This post is the result of a humorous conversation I had recently with our sales staff. We are just finishing fully implementing a new marketing automation platform, Pardot (which we love-more about this in a future post). The question came up, “are we sure we want to stalk our potential customers like that?”
I answered, “absolutely, people love being stalked!”
Before you begin preparing your rousing rebuttal, let me elaborate.
One of the many slick web tracking features of Pardot is a web prospect tracker they call Lead Deck. Lead Deck is able to track incoming web visitors based on a number of criteria including IP address. This is by no means unique, but how they handle the resultant data is one of the big reasons I chose them.
So without detailing too much of the functionality, needless to say, this allows our sales people to see in real-time when their prospects are engaged on the web. If the prospect is unknown, there are any number of ways to determine a known prospect. They can immediately see exactly which pages they just interacted with and what forms they may have completed, or send them an email through our CRM. All of this data is tracked and scored for lead conversion.
When I first introduced this to the team, I told them that they should be glued to Lead Deck and the second they see an existing prospect, they should email or call them. I was of course being completely sarcastic, but the looks I got were worth it.
The conversation that followed was definitely worthwhile to have though – When and how should you stalk your prospects?
Much of the answer to this question hinges on business type. For a B2C retailer, connecting immediately following a product search may be completely appropriate. For Pardot, what really sold me was the tailored email I received within 10 minutes of researching their site. For our software company, and for many others, the need to make far more judicious use of the visitor information is crucial.
The last thing most web visitors want after leaving a site is a phone call trying to sell the product at which they were just looking. While there may be a handful of those perusing software who don’t connect what just transpired, they are far outweighed by the vast majority for whom the immediate response is cynicism and contempt for being cyber-stalked. That certainly isn’t the first impression we want our prospects to have.
So how can you make good use of such real-time information?
Find out in next week’s post.