Why waste time casting into in a vast sea of prospects when you've already identified a small pond of fish that you know are biting? In other words, why not reach out to leads at the moment they're on your corporate Web site, rather than waiting for the slim chance that they contact you? Demandbase, a provider of B2B lead-generation solutions, has made this concept its goal, tracking visitors to a Web site, identifying the corporate connection for each visitor, and then locating the contact information for the ideal person to reach out to at that business. With that in mind, the vendor has now released the sophomore version of its lead generation platform, Demandbase Professional 2.0.
The company got early attention from its Demandbase Stream product -- a ticker-like widget that reveals to a Demandbase user the name of any company represented by a Web-site visitor. In February, Demandbase brought forth its Professional platform, which expanded upon the Stream concept with advanced analytics and contact management capabilities. Demandbase Professional 2.0 introduces additional features and tools to help a marketer or salesperson immediately reach out to those visiting the Web site.
The software now lets salespeople contact leads via email in real time. Thanks to an extensive Rolodex made possible though aggregation of data from sites such as Hoover's, Jigsaw, and Dun & Bradstreet, the salesperson can find the best contact at the Web-site visitor's company with just a few clicks. After selecting a recipient, the salesperson can send along an already-drafted, personalized email message. All of this can be achieved while the lead is still visiting the Web site.
"Customers are getting two or three times improved response rates using list-generated Web traffic," says Chris Golec, Demandbase's chief executive officer. "You get a much higher response when it's a personalized message sent from one person to another."
"The core 'Name' data set is becoming more and more commoditized," says Megan St. John, an analyst with data-publishing research firm InfoCommerce. Demandbase, she says, is avoiding that pitfall by building out tools around contact data. "Salespeople can say, 'This person is visiting our Web site right now,' " St. John says. "The tool helps them identify the most likely location and individual to pop an email out right away to make contact exactly when someone is on the Web site." One day soon, she predicts, integration with email and the ability to draft up a message to a potential customer will be a mainstay in software solutions. Demandbase's efforts to capitalize on that capability are a good move, she says.
Demandbase Professional 2.0 also offers a new "Cash Credit" model for purchasing business contacts. Based on preferences, automated lead selections are directly placed into a user's shopping cart. The user then has the chance to review the list of contacts before purchasing.
Additionally, Demandbase has improved its compatibility with Salesforce.com, allowing users to import Demandbase contacts directly into Salesforce CRM without worrying about duplications -- the software automatically checks for dupes.
Marketing lists and lead databases are nothing without added context. Demandbase's product allows a user to narrow a list of targets by geographic region or by department within organizations. These efforts, St. John says, may help enable Demandbase users "to grease the skids and make direct connections between a marketer and prospects or customers."
Demandbase happens to use its own software, Golec says, and, as a result, has been able to gauge the types of companies that are most interested in its products. Golec says Demandbase has been seeing the most interest from large enterprises -- a fact he says he initially found surprising.
St. John, on the other hand, says she thinks the appeal among large enterprises makes sense: Large companies are the ones with established sales force automation solutions, she notes, and the ones most likely to rely on large marketing lists. "It's exciting to see folks with large established processes…reaching out to such a new player," she says, adding that this release takes things to the next level for Demandbase. "I'd like to see [the company] continue to really focus on the user interface and to unblock the log jams that [its] users encounter," she says.
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