective lead generation tools in your sales arsenal, and with the right data at your disposal, you can maximize ROI and keep your sales funnel full.
Data is useful not only to refine your targeting and messaging but entire content campaigns. When you have your own data as well as your competitions’ at your fingertips, you have a massive opportunity to create high-quality content that will truly speak to the needs of your audience.
From individual blog posts to entire yearlong cross-channel content campaigns, everything you create can – and should – be informed by data.
Customer data tells you what your audience is interested in, what their pain points are, what content they have recently shared and more. Data equips you with the insights you need to create captivating content that converts website visitors into leads.
Don’t wing it. If you know who your customer decision makers are, what they like, and where to find them, you’ll get more leads, higher conversions, and have an edge over the competition.
Editor’s Note: The article is part of the blog series Grow Your Business brought to you by the marketing team at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system priced and designed for startups and small business owners.