I know I’m dating myself with this “Tastes great! Less filling!” reference so, for those of you who aren’t quite Gen X or Xennials, allow me to introduce you to one of the longest-running ad campaigns in history, starring some of the greatest actors and sports stars of its time vociferously debating the actual merits of Miller Lite.
Sure, most of the content’s quite dated, and some of the stars are completely unrecognizable today, but shout “Tastes great!” in any bar filled with people thirty-five and older and, if you don’t hear a chorus of “Less filling!” shouts in return, I’ll buy you a beer (probably not a Miller Lite though, since I’m kind of a beer snob).
So, what does this have to do with getting leads into the right hands and systems as quickly as possible? And what does this corny ad campaign about beer have to do with ensuring your prospect data is as accurate as possible once it reaches its endpoint?
While slightly different, the reality is we’ve been having this same debate within the walls of our companies for over a decade now.
Our sales leaders, account executives, and, especially, our SDR/BDR teams clamor for more leads through the funnel, faster, so they can generate as many touches as possible in an effort that’s not unlike sifting for gold. Sure, in the name of speed, many leads will end up being a complete waste of time, but if they get more leads faster, they can make up for the garbage with volume.
On the flip side, our marketing teams and ops (revenue, sales, and marketing) leaders are demanding more accuracy to ensure they don’t clog their tech stacks and campaigns full of a bunch of noise, drowning out the buying signals in the process.
In recent years, the pendulum has swung towards the side of accuracy, with ABM becoming all but ubiquitous within the vast majority of sophisticated, B2B marketing orgs. With a focus on a limited number of “high propensity” accounts, the goal became less about the number of “at-bats” and more about ensuring those at-bats were meaningful.
Unfortunately, too many organizations who’ve jumped into the ABM approach with both feet have found themselves with sales teams pointing fingers back at their marketing/ops orgs, demanding to know, “Where are my damn leads?”
Layering in technology is supposed to help. Tools and systems that claim you can execute with both speed and accuracy continue to hit the market at a breakneck pace. Rather than make the problem better, the sad fact is they’ve mostly made the situation worse for one fundamental reason: these tools do an inferior job of effectively communicating with one another.
In his recent piece entitled “Wait, More Martech Tools Create More Manual Tasks?,” Scott Brinker does an excellent job of discussing the problem in detail, and I would highly suggest giving the whole piece a read. Still, this quote does a great job of summarizing the issue: “The problem is that too many martech tools are still not integrated with each other. Or, plenty of them are ‘integrated,’ but it’s a superficial instead of deep integration.”
So, how do we solve the problem of speed (“Tastes Great!”) vs. accuracy (“Less Filling!”)? We create deep partnerships and integrations that deliver both, which is precisely what LeanData and ZoomInfo have combined to bring to our mutual customers.
LeanData and ZoomInfo have always worked together as apps inside Salesforce as part of a customer’s sales & martech stack. Enrichment is a key step in the lead management process and many customers choose to include “wait steps” to enrich data before routing while other customers route immediately and then update routing if new data comes in. Both process steps work well but are not ideal.
As I learned from LeanData’s VP of Engineering, Vivek Ravisankar, superficial integrations leveraging existing API infrastructures can create a perpetual game of “catch up” in certain situations. In this case, since a myriad of fields would need to be in sync at all times to deliver a seamless customer experience, each side of the integration equation would have to be in constant communication about any changes to data structure, API requirements, and taxonomies. If something changed on one side that didn’t get communicated to the other, the possibility of integration failures, poor customer experiences, inaccuracies, and damaged trust all around would be high.
To be clear, superficial integrations can work great for a variety of use cases but when it comes to complex data models involving a myriad of mapping, the solution can sometimes be more painful than the problem itself. In this case, however, it was clear that we needed a better solution in order to deliver a truly differentiated customer experience.
The API technical problems are only one issue facing standard, superficial integrations. The other, and arguably more important point, is that the customer implementation experience here simply isn’t great. Instead of seamlessly connecting two systems to create a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts, these integrations tend to require a significant amount of setup. Between authentication, lead-flow architecture, and mapping specific data fields back and forth between systems, it’s arguable that many of these integrations are more trouble than they’re worth, which is why we’ve done something different here.
According to Ravisankar, “Rather than trying to rebuild ZoomInfo’s own native Salesforce integration within LeanData’s Flowbuilder using their API, ZoomInfo and LeanData put our heads together and created a better path forward for our customers. By leveraging each of our robust, Salesforce-native applications, we’ve created a ZoomInfo Node within FlowBuilder that is not only easy to use but allows joint customers to take advantage of the best features of both platforms without having to re-map everything they’ve already structured inside of ZoomInfo into their LeanData instance.”
With the launch of this integration, customers can now determine where they want to enrich data inside their often-complex lead flows to ensure they get the correct data, appended to the right leads, at the optimal point for enrichment, and they can do all of this in real-time.
The best part: the setup is as simple as enabling the integration, then determining where you’d like to add the new ZoomInfo node into your LeanData routing flow. Everything happens inside your Salesforce instance, so your data is secure, and you’re now able to combine two of the tools you rely on most for speed to lead and data accuracy, meaning you no longer need to “pick one.”
The apparent conclusion one is to draw from the Miller Lite commercials is that their beer both “tastes great” and is “less filling,” so you don’t have to choose. This combination of two category-leading companies goes a long way towards ensuring you can enjoy the smooth, crisp taste of accurate data getting to wherever it’s supposed to go, fast … now that’s refreshing!