Creative superhero? Chief design junkie? Sales ninja? Who are these people?
In an effort to be hip, creative and “disruptive,” some companies have bestowed the zaniest, most unorthodox job titles on their employees. And, for those who have a hard time finding their way out of the traditional title rut, there’s even a job title generator to provide some creative inspiration.
At the other end of the spectrum, others have chosen to eliminate job titles altogether, aiming to level the playing field and flatten the org chart to create a more team-oriented work environment.
While these approaches might make for great icebreakers and morale boosters, they’re a nightmare for marketers and sales teams trying to run efficient, effective lead-gen programs. Trendy titles can be confusing and misleading, while the complete lack of a title makes it virtually impossible to identify an individual’s role or function within an organization. This can be a problem even in companies that do use traditional titles, as job titles often don’t reflect what people actually do.
Further complicating matters is the fact that even if an incoming lead provides a job title, it may not be entirely accurate. When completing online forms, registering for webinars or even face-to-face at a trade show, for example, people commonly omit details, lie or exaggerate their position or influence. For marketing and sales, following one of these misdirected leads down a rabbit hole can mean lots of wasted time and effort on the wrong individual.
How can you avoid having your marketing efforts flummoxed by flippant titles? Surprisingly, social media, professional forums and other user-generated content platforms provide the most accurate and actionable information about the people, their roles, functions and value as a potential lead target. While we probably all know someone whose Facebook life looks much more exciting than their real one, professional platforms tend to be quite a bit more accurate and much richer sources of data than an off-the-shelf database. Why? Consider the following three reasons:
- Many people use them as network and career-building tools, so their profiles are kept up-to-date, tweaked and refined as job roles change and accomplishments are achieved — much more so than databases and other conventional lead sources.
- Professional social media profiles are also subject to greater professional scrutiny. People are much less likely to exaggerate their role, expertise, accomplishments or position when they know their boss or colleagues can easily call them out on the inflation.
- Professional social data is readily available — and free. Of course, accessing it through conventional means could be a problem. You could google every incoming lead, but that could take days, weeks or months to cultivate good data before you can even make contact. Meanwhile, your competition has already moved in to close the deal.
Maximizing lead quality requires looking beyond job titles to understand the exact job role, and social media data can provide that insight. By listening in on the conversations taking place among employees or about a company, product or issue, marketers can more easily identify exactly which companies — and the individuals within them — should be the focus of their efforts. The question is how.
Fortunately, new technologies like predictive lead targeting can automate the process and surface the most accurate, high-quality leads that are most likely to convert. These systems work by matching keywords and profile parameters found in the social sphere (e.g., job skills and functions, product/software expertise, and professional event participation) against your company’s ideal buyer profile. As a result, social scoring and prospecting technologies can help marketing and sales teams circumvent the creative title conundrum and get to the details that really matter to drive return on investment and sales success.