Sometimes even after we put in the hours to build our pipeline and create an effective marketing plan, we find ourselves at a standstill wondering why the sales aren’t pouring in. The thing is, the people and places we think we should be marketing to aren’t always the correct target. It can take a little trial and error. You can have everything right in your marketing plan, but if you aren’t talking to people that care, you won’t be able to sell them on your product or service. This is why it’s important to take the time to test the health of your prospect list.
80% of marketers report their lead generation efforts are only slightly or somewhat effective. (BrightTALK)
To create a proper list, you need to identify the target audience you want to connect with. Make sure you are targeting someone that could benefit from your product or service. It may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many sales people are barking up the wrong tree. There are certain people you could call every single day and you’d never get ahold of them. In the same regard, there are people you could email everyday and they’d never open the email. Those types of people won’t ever interact or engage with you, no matter what you do.
Managing an effective database will ultimately be your key to success in lead generation. Again, if your target is off, your message will have no worth to the person on the other end. In order to properly maintain your prospect list, it’s beneficial to occasionally reassess the definition of your target market. To do this, you can start by comparing who you want to target with who is actually in your database. This helps clarify what you are looking for in your prospect list and will reveal if you have a disconnect. In order to define your target market, you’ll want to start by looking into a few key elements:
- Geographic Focus
- Target Companies (industries, size, current customers)
- Individual Contacts (titles and/or job functions)
- Other Criteria (current technology, etc.)
Identifying these focal points will help to pinpoint the contacts in your database that align with your target market. By thoroughly reviewing your database, you are able to clean up the excess. This process will help clear your list of all the data that doesn’t fit your market or is no longer of use. Purging this unnecessary information will allow your company to see where there are holes in the database and what areas need tending to.
Far too many companies are working with insufficient, outdated sales and marketing databases and typically it’s due to a lack of resources. However, having a bad database will cost a company even more money in failed marketing campaigns.
If your prospect list is no longer serving you, there could be a couple problems at play. First, you may have already exhausted a list and it’s time to create a new one. In order to do this, you can review the results of your current list to see what worked and what didn’t. Look for commonalities in the people you connected with. Another issue could be you have a list that is too broad. The key is to really hone in on your target audience by discovering the people and titles you should be going after.
Building and maintaining a quality database will take time and consistency in seeing what works verses what doesn’t. Discipline is key in data management because it’s an ongoing task that will take follow up and creative thinking. You will have to navigate through all your contacts from things such as events, association memberships, marketing campaigns, lead sources and other connections to maintain an effective database.
Don’t waste your time calling the wrong people because that’s only taking away valuable time you could be setting up meetings and closing deals. If you put in the time on the front-end to pre qualify your prospects, it will save you from wasted effort and frustration. Your preparation will lead you that much closer to qualified appointments and successful deals.
Stay tuned as we discuss four more pillars of database management!