Why Call Data Can Answer Your Lead To Prospect Problem

lead to prospect

Sales and marketing terminology is an ever-evolving organism. Some of the most commonly used words are those that make up the buying cycle. Terms such as lead, prospect and customer tend to be company specific, often marketing and sales team differ completely in their individual definitions. However, an indisputable takeaway is that a lead comes before a prospect – which can also be considered a sales qualified lead. The real challenge lies in the qualification process. 

According to AeroLeads, “The one main similarity between a lead and a prospect is that both haven’t shown any interest in buying.”

Yet, there are differing opinions when it comes to deciding when a lead is ready to become a prospect who is ready to buy.

The best place to start is to automate the lead generation process and create ideal criteria for both lead and prospect using the most accurate data you can gather. According to the Ascend2 study, “35 per cent of those surveyed said the biggest barrier to lead generation success is the lack of quality data.”

Where can you source accuracy?

Calls. Real-time call data is proven to be more reliable than any other channel and can speed up the lead to prospect journey. Let’s break it down.

Leads are traditionally defined as potential customers who have problems a brand can solve and improve. Providing a relevant and exciting experience in order to turn leads into prospects can be helped by positively responding to patterns of behaviour and most of all pain points. 

Call data metrics provide stats for call volume, calls missed, time of day, geolocation and sites visited – all important information needed to better understand the journey. Cumulatively, these paint a picture of how leads are entering the brand realm and most of all why they fail to become a prospect. If an inbound campaign is working and bringing in call enquiries or website views, the call data will reveal this.

In fact, in the automotive sector dealerships gain 50% more leads when tailoring phone numbers to be displayed based on geolocation.

lead to prospectEventually, leads become prospects after just the right amount of nurturing and follow-ups. Hubspot found that “the odds of a lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after an inbound lead converts on your website.

Response time can aid in turning a lead into a prospect then towards conversion, for any business utilising call centres this is a major KPI. Fast response times are vital in the final stage of the purchase journey. If agents aren’t calling back or prioritising high-value calls, the leads fall away and sales are left with little.

Fill in the spaces between lead and prospect with more exact data via calls, start the journey strong and end with a bang.

Learn more here

Via: AeroLeads, Ascend2, Hubspot.

What Customer Data Can Do For Dealerships


The dealership is the final stop on the purchase journey for an automotive customer but the experience usually begins in a third-party environment. Most customers aren’t willing to endure the long purchase process dealerships offer on the ground. A study by Cox Automotive found that dealerships scored a 46% satisfaction rate for how long the final purchase process takes.

“Despite billions spent by OEMs (brands) and dealers on modern showrooms, slick mobile apps, and armies of social media managers, the human element —the last mile of the customer experience—is keeping consumers away from dealerships and crippling the auto industry,” writes Lior Arussy, CEO of Strativity Group for Dealer Marketing Magazine.

Aligning the human workforce with the digital experience comes down to how the scores of customer data streaming in and out of dealership management systems are utilised and how ready sales teams are to use this to their advantage.
Dealerships have a lot on their plate, often one dealer is managing multiple car brands, leads can get lost in the ruckus. At times customers walk in unannounced and dealerships are ill-equipped to meet expectations.

Therefore the human element can be improved by auto brands both acknowledging the needs of an empowered customer and equipping their teams to handle multiple interactions. It’s not just about gut instinct and talent anymore, data is there to be used and the dealerships that fail to modernise will fall behind.

This is where a data-driven (pardon the pun) approach comes in handy. Here are a few ways to apply customer data to improve the dealership experience.

Collect data!

Gauging a potential buyer’s digital context is the first step to a more complete understanding. How did they get there? Was it a dealership group landing page, a PPC ad via Google or a banner ad on a news centre like the Guardian website. Round up the context with the product itself, i.e., the car make and features. When all this data is collected, the context is complete. Customers that call or arrive from online forums are the easiest to track with the right technology, walk-ins can also be recorded into the CRM using registration forms or geofencing.

Profile and segment

After data is organised into profiles, it can be segmented and prioritised. Say one particular caller is interested in a luxury model, they would be placed in a higher value segment due to their increased CPA (cost per acquisition). Prioritising these callers based on aspects such as; location and car brand helps dealerships utilise their time and expertise better, in addition to improving customer experience and pick up rates. This kind of process is important for dealerships that sell more than one car brand because callers are assigned to a specific salesperson who has extensive knowledge of a particular model.

Dealerships Solution

Finally, data doesn’t have to be scary

For dealerships who are wary of the huge undertaking that comes with overhauling a legacy system, there is a silver lining. Integrations! These are useful because they are able to pass incoming data into an existing DMS (dealership management system) and make the process of change less jarring for auto brands and their vendors.

Via: Dealer Marketing Magazine 

The Future Of Marketplaces: Vik Barodia, eBay/Gumtree

Vik Barodia has been Head of Motors at eBay/Gumtree for close to three years, with this position he has garnered a front row seat to the current digital revolution hitting both marketplaces and the automotive industry. We had a few questions for Vik before his panel appearance at Freespee’s upcoming May 23rd event, “Do we really want to talk to robots?” in London. 

How has the buyer/seller relationship evolved in the last five years?

Gumtree and eBay are all about introductions. By that, we mean introducing buyer and seller so that they can agree on a transaction. That is the basic premise of marketplaces like ours. In the last years, what we have seen is that trust is now the single most important things deciding factor between the two parties. In fact, the “trust-drive” is so strong; buyers would rather pay more to buy an item from a trusted seller than a cheaper, identical item from a “weaker” seller. Trust is formed in many ways – experience reviews, ratings and a verified status all play a significant part.

Gumtree is focusing more on personalising the user experience, do you think the advent of AI will help or hinder this for marketplaces?

Artificial intelligence will play a very important role in the future of classified marketplaces. From booking tickets, buying and selling cars parts, and delivery – all facets of the buyer and seller chains can be impacted by AI. The challenge for marketplaces will be in our ability to use AI to build seamless experiences. Imagine a car part – AI can help the seller accurately list the part correctly for all the relevant vehicles it could be fitted into. The buyer gets the correct part every time. The use of AI can then help the buyer to fit the part themselves with DIY help or book the car into a service centre. All done seamlessly. Or a user buying a dress – AI can help them match that dress to a pair of shoes, handbag and even nail varnish colour – displaying all combinations for the user to choose from and buy. The options are endless – ultimately always driving success for seller and buyer which is what our platforms are all about. Personalising the entire value of any purchase is very much our focus in the coming years.

What part of the auto marketplace environment can be improved by the right technology?

For me, data is the secret to all success, and any technology, whether it be AI or predictive tools for users – dealers and private sellers – needs to sit on reliable and structured data. The auto sector has fantastic structured data, but the industry as a whole is not good enough at generating maximum value from it.

When its a high value purchase like a car, how do you build trust?

Trust on high-value items like a car must be built up for sure, both for buyer and seller, but also on the vehicle itself. Notwithstanding reviews and ratings for interested parties, we at Gumtree and eBay also help build trust in the vehicle itself by screening vehicles before they are listed. Every car listed with a number plate is checked in the background for four key things: Has the car been stolen, scrapped, exported or involved in a serious incident? That means that car is not sellable.
If at least one of these checks is positive, then the vehicle is blocked from being listed on the website. As a result, we ensure two things. Buyers on the platform can be sure that they have a choice of vehicles that are legal to sell that have a sound history. And by making this check visible, we remove inertia from the contact process, i.e. potential buyers do not need to go elsewhere to do this check – we keep the buyer on site and in front of the seller’s vehicle. This is great news for buyer and seller alike.

Do you see a collaboration between auto brands and marketplaces like eBay in the future?

Very much so. We can already see that the huge parts and accessory category on eBay drives vibrancy in the car selling category. We are not far from a world where car manufacturers use platforms like ours (because of the huge amount of traffic that we generate) to provide services to car buyers and car owners alike. The impact of eBay and Gumtree in helping auto brands to drive engagement beyond the car purchase/disposal should not be underestimated as they seek to find a new way to lengthen their relationship with those customers.

What is your view on the increase in car rental via marketplaces especially among millennials?

We are fast becoming a rental economy, and the industry is morphing into rental on demand. Disposable income is low, and millennials, with their funds fragmented in location and only in supply on a gig-to-gig basis, will make car ownership for this category difficult.
Enter CaaS –cars-as-a-service if you like, or any other fad name that can be applied. There are already start-ups with this model – today I need a small town car for a city meeting (renting for function), at the weekend, I need a convertible to go top down to the beach (renting for experience). How these early adopters fare will be interesting to watch as pricing is still quite premium. However as more come to market, and the choice is widened, prices should come down. I fully expect this sector to grow, alongside the more entrepreneurial car owners who use platforms to rent out their cars. It will be stronger as a proposition in cities where car picks up and drop off locations are more readily available as opposed to an out-of-town location. My thought is that it will take some time to become a standard mode of “ownership”, mainly because private leasing is still booming and is very affordable.

What part of the Freespee platform transformed your business? How?

The most significant impact across eBay and Gumtree has been our ability to demonstrate value to our dealers. This is not just about saying how many calls we generate for them as a return on their investment, but also to add value to the process too. The most loved feature we have is that of missed call notifications – telling dealers what number they have missed, but also linking that to the car they have listed. Notwithstanding the benefit of helping them sell more cars, we have been amazed to see how vibrant our Gumtree and eBay motors categories are. We can now claim that in any working day, between our platforms, we generate a call to a dealer every five seconds!
Find out more about Freespee’s May 23rd event here: 

Q&A With Alice Lamy: Freespee's Resident Data Analyst

Data analysis is defined as a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modelling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.
At Freespee we process and manage a significant amount of data from our significant client pool. Data is our bread and butter. Therefore to sort through our cache, we have Alice Lamy, our resident Data Analyst.
Alice was born in Montreal, Quebec — a province nestled in the Great White North (Canada). She then migrated to France with her family at ten-years-old.
Since then, she completed a Bachelor’s in Communication Science at the University of Montreal and a Master’s degree in Persuasive Communication at the University of Amsterdam, focusing mainly on consumer psychology and different modes of persuasion in advertising and health communication.
We caught up with Alice in Freespee’s London office to touch on the inner workings of data at a cloud communication platform like ours.
Freespee: Hey Alice, so what does a Data Analyst do?
Alice: Hey! I analyse data to gain useful insights on both Freespee and our customer’s behaviour and performance. We work with statistics in our own platform, but also use external tools like Tableau and plain Excel to develop different variables from which we pull numbers to produce relevant information.

Freespee: How do you turn data into concrete and useful information?
Alice: I think the most important thing to have before you start analysing is a hypothesis to achieve the right calculation. The way it works is that you have a dependent and some independent variables. If you have an idea of what could be the relationship between these variables, you can start to do your analysis.
For example, if a customer wants to understand what drove people to call their business, I can look at what might have influenced a good or bad performance. It can be many things from business hours, business days, online advertising, click to call to the different regions or countries the call is coming from.

Freespee: How important is customer data to the growth of a company?
Alice: I think it’s essential because it helps you understand more about the consumer lifecycle, and it definitely helps the customer success team offer up advice and ideas to solve business problems more creatively.
Internally, it also helps us manage the business, and get an idea of where we stand as a company and how we are performing with our customers so we can evolve and become more aware of their needs.

Freespee: Would you say it’s a great predictor of behaviour?
Alice: Yes, it’s really insightful. It is a way to give very good insights on consumers’ wants and needs, but it has its limits. We can predict what will drive them to call your business, but there are always going to be inconsistencies in behaviour. What is so interesting about humans is that you can never be 100% certain what they will do, need or want next.

Freespee: How do you define big data?
Alice: Big data can be a confusing term in my opinion, as I think there are so many ways you can define it and it depends on the context. At university, for example, we were using Python to do some “sentiment analysis” derived from Twitter posts during Donald Trump’s election. Big data can, therefore, be a lot of things, and you can find many tools to analyse it.
In the context of Freespee, big data is handy for us to know more about our customers: analysing performance and trends thanks to the use of our platform (CTR, which campaigns drive calls, what people call about, etc.). This kind of data helps us understand how to solve our customers’ business problems better and how our service can enhance sales performance or brand awareness.

We also use big data to know more about where Freespee stands thanks to Salesforce: how sales are growing, how we are taking care our current customers, how we are dealing with prospects, etc.
So big data is a collection of data from different sources that allow us to discover and analyse so many different sides of our business.

Freespee: What is the hardest data to analyse?
Alice: To me, the analysis part is probably the most natural part of the process of using data. As long as you know what your research question is, and what you want to verify, it is quite straightforward. However, collecting and cleaning the data can be a pain, and you need a lot of patience to end up with clean and easy-to-use data.
No one can deny the importance of data in our lives, sometimes however it can overwhelm us. Luckily we have professionals like Alice to make sense of it all.

Thanks Alice!

A Few Data Privacy Innovations Leading The Charge

Data Privacy Day was recently celebrated worldwide as a way to promote personal safety online. But with the upcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the subject of data has become the dominant topic on many a digital company’s lips. Now it seems, information shared online could eventually be as regulated as a natural resource.

Last year, The Economist described data as “the oil of the digital era,” prompting a rash of responses against the statement, with many claiming that oil is markedly different. “Data today has something important in common with oil a century ago. But the tech titans are more media moguls than oil barons,” writes BBC’s Amol Rajan.

However, data is becoming a highly valuable commodity to the digital realm, and consumer data is worth more than gold in some instances. But unlike oil, data is a far more prolific asset and therefore, vulnerable — leading many companies to begin turning their focus to data protection. Especially with heavier regulations right around the corner.

“Businesses need to shift their perception of data, from a money-making material waiting to be plundered to an asset that needs to be safeguarded and treated with respect,” said The Guardian.

Getting around breaches is the first hurdle for many brands, some large corporations have been hurt by major ruptures in their data pools. Studies show that “hacked companies underperform by 42 percent after three years.” So what preventative measures are coming out of the new age of data as an (arguably) precious resource?

2-factor authentication

2FA adds an extra blanket of protection over personal data and is trusted by most consumer tech brands worldwide, Apple’s iOS system has within it a 2FA system as well as social media centers such as Whatsapp and Instagram.

See more about Freespee’s 2-factor authentication here. 


An ancient form of security but even more impressive when used to cloak information online. Still, hackers are quick to break the code despite advances in random number generation and other forms of cryptography. Enter Honey Encryption, developed by Ari Juels, former chief scientist at computer security company RSA, and Thomas Ristenpart from the University of Wisconsin. The technology tricks intruders by flooding them with the wrong data any time an incorrect password or encryption key is guessed. Sneaky yet effective.


We can blame Bitcoin for this development. It works by “substituting a randomly generated value—the token—for sensitive data such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and social security numbers,” says Forbes. The mapping of the token is then stored in a reliable database. MasterCard is also a fan.

“Since the invention of coded messages used during the Revolutionary War, technology advances have always required adaptations in the law to preserve both privacy and social order,” writes Larry Downes for The Washington Post.

We’ve come a long way since morse code and smoke signals to protect valuable information. Our digital growth seems to be infinite, and its preservation is becoming more complicated. Though it may not be an organic asset, it still represents who we are, and that is definitely worth protecting.

Via: The Guardian, Forbes, The Washington Post, Gizmodo, BBC, The Economist.