4 Keys to Better Sales Qualification – Insights from TechTarget Priority Engine London User Group

Voula Hantziantonakis

Sr. Client Consulting Manager, EMEA

sales qualificationIn September we hosted our 3rd Priority Engine User Roundtable in London and we heard insight from current clients on how they are driving success from Priority Engine.

Interestingly, the Roundtable discussion this time around was driven by current clients who are using Priority Engine to fuel their outbound calling qualification, and implementing a “Sales Support” strategy from Priority Engine. Attending marketers had strong results to share:

  • A marketer in the Unified Comms space with a very small marketing team knew setting up nurture would take over 3 months to set-up. With the goal to not “waste time”, he distributed prospects directly to his Telemarketing Team on a weekly basis – 4 months later they are tracking $1 million in their EMEA pipeline and over $5 million in their North America pipeline – a 30:1 ROI!
  • A marketer in the Security market is distributing prospects to her Sales Development Reps. Her team uses an email first approach, sending personalised emails that tie into Priority Engine research intent signals. Prospects are nurtured if they are too early in the sales cycle or have not converted within 90 days. Currently 90% of her SQLs were generated from Priority Engine prospects and multiple opportunities being tracked. Two opportunities alone have a total of $200,000 pipeline assigned. The pace of opportunity confirmation for her team is brisk; this past week her team confirmed 2 additional opportunities.
  • Another marketer in the Security market has one dedicated Inside Sales rep calling into Priority Engine prospects, focusing on the Top 50 active accounts in key EMEA regions. She is tracking $100,000 in potential pipeline from 3 weeks of calling and averaging 1x meeting set PER DAY.  We worked very closely with this client’s Inside Sales Rep, training them on how to approach prospects and use the intent data in a smart way – a service offer to all of our clients.

Through the discussion we also came away with high-level takeaways that would be valuable for any marketer:

4 Ways to use Data to Drive Better Sales Qualification

#1 – Keep the conversation active in more ways than one

Don’t limit yourself to only one strategy. Even if calling qualification is your primary strategy, email nurture should still be part of the conversation you have with the prospect. Webinar and Event recruitment should also have a play.

It’s a multi-pronged communication approach with active and relevant IT researchers – they’re showing their interest and intent in your technology area; help them find what they need through multiple avenues. As marketers we work to accelerate and fuel the sales pipeline and to do so we need to move leads down the funnel at a faster pace – so cast a wide net to go after these leads. Remember, you’re not the only one in conversation with them!

#2 – Nurture is important – but don’t hold off on everything else in the meantime

If MQL development and nurturing is your primary goal, you’ll face challenges if you’re in the early set-up stage of it all. Setting up a nurture stream can be a time-intensive exercise, and more so if you are a small marketing team that lacks dedicated resources.  Stockpiling active prospects to push to nurture *when* nurture is ready can be counterproductive to what you ultimately want to achieve.

Priority Engine prospects are active researchers who are showing their intent NOW.  Will that intent be the same in six months? Possibly not. If you pass up the opportunity to strike while the iron is hot you may miss out on the deal.  Case in point: the Unified Comms client with $1 million in pipeline?  It was all generated through outbound calling while he was working on creating and setting up nurture.

#3 – Determine your “best” audience to enable calling qualification success

Your Inside Sales Team (or BDRs, SDRS, or whatever you may call them at your organization) need to work smart, not hard.  You should be aware of your key entry-points to sale – use this knowledge to segment and distribute the right contacts to your team.

There are multitudes of ways you can segment the right audience:

  • Based on your key topical initiatives. For one of the Roundtable attendees, the core topic of “Least Privilege” was their best entry-point to sale, so this was the priority data she passed on to her SDR team
  • From your key regions.
  • Based on firmographic data. Company size, key verticals or install-base
  • Based on research behavior. Behavior such as engaging with late stage content, or showcasing high cross-vendor interest

#4 – Waiting for the “right” person to speak with may result in a lost opportunity 

The buyer’s journey is vast and encompasses a variety of people on the team. Don’t ignore the lower-level IT titles – they’re often an easier entry point into the conversation.  It’s no surprise that all the clients in September’s Roundtable are all seeing calling success – and they all follow this guideline.

Overall, the Roundtable was very insightful and helpful for the attendees – particularly for two new clients who attended to hear ideas prior to launching their programs. One marketer was so surprised by the calling qualification successes we discussed that she’s expanding her Priority Engine use cases to include this as well.

And lastly, a big thanks to all the clients who participated in the event!  If you are interested in participating in our next London user group meeting (or in another city), please contact me.

B2B marketing, Priority Engine, Priority Engine User Group, purchase intent insight, sales qualification

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