Customer Data: The Secret to Generating High-Quality Leads

Why lead quality is important

For many marketing teams and agencies, lead follow-up is one of the most challenging parts of any digital campaign. You could have the perfect campaign ready to launch – one that promises to deliver the perfect brand message, target a new audience or launch your latest product. But, if the follow-up is not in place, your marketing budget, resources and time are wasted.

And for sales teams, frustration arises when expectations are high but data quality is low. For example, how do you know which leads should take priority if you only have a name and email address to go by?

In this article, we’ll explore ways that data can be used to improve your quality lead generation activities and how you can use tools such as the Diginius Lead Intelligence solution to enrich your sales data, improve conversion rates and sales efficiency.

GDPR: Data privacy’s impact on high-quality leads

With advances in digital technology and the infrastructure to support it, businesses soon found a wealth of data at their disposal – perfect for understanding the nuances of target markets. Or that was the case until May 2018, when GDPR came into effect. Suddenly the world of data changed, forcing marketing and sales teams to find new ways of working. Gone were the days of buying email or telephone lists for cold-contacting in order to promote products, services or events – a new approach was needed.

Under GDPR rules, businesses have to ensure that personal data is gathered legally and under strict rules, with data owners having the right to be treated fairly and with respect. This means opting in to receive information rather than opting out. And, of course, it also applies in B2B marketing if an individual can be identified.

Identify the customer journey

Prospects and customers now have vast amounts of data linked to them through the different platforms they visit and the journey they go on before making a purchase. They will likely do online research first, downloading relevant content before eventually contacting the organisations on their shortlist. They certainly won’t want to hear a sales pitch that isn’t aligned with their needs.

Prospects will typically not make direct contact with an organisation until they have carried out their research first. Not only that, but B2B buyers tend to be more complex, with several people involved in the final decision, including influencers, researchers, heads of departments, buyers and finance teams. Once the purchase has been made, a different team may even be involved in post-purchase activities, which could be influential for future advocacy and cross-selling.

The challenge for businesses is identifying all of these people at the earlier stages in order to influence them through their customer journey to consider a particular product or service. Again, data collection and analysis are key, as is the need to tailor your content and communications to specific personas, their role in the buying process and their needs.

Map your target audience and join the dots

As campaign responses start to roll in, it’s often a case of receiving a long list (hopefully) of all the leads with a small amount of data attached, such as name, job title, company and email address. Assuming that these leads have opted in, then they can be added to the CRM system for further nurturing and contact.

In itself, this approach is perfectly acceptable. However, the data becomes more valuable if you then use it to link to contacts you may already have in your database, or for identifying several members of a buying group in a target prospect account – essentially, joining the dots.

For example, imagine that your sales rep has been trying to get into an account for some time but has never made it past the gatekeeper. Suddenly, a lead rolls in from a completely different department. This gives the salesperson an inroad for a follow-up call. It can also help them identify other purchasing activity within that target account or identify the true influencers. So, instead of targeting the CFO or CMO, they now have a direct conversation with an employee who can influence the CFO or CMO from within the company. This has the potential to speed up the sales cycle and get ahead of any competitors.

Continuously improve your campaign

High-quality lead generation is an ever-changing activity. As the economic crisis continues to squeeze marketing budgets, it’s even more important to ensure a good return on your investment. The problem is that we don’t always know how a campaign will perform before it starts, since there are many external factors that can impact results.

That’s why testing and adjusting campaigns is essential to lead generation. Make sure you gather lead data carefully and perform regular and rigorous analysis using tools such as data tools (e.g.Google Analytics) and CRM and marketing tools (e.g. HubSpot), together with  social media platform data. For more cross-platform data analysis, you could use Diginius Insights. Use the analytics for A/B testing and adjusting your messaging, content, calls to action and even target audiences. You can pause, close the campaign or switch out platforms.

Access to insights from your own internal data can also help identify look-alike audiences you could potentially target through your planned digital marketing campaigns. Knowing which messages resonate with which audiences can provide access to a wider network of prospects for the remainder of your campaign.

And the better your targeting in terms of audience and message, the better your conversion rates.
Improve your campaign

Harvesting high-quality lead data from your website

Your website will most likely be the first port of call for your prospects, so it’s the ideal data-gathering ground. But, visitors are generally hesitant to give up their personal and company information unless you can offer something of value to them in return. This is where quality content is essential: educational videos, whitepapers, interactive tools and industry insights can be added to your website as gated content. Depending on the nature of the content and its value to your audience, most prospects will be willing to exchange a name, email address, company name and job title in exchange for high-value content.

Take this one step further by ensuring they opt in to receive further information, such as a regular informational newsletter or video series, and you have a golden nurturing opportunity. Each time information is sent out to the prospect, you can request new data to add to your CRM, such as timelines and budgets.

With all of the above information gathered, the sales team now has good data with which to assess the high-quality leads and build a profile that can be constantly updated with new interactions as that prospect revisits the website.

Minimal information can also be turned into quality, data-enriched leads through GDPR-compliant tools such as the Diginius solution for lead intelligence, which uses IP analytics and business matching to create detailed B2B customer profiles.

By tracking website visitors, which pages they opened, how long they stayed and what actions they took, you can create an understanding of where they are in their customer journey. By linking all the leads from that same organisation, you can create a profile of the decision-making process within that business. Information that is pure gold for any sales team.

In addition, using this data also enables sales teams to reach out immediately to the customer rather than waiting for them to engage first. This creates a competitive advantage by being the first to position the company or product and influence the customer in the decision-marketing process.

Using this quality lead data to profile, segment and target your messages and marketing campaigns, you can track and reach better-qualified leads that are closer to converting, giving you a higher return on your marketing investment and a clear edge over your competitors.

Nurturing your high-quality leads with targeted content

Target audience segmentation is the core foundation for all marketing campaigns and is essential for high-quality lead generation. Time spent carefully segmenting the audience allows you to deliver targeted messages through the right channels, delivering better response and conversion rates.

The segmentation process can be improved by creating personas, generated from careful research into the typical profile of a buyer, their challenges, needs and wants, as well as how and where they obtain their information. This allows you to create relevant and targeted content that your audience views as high value. In turn, as we have already explored, this generates a willingness to exchange personal data, and so the cycle continues.

Segmentation should also help inform how you choose to  follow up on the leads that come in – which ones should be prioritised and which ones can be put into a nurturing programme until the sales team are ready to make contact. This is an essential part of the digital marketing planning process. There is a tendency for sales teams to jump straight in and follow up on just the hot leads, but any successful high-quality lead generation campaign will also have a process for dealing with warm leads to ensure the sales funnel stays well-fed.
targeted content

Using customer data to generate leads

Data is an essential ingredient in all business activity, including quality lead generation. It’s vital for understanding and segmenting your B2B customers and prospects, identifying where they are in their customer journey and what role each individual plays in the overall decision-making process.

Detailed analytics can also help you identify which messages and campaigns generate quality leads – particularly the priority and high-quality leads for sales follow-up or further nurturing. By focusing on building a data-enriched profile of your target audience, you can create a more in-depth understanding of their needs and wants, creating relevant and timely content.

Since B2B customers are more receptive to suppliers who understand their particular industry or market challenges, you’ll be perfectly placed ahead of your competitors to convert those quality leads into business.

To find out more, download the Diginius Lead Intelligence datasheet or contact us via email at or call +44 (0) 207 267 9322.

Chester Yang is the Microsoft Program Manager at Diginius with a background in economics and quantitative research.  

At Diginius, Chester focuses on nurturing partnerships with PPC agencies and integrating marketing and sales solutions.