StackLead is joining LinkedIn

We’re very excited to announce that StackLead is joining the LinkedIn Jobs Team. We’ll use the expertise we’ve developed building data-aggregation technology to help add every open role in the world to LinkedIn. As part of this transition, we will stop offering our service to you.

Over the past year, we’ve automatically researched millions of leads on behalf of our customers. We set out to build a lead processing engine that collects and structures data across the web and intelligently merges disparate information to qualify and prioritize sales leads. We went through the Y Combinator program in January 2014 and are eternally grateful to our network of batchmates and investors. By joining forces with LinkedIn, we are going to apply our expertise and scale our efforts to help people and businesses connect with the right opportunities.

Since StackLead will be joining LinkedIn and we’ll be ending our service, all customer data will be permanently deleted in two months (on December 1, 2014). You may export your account data as a CSV on the Settings page. We’ve disabled new signups, but will continue to offer StackLead to paying customers free of charge for the next two months.

To all of our customers, thank you for believing in our team – it’s been a pleasure working with you. Also, thank you to our mentors, investors, friends, and family.

Best,
Team StackLead

StackLead Dashboard: See the big picture

Using integrations like our Salesforce connector or Google Spreadsheet Add-on, many StackLead customers access our business intelligence research without a good way to know what leads they’ve already researched. We’re now launching a new interface to see all of your leads that StackLead has researched: the StackLead dashboard.

StackLead Dashboard

 

The StackLead Dashboard lets you search your leads based on email address, company, industry, job title, and location.  You can also sort your leads by date and rank them using the StackLead Score or the number of employees.  Finally, click on any of the leads to access the complete API response for that particular email address.  Here are a few great ways to take advantage of the dashboard:

  • Identify high value leads that have fallen through the cracks – Just sort by score!
  • Review all daily and weekly leads by score – Use the date filter and sort by score.
  • Find all the signups or users from a specific company.
  • Grab all of the San Francisco Bay Area leads.

You can signup for a StackLead premium research plan to access the dashboard and other StackLead integrations here.  Feel free to Tweet any questions!

Salesforce How-To Videos

We’ve just created some new videos to help Salesforce users get the most from StackLead research. The videos cover three topics – layout customization, workflow rules, and formula fields.

Layout Customization

The StackLead Salesforce Integration creates a new custom object for each Lead created to hold all the StackLead data. This object can be referenced from the Lead and any Contact or Account objects associated with the Lead. By default, we don’t add the StackLead Data to the Lead layout view, but you can customize what StackLead Data fields you’d like in the layout. In this video, we show you how to use Related Lists and the Hover Box in Salesforce to view relevant StackLead Data for a particular lead:

Workflow Rules

If you use Salesforce Enterprise Edition, you can use Workflow Rules to copy data from the StackLead Data custom object to existing fields on Leads, Contacts, or Accounts. The workflow rule will trigger when a Lead is edited and there is a related StackLead Data object. You can add unlimited field update actions to update fields on the Lead every time the workflow rule triggers. Field update actions use the full power of Salesforce formulas to conditionally combine and transform data from multiple sources:

Formula Fields

If you’d like to add new fields to the Lead to show StackLead Data, you can use Formula Fields.  If you use Salesforce Professional Edition, this is a great alternative to workflow rules. You can create a new formula field that defaults to the value of an existing Lead field, but fall back to the StackLead Data value if it’s not populated. Learn more in this video:

That’s three great ways to customize how you use StackLead research in Salesforce! Find out more about the Salesforce integration and check out our premium plans.

Special Offer from Clever Zebo

We recently connected with the team at Clever Zebo. They’re expert marketers who use A/B testing to perfect the conversion funnel on your site and then scale your advertising spend. If you’re looking for conversion rate optimization or paid acquisition consulting, you definitely need to give them a call. As fans of StackLead, they’re offering a special:

Free 30-minute phone consult with a conversion optimization expert. Click here.

Clever Deals

We’re excited to offer an extended free trial through Clever Zebo Deals. Sign up for any of our premium lead research plans and we’ll give you the first month absolutely free when you claim the offer.

We hope you enjoy working with the team at Clever Zebo and build a more effective funnel by combining our services. Follow us on Twitter for more sales and marketing specials to deliver revenue on your site.

New Feature – Daily Summary Emails

We’re excited to announce daily lead summaries, one of our most requested features. Every morning, you’ll receive a summary email with your top 10 leads from yesterday based on their StackLead Score.  SaaS though leaders like Jason Lemkin and Patrick McKenzie stress the importance of understanding lead velocity – how new prospects are entering the top of the funnel. A picture’s worth a thousand words, so here’s an example summary: Sample Daily Summary   These email summaries provide a daily dashboard of your lead velocity.  For every person who signs up on your site, we research their email address (via email forwarding, API, Salesforce, etc.) and return complete profiles for your top leads from the previous day.  Each of these profiles includes their name, company and website, location, job title, company size, and fundraising details. You can also view their LinkedIn profile by clicking a lead’s name or send them an email via the large orange buttons. We’ve been testing the daily summary emails internally and just enabled them for a larger group of customers.  You can modify your daily email settings on the Settings page.  If you run a SaaS business and want deeper insight into your lead velocity, start a free trial of a StackLead premium plan.

3 Keys for Precise Outbound Emails

Yesware is a premium email productivity toolkit and they’re offering a special for new customers. We’ve partnered to offer 20% off any StackLead automated research plans in the Yesware Deal Room. Here’s how StackLead and Yesware combine to supercharge outbound email campaigns.

Personalize

Personalized subject lines drive a 17% higher clickthrough rate. If you’re not personalizing every email, you’re leaving money on the table. Fortunately, you can use StackLead and Yesware to rapidly automate this process. To walk through a concrete example, here’s how to add personalization classic Cold Calling 2.0 technique.

Dakota Profile

1) First, collect emails for high-level decision makers who can help you navigate to the right contact at a target company. If you sell to startups or mid-size companies, this is often a founder or CEO, but, depending on your customer profile, it could also be a VP Sales or Marketing Manager.

2) Second, take your list of emails and run it through the StackLead Google Spreadsheet Add-on. This will append a complete social profile to the contact. For each email address, we crawl the web and grab the research data to turn damckenzie@gmail.com into Dakota at Yesware (even if they don’t show up in Rapportive or you’re not connected on LinkedIn).

StackLead Research Results

3) Third, head over to Gmail and hit Yesware’s big green Mail Merge button.

Yesware Mail Merge Button

Here’s an effective intro template:

Subject: Intro to {!company_name}

Hi {!first_name},

I’m the head of business development at Company X and looking to get in touch with the right contact at {!company_name}. Could you please refer me to the person in charge of [quick pain point summary for your product]?

Thanks in advance,
Sales rep

Now you can kickoff this campaign with 100 (or 1,000) new prospects for the month and feed the top of your funnel with a targeted list of outbound leads. Smart personalization – including the contact’s company and first name – increases the response rate and improves this initial dialogue.

Know thy Customer

A big part of winning B2B deals is understanding how your product fits into existing workflows and SaaS solutions. For example, StackLead’s Salesforce integration lets you qualify and assign leads inside the CRM. And Yesware also offers tight syncing between Google Apps and Salesforce. In both cases, understanding our customers’ current sales productivity setup helps us make an effective pitch.

SaaS Landscape

Here’s another solid example of using Yesware’s Mail Merge and StackLead research to know thy customer and run a precise outbound campaign. Imagine you sell a social media marketing product and just built a new Marketo integration. You have a customer list, mailing list, and a few hundred new leads you haven’t reached out to.

1) First, run these lead lists through our spreadsheet add-on or developer API. Filter the results based on the “tools” response – the software products and ad technologies that your prospects and customers currently use and StackLead can detect on their websites.

2) Second, setup another Yesware Mail Merge with a template like:

Subject: Your Marketo Setup at {!company_name}

Hi {!first_name},

I was just on your website and saw that you’re using Marketo for marketing automation. We just built a new Marketo integration that helped companies like Company Y increase their Twitter followers by 20% in the first month.

If you’re also focused on building your social media presence, do you have some time this Tuesday or Thursday afternoon for a quick call?

Best,
Sales rep

In a 3-sentence email and personalized subject line, you can really demonstrate that you know your customer and have done your homework to make sure your product will deliver results. This precise outbound campaign can play a big part of a winning SaaS sales strategy.

Follow-up

At this point, you’ve learned how to personalize and demonstrate your customer knowledge through Yesware and StackLead-powered outbound email campaigns. One of the Yesware’s best features is the ability to track and analyze the entire email pipeline. Yesware’s Mail Merge lets you take advantage of this through powerful follow-ups (called “Stages”) if your recipients don’t reply.

Can you hear me now?

A quick note on sales follow-up. A typical B2B customer is bombarded with pitches and it often takes 5-10 touches for them to even remember your product, let alone make a purchase. We love this post from the Close.io team on staying persistently friendly and making 5 follow-ups in the first month.

With Yesware, you can automatically send prompt follow-ups if your targets don’t reply. You can read more on their blog post here.

Wrap Up

Here are the 3 keys for precise emails for any company looking to ramp their outbound sales process:

  1. Personalize the message with the prospect’s name and company to increase open rates
  2. Know thy customer – show that you’ve done your homework and sell as part of a broad SaaS solution
  3. Follow-up consistently with customers to capture their attention

If you’re ready to get started with precise outbound emails, signup today for Yesware and the StackLead special in the Deal Room.

Special Offer in the Yesware Deal Room

Have you tried Yesware? It’s an awesome sales toolbox that we love at StackLead. Here’s their official description:

Yesware is an email productivity platform that helps salespeople work more effectively, right from their inbox. 

Once you install Yesware in Gmail, you can track email opens and clicks, share email templates with your team, and track email performance for your entire sales org. Even better, you can quickly integrate Gmail, Google Calendar, and Salesforce. We’ll write a more in-depth post shortly on how to easily combine Yesware with StackLead’s Salesforce integration, but Yesware is great for getting new reps more productive in less time.

yesware_stacklead

We’re excited to announce two specials. First, if you don’t have Yesware, head to this landing page for 3 months free of Yesware Enterprise (that’s 100% free, including all of the premium features like Salesforce sync). Second, for current Yesware customers, check out the StackLead special in the Yesware Deal Room for 20% off any of our paid plans for 1 year.

Customize StackLead Email Alerts

StackLead email reports deliver everything you need to know about new leads straight to your inbox. You can forward your internal signup emails, drop StackLead.js onto your website, or use our email API and we’ll send you a complete research report on each new lead and their company. This research report contains details like a lead’s role, location, and company size (i.e. number of employees and funding status), and also links to social media sites and other sources with additional data.

 

StackLead Research Report

 

As you gain more and more leads, these reports can create too much noise in your inbox. To help prioritize your leads and answer the question “Who are the most important people I need to contact?” we introduced the StackLead score. Now you can use this score to filter which email reports get sent to your inbox. If you set a higher score threshold, then we’ll only send you an email for leads that have a higher budget and buying authority. This way, you can cut down on the number of emails in your inbox and focus in on the most important leads for the day.

To customize the score threshold, head over to the Email settings page. A threshold of 2 ensures that we found some data for the lead, while a threshold of 6 will only send email reports for decision makers or leads from large companies. Drag the slider to configure the score threshold:

 

Lead Score Threshold

 

If you spend time researching each new signup on your site, register here and get an in-depth report delivered to your inbox for every important lead.

StackLead Google Add-on

Since we launched our Google Spreadsheet integration two months ago, you’ve used it to research thousands of leads every week. The spreadsheet is an easy way to get started with StackLead’s research data on any list of email addresses (sales leads, new signups, recruiting prospects, etc.). Here are three examples of common uses:

Research Freemium Signups

Pull a list of free signups for the previous day or week from your CRM or analytics service. You can make sure you’ve reached out personally to any new users who work at a company with more than 20 employees. Remember that only 2% of sales happen at the first meeting, so this is a great chance to learn more about the lead and what you need to do to upgrade them to a paid plan.

Personalize an Email Campaign

Mailchimp showed that personalizing email subject lines, especially with both first and last name, dramatically increases open rates. After you run your mailing list through StackLead, you’ll have a complete list of names that you can use to personalize every email.

Understand your Customers

In the early development stages of a new product or feature, it’s important to identify who is using your product and why. For example, your product could solve a problem for the marketing department, but be installed by the sales ops team. If you’re trying to understand your most active accounts, you can segment your users by role with StackLead.

How-To Guide

1) Install the Add-on from the Google Add-on Store.

2) If you haven’t created a StackLead account, register here.

3) Once you have have an account, copy your API Key from the Settings page and add it to the StackLead sidebar of the Google Spreadsheet. You can also customize what fields are most important for us to return – from the StackLead Score to Twitter handle to Alexa rank.

spreadsheet_sidebar

4) Copy the list of email addresses you want us to research into the “Email” column. Our Free plan supports up to 50 emails and you can check out our other plans on the Pricing page. The Email column is the only one that’s required, but if you include other details (e.g. name or location), it’ll help improve our research results.

Add email addresses

5) Hit the blue “Run StackLead” button in the sidebar and we’ll fill in the research data. In-progress and finished rows are marked in orange:

StackLead Research Results

We’re excited to be a partner in the Google Add-ons store. Head there to supercharge your email lists with StackLead research. Questions? Send us a note at team@stacklead.com.

Swimming in leads? Prioritize them automatically!

When a new lead signs up, StackLead tells you who they are based on an email address. Armed with this data, a sales rep still has to decide that lead’s value. We recently added a score to all the leads we process to help you answer the second question and automatically prioritize inbound leads.

Way back in the day, IBM created the BANT (budget, authority, need, and timeline) framework, which has been pretty much discredited for modern, lean sales. By the time a buyer expresses interest in your product they’re already 57% of the way towards making a buying decision (according to the CEB).

When we think about scoring a lead’s value, there are 3 main criteria:

  1. Coverage – How much do we know about the lead? If the lead doesn’t maintain a social media or other online presence, this could be a fake account.
  2. Profile – Based on external characteristics like company size and role, can we determine the lead’s potential budget and authority?
  3. Activity – How engaged is this lead based on their interactions with your website, marketing material, and free trials? Sales 101 tells us that someone who viewed your pricing page 5 times and read that white paper on ERP systems needs a call NOW.

When a lead first visits your site and fills out an email capture form, you likely don’t know much about them, so we focus on analyzing their coverage and profile. Depending on your business, there are a number of additional factors (more on defining that ideal customer profile in a future post), but it all boils down to answering one question: How valuable is this lead?

We used our research data to divide that question into smaller components for the StackLead score that’s included in our API response. Our algorithm produces the score by answering these questions:

  1. How much do we know about the lead?
    1. Do we have information about their social presence?
    2. Do we know what company they work at?
    3. Do we know their role at that company?
  2. What’s the company’s size?
    1. How many employees does it have? Are they hiring?
    2. What’s the Alexa rank and web traffic at the company’s domain?
  3. How influential is this lead for generating future business?
    1. Are they active on Twitter?
    2. Are they affiliated with any major media channels?
    3. For developers, do they have a Github profile with any prominent open source repos?
  4. Are they in your target area?
    1. Where are they located?
    2. Where is the company’s HQ?
  5. Are they a decision maker in their company?
    1. What department do they work in (Sales, Marketing, Operations, Engineering, UX)?
    2. What seniority level are they (a summer analyst or executive VP)?
  6. What other products have they purchased?
    1. How expensive are they?
    2. Do they use a competitor’s product?

Our initial score considers the size of the business to be the most important metric since that’s often the best predictor of revenue potential. After that, we consider the individual lead’s ability to make a purchase decision. Other metrics like social influence, location, and the web products they use contribute additional points after that. Since having information about a lead is a prerequisite for scoring them, a lead without information available will always score lower than even a weak lead with a little information.

Are you looking for a data-driven way to qualify and prioritize your leads? Give us a shout at team@stacklead.com