At the very heart of every go-to-market activity conducted by B2B sales and marketing professionals is Database . Data is universally viewed as the catalyst for driving an effective sales and marketing strategy and towards improving the performance of your overall business. As much as data is crucial to the health of a business, B2B marketers continue to face the hurdle of proper storage and dissemination of said data from their several systems, both online and offline, internal and external.Database

There is a constant need for generating new leads and an endeavor to converting existing ones (through strategies like Account Based Marketing). But where can this data be stored? Your B2B marketing database. In case you are currently using Excel to keep track of your leads or as a database then you are sadly behind the times.

For some marketing functionalities like AdWords tracking, social media calendars, blog calendars, etc. an Excel spreadsheet will be beneficial but it shouldn’t be used to keep track of your leads. This is where a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system becomes handy. Once you have loaded your lead data into your CRM system, it becomes easier to pull lists out for the purpose of email marketing or prospecting.

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There are 3 main ways you can manage your database.

  1. Data Cleanup

A database that is filled with unqualified leads or poorly entered ones can lead to costly mistakes and can often cripple demand generation initiatives. According to a study by SiriusDecisions, 25% of the average B2B database is inaccurate and there are several causes for this.

  • Outdated Lists

Often, B2B marketers buy email data for prospects that fit certain measures and although they might be clean when bought, their value degrades quickly.

  • Spam Trap Email Addresses

Spam traps are used by organizations to expose marketers who use poor permission standards and illegitimate senders.

  • Non-Standardized Data

A number of your contacts might have similar jobs but with different titles and if this data is not cleaned up to include more standardized job titles then it won’t be possible to create segments based on those titles.

  1. List Segmentation

According to a DMA report, 77% of email marketing revenue comes from a segmented, triggered and targeted list. List segmentation is the system of dividing the email or lead list into segments that share a common denominator. List segments need to meet certain criteria in order to deliver the intended benefits which are:

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  • Differentiated

Each lead segment should be easily differentiable in order to avoid confusion and to ensure the right segment is being used for the right purpose.

  • Significant

Ensure that the segments you are focusing on are significant enough to bring in the most benefits.

  • Relevant

Segmentation should be relevant to company goals or it will futile in creating that differentiation.

  • Actionable

Marketing teams need to be able to design content and campaigns for different segments that will have the potential to drive ROI.

  • Stable

When segmenting leads, it is important to keep in mind whether the criteria are likely to change and how often.

  1. Data Use

Once the CRM database has been cleaned and segmented appropriately, it is time to create separate email marketing campaigns that will gain the interest of prospects at various stages of their buying cycles. With the use of a thoughtful lead nurturing program, you will even be able to guide the leads through the funnel.