When you find a tool that immediately solves a problem you’ve been wrestling with for a long time, it can feel like you’ve discovered the Holy Grail. That’s what it’s been like for me and my team at Heinz Marketing with Siftrock. Which has quickly become one of the most indispensable tools in our tech stack. At this point, having to do without it would ruin my day.
We’re a team of sales and marketing consultants and thought leaders who help B2B companies all over North America build more predictable and scalable sales pipelines. As you might imagine, a lot of our work is about helping our clients find efficient and effective ways to get the most out of their marketing databases. We’re excited about Siftrock (not only using it ourselves but also recommending it enthusiastically to our own customers) because – in addition to helping us keep our database up to date (no small task given the fluid nature of marketing organizations) – it has helped us find new sales contacts by data mining out-of-office replies.
The Out-of-office Reply: Dead End or New Lead?
Our database includes approximately 120,000 contacts. Between full and segmented campaigns, we probably average between 300,000 and 350,000 email sends per month. One of our most frustrating challenges has always been the inability to manage out-of-office replies. With a database the size of ours, we tend to get a lot of these; and in the past they were a lost opportunity. Because we didn’t have a way to manage these replies manually, we just deleted them and moved on, which effectively created a dead end to the sales conversation.
But with Siftrock, we now have an automated solution that works in the background to update and clean contacts when someone changes jobs or email addresses. There’s also a wealth of information in out-of-office emails that can provide valuable clues about how we should proceed with a prospect – like if there’s someone else we should be talking to or whether we need to make an inquiry about who has taken over.
The beauty of the Siftrock method is that you’re not having to manually update anything or buy new lists. You’re letting your audience tell you about role changes through an automated process that you don’t even have to think about. Siftrock mines the out-of-office email content and serves up new referral and replacement contacts at companies that are already in your database, while at the same time cleaning bounces and non-traditional unsubscribes. It’s just phenomenal.
A related feature that we really love is the customized alerts we get every time one of our named accounts gets triggered by Siftrock. While Siftrock is constantly doing all kinds of maintenance tasks in the database, it also allows us to set up alerts that make sure we get a personal heads up when there’s a staffing change at one of our primary enterprise target accounts. If someone at one of these key accounts leaves the company or changes their job title, Siftrock makes sure we know so we can go investigate.
And these alerts have definitely sparked conversations that have converted into pipeline. For example, say a contact has moved on to another company. Even though they may not yet have updated their LinkedIn profile, Siftrock will alert me to the change. This gives me the opportunity to reach out to the remaining team members at the prospect company to ask how they’re doing and whether there’s anything I can do to help during the transition. Often, a hiring change is the perfect time to do an audit, explore a new opportunity or add a new dimension to our relationship. You just never know.
Small Changes – Big Results
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that Siftrock represents the next wave of list and contact management. We use our own sales and marketing as a bit of a laboratory, and Siftrock has been an unmitigated success. In the first three months after implementing Siftrock, we achieved a 4.7% rate of marketable leads from database update opportunities, a 3.7% rate of database growth through referral contacts on existing accounts, and we collected 422 contacts from job or email changes. Annualized, these gains reflect a substantial increase in leads – all without us having to lift a finger on any database management tasks.
Having this success under our belts makes it easy for us to confidently recommend Siftrock to our clients, something that increases our credibility with them while at the same time making our job easier. Not only is Siftrock more efficient and easier than any other solution we’ve found for database management, it actively helps us capitalize on new business opportunities.
It’s often said that sales success depends on being in the right place at the right time. Siftrock helps us do that on a daily basis.