How to Create a Data-Driven Lead-Generation Strategy
In an ideal world, your lead pipeline would always be full, But in reality, 63% of marketers consider lead generation their biggest challenge.
Digital marketing is here to stay and more and more players are fishing in the same pond.
Let’s face it: finding good leads is getting more complicated than ever. It’s time-consuming, with little to no guarantee of getting the expected ROI.
The cost per lead has increased for 91% of the industries and we can expect this trend to continue.
With a data-driven approach, you can streamline the process and reach your audience with pinpoint accuracy.
This guide will give you all the secrets to unlock the power of data for your business and make lead generation effective again. Let’s get into it.
What Is Data-Driven Lead Generation?
Data-driven lead generation places data at the core of your lead gen strategy. This approach uses data in all forms to guide your decision-making capabilities and prioritize quality over quantity in your lead generation process.
Instead of blindly chasing every lead you get, a data-driven approach creates a channel for qualified leads worth pursuing. It also aligns your sales and marketing functions to target only the ideal customer profiles (ICP) and deliver meaningful messaging to maximize conversions.
How to Create a Data-Driven Lead-Generation Strategy in 6 Steps
Data enables you to get a deeper understanding of your target buyers. This naturally translates to better targeting and more sales. Let’s help you create your data-driven lead generation strategy from scratch in just six steps.
1. Define your ideal audience with customer profiling
Before everything else, spend time getting as close to your customers as possible with customer profiling. This technique collects insights about your target audience to segment them into the right buyer groups. It goes beyond demographic data to truly understand your customers’ expectations and pain points.
Here’s an example of what an ideal customer profile template looks like:
Getting ahead of customer expectations is the first step to generating leads with a high intent to buy. After defining your customer profile, focus on categorizing your leads into:
- Marketing qualified leads (MQL): Leads with a chance of conversion according to your marketing team.
- Sales qualified leads (SQL): These leads show a high buying intent and can be converted into paying customers with lead nurturing.
Every business has its unique criteria for MQLs and SQLs. So, outline these parameters to align your sales and marketing teams for lead generation.
2. Research and organize the best lead data
You have new leads coming in via your chatbot or landing pages. Your sales reps are collecting more leads using lead-generation tools. But where does all this data about new leads go?
Creating an extensive database is the next step in building a data-driven lead generation strategy. This database will cover every crucial detail about a lead—their demographic data, marketing exposure, sales touchpoints, readiness to buy, lead status, and several such parameters.
Maintaining this database ensures you have a complete record of all prospects with no redundancies or discrepancies.
3. Follow a multichannel approach for lead generation
On average, it takes eight touches to get the first sales call with a prospect. That means you need to connect with your leads through multiple touchpoints to convince them to make a purchase.
Here are the three primary lead generation channels you can tap into:
The first lead gen channel is inbound—all the prospects that come to you. You attract traffic to your website through a blog or paid channels and then generate incoming leads via:
- Building your email list with newsletter sign-up forms
- Leveraging lead generation forms attached to a lead magnet
- Contact us page on your website
Inbound leads have found some value in your business and are interested in buying from you.
Outreach is another channel for generating leads. This is mainly about reaching out to people who aren’t aware of your brand directly but fit into your ICP and can benefit from your business.
You can send cold emails, connect on LinkedIn, or think out of the box and send direct messages on Twitter.
Here’s how inbound lead generation compares to outbound methods:
Social media channels are particularly suitable as you can build personas and highly target them. But you have to be careful to run ads only where your audience can be found. You can generate social media leads by:
- Running Facebook lead ads
- Ramping up Instagram marketing and growing your follower base
- Creating lead gen forms on LinkedIn
- Using TikTok’s Lead Generation Forms
Don’t sleep on socials to find your ideal leads; keep that pipeline full for weeks with social media outreach and lead magnets. As the algorithms are constantly changing, be careful and monitor the changes constantly.
In addition to targeting multichannel tactics, it is always useful to integrate activities into the overall omnichannel experience so that there is a seamless experience for the customer.
4. Identify the metrics to score, segment, and attribute leads
Once you’ve collected your best leads in a database, it’s time to track the right metrics for accurate segmentation and further targeting. Let’s break down some of the most crucial metrics to consider for sorting your leads and maximizing conversions:
- Lead scoring: Not all leads promise the same value in terms of revenue. Lead scoring is a commonly used tactic to help sales and marketing teams understand the value of every prospect. It enables them to prioritize high-value leads over others and win big deals.
You can attribute points to different actions and score leads accordingly, like this example:
- Intent scoring: Every inbound lead will have a varying readiness to buy. The intent score tracks their actions on your website—like filling out an email sign-up form—to identify how willing they are to make a purchase.
You can measure intent based on leads’ behavior based on various parameters, like interest in product/service, readiness to buy, and decision progress.
- Response rate: Response rate measures the time it takes a sales rep to contact a lead once they’ve filled out a contact form. This metric can make or break your conversion rates. A slow response time could mean you’re losing leads fast, and a quick response time can nudge more leads down the sales funnel.
- Demo bookings: Track this number to check how well your marketing tactics drive prospects to a demo booking. If the numbers are low, it’s an indicator to revamp your marketing campaigns.
- Sales meetings: Finally, segment your leads based on the number of calls they’ve received. This is crucial to assess the average number of calls it takes for a lead to convert into a paying customer.
While tracking all these KPIs, remember to measure your revenue from outbound lead generation. This will keep you in the loop of the returns you’re earning for the money you’re investing.
5. Improve inbound marketing and outreach performance
You’re all set to follow a multichannel approach to data-driven lead generation. But how do you ensure these channels are bringing tangible results consistently? Here are some tried-and-tested best practices for inbound and outbound lead generation.
You can turn website visitors or social media followers into leads in many ways. Set up these things to make sure you’re consistently attracting leads:
- Website personalization: Personalize the user experience for your website visitors. Give them more creative control over how they browse through your site.
- Explainer videos: Create short explainer videos to demonstrate your key value propositions and convince visitors to connect with the sales team.
- Sales page: Design a compelling sales page to stress your target buyers’ pain points, instantly grab people’s attention, and draw them into your sales funnel.
- Funnel pages: Create a sequence of funnel pages to convert unaware leads into high-value prospects and paying customers.
- Chatbots: Set up a chatbot on your website to engage visitors and direct them to the sales team if they’re interested in learning more about your business.
You can ramp up your outbound lead generation efforts with the right outreach automation tools and workflows. Automate manual steps or actions to ensure you’re reaching out to more people daily and expanding your lead database.
Here are three main techniques for multichannel cold outreach:
- Cold email automation: Sourcing the right emails, drafting customized cold emails, and keeping tabs on email deliverability can be too much work. Use tools like Hunter or Snov to find the correct emails for any prospect, schedule emails, and get detailed insights into deliverability.
- LinkedIn automation: Get the best out of LinkedIn by automating different aspects of outreach—like sending automated connection requests with a note, initiating a conversation with new connections, and scheduling posts.
- Twitter outreach: Source your prospects into a database with crucial details like their username, profile URL, latest tweet links, and a few other fields.
Pro tip: Stand out from the mainstream outreach strategies by following the maturity model. Give prospects a clearer understanding of how they can improve by working with you.
6. Measure the effectiveness of your tactics
Your data-driven lead generation strategy is incomplete without the suitable KPIs to track your performance consistently. After all, how would you know what’s working and what’s not if you don’t measure your progress?
Here are the five most crucial lead generation metrics to track:
- Conversion Rate
- Time to Conversion
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
- Average Revenue Per Customer (ARPC)
Compare your past reports with your current performance to recognize the changes you’ve benefited from. For example, if you’re using Twitter for outreach, look at Twitter analytics to see how you’ve performed in the last six months.
Your goal for measuring your lead gen success should be identifying channels producing the best results and reducing customer acquisition costs. Double down on these channels and optimize your tactics with A/B testing to multiply the number of leads acquired and deals closed.
Learn from data-packed insights and optimize your lead gen strategy
Lead generation doesn’t have to be as tricky and challenging as it seems. Use data to crack the code and skyrocket your lead generation ROI.
Once your strategy is underway, keep measuring the impact of your strategy with an end-to-end data platform providing you with real-time dashboards and visualizations. And optimize it wherever needed to boost your success rate.
About the author
Eduard Klein is an International Digital Growth Marketer, Blogger, and Entrepreneur with a global mindset. He guides us through the process of starting and growing a digital business, and riding the wave of digital technology and marketing without getting swept away.