Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Prospects – Making Sense of It All When Using CRM and Marketing automation

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Let’s talk about CRM objects for a minute. If you look at most major CRMs like Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce.com, you’ll notice a few different objects: Leads, Contacts, and Accounts. But then look at marketing automation like Lead Liaison and you’ll see one object: Prospects. Does this mean that the two systems are incompatible? Not at all.

This is where Account Based Marketing (ABM) meets Inbound Marketing. You probably use ABM marketing when you’re bringing in new accounts. To get in, you find your suspect (Lead); then, you build a relationship with them and build rapport (Contacts); next, you qualify them by learning about their organization and meeting the key players (Account); eventually, your proposal is out and you have an opportunity in your sales funnel.

Still not seeing the connection? Here it is: at the end of the day, all of these objects represent people.

We use Inbound Marketing to connect with those people and build a personal experience. It’s this kind of relationship building that will get you into those big accounts. That’s how you go from having a list of suspects to a list of Closed-Won opportunities.

Now, let’s look at those CRM objects and learn about marketing to the people behind them.  

Leads

Leads are people that you think might be your entry point to an account. They have the right job title, the right industry, and you think your service could benefit them. However, you don’t really know them yet. Maybe you got their card while cold calling, briefly met them at an event, or even just got their name off a list. It’s going to take some time before you can even think of writing that proposal!

As a marketer, these are the people that will need some love. They might not have even heard of your organization before. You’ve got to create content that will appeal to them and bring them to you. You can’t just rely on sending them an email blast; there’s a good chance they won’t even read it. Create a blog, send them videos, interact on social media. Every different type of content you have is another way to get them to your website.

And if they do make it to your content, how will you know? Luckily, Lead Liaison makes this super easy. Through visitor tracking and our powerful lead qualification tools, you can find out what your Leads are responding to the most.

Contacts

When you’ve finally made a connection with a Lead, it’s time to convert them into a Contact. Contacts have shown at least some interest in your organization, and you know they are a good starting point. Not all of them will be the decision maker either; anyone in B2B sales can tell you that building a good relationship with an influencer will eventually get you to the right people.

It’s time to get personal. You’ve learned more about these people, and you should know what interests them. Stop sending them generic marketing material! For contacts, it’s important to use nurture campaigns that are relevant. Through Lead Management Automation™, you can create personalized content automatically from the prospect owner. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Accounts

Accounts are the actual organizations you’re targeting. Chances are, you’ll be working with more than one contact at the account level. Don’t be fooled though; it’s no less personal here than it was with Leads and Contacts. To be successful in ABM marketing, you’ve got to prove to your Contacts that you know and care about their company. You’ve also got to keep track of the moving parts. Who needs to sign off on the deal, who handles the budget? The Account object gives you a consolidated place to organize that.

Each person in this account needs something different. What’s great is that like Contacts, you can personalize your content through Lead Liaison using attributes like their company, job title, and area of interest just to name a few.

Want to look really cool? Through SiteEngage™, you can create custom rules that change what is displayed on your website! Imagine how awesome it would be if someone from your biggest account visits your site and gets a banner with a special video produced just for them.

Prospects

Like we said before, people are at the core of both ABM and Inbound marketing. Through our deep integrations, we take all of the information we know about a person from all three objects and create a Prospect Profile. Then, you can use any piece of information for segmentation, automation, personalization, and more. Heck, we can even trigger automations based on a prospect being upgraded from a Lead to a Contact.

Through Lifecycle Stages, we keep track of the prospect’s journey. You can always tell where your prospects are in the funnel, and give them the right kind of marketing. Lead Management Automation™ powered by Lead Liaison is the perfect complement to your CRM.

Schedule a demo today to learn how Inbound Marketing can get the most out of your ABM strategy.

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