October 6, 2020


In this article, you will learn the critical role that lead enrichment plays in B2B sales as well as how you can automate lead enrichment using Salesforce Pardot.

What you will learn about:

B2B Lead Enrichment

Importance of Lead Enrichment

Types of Lead Enrichment

Benefits of Lead Enrichment

Sources of Lead Enrichment Data

Lead Enrichment using Pardot

Lead Enrichment use cases with Pardot

How Salesforce Partners can help with Lead Enrichment

If you’ve ever scraped through leads, then you understand it is never enough to know a potential customer has some interest in your product. Lead enrichment ensures that sales agents pursue only those leads that have the highest conversion probability. At its core, lead enrichment is the art of investigating a lead. The investigation establishes a lead’s quality by unearthing more information than what the lead may have filled in your web form.

Lead enrichment involves collecting and analyzing a potential client’s data to figure out how to improve your sales process and, ultimately, your chances of making a sale. Knowing more about your potential customers can “enrich” your chances of converting them into buying customers. Lead enrichment offers you actionable information that improves your ability to engage your leads more effectively.

If you would like to learn more about lead nurturing instead, check out our blog post about it here.

B2B Lead Enrichment

B2B Lead enrichment

In business-to-business, lead enrichment involves collecting data around your lead’s role and job description and their contact information (including email and phone number.) You should also include all the information you can find about the company the lead works for, including its size and industry, and any other information that can help the sales team in the process of qualifying a lead.

In the B2B space, firmographic data takes center stage. It is, roughly, the enterprise-level equivalent of demographic data. It includes categories like the lead’s company physical location, revenue, and number of employees.

Importance of Lead Enrichment

By understanding how your product relates to your clients’ needs, you get insights into the more effective ways of pursuing them to make a purchase. Lead enrichment will help you find potential clients whose information is redundant or downright unhelpful in pursuit of a sale. It ensures your sales team spends time pursuing only those leads whose data is complete, high quality, and up-to-date.

Lead enrichment brings efficiency to your sales team. With quality, up-to-date information about a lead, your sales rep can serve more helpful and customized outreach. As a result, the prospects will also have a better experience when engaging with your enterprise.

According to available statistics, lead enrichment can improve the lead-to-customer conversion ratio from 143:1 to 68:1. What this means is that data accuracy can improve your conversion rates by a whopping 152%. To do this, of course, your company must have best-in-class lead enrichment protocols.

Types of Lead Enrichment

There are three types of lead enrichment:

  • Manual: someone in your sales team does the research and enters their findings into your system.
  • Automatic: a third-party program automatically fills out information about your leads’ data.
  • Outsourced: you hire a lead enrichment company that uses highly skilled human researchers to fill any gaps in the data you have about your leads.

The method you end up using will depend on the type of data you are looking for, the resources you’re willing to dedicate to the endeavor, your sales team skills, and the industry your enterprise is in. Suppose you notice that your sales team uses an incredible amount of time filling in lead enrichment data. In that case, you should consider shifting to a third-party system —whether a software program like Pardot or an outsourced team— to allow them to use their time and expertise qualifying those leads.

All sales teams can somewhat benefit from some degree of automation in the sales process. And there are straightforward ways you can automate some of these parts of your sales process. The key is to integrate systems like CRMs and web forms with your enrichment data and communication solutions.

Benefits of Lead Enrichment

The following are the most notable benefits of lead enrichment:

  • It improves the efficiency of your sales process
  • It maps out company hierarchies giving you a clear view of the route to its decision-makers
  • It gives you an understanding of the inner workings of a company allowing you to identify the most influential people within the business
  • It reduces the effort a client needs to put in at critical stages in their conversion journey, making the conversion all the more likely

Sources of Lead Enrichment Data

From what sources can you obtain this lead enrichment data? For B2B lead enrichment, LinkedIn and other business-oriented social networks are excellent sources. You can also check out centralized business directories, though most of these will typically have limited accessibility. There are also certain circumstances where Twitter and Facebook can be significant data sources.

In scenarios where LinkedIn and business directories have given you somewhat generic information about a prospect’s job title and role, Facebook and Twitter could help you connect the missing dots. For instance, looking at an IT manager’s Facebook groups could help you figure out that he deals with a specific area like network security. His Twitter feed could show you a clearer picture of the ideas he is presently exploring and inspire creative outreach ideas.

Lead Enrichment Using Pardot

Pardot is a software as a service (SaaS) marketing automation tool. It is designed to help businesses create meaningful connections and increase sales teams’ capacity to close more deals. The solution can generate more pipeline using its forms, landing pages, social connectors, and search tools.

Pardot leverages Salesforce, the world’s number one CRM platform, to power B2B marketing automation. It has been proven to increase sales revenue by an average of 34%.

With Pardot, you can track and measure how effective your B2B enterprise is in its communications, gain incredible insights into your customers’ behavior, and create individualized content for your campaigns. As a result, you can be confident that you have targeted the right audience at the right time and are using the right language to reach out.

New to Pardot? Learn about Pardot best practices here.

Lead Enrichment Use Cases with Pardot

Once you’ve obtained your enrichment data, you can use it in an array of situations, including:

  • Lead scoring
  • Lead qualification
  • Lead routing/dispatching
  • Phone and email validation
  • Lead segmentation
  • Lead nurturing

Let’s look at each of these use cases in more detail and how Pardot can help.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring refers to a methodology for ranking leads in sales and marketing. It determines the sales readiness of available leads. You score the leads based on their level of interest in your business and its products, how they fit as your product target customer, and their current stage in the purchase cycle.

The quality of the data in your system determines the quality of your lead score. Therefore, it makes sense to provide as many data points as possible to improve the scores’ precision. Business organizations score their leads by assigning data points, using terms like ‘cold,’ ‘hot,’ or ‘warm,’ and implementing rankings such as A, B, C, D. The clearer it is about how sales-ready a lead is, the higher its score will be.

Through lead scoring, companies can better decide which of their prospects to develop with lead nurturing or fast-tracked sales. The most noteworthy lead scoring systems leverage firmographic and demographic attributes like the lead’s job title, the size of the company they work for, and the industry in which they work. Some scoring systems also include behavioral data points like web visits, keywords, and clicks.

You can use Pardot lead scoring to set your custom scoring threshold to determine when a lead becomes marketing-qualified. The Pardot score will tell you the level of interest that a prospect has in your product.

Lead qualification

Lead qualification refers to the process of creating a list of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) that you can hand over to your sales team without taking them through lead nurturing. Typically, these are leads that perfectly match your predetermined qualification criteria such as coming from a particular region, submitting a professional email address, owning a specific type of device, etc.

The first step in lead qualification will occur during your inbound marketing stage. At this stage, your marketing team will capture the leads’ contact information through social media, email subscriptions, site visits, or email tracking pixel. They then use this information to decide how perfectly the lead’s profile fits your organization’s ideal customer.

If a lead perfectly fits your buyer persona, they’re qualified to the next step, where a sales rep reaches out to them to schedule a discovery call. The sales rep will seek to understand the prospect’s particular needs, project timelines, budget constraints, and purchasing authority in the discovery call. Using this information, you can determine if the prospect is a viable lead to pursue further with a proposal.

Pardot’s Prospect Lifecycle Reporting feature can give you a clear understanding of your sales funnel. It shows you how your prospects have progressed through your sales funnel, from visitor to prospect, and ultimately, to a customer, including how long that journey took. A review of this report will help you understand how well your sales funnel is performing and give you hints on areas you could make improvements.

Learn more about building a sales funnel from our blog post here.

Lead routing/dispatching

Lead routing refers to the process of deciding which of your sales teams should receive what leads. On the other hand, lead dispatching involves automatically sending leads over to sales reps based on the location from which the prospect filled your lead capture form. Leads are routed based on certain criteria like their industry, company size, and headquarters location. The criteria you use will depend on how your sales teams are structured, and your company’s go-to-market strategy.

Lead routing and dispatching can be done through the different Prospect Assignment actions in Pardot, including:

  • Assign to User – this action assigns prospects to the specified users when the pre-set requirements are fulfilled.
  • Assign to Group – this action assigns prospects to users in specific groups via round-robin lead assignment once all rule requirements have been met.
  • Assign to a lead queue in Salesforce – this action assigns prospects to the Salesforce lead queue once the rule requirements have been met.
  • Assign via Prospect list actions – this action uses prospect list actions to assign a prospect to a User or Group.
  • Assign using active Salesforce assignment rules – this action assigns a prospect to an active Salesforce assignment rule once that rule’s criteria have been met. In this case, prospect Salesforce syncing happens without an owner.
  • Assign using advanced Salesforce lead assignment rules – this action allows users with complex business rules to use advanced functionality applications to assign leads.

Phone and email validation

Phone validation eliminates the substantial time and money you would use contacting the wrong and wrongly formatted phone numbers. Lead enrichment validates and formats the leads’ phone numbers before adding them to your database.

Email validation, on the other hand, preserves the email sending reputation of your brand. Email marketing vendors will most likely stop delivering your emails to your target email addresses after detecting wrong addresses.

Email validation confirms that your leads’ emails are deliverable. It achieves this in a series of steps that include correcting errors, removing toxic or corrupted data, and testing an email mailbox and domain for a response without actually sending any message.

While some email validation solutions use databases known to contain valid email addresses, other solutions simply ‘ping’ the email server. There are yet other email validation solutions that real-time processes of email deliverability verification. These solutions determine whether an email address is a spam trap just before sending out the email.

It is important to keep in mind that email addresses and other contact data decay at a rate of 3-5% every month. For this reason, you must clean, normalize, and enrich it regularly if your CRM is to have the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Lead segmentation

Lead Segmentation

Lead enrichment provides you with several data points that you can use to segment your leads database. You can segment the lead database based on timezone, socioeconomic indicators, geography, etc. It would be impractical and ineffective to send the same message to your leads regardless of whether you’re communicating with them via SMS, telephone, or email.

Segmentation makes sure each segment of your leads receive bespoke sales messages designed to improve the chances that they’ll become customers. For example, your marketing message should be different for a user who has only visited your homepage from one who visited a specific landing page.

It might be a good idea to use your marketing messages to get the one who visited your homepage to go back to your website, hoping that he would engage with a specific product this time around. For the user who had already landed on a particular product page, your marketing message would be geared more towards getting them to buy the product.

You can use Pardot lists and tags for lead segmentation. Lists refer to groups of prospects that you can send emails to or feed engagement programs. The lists in Pardot include static lists, dynamic lists, CRM visible lists, and public lists. You can use tags to mark the prospects that have engaged with you or taken specific actions, like registering for an event, using your form to download content, clicking on links in the emails you’ve sent them, etc.

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing refers to the continuous process of building relationships with potential customers throughout the purchase funnel. It keeps prospects engaged and educates them about your products and the value they offer. On average, companies with a fully defined nurturing strategy increase their sales opportunities by 20%. The growing awareness about your solutions increases the probability that the prospects will choose your brand once they are ready to buy.

Lead nurturing can be done in Pardot by creating campaigns. You can use these lead nurturing campaigns to communicate and connect with prospects on an individual level. By sending personalized content to your prospects, you will be laying the groundwork for better solutions to create sales at present and in the future. The type of campaign you design will be determined by what you intend to accomplish.

How Salesforce Partners Can Help with Lead Enrichment

Lead enrichment

Salesforce has no out-of-the-box solution for data enrichment. However, there are Salesforce partners that can help you with your lead enrichment goals. These partners use automated tools that simplify the whole process of lead enrichment. Instead of pulling each lead and qualifying it— a process that would take longer to complete— the process becomes automated.

With no leads sitting in your queue for an extended time, the likelihood that they’d go cold before getting in touch with them is low. Manual lead enrichment can also lead to duplicate follow-ups. Over time, it can even diminish the morale of your team.

Salesforce partners have created and made available the Salesforce AppExchange tools like Clearbit, D&B Optimizer, DiscoverOrg, and Datafox to tackle this challenge. These lead enrichment solutions use sophisticated software that matches leads based on the company name, email domain, and other such information. Because some of these tools keep the leads enrichment process running continuously, using them can give you some level of confidence that your leads data is accurate and up-to-date.

About the author

 Solomon Ndungu
Solomon Ndungu

Technical Writer

Solomon Ndungu is a technical writer and digital marketer with over eight years of professional experience. When he is not writing or creating SEO strategies, you will find him reading a book or singing his favorite tunes.

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