This post covers how to automate lead list uploads to increase lead follow-up speed. It's a part of a series on integrating and automating lead management. Learn how to accelerate lead management across the full lead lifecycle here.
As we covered in our previous article on lead management, the speed of lead follow-up is one of the most important factors in driving more conversions. And in the lifecycle of leads that begins after capture and includes lead enrichment, lead-to-account matching, lead routing, and ends at follow-up, uploading lead lists is the very first step in the process. Until your leads are actually ingested into your marketing stack, you can’t enrich them, route them to sales, or follow up with them.
If you are manually formatting, de-duplicating, collating, and uploading your lead lists, there’s a good chance the people on your marketing team responsible for the process aren’t very happy about it. (They may even be chanting “Down with the Data Loader!” once you’re out of earshot. Next time you’re on your way out of the office, listen carefully.)
You’ve probably seen this screen before. It’s probably not a welcome sight. We’re sorry.
However, since marketing teams are always on the hunt for new leads, most teams source their leads from multiple channels, including email, social (paid and unpaid), search (again, paid and unpaid), events, webinars, and many others. The process never ends, and it often means painstaking manual work double-checking and vetting lead data spreadsheets.
Some estimates suggest that companies spend upwards of 40 hours per month processing leads for upload. As we mentioned earlier, letting leads sit for as little as one hour makes you 7x less likely to ever speak with a decision maker, and puts your sales team that much farther from turning any of those costly leads into actual closed-won deals.
What if you could automatically complete every step of this process in minutes, not hours?
As we’ve covered, the biggest barriers between you and error-free lead list uploads are:
A General Automation Platform (GAP) is built specifically to integrate cloud-based applications like your MAP, CRM, outbound email automation, and others. GAPs also automate the entire process to take place whenever you need, such as an instant response to any incoming lead, or to process in batches on a regular schedule. The best ones also have advanced helpers to seamlessly sync, cleanse, and flow data, and can even accept lead lists in a variety of different ways, such as via FTP, webhooks, or even submitting them via email (as we’ll cover in our example below).
For a deep-dive on GAPs, please see The Beginner’s Guide to General Automation Platforms.
Here’s the first leg of an automated workflow in a GAP that automates the lead upload process:
The next part of our automated workflow loads in lead data stored in our CSV file row-by-row:
The final part of our journey creates the uploaded leads within our MarTech stack and begins the follow-up process:
This workflow runs within minutes and lets us take in lead lists from any source and rapidly upload them into our system to create new records for follow-up activities like lead-to-account matching, lead routing, and lead enrichment.
While this is one way to approach this important use case, the flexibility of a GAP lets users take many different approaches. Read how Outreach automates lead list uploads to see how the outbound messaging leader uses webhooks to save hundreds of hours per year.
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