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Kiera Abbamonte on September 18, 2019 (last modified on September 17, 2019) • 11 minute read
For most businesses, the answer is lead intelligence (or, knowing more about those people you’re trying to sell to.)
In fact, in our latest report, nearly 70% of the marketers and salespeople we spoke with consider lead intelligence to be a “very effective” part of their prospecting efforts.
With glowing reviews like that, we wanted to know where our friends were getting this awesome data that transforms their sales and marketing processes. So we asked them to dish on their favorite lead intelligence tools—and now we’re sharing them with you.
Before we get into the tools, let’s back up for a second and answer a question many of you may be asking. Even for seasoned marketers and salespeople, “lead intelligence” can be a confusing and imprecise term.
Simply put, lead intelligence includes any data or information you can gather about leads and prospects. The idea is that that information can help you better understand and sell to those people or businesses.
To break it down further, lead intelligence can include (among other things) data like:
It’s no surprise that our report showed contact information was consistently rated as the most useful feature of lead intelligence tools—after all, it’s pretty hard to sell if you can’t even reach someone.
But website interaction data and interest data ranked a close 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
With that in mind, it’s clear that lead intelligence tools have a lot of value to offer marketing and sales—so let’s get into the specific tools our friends swear by.
One question we had going into this report was this: Are marketers and sales reps using lead intelligence data from their CRM systems, or are they using additional lead intelligence tools to augment their understanding of leads and prospects?
We posed that question to respondents and they said, overwhelmingly, that they use a separate tool to bolster the lead intelligence available to them. So, naturally, we asked them to share which tools they use and why they’re so valuable. Here are all the tools they recommended.
“Albacross tracks visitors who go to your website,” explained Newaz Chowdhury of Powerphase. “In our case, it’s mostly companies that visit. It tracks their data and includes all the basic company info like contact details and where they are located. As well as basic analytics like where they came from and what they did on your site.”
Oksana Chyketa also recommended Albacross, adding, “Having access to such information gives us a chance to perform relevant warm calls instead of cold ones, our email marketing campaigns get enhanced audience segmentation and increased open rates, and more.”
“They use AI to find compelling trigger events for your target accounts so you’re armed with the right knowledge to help personalize your messaging and better connect with prospects. There’s nothing like that harmonious moment of reaching out to the right prospect with the right info at the right time, and Buzz helps you reach that moment regularly.”
One of the tools we heard several mentions of is Clearbit. Tom Feltham of Software Path and Ratko Ivanović of Zeal Agency both recommended it. Ivanović explained, “Clearbit helps us grab all the relevant data that describes our customers, as well as track all the interactions they have with our sales and marketing.”
Ali Hasan of Film Jackets also highlighted Clearbit’s email and contact information features, saying, “I personally use it for getting information of people that I want to contact for product promotions. Just add any domain name in the search and a list of business staffs will pop-up on your screen.”
Dan Christensen of Pest Rank swears by Clearout, explaining, “Clearout allows you to import bulk emails in order to gather more information about your prospects and get rid of emails that aren’t in use or are not the correct demographic. We use it for niche prospecting and it has saved us loads of time.”
Crystal is one of the more unique and capable tools we heard about. As Nicole Sengers of Spitfire Inbound explained it, “Crystal is a tool that generates personality profiles about prospects based on the information contained in their LinkedIn profile. It generates a ‘best guess’ profile of their behavioral tendencies, communication preferences, work style, and similar information.”
Sengers added that “understanding the personality profile of prospects helps ensure that you reach out to a lead in the most effective way.”
“It’s a good fit for SMEs. It simplifies prospecting, does not even require you to leave the page, and makes exporting data easy. It speeds up conversion rates and helps you close more deals over a period of time.”
It’s likely no surprise to find HubSpot on this list—and accordingly, we heard rave reviews about several aspects of HubSpot’s software offering from Richard Owens of First Five Eight and Chris Steele of Knowmad Digital Marketing, among others.
“HubSpot is our powerhouse when it comes to lead intelligence,” said Chantelle Stevenson of ClearPivot. “With the power of HubSpot, we have the ability to know not only pages viewed, but browser behavior, which is valuable to our sales. HubSpot also enables us nurture our leads through email automation, delivering the right content that they find useful based on their interests and campaign activation details.”
Dean Moothart of LeadG2 & The Center For Sales Strategy called out HubSpot’s Sales Pro features, while COFORGE’s Eric Melillo, and HQdigital’s Meghan Hultquist both recommended the HubSpot Prospects Tool.
Editor’s note: Looking for a simple and streamlined way to view HubSpot CRM data? Download this free HubSpot CRM dashboard to see an instant snapshot of dealflow and progress towards monthly sales goals.
Hunter is another of the contact information specialists that we heard about from marketers and salespeople alike. Brooks Manley of Engenius explained, “Hunter allows us to track down email addresses for prospecting, link outreach, and more.”
Offering both Google Chrome and Google Sheets extensions, plus the web app, Hunter can help you find email addresses associated with a domain or email contact for a particular person. Hunter can also help verify any existing email information you have before you hit send.
“Using LeadFuze,” Vijay Khandekar of Growth Staff said, “I can search for leads in specific roles and industries, that use certain software, that spend on Adwords, who are hiring, and more. I can also unlock a lot more data like verified emails, phone numbers, social profiles, company news, hiring intent, keywords, and more.”
“The one thing I like the most in LeadFuze is the quality of lead data,” Khandekar added. “The different data filters it offers makes prospecting fun.”
Of all the lead intelligence tools we heard about in this report, LinkedIn Sales Navigator was far and away the most popular tool—and for good reason, according to respondents like Jack Huang of Truly Experiences, Dries Lamont of EY VODW Belgium, and Piia Sander of Messente Communications Ltd.
“LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a helpful B2B sales tool that integrates with our business’s existing LinkedIn presence,” Andrew Colibri of Colibri Digital Marketing explained. “It’s especially helpful for the comprehensive search filters, to narrow down potential contacts to the highest value, and most relevant prospects.”
Most of the responses we heard highlighted both the depth and breadth of Sales Navigator’s capabilities.
Damien Martin of Shufti Pro said, “It has great search techniques that give insightful search results related to your targeted clientele. The cherry on the top is its notifications feature—it timely informs you about updates regarding people and organizations that you target, making client pitching easier.”
“The exceptional search resources, lead suggestions and timely notifications about the activity of targeted clients are very helpful in devising engaging sales strategies.”
Editor’s note: Want more in-depth information on who’s following and engaging with your company’s LinkedIn page? Download this free LinkedIn (Demographics overview) dashboard to get an overview on followers’ industry, company size, seniority, and more.
Jaswal explained, “Lusha provides unique data on social channels and the web. I’ve been using it for the last four months, and finding email addresses and phone numbers from anywhere on the web is very easy. Lusha helps us profile searches on LinkedIn with personal phone numbers and emails. With the help of Lusha, we hunt all the C-level executives and generate leads to create the right funnel for our Sales Team.”
Robert Belton of Robovent Solutions Group also raved about Lusha, saying, “It gives you access to contact information which is typically otherwise unavailable by aggregating data from different sources and ‘scrubbing’ those sources to provide an email or contact number not clearly published or provided without substantial cost.”
One of the best features that Sanchez mentioned is the Customer Journey feature, explaining, “It allows you to track the exact journey of every site visitor, really dialing into which ad, content, blog post, etc. drove that customer into contacting you and ultimately become a paying customer.”
“This tool ensures that you get quality leads and helps you unlock the full value of each lead. LMS SYNC tracks your leads very closely so that you get a complete picture of your prospect’s journey. Real-time reporting and predictive modeling help you make informed decisions and critical changes in your marketing efforts, to get the most out of every lead.”
While often thought of as a marketing automation tool first and foremost, the marketers and salespeople we heard from also raved about Pardot’s lead intelligence.
“At HealthJoy, we use SaleForce’s Pardot for both marketing automation and lead intelligence,” Rick Ramos of HealthJoy said. “We supplement this with ZoomInfo data if we want to take a deeper dive—but using one unified platform for both makes management easier as you scale.”
“Scott’s Directory provides great depth of information about the company, products and services they provide, including Corporate Executive Information, Contact Information, Online Subscriptions, Custom Contact Lists, and provide online databases, and key executive contacts in every industry.”
Callbell’s Carlo Morandi highlighted SimilarWeb. Morandi said that Callbell has built a custom integration with SimilarWeb that allows them to see how much traffic a domain is getting, in real-time. “We work with a lot of SMEs and we need to manage a large volume of signups every day, this integration allows us to quickly understand which leads are the most likely to be valuable to our business.”
“We provide a customer support solution which comes with a website widget,” Morandi explained, “and the traffic a website is getting is usually a very good indicator of how many support requests a company will get and, therefore, how many users the company could potentially need to add to their account.”
In the lead intelligence realm, ZoomInfo is definitely one of the big players, particularly for B2B companies. The company says it’s “backed by the world’s most comprehensive B2B contact database,” making it a go-to for many of the pros we talked to (including Dan Sherman of ERP Integrated Solutions and Denny Marlin of Icon Structures, among others).
Yasmin Bastos of Fielo also highlighted the technographic features of ZoomInfo’s database, saying, “If you have the premium version, you can search by the type of technology they use. For some companies, knowing their technology stack is amazing.”
In today’s market, having the right information about your leads and their needs can mean the difference between a new customer and a lost opportunity. The lead intelligence tools recommended above can help work with and augment your CRM to create better informed and personalized sales pitches and marketing efforts—a win-win.
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