January 31, 2024

Lead Enrichment: A Comprehensive Guide for Sales Success in 2024

Don Simpson

Updated Jan 29, 2024: We expanded the article by adding the benefits of using lead enrichment tools.

If there’s one area of sales that has undergone drastic change in the past few years, that would be lead enrichment.

Lead enrichment is a process of improving your sales data by adding, checking, and correcting the information you have on any given lead. Even though lead data enrichment is not often talked about, it’s the secret key to successful lead generation, conversion, and sales. 

Ten years ago, lead enrichment was predominantly done by hand, with sales reps manually looking up and verifying that all lead information is up to date. Today, various tools allow you to automate lead enrichment by leveraging the power of AI — vastly accelerating the marketing and sales process as a result.

Tip: Automate the most important component of lead enrichment data — website buyer intent — with Lift AI.

Why Is Lead Enrichment Important?

When you initially gather contact data, whether it’s through cold-calling or website forms, some information would be inevitably missing. In fact, with time, all contact data will become outdated and irrelevant. 

Lead enrichment ensures that you and your sales team always have the most complete and up-to-date data at hand, from factual company information to any given lead’s buyer intent. 

You can think of lead enrichment as a subset of data enrichment that keeps your lead data current, accurate, and available to you at any moment. 

The importance of lead enrichment is clear when you consider that the average lead-to-conversion ratio is 143:1. However, for companies with top data management practices, the ratio improves to 68:1 — a 152% increase in efficiency. 

How can you organize your marketing and sales efforts to move away from the 143:1 and closer to the 68:1 ratio?

How Does Lead Enrichment Work?

The exact way lead enrichment works changes depending on how you collect lead data, how you qualify leads, which data points you need, and other variables like your company size. 

However, most companies identify four general steps: 

  1. Data collection
  2. Lead routing
  3. Lead conversion
  4. Lead nurturing

Data collection is a process of getting more accurate data on your leads to paint a complete picture of your sales and marketing strategies. 

Lots of initial data collection happens internally, such as getting emails through web forms, phone numbers via demo requests, and company names at trade shows. However, if you use an external automated lead enrichment tool, you can always fix incorrect data and find additional data on nearly every lead.

Lead routing (also called lead assignment) means matching incoming leads with specific salespeople or sales strategies. Certain factors uncovered at the data collection stage (e.g. demographic data, a job title, or other firmographic data points) are taken into consideration here. 

Lead conversion is about doing what’s necessary to move your leads through the funnel. Prioritizing high-quality leads by leveraging lead scoring can be a major contributor to achieving top conversion rates here.

Lead nurturing encourages your marketing and sales teams to keep in touch with the leads that haven’t converted immediately. You can slowly increase their buyer intent by building a relationship based on delivering value.

Note: One of the outstanding benefits of lead enrichment is that you can confidently make forms on your website shorter (thus improving conversions) while relying on lead enrichment tools to fill the gaps.

Types of Lead Enrichment Data

The benefits of lead enrichment spread far beyond finding someone’s phone number or geographic location. Lead enrichment lets you identify trends and gather data holistically, deeply understanding your leads in the process.

While the types of lead records differ from company to company, there are a few general categories that most enriched data falls under:

  • Lead contact information
  • Web presence
  • Tech stack
  • Buyer intent

Lead contact information is the most critical type of data you can get about your target audience. And doing it without external data sources is difficult. Even if you have detailed forms on your website, it’s common for visitors to leave a correct email address but fill the rest of the fields with random keystrokes to get past the gated content (e.g. to access a webinar).

In situations like that, your salespeople are at a significant disadvantage since there’s no opportunity to customize their initial message properly. 

Lead enrichment tools can fill those gaps by scanning the web for missing content based on email addresses or any other information you do have. No need for your BDRs to search for those contact details manually.  

Web presence signals how active any particular leads are online, including their company activity.

By using lead enrichment tools, you can instantly see their approximate web traffic, bounce rates, marketing campaigns, social media activity, and more. 

With this information you know which marketing channels you should use to reach those potential leads as well as exact value propositions you can approach them with. 

Tech stack is a crucial bit of knowledge in the digital world, especially if you’re selling a SaaS product. If you know some technographic data, such as which software a prospective customer is using, you can better adjust your messaging to them. For example, it’s much easier to sell a Salesforce plugin to companies that are already using Salesforce. 

The process of enriching leads can generate insights about the tools they rely upon, which gives you an opportunity for more accurate lead scoring and segmentation.

Buyer intent is the most advanced type of data that you can get from both first- and third-party sources (a mix of the two works best). Buyer intent tools compute all the relevant characteristics of a particular lead into a data-driven lead score, which your BDRs can use to prioritize those leads that are most likely to buy. 

Historically, buyer intent data has mostly been account-related market data (e.g. searched for keywords similar to your product) and very high level website analytics (such as “downloaded a whitepaper”). More recently, AI tools such as Lift AI provide real-time buyer intent data specifically for your website visitors so you can find and convert hidden buyers without the need of any account-related information (meaning it works for anonymous visitors too).

Once you use lead enrichment data to find out all the above, how would it change your sales process?

The Benefits of Lead Enrichment for Sales Teams

With lead enrichment in place, your sales team can start working on any lead knowing that all relevant information is complete and up to date. 

In other words, instead of spending time scrambling to find someone’s contact details and verified data, they can focus all their efforts on selling. 

Your salespeople will know at a glance which leads are more likely to convert into customers and can dedicate more of their time and energy on working with them. By leveraging the information provided, they would be able to craft personalized messages with a higher chance of conversion.

Even when you know that a given lead is not ready to be contacted, you can strategically nurture them with actionable information through your marketing channels.

Real-World Applications of Lead Enrichment

One of the immediate changes you’ll see when you integrate lead enrichment into your sales process is that you can effortlessly route leads to the most appropriate salespeople.

If you’re servicing unrelated industries or the same industry with accounts on a different scale, specialization within your sales team is critical. Why have a senior salesperson pursue a $10K opportunity when they usually work with $1M ones? 

This is where lead routing comes in — deciding which team should get a certain lead based on predefined criteria (e.g. industry, marketing spend, location). Lead routing saves time by automatically assigning leads to appropriate teams and, more importantly, ensures that high-value opportunities get everything they need to close. 

Similarly to lead routing, segmentation allows you to categorize leads but for use within the same sales team. The best use of lead segmentation is the ability to write a personal message or present a demo covering topics that are relevant to your lead’s industry.

However, the best way to achieve smooth lead routing in real-time is to leverage a powerful website buyer intent solution like Lift AI. 

Integrating Lead Enrichment With Lift AI

Lead scoring is a critical part of your conversion funnel and the one that could be enhanced by lead enrichment tools the most. 

The way leads used to be scored is by assigning a value to every incoming lead based on their conversion probability, which was computed from a variety of requirements, such as coming from a relevant industry, having a specific employee count, or even being a decision-maker within their company.

The more requirements a given lead would cover, the higher their score would be, along with their priority to your BDRs. 

Lead enrichment tools aim to supplement this data with additional insights from their own databases.

However, most of the data points gleaned from a lead enrichment tool are high level, which can provide directional insight but not necessarily actionable insight. They also rely on you, the marketer or salesperson, to input criteria that you think fits best for your target audience, which is subject to bias and guesswork.

Therefore, it can be even more powerful to use a tool that does not require any input on the ideal customer profile — rather, you could use a tool that knows who is more likely to buy based on behavioral data instead.

Lift AI is the only website buyer intent solution based on a unique machine-learning model that has processed billions of real-world visitor interactions. As a result, it’s able to enrich your lead scoring process by instantly segmenting leads based on their likelihood of purchasing your product, even if they have never visited your website before.

Since up to 98% of your website visitors are anonymous, there’s no effective way to figure out who they are, unless you ask one by one or use an ID reveal tool (which works for about 30% of your traffic). 

That leaves most of your traffic anonymous, with no possible lead enrichment.

Lift AI, however, is designed to identify anonymous buyer intent, and does so with over 85% accuracy. Because it looks solely at behavioral patterns demonstrated by your website visitors, there’s no human involvement required. 

Best Practices for Implementing Lead Enrichment

Once you have Lift AI installed, it will start assigning website buyer intent scores to every visitor, and integrate those scores with your tech stack. 

Leads with the highest scores (around 9% of the typical traffic) can be connected directly to your BDRs in real-time, for example, using a conversational marketing tool such as Drift. Lower-scoring leads can be served with a nurturing bot or a self-help guide. 

As soon as you let Lift AI identify anonymous buyer intent, your chat conversion rate will grow anywhere from two to 10 times within the first 90 days based on average results from existing Lift AI customers. 

This happens because your salespeople are spending their time only with the best incoming leads rather than sorting through the never-ending tide of leads blindfolded. 

What’s better, Lift AI helps you access more leads even from the same amount of traffic. Chronos, one of Lift AI’s customers, got 85% more leads from its pipeline than before.

Sales efficiency can increase up to 3 times with Lift AI, as it did for Truckstop (9.72% vs. 3.28%). The best part is that you don’t have to change your tech stack, but can get a higher ROI (Drift saw conversions go up 9 times).

Finally, the website buyer intent scores can be used to enrich your existing account and contact data in your CRM. For example, you can store the last known Lift AI intent score against your target accounts list to help prioritize outreach.

Sounds almost too good to be true? Lift AI offers a free proof of concept for companies with over 20,000 monthly visitors. Just reach out to the Lift AI team and see the impact that automated and accurate website buyer intent scoring can have.

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