Using Salesforce for Lead Generation
April 6, 2022
As a marketer, generating leads on a consistent basis can be a challenge. One of the biggest issues usually revolves around the quality of the customer data and how to make the best use of it. Regardless of what types of campaigns you’re running, lead generation relies on the ability to leverage valuable data points that can be converted into a personalized outreach strategy. This is why Salesforce can be such a crucial piece of the marketing ROI puzzle. Having a database with actionable and enriched data points can make or break your campaign’s success. The question becomes how you can use Salesforce to bolster your lead generation campaigns.
Breaking Down Salesforce Data
Not unlike most CRMs, Salesforce has various points that help construct the full picture of your contact data. Some of the most common examples are name, company name, contact information, and industry. However, there are endless ways to customize the data fields for your customers and prospects. Salesforce actually has plugins like Fireflies and DemandTools, both centered around the expansion and management of data. On top of that, you’re also able to add custom data fields for your specific sales/marketing needs. A great way to approach the types of information you’d like from Salesforce is to ask yourself what you can use as a basis for a marketing campaign.
Leveraging Customer Data in Lead Generation
Salesforce operates both as a prospecting tool for salespeople, and a database for customer relationship and retention. As a marketer, it’s easy to ignore Salesforce and just focus your time on contacts you’ve developed in your marketing automation software. However, CRMs tend to collect and augment data on a more consistent basis due to how they’re used by salespeople. This is the reason it’s so important to integrate your lead generation with Salesforce.
Here are some great examples of data points to help build your campaigns:
- Competitor information: Are they using a competitor of yours? If so, in what capacity?
- Recent funding: A recent influx of investment can mean opportunities for solution-based growth and needs for new vendors.
- Firmographics: What is a company’s organizational structure, how give are they, where are they located, etc?
- Industry segmentation: What are the specific industry trends the company addresses?
- Buyer persona: What type of buyer or profile does this contact or account fit into?
Building a successful lead generation campaign means finding targeted buyers and the commonalities between them to help present valuable, needs-based solution interactions. This type of data practice helps boost personalized customer engagement while also creating strong brand awareness. The key to leveraging the right data in Salesforce is to make sure you’re only collecting and enriching the most market-ready information.
Tracking Customer Engagement
As a B2B marketer, you probably already have marketing nurture software you’re using for tracking and modifying lead generation campaigns. Although these solutions are great ways to build campaigns, they also create gaps in how customer interactions are perceived. Just because someone opened an email, doesn’t mean that they actually read it.
The value that Salesforce brings, and how it fills these gaps in the buyer’s story, is that you’re also able to gain insight into how and what the sales team is doing. It’s safe to say that if an account exists in the sales database, it’s going to be actively prospected. Yes, there are always instances where this isn’t the case, but generally speaking, sales leaders want their accounts covered.
This directly benefits marketing teams as they can tell what language is being received well, how the prospect likes to be engaged with, and if the account is truly worth building a campaign around. Not all marketers have time to cross-reference each individual account between both the marketing nurture platform and Salesforce, but it’s worth your time to ensure any account included in a lead generation campaign is still valid and active. A lot of wasted time and budget is due to inaccurate data.
Pipeline Marketing in Salesforce
Sometimes thought of as a passive process, pipeline marketing is the idea of creating unique marketing campaigns to help influence the sales pipeline, in hopes of accelerating revenue. Marketing teams tend to address pipeline marketing with their standard campaign strategy. However, there’s definitely a need for this process to have its own dedicated planning. That’s because marketing ROI is dependent on sales growth and enabling salespeople to close more deals.
Salesforce allows for a complete view of the sales pipeline and how its status evolves. Depending on the type of sale your company presents, you maybe have anywhere between 6-12 months of marketing campaign timing. With this knowledge, and the customer interaction tracking that Salesforce provides, lead generation-focused marketers can take the initiative to push opportunities through the pipeline with creative collateral that continues and extends a narrative.
Lead Generation Best Practices
There’s no absolute “right way” to do lead generation. A good blend of creative marketing and buyer persona research can enable any campaign to successfully generate some leads. However, there are some best practices to keep in mind when creating campaigns, especially when Salesforce data is utilized:
- Always have a value prop in mind that addresses a need.
- A good way to fatigue your database is to provide them with inconclusive, generic language.
- Personalize your campaigns to specific customer personas.
- You can use buyer intent, engagement analytics, or anything that allows for segmentation of your audience.
- Use a variety of calls-to-action.
- Some buyers respond to different pieces of content stronger than others. Allow your campaigns to test out different CTAs to see what sticks.
If you’d like to learn more about lead generation and how it applies to B2B sales and marketing, check out our whitepaper, “Expert Lead Generation Strategies for Driving MQLs.”