Shrink database to grow leads

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Dan McDade, president and CEO, PointClear
Dan McDade, president and CEO, PointClear

One would think the larger a b-to-b target prospect database is, the more qualified leads there will be for the field sales team.

Actually, doing the exact opposite — reducing the target universe and focusing on high value prospects — generates higher lead rates, as well as greater return on database marketing programs.

This becomes possible with the application of a relatively straightforward micro-targeting strategy and accompanying processes. Without this type of approach, there are too many names in the database for marketing to qualify or sales to contact. Ultimately, resource time and marketing investments will be wasted, and lack of engagement with real opportunities will deliver wins to competitors.

Micro-targeting integrates database segmentation, testing and analysis to identify your best prospects — those more interested in your offer and more likely to buy at higher deal sizes. Here's how it works.

First, accurately define your market. Identify the largest, most tightly defined universe of target prospects, and prioritize the most desirable for focus. Too broad, too narrow and non-prioritized market definitions deliver negative outcomes: missed prospects, lost deals and wasted investments. 

Second, tie firmographic data to records. Enhance database records with information like annual revenue, employee count, growth rate, industry code and decision-maker title.

Third, segment your database into testable cells. Use the appended data points to group “like” prospect companies into cells or cubes that share common firmographics.

Finally, test the discrete market segments and analyze results. Use measurement criteria such as interest level, lead-to-opportunity conversion rates and closed deal size to determine the segments more likely to buy. 

When the highest-performing segments have been identified, then — and only then — deploy the full court press into the most desirable segments. Lower performing segments can be nurtured with less expensive media.

Working with an IT managed service provider and an initial target market of 80,000 companies, we applied a micro-targeting strategy to identify higher-value opportunities more likely to close. Market definition, segmentation and testing were used to pinpoint specific vertical segments and other important qualifiers inside those verticals. The number of targeted prospect companies was narrowed to 18,000 higher-value prospect companies that closed as easily as smaller ones.

By reducing the target database size, micro-targeting delivers significant benefits: engagement with the right higher-value prospects, greater return on marketing investments and improved sales performance.

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