Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

May 25, 2018

4 Contact Database Management Best Practices to Optimize for Growth

3 min read

Written by: Amanda Nielsen  |  Share:

shutterstock_407461435As a lead generation marketer, your database should be one of your most prized resources. With the right data points, inbound marketers can reach prospects with contextually relevant content with the ability to convert them into customers.

But if your contact database isn’t properly maintained, it can become an impairment rather than an asset. Inaccurate or disparate data points can seriously hinder your ability to segment and convert prospects. Ensure your database is optimized to drive growth by adhering to these four best practices.

Engineer a Master Form Strategy

Like most things in life, form strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all, and yet, we see countless companies make the mistake of serving the same exact form over and over again on pieces of content throughout the funnel. This repetition is a critical error that can ruin your lead generation efforts and prevent your team from driving growth for your organization.

If you haven’t already established a master form strategy, it’s time to create one. As leads progress further down the funnel, you can collect increasingly valuable pieces of data to better tailor your marketing content and sales conversations. By crafting a unique form for each stage of the funnel, you can better enrich your contact database and in turn, better optimize your lead nurturing content. A well-structured form can provide your marketing and sales teams with the key information to help them close the deal.

Building your form strategy with content value and buyer stage in mind will promote lead generation and ensure your contact database is being supplemented with the most valuable data points. Check out this blog post for more detail on how to structure your master form strategy.

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Collect Data Points with Your Personas in Mind

When choosing which data points to collect through your forms, it is important to consider your target buyer personas. What are their goals? Their challenges? Their pain points? How does your organization solve for these variables?

Collect the essential data points that will help you identify whether or not a lead fits the criteria of your buyer personas. Consider the pieces of information that your organization uses to define an ideal buyer. Qualities like industry, role, annual revenue and company size are examples of common lead qualifying criteria for B2B companies. In addition to these standard traits, consider data points that address the challenges, goals or desires of that lead. For example, asking a question like “What is your biggest marketing and sales challenge?” and then providing a pick-list of predetermined responses is a great way to gather valuable information about your lead, aside from the standard “name, email, company size and industry.”

By being thoughtful and calculated in your data collection, you can ensure your database will be enriched with only the most valuable pieces of information. In turn, this will ensure you are not collecting any unnecessary or excessive data points that can potentially cause processing complications.

Take Advantage of Required Fields and Pick-lists

In addition to the default contact properties, platforms like HubSpot offer the option to create custom form properties, enabling marketers to collect pieces of information tailored to supplement their sales process. However, when it comes to form strategy, the simpler the better. The downside of this capability is that sometimes, it can be easy to get carried away with too many custom properties.

To mitigate overlap and promote alignment across your organization, use custom properties sparingly where appropriate. By adhering to a standardized nomenclature for custom properties, you can ensure no data points are being duplicated under different naming conventions.

Avoid using fields that require a user to type a free text response where possible. Utilizing predetermined pick-list options for users to select within your form fields will keep your data points clean and concise. Additionally, requiring some form fields for submission will guarantee you are collecting the most essential pieces of information necessary for future engagements. We recommend making critical contact information values like name and email required in each form.

Keep Your Marketing Automation and CRM in Sync

Your marketing automation platform and CRM are most powerful when in sync. Ensure both platforms are properly configured to effectively exchange data. By properly integrating your marketing automation and CRM, you can promote alignment across your marketing and sales teams and in turn, drive growth as a single, unified revenue team.

Considering configurations like lead routing, field mapping, custom targeting and activity triggers will be necessary for a comprehensive integration between platforms. Check out Bedrock Data for more tips on achieving a high-performing marketing automation and CRM integration.

By following these best practices, you can guarantee your contact database is configured to drive growth across your marketing and sales teams. Check out New Breed's Guide to Unified Marketing and Sales to learn how to further enable your revenue team to scale. 

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Topics: Marketing Automation, Revenue Operations, Lead Generation

About The Author

Amanda is an internal marketer specializing in inbound copywriting, lifecycle marketing and co-marketing initiatives.

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