Welcome to another DesignRush interview, where we delve into the dynamic world of B2B lead generation and digital marketing.
In today's discussion, we're joined by an expert from Dealfront, the innovative go-to platform for sales and marketing teams, born from the recent merger of Leadfeeder and Echobot.
Our conversation will navigate through the challenges and transformations in lead generation post-pandemic and the role of advanced tools like Leadfeeder in enhancing B2B marketing strategies.
We will also explore how Dealfront's merger and its new tools are reshaping the approach to account-based marketing, offering personalized solutions to meet the ever-changing digital needs of businesses.
Pekka has been working on web analytics and sales intelligence for the last 20 years. He grew Leadfeeder as CEO from zero to over €10 million in annual revenue and more than 140 employees since 2012. After the merger with Echobot and subsequent rebranding to Dealfront, Pekka has taken the role of Chief Product Officer and is on a mission to build the best go-to-market platform in Europe.
How has the B2B lead generation landscape evolved compared to the pre-pandemic period?
Pre-pandemic, people were mainly working from offices, which had static IP addresses and IP-registration data. So it was easy to identify which businesses were visiting your website.
When the pandemic hit, this meant a really big change in how companies and their employees work, and even post-pandemic this trend has continued with a lot of people still working remotely.
- This changed how the technology that allowed us to identify companies worked
We had to look at how we could identify residential IP addresses and the companies behind them, and had to create new technology and find new data sources. When we managed to do so, it set us apart from the other vendors in the market as we were able to access more data sources than anyone else, allowing us to build a high-quality IP company database.
In the B2B lead generation landscape, there are less face to face meetings and everything has moved to the online world.
We’ve seen a big shift in telephone outreach where people often don’t pick up a call from an unknown number but instead want to conduct their own research online to find solutions and then choose to only engage with those that are interesting to them. This means that companies have to enable inbound funnels and be able to serve their customers online.
So whilst outbound outreach is still effective, the importance of inbound lead generation and partnership lead generation has increased due to the pandemic and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
What are the most common challenges salespeople and marketers face when it comes to tracking and converting online leads?
The tracking itself is easy, our tool does all of that for you.
That data can then be used by the marketing team to assess who’s visiting the website, what industries they are in, which countries they are based in, and whether they are reaching the desired crowd with their current marketing strategy and efforts.
Once you have the data on which companies have visited your website, the big question is always how to best get in touch with them and convert those leads into sales. Our data is most effective when it is connected to your CRM so that your sales team can easily understand whether it is a new or already existing customer visiting your website.
A lot of companies use sales cadences. These can be very effective, but on the other hand, many people also treat them as spam.
So how do you make sure that you are relevant to the end consumer, how do you stick out from the herd when everyone’s being bombarded with sales cadence tools?
You need to provide some value first, which can easily be done through your website:
- Offer free trials
- Show demos
- Provide valuable content
This makes you stand out from the others and shows these potential new customers why they should be looking at you and what you have to offer.
Lastly, GDPR is always a big subject.
Find out what you can do with the data once you have it, and what the boundaries are when it comes to compliance. All our data is GDPR compliant as we only retrieve data from publicly available sources, however, it is then up to our customers to use the data in a compliant way.
What advice would you share with companies looking to begin their lead-generation journey or improve their ongoing campaigns?
It’s important to stand out, show the value you can provide and use personalization.
Don’t just send the same message to the masses, but make prospects feel important by personalizing your approach. This is where the intelligence you can gain from Leadfeeder will help you stand out as you can see what businesses are doing on your website and what is of interest to them.
We have seen customers’ open and click rates for emails increase by 10% after they have used the data provided by our Webvisitors tool to tailor their campaigns to the visitors’ needs and interests.
Can you tell us more about the importance of integration in your industry, and how easy it is to integrate Leadfeeder with a company's existing set of tools?
Integration is a very important topic for us.
We have put a large emphasis on ecosystem thinking and integration, which means that we have partnered with other companies that provide complimentary products. In many cases the companies that we sell our solutions to are already customers of some of our integration partners.
Customers are often using a lot of tools already, so we must integrate them into their existing tech stack and work perfectly within this, including workflows.
For Leadfeeder, the most important connections are those to CRMs and marketing tools, so we try to offer a two-way integration where possible, allowing data to flow easily and freely between the two systems. We have made these integrations easy to set up so that they can be completed in just a couple of clicks.
Like DesignRush, Leadfeeder has been a remote-first company for a decade now. Can you tell us more about the effects this decision had on your business operations and growth?
When we started Leadfeeder, we wanted to build a global SaaS business and this would have been tough if we could only hire employees who were local to our first Helsinki office.
Instead of opening offices in every location where we had customers or wanted to grow our customer base, we opted for a remote approach.
Being able to hire people from a global talent pool as opposed to being restricted by locations has allowed us to build an environment where people from all over the entire world can work together remotely and effectively.
It means that we have been able to focus our recruitment efforts on locations where we want to grow our business and be able to support our prospects and customers in their mother tongue.
Leadfeeder recently finalized its merger with Echobot to create a go-to-market platform in Europe - Dealfront. Can you talk about how the merger benefited Leadfeeder and the impact it may have had on your clients?
We wanted to build a go-to-market platform that enables sales and marketing teams to work together seamlessly. Marketing would create leads, engage with them, sync them with your CRM and in return create more sales.
When Echobot was brought up as a potential partner, we could immediately see how well both companies complement each other and that it would allow us to achieve our dream of a go-to-market platform a lot faster.
We are currently still in the middle of creating this platform so our customers might not yet have seen the merger of Leadfeeder and Echobot have a large pay-off for them, but they will start seeing the benefits in 2024 when the real value of the merger will become more visible.
Are there any new features or updates coming to Leadfeeder that our readers can look forward to in the coming months?
Our account-based marketing tool Promote is gaining traction with our customers who want to get the attention of companies fitting their ideal customer profile (ICP) with targeted advertising.
A lot of companies struggle with knowing how to get the attention of those ideal companies and Promote allows them to do just that - make these companies aware of their existence and attract them to their website.
However, you first need to find out which companies fit within your ideal customer profile, and that’s where the platform vision comes in.
Right now, we are offering Target as part of our tool on the platform.
Target is a tool that originates from Echobot and allows you to search for the companies that are of interest to you. Once you have found these, you create a list and then use it in Leadfeeder to see if these companies are already visiting your website.
If not, you can use Promote to run an account-based marketing campaign on this list to drive them to your website.
Once they do land on your website, you can use Leadfeeder to identify what they are doing and what they are showing interest in, after which your sales team can take a personalized approach when they reach out to the decision-makers within that business.
All these tools are already available currently, and this is how a lot of our customers are using the tools to date, with high success rates as a result. Over the coming months and years, we will further integrate these tools and create more automation between them.
Once this is done, it will allow our customers to look at an open deal in their CRM, and then start a marketing campaign to drive them toward your website in Promote, thereby further supporting your sales team.
Meanwhile, we are actively working to make the platform more than a sum of its components, so there are a lot more exciting things to come.
If you enjoyed reading this, feel free to share this article on social media and check out more of our interviews with industry experts!