Lead Scoring & Routing, Data Enrichment
Sift, the leading Digital Trust & Safety platform, helps more than 34,000 websites and apps align fraud operations with rapid revenue growth. Their customers include industry titans like Doordash, Poshmark, and HelloFresh. As the business quickly scaled up and out, the marketing ops team at Sift outpaced their ability to effectively manage sales data, as well as develop personalized sales and marketing strategies—that’s why they turned to Clearbit.
Amy Wellersdick, Director of Marketing Operations at Sift, and Gustavo Damasco, Former Senior Marketing Programs Operations Manager at Sift, shared how they overcame challenges with their internal data schema and streamlined their marketing operations.
Inbound leads don’t always have all the information a sales team needs for effective and efficient outreach. But spending too much time on manual research and lead qualification can turn into a bottleneck that hinders timely lead activation.
Sift targets fintech companies and digital goods and services companies, which cover a broad spectrum of organizations with a wide range of value propositions and customer bases. A company like Sift—with multiple buyer personas—needs more granular customer data.
“Across the fintech industry, we’ve identified profiles such as crypto exchanges, neobanks, challenger banks, digital wallets, buy now/pay later apps (BNPL), and payment service providers (PSPs) to be a good fit for Sift,” says Amy. She adds, “Digital goods aren’t defined as clearly, because it is a very diverse category and difficult to drill down into.”
With such broad-reaching categories, and with limited data available to them, Sift’s internal identification process left a lot of gaps. As a result, Sift relied on one-on-one phone calls to complete prospect profiles. Gathering all this data manually wasn’t scalable, and it was often inaccurate. “Manually labeling accounts in our system took up valuable time, and made it so there was always a risk of getting incomplete information,” says Gustavo.
“We want to target the right audience as often as possible. For example, we don’t want to invite non-crypto companies to a crypto-based webinar. But we weren’t always able to do this effectively using manual processes. Finally, because the labeling criteria was not uniformly defined across all of our team members, it created inconsistencies across operations,” he added.
“Because we use an internal profile schema to qualify leads, the schema is unique to us—we can’t go to other tools. So, a person had to have that first discovery call and find out which profile a particular prospect was a part of,” adds Amy.
The Sift team knew that to continue to scale and grow, they needed to standardize their data more efficiently and effectively.
“Frustration had been building,” says Amy. “It is an internal profile schema. So we can’t go anywhere else to find out how to define that unless we talk to the account.”
Using Clearbit Enrichment, Amy and Gustavo have filled in the data gaps and improved campaign operations by building personalized buyer journeys and improving speed-to-lead.
Clearbit helps Sift categorize leads into cohorts based on attributes like the sub-industry of a lead, the amount of funding they received, or where their headquarters is located.
Sift uses the Clearbit Marketo integration to create personalized buyer journeys at scale. With the systems integrated, all the customer data that flows into Marketo is enriched by Clearbit. Gustavo says this step is crucial for getting the right message before the right leads.
“Email marketing is an area where we leverage Clearbit Enrichment data points as much as we can,” says Gustavo. “It helps us ensure we are not spamming our database with topics, ebooks, or messages that aren’t relevant to them.”
When Gustavo started at Sift, they only had three sales development reps (SDRs), making it easy to round-robin inbound leads. But over time, an increasing number of inbound leads and a growing SDR team (there are now 19 SDRs) made it harder to streamline the lead routing process. Sift now uses Clearbit along with LeanData to quickly route leads to the right reps. This has allowed the team to streamline and expedite the inbound lead-routing process.
“As the number of leads and SDRs increased, the logic behind lead assignment became more complex,” recalls Gustavo. “That is when we pushed to implement the Clearbit solution as soon as possible. Clearbit gave us the ability to correctly route a lead to the right rep based on company size and where the headquarters is located.”
“We took full advantage of the Clearbit and LeanData integration,” adds Amy.
With campaign operations and routing running smoothly, the Sift team is working on better defining their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), especially within the digital goods and services industry.
“One of the many things that led us to re-evaluate our ICP is by working with Clearbit. We mapped our internal profile schema against the Clearbit profile schema and found they don’t match”, says Amy.
Refining their ICP will help Sift focus their resources on companies that are a good fit. “With Clearbit, we are leaning on the enrichment across SIC codes, NAICS codes, and other such descriptions to come up with a logic recommendation to help identify what is the best industry fit for Sift”, says Amy.
This effort will also help Sift to get their data more aligned with industry standards and remove manual lead qualification interventions. “We want to redefine what standard verticals we are going to use and how to map that to our profiles. We also want to figure out what else we can learn about companies before we go after them”, adds Amy.
The Sift team plans to roll out improved ICP definitions and account scoring strategies by early 2023 — a big internal initiative for the team going into the new year.
With Clearbit, the Sift team now has improved data hygiene — their data follows a consistent schema — which helps them streamline all their marketing operations and improve speed-to-lead time.
“Having data enrichment happening in Marketo and then sending that to Salesforce has saved a lot of time,” says Gustavo. “Before this, we were processing data in Marketo, then waiting for that data to sync with Salesforce, and then waiting again for that data to sync back with Marketo — before we could decide where a particular lead should go. Now we don’t need to do that. So the speed-to-lead times have improved.”
Today more than 25% of the Sift team’s inbound leads are followed up within an hour, compared to just 13% prior to using Clearbit.
Sift is excited to keep building with Clearbit and roll out new ICP definitions. They are also working on using Clearbit to shorten their forms on landing pages used in paid ad campaigns.
“Clearbit has been very helpful to us, and we’ve enjoyed working together to learn new use cases,” concludes Gustavo.