What Are B2B Lead Intelligence Platforms?
B2B lead intelligence platforms are software solutions designed to provide valuable data and insights to streamline sales processes, identify potential leads, and optimize sales strategies. These tools leverage technologies such as artificial intelligence and analytics to gather, analyze, and interpret data from multiple sources, including business databases, online platforms, and social media networks. The core focus of these solutions is to enhance sales and marketing performance by amplifying prospecting efforts aligned to a company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer personas.
As a HubSpot Elite partner, Blue Frog interacts with SMB and enterprise businesses across a broad range of verticals. These organizations partner with our team to solve complex issues around two primary types of challenges: process and data.
Process challenges can significantly impact operations and company performance. Inefficient processes can lead to lower productivity, increased costs, and missed opportunities, hindering an organization’s ability to scale. When implemented correctly, HubSpot's comprehensive tools can help minimize process-related issues. However, HubSpot is often not the singular solution. At Blue Frog, we’ve learned streamlining processes represents only half the equation for success; the other half is data.
Most organizations deal with missing, incomplete, or inaccurate data. This “dirty data” has negative downstream effects on a business and it’s processes. Inconsistencies can lead to inefficiencies, even with the best processes in place. As a result, companies face challenges such as
- Misguided decision-making
- Time-consuming data entry or cleanup
- Difficulties in lead identification
- Ineffective targeting strategies
- Inaccurate forecasting and planning
Simply stated, when business processes or data management practices are lacking, revenue generating operations suffer.
The Solution - B2B Lead Intelligence Platforms
Recognizing this critical gap, Blue Frog began exploring solutions nearly three years ago from industry-leading B2B intelligence platforms. With help from clients and prospects, we identified a list of viable partners and vetted them based on their ability to connect with HubSpot and provide data enrichment.
Using these initial interactions as a foundation, Blue Frog established our revenue operations practice to help clients align their sales and marketing processes with growth objectives. In addition to creating partnerships with Apollo and ZoomInfo, we explored companies like 6sense and Demandbase for account-based marketing and LeadIQ, Lusha, and others for lead intelligence. These efforts underpin our expertise in the platforms’ capacity to extend the value of HubSpot.
As part of a RevOps strategy, lead intelligence platforms complement inbound marketing efforts by bringing focus, automation, and consistent messaging to sales outreach. Identifying and utilizing high-conversion marketing content while leveraging well-developed ICPs and buyer personas, lead intelligence platforms allow sales to strategically target and automate outreach at scale. With features like list-building, intent, AI-enabled email, call tracking, and task management, these platforms can increase efficiency of outreach and close gaps between sales and marketing.
HubSpot’s pending acquisition of Clearbit is a ringing endorsement of the critical role data will continue to play in sales and marketing processes. Yamini Rangan, CEO of HubSpot said of the acquisition,
To cut through the noise with deep relevance, businesses need reliable, high-quality data about their customers. That means enriching your company's internal customer data with real-time external context.
But where specifically does the acquisition fit into the crowded world of B2B intelligence platforms? Time will tell how it works to extend the platform. For now, if you’re considering lead intelligence solutions, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important features to consider.
What to Look for in a B2B Lead Intelligence Platform
There are many factors to consider when evaluating B2B sales intelligence tools, but we’ve identified five primary capabilities:
- Lead identification & data insights
- Data enrichment
- Automation capabilities
- Sales enablement & prospecting
- Integration with CRM systems
To ensure the best fit for your business, it is critical to consider how these features support your specific requirements and long-term strategic objectives.
Lead Identification & Data Insights
A platform’s ability to target potential leads and provide detailed information about contacts and companies is critical. Most B2B lead intelligence tools have advanced search and filtering capabilities for identifying leads. Using your ICP and buyer personas, you should assess how well these capabilities allow you to identify and segment your target audience.
By understanding what additional data insights may be valuable, you can narrow your focus when evaluating solutions. Most platforms provide standard contact information such as email addresses and phone numbers. However, some offer insights into what technologies companies own, which may be showing buying intent, or even which potential leads have visited your website.
As the rate of data decay accelerates over time, data enrichment has become crucial to the modern sales and marketing landscape. The data you own today is likely to change significantly this year due to employee turnover, shifts in reporting structures, mergers, and acquisitions. Lead intelligence platforms that enhance and cleanse data are a powerful addition to any company’s tech stack. Organizations that enrich their data make it more accurate and actionable, increasing its value. Enrichment is commonly used to fill in gaps in customer data, but also consider a platform’s ability to automate data cleansing on a scheduled basis. This will ensure your teams are always equipped with reliable data, enhancing the overall effectiveness of sales outreach.
When considering B2B lead intelligence platforms, it’s important to understand what level of automation they offer. Automation is critical to streamlining and optimizing the lead generation and management process. To maximize value, it should enable consistent, personalized interactions with leads at scale while streamlining data management, reporting, and analytics. Businesses should choose a solution that accelerates the delivery of personalized, engaging content to leads with as little manual effort as possible. Doing so will enhance lead generation efforts and streamline follow-up via email, phone, and LinkedIn.
B2B lead intelligence tools enhance sales productivity by allowing teams to target high-quality leads and personalize engagement, at scale, based on specific lead attributes. The resources should allow sales to focus on selling solutions to prospective customers rather than performing time-consuming research, email cadences, and manual follow-up. The functionality of any B2B lead intelligence platform should focus on effective lead nurturing, streamlining sales processes, and improving sales performance.
Integration with CRM Systems
Connectivity to a CRM system is essential to maximizing the value of a lead intelligence solution. The CRM provides a central source of truth for visibility into data across sales and marketing activities. Without the ability to integrate with your CRM, a lead intelligence tool can become a disconnected silo of data and activities that leads to redundant data, duplicated efforts between sales and marketing, and inaccurate reporting. An integrated approach provides a holistic view of the business, allowing users to analyze, adapt, and optimize sales and marketing outreach while enhancing customer experience.
B2B lead intelligence platforms play a crucial role in improving business operations and efficiency through data insights, enrichment, automation, sales enablement, and CRM integration. When you choose solutions that offer the capabilities that are most important to your business and implement them correctly, lead intelligence platforms can form the bridge between outbound sales and inbound marketing activities. As the foundation for a growth-oriented RevOps strategy, they facilitate data-driven decision making to improve performance, accelerate growth, and drive profitability.