Sales Leads — A New Generation?

By Lauren Simonds | Posted June 08, 2005

Qualified sales leads are the lifeblood of just about any company. One of the best places to look for such leads is your company Web site where you can analyze traffic and other metrics to drive sales and marketing efforts.

Manticore Technology, an Austin, Texas-based application service provider that specializes in online optimization software has Virtual Touchstone (VT), a Web tool it says helps marketing people find highly qualified leads that other types of analytic and e-mail tools can't.

According to Christopher Doran, vice-president of marketing at Manticore, many SMBs use a variety of programs to extract potential sales leads from Web traffic, e-mail and ad tracking.

"Marketers pretty much rely on three different methods of gather information and to generate sales leads," said Doran. "Web analytic programs for all statistics relating to Web site traffic, ad tracking applications to keep tabs on pay-per-click campaigns and software that lets you analyze the results of e-mail marketing. Virtual Touchstone integrates all three into one online application."

Lead the Way
Beyond integrating the various methods, Doran says Virtual Touchstone finds hidden sales leads. Using a technology Manticore calls Prospect builder, VT is designed to pull information from your company's Web site — e-mail campaigns, Web traffic and ad traffic — and store it in the Virtual Touchstone database. A wizard-based query program is meant to let you narrow your search and determine exact search criteria.

VT tracks information in three distinct ways, first by e-mail address. "Let's say you send a marketing e-mail and one of the recipients visits your site," said Doran. "VT can tell you which pages they looked at. It associates the information by the e-mail address."

Doran says this capability helps you target your sales efforts. "If you run a flooring business and Web Visitor A spends most of his time looking at floor tile pages, you can send a tailored e-mail offer on tile," he said.

VT also tracks anonymous visitors by using reverse IP look-up technology. "This tells you the company associated with the visitor and the pages they viewed," says Doran. "You can let your sales team know the companies that visit your site and the products or services they viewed. This kind of information lets you market to those companies more aggressively."

You can also use VT to track the number of Web pages a person views. "By setting more search parameters, you find people who viewed a specific page 10 or more times, for example, " said Doran. "Or you might want to know how many people went to your registration page but didn't go the full mile and complete the process. VT lets you get very specific — it lets you find the needle in the haystack."

What To Do With Your Data
Once you've mined the information, VT lets you download the data into an Excel, word or text document. Or, if you're a SalesForce.com customer, you can take advantage of VT's partnership with the company — click an integrated button and transmit the data directly to your account.

Virtual Touchstone is a monthly subscription software service and costs $1,995 per month for an unlimited number of users. The price includes 10,000 out going e-mail per month and tracking up to 50,000 page views each month.

Doran says that VT's advanced tracking capability means that marketers can present the sales team with better-qualified leads and that result in "better online marketing campaigns, increased revenue and greater profits."

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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