What one thing should B2B marketers be doing to prepare for a successful 2014? Finding the Ideal Customer Prospect, the title of B2B Online’s new report, tells the whole story. B2B operators are scrambling to stay current with all of the new tools that have been added to their marketing arsenal, but they still need to hunt for the best prospects. In some companies, prospecting is all about sales and building relationships, but increasingly, marketing departments are getting involved in helping their sales teams identify the most valuable prospects.
For most B2B firms, this effort comes down to improving the quality of the information in their database. Businesses that responded to this survey noted their database management priorities as follows:
- Improved depth and accuracy in the database 54.1%
- Better database technologies 34.6%
- Gaining perspective on the psychographics of prospects 32.9%
One way to determine the value of prospects is to look more closely at the information being stored on the best current customers. Some industry experts believe that marketers need to study and properly classify information on their customers. Marketers can use several factors to recognize a top prospect. When prospects exhibit characteristics similar to top clients — such as loyalty (62%), high lifetime value (47.8%), and frequent referralss (45.8%) — they should be moved to the top of the list. But before the typical marketer can do all of this, they should spend some time cleaning up their current database, purging old records and building up information on their better clients.
Once the database is in good shape, B2B enterprises might also reconsider the role of the marketing department. Currently, most companies say that their marketing departments are cost centers. However, by using the leads database to glean intelligence on contacts and real-time information about events, marketing departments could provide the sales team with high-quality prospects.
Have you considered training your marketing staff to help build a quality lead sand prospects database for your sales team? If so, has it been a successful venture?