Why Search Engines Can’t Guarantee Quality Sales Leads

Why Search Engines Can’t Guarantee Quality Sales Leads

Search engines have become so powerful that they generate millions of query results in virtual real-time. But the truth is that while web search is making life easier for most of us, it doesn’t cater to the needs of outbound sales teams grappling with volumes of lead metrics. With inbound marketing, SEO best practices and keyword strategies primarily designed to capture inbound lead data, outbound sales teams on the hunt for quality sales leads are being treated as prospects themselves.

Sales staff are reluctantly filling out contact forms, submitting personal and company details in the hope of getting quality sales leads. Add to this the time spent on wading through static CRM data, cold calling and chasing after potential customers who turn out to be a bad fit, and it’s easy to see how over 60% of an average sales person’s time is spent on low value tasks.

So it’s fair to say that when it comes to feeding good leads into the pipeline, Googling for that next big catch simply won’t do the job. So what’s a digitally savvy sales guy or gal to do…? Dust off the trusty old Yellow Pages? Not so fast…

Quality Sales Leads Are Never The Obvious Ones

With 87,700,000 search results coming at web users at roughly 0.73 seconds per search, it’s easy to see why sales teams are drowning in data without an iota of lead insights. Moreover, prospects’ websites and internal CRM data won’t always provide the contextual information needed to identify them as ready to engage. But while information gathering is an integral part of securing quality sales leads, it doesn’t mean that your team has to do all the heavy lifting.

Ancillary information about prospects typically end up on news, industry or social media sites, leaving sales teams who use search engines as their primary research tool blindsided. With information scattered in this way, piecing the puzzle around quality sales leads together becomes both time and resource consuming. This lack of context causes marketing and sales teams to either make outreach attempts prematurely and being turned down, or too late, and end up missing out to the competition.

Artificial Intelligence Is Making Lead Qualification Simple

AI-based lead qualification platforms are saving sales teams from manning computer screens in the hope of uncovering prospect insights. By looking across CRM, email, web, social and other digital channels, AI helps to converge large quantities of dynamic datasets to make autonomous decisions on what qualifies prospects as cold, warm or hot.

By crawling the web for information that contains insights to factors such as geography, industry, revenue, personnel, funding, and employee growth, detailed profiles emerge to help rank companies far more accurately. For example, companies with consistent staff growth is a good indicator that business is booming. This would be a good time to kick off an engagement if you’re an HR software vendor, since companies that reach certain employee thresholds become subjected to regulations that cover Affirmative Action, Healthcare and Medical Leave in the U.S, for example.

Further, a sudden upswing in staff count can put once capable HR departments on the backfoot as routine procedures turn into high volume, manual, repetitive processes. In situations like these, a software platform designed to assist overworked HR departments would be a welcome introduction to any HR Manager who wouldn’t consider it a few months prior.

AI-based platforms are able to uncover such insights to help salespeople understand when to start engagements and offer their products and services at the most opportune moment. It’s opportunities such as these that your CRM or Google simply won’t bring to light.

Adopting AI Into Your Lead Qualification Doesn’t Mean Starting From Scratch

Integration capabilities mean that companies don’t need to throw out current implementations and start from scratch. Next-gen lead qualification solutions are designed to act as mediators between incumbent CRM platforms and external information sources. This has led to an increase in awareness around AI’s ability to transform the sales process by forward-thinking companies. These companies agree that cognitive platforms that use advanced machine learning and AI technologies help to improve customer retention and satisfaction, reduce the sales cycle, while also lowering the overall cost of customer acquisition.

A real-world example of this is when Synoptica was approached by EM3 (an advisory and business services resource in the UK’s M3 region) who couldn’t make heads or tales of the customer and lead data in its existing CRM. After taking a sample from its database and augmenting it with data collected with its AI-based solution, Synoptica was able to help EM3 rank leads according to contextual insights that included new venture capital, staff growth and regional expansions. The subsequent engagements that followed resulted in new and existing leads converting up to 20% more than in the last four quarters.

AI-based lead qualification platforms such as Synoptica are helping marketing and sales teams go beyond superficial lead insights to uncover opportunity where others see dead ends. Bring your ideal customer into sharper focus with a lead qualification platform that gives you the metrics that matter the most. Contact us today.