Imagine that you’re a sales rep, diligently prospecting and sending outbound emails. Do any of these replies from a prospect sound familiar?
The already-engaged: “Hi, I’m already talking to So-And-So at your company. Is this about the same thing?”
The already-customer: “Hi, we’re actually a customer of yours (for years now). Say hi to Patricia for me. Btw, have you guys fixed my bug yet?”
And now, you have to backtrack in a reply. For your sales team, these miscommunications and oversteps happen too frequently. In aggregate, they cost a lot in terms of disruption and wasted prospecting time. Here’s a question: why does this still happen? Why is this difficult to solve?
The Challenge with Lead Data
As a sales rep, your outreach and engagement with prospects are the biggest drivers of your success. And so, those activities should occupy most of your time. However, you end up spending too much of your time ensuring the data in Salesforce is correct prior to outreach, or backfilling data afterwards. This means a sales rep is spending too much time on non-revenue generating activities (prospecting, engaging).
We all know what happens here: the data cleanup inevitably gets abandoned in favor of prospecting, and the data drift continues in your company’s Salesforce. The solution is a technology called “lead to account matching.”
What is Lead-to-Account Matching
Lead to account matching is the (automated) connecting of a lead to the account that they represent in your CRM. For example, John Smith at Smith & Co. can be connected to the pre-existing company in accounts database in Salesforce, Smith & Company. That way, the already-engaged account owner of Smith & Company can conduct appropriate outreach to John Smith in lieu of a cold email from a sales rep.
After implementing this technology, Bryant Lau (Director of Growth Platforms & Analytics at Highspot) says, “Our sales team can now save countless hours per week and our marketing efforts can be hyper-focused on individual accounts.”
How It Works and Why It Saves So Much Time
While the technology varies, the concept is the same. A lead to account matching application analyzes leads, utilizes characteristics of that lead (via different fields on your lead record), and attempts to match the leads to the right accounts. As an example, the lead from above, John Smith, could match to Smith & Company because his email address matches Smith & Company’s email domain on record (@smithandcompany.com). More sophisticated technology uses multiple fields (e.g., geography), algorithms, and rules to intelligently surface potential matches.
The technology attempts to replicate what a human does: looking at several variables and making judgment calls on whether a lead should be connected to a certain pre-existing account in the database.
The technology saves time in two distinctly different ways:
- Massive cleanup: Bulk matching. Running a lead to account matching application one-time can cut down on time spent on a massive data cleanup project. The technology pairs leads to accounts by the thousands, usually requiring days and days of manual work by a data cleanup crew.
- Data maintenance: On-demand individual matching. Even after a data cleanup project to cleanse your Salesforce database, your team needs to maintain data quality. A good lead to account matching solution enables any user to easily see potentially matching accounts/leads and match leads to accounts ad-hoc with the click of a button.
With lead to account matching, you finally have confidence that your sales team is engaging with the correct leads and with messaging that is appropriate for the account. Here’s how a good lead flow looks:
Your company now has the right lead flow management and lead engagement process in place. This isn’t even going into how lead to account matching makes account engagement reporting more accurate and comprehensive. In short, a clean database with leads matched to the right accounts enables you to measure your marketing and sales performance holistically against accounts. We cover this topic separately.
Consider Full Circle Matchmaker
Our customers looked towards Matchmaker because it has a few key differentiating functionalities that were important to their lead to account matching.
- Smart Lead to Account matching technology, with fuzzy matching logic and tie-breaker rules that are customizable
- Auto-conversion of Leads to Contacts, with customizable rules to enable, disable, and modify conversion
- Customizable lead routing logic to assign leads to the correct prospect owners to engage for their target accounts
- Summary of account engagement level with a rating of each account, incorporating all matched Leads and Contacts in Salesforce
- Exists as a Salesforce application natively, to edit your master CRM records and prevent duplicates
Here’s a quote that I’ll end with from David Ogilvy.
“Don’t Count the People You Reach, Reach the People that Count”
Quality matters over quantity, and in fact data quality enables deal quantity. To learn more about lead to account matching, see it in action.
Feng Hong is a recovering spreadsheet addict with a background in covering enterprise software and martech in his VC and investment banking days. Feng was previously a Product Marketing Manager at Full Circle Insights. He is an avid proponent of expressing clear product value propositions, providing quality educational content, and being relentlessly analytical with your audience engagement.
[Buyer's Guide] Lead-to-Account Matching in Salesforce
Download this guide to help you figure out what you need in order to connect individual leads to the right accounts as part of an account-based sales and marketing strategy.