Thank you for finding the time to speak to us, Moaaz! Let’s start off with an introduction to our readers. Tell us a bit about yourself, what your company does and what your role is.
Moaaz: Sure! I’m the Co-Founder and Marketing Executive at Cloudlead, which is a B2B data and lead generation company. We specialize in custom contact and account data. In simple terms, Cloudlead is about helping you find your next best customer.
You see – in a time like ours, the accuracy of data, sales, and market intelligence is a huge challenge.
For instance, with all the workforce fluctuations, companies can’t rest assured that they’ve got up-to-date contact information. People are changing jobs, the numbers change, so do e-mails. This also means companies won’t have a lot of details about their prospects.
And so, to combat this challenge, our CEO Noman Siddiq, myself, and two other co-founders have launched Cloudlead. A portal that allows building 100 percent verified and accurate data sets based on your target market.
At Cloudlead, we don’t just rely on tools and automation. We also hire researchers – which we’re very proud of because, with all the AI hype out there, AI solely is not able to correctly validate data.
Let’s say you haven’t updated your LinkedIn status yet. A bot won’t be able to capture that change as quickly or accurately as a person.
We capitalize on this by combining the best software and human research and build truly customized, personalized lists for our clients.
As for the specificity of my job, I’d say… my job is simple.
It’s to help create more awareness about Cloudlead, about why we exist, why it’s important to have such accurate data out there.
I aim to spread awareness that a simple difference in 20 percent of bad data quality can have huge consequences – like lost revenue.
You never know what you’re missing if your data is incomplete – imagine you get a positive reply from a prospective client who’s ready to sign a contract.
With all the “if’s” and “why’s”, we’re looking to minimize this and other kinds of uncertainty with simple, accurate data.
How do you spread the word about Cloudlead?
Moaaz: I use our own company specialty, of course – that is, sourcing the right contacts to reach out to.
I also constantly interact with people on LinkedIn, through email, and use social and community tools like Quora to stay in touch with the target market and community.
And what would you say is the biggest challenge in your role?
Moaaz: That’s a very interesting question. I’d say it’s making things work as far as simultaneous development and improvement of your product is concerned.
When you’re consistently managing your current client base, but your company is also looking to evolve at the same time, it can be quite challenging to keep it together.
I can’t imagine coordinating this without a roadmap! You have to organize things, and even then there will be uncertainty.
You have to accept the fact that there will be things that will not go according to plan, and that’s a big part of the journey.
Could you tell us about your marketing persona?
Moaaz: Our target group are people responsible for driving new demand within their organizations. It becomes tricky at times because the titles can vary from anything between VP of Sales & Marketing, CRO, Head of Demand Generation, to Head of Sales.
Regardless of their titles, we aim at addressing anyone who is the decision-maker responsible for driving new leads into their business.
How did you first identify who your target customer was?
Moaaz: We started off with a lot of internal sessions, where we reviewed the feedback we received from people who interacted with our content and outreach efforts.
Were they responding to this messaging that we gave? – we wondered.
Once we established a beta persona, we tested our hypothesis by giving our messaging a very specific voice which would only resonate with our predefined target market.
Some people responded, but others did not. We validated our idea by reaching prospects who matched our persona and whom we could target with our offer.
Do you still use this method to verify your prospects’ profile? Specifically, do you use any other communication channels apart from email to reach out?
Moaaz: We check and compare our database segment-wise – by company size, to be precise.
Our target market – or job titles – fluctuate greatly depending on the organization. At small companies, we target CEOs and owners.
We’ve learned over time that we can expect a higher response rate from them, as they’re the decision-makers.
But at a midsized company, we target the VP of Sales and Marketing. Respectively, at companies with over 200 employees, we target managers and specialists.
We use this lead segmentation and observe whether we receive responses according to these trends.
Am I right to assume that you fill in information gaps in-house?
Moaaz: Yes, correct! We’re blessed to have the liberty of using our own resources to nail down all of that information.
Our solution is integrated directly with our CRM, so whenever we get a new customer sign up or acquire new customer information, we highlight all that data and score it ourselves.
We check if the company has funding, how many salespeople they hire, what the annual revenue is, as well when the company was founded.
But, naturally, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a personal list of favorite tools for sales marketing and automation.
Could you share them with us?
Moaaz: I think one of the best tools I’ve used so far that improved our lead influx rate is Drift.
Signing up for Drift was a collective decision by me and our marketing strategist, Zobia. We decided to implement it into our sales cycle and processes, and it’s also been a crucial part of our conversational marketing efforts.
It allowed us to tap into a completely new audience and capitalize on our traffic.
Secondly, we use Zoom for recording, sharing screens, and conducting demo calls with our clients and prospects. It’s really useful.
Given your marketing experience, is there any piece of advice you’d like to inspire fellow marketers with?
Moaaz: Yes, I can think of three things.
When it comes to marketing, we’re in the day and age where data is becoming more and more important.
Making decisions, forecasting our sales for the next quarter – whatever you want to do, data is at the core of everything we do nowadays.
So, my number one piece of advice would be to value quality over quantity, when it comes to customer data and prospecting for new clients.
Personalization is great, I’m a big advocate. But remember that it won’t do you wonders if you’re not targeting relevant people.
I also believe marketers underestimate the power of following-up. I’ve learned through time that it’s never over, to be honest.
Some people say “follow up six to eight times and then you just leave the person and say goodbye” – the so-called “breakup email”.
Do give your prospects a break, of course, but don’t assume it’s a lost cause just yet.
In my experience, I’ve emailed people three months or six months later, and some really showed so much more interest in our solution. You never know when the time is right, take your chance at it.
Last, but not least, never compromise on data quality when you’re conducting email or calling campaigns to reach out and find new customers.
That’s my take. Good research can do wonders, and optimizing time and resources is just the beginning.