As a marketing agency that works closely with B2B companies, part of our job is to make our clients’ lives easier through technology and automation.
One technology that has proven to be especially useful to sales and business development teams for B2B sales prospecting is reverse IP lookup. When used effectively, reverse IP lookup is a powerful way to unearth new prospects and sell to existing prospects.
Here’s how the technology works and how your business can start using it to improve sales.
What is Reverse IP Lookup?
Reverse IP lookup, also known as reverse DNS lookup, is the process of querying the Domain Name System (DNS) to determine the domain name associated with an Internet Protocol (IP) address.
Put in simpler terms, this tool looks up the owners of IP addresses (the numerical label assigned to devices on a network).
So, while your analytics software’s IP tracking may tell you that your website has been visited by a user from IP address 188.8.131.52, reverse IP lookup can tell you that this visitor is from Acme Corporation. And yes, this is legal.
What Information Does Reverse IP Lookup Provide?
Tools that conduct reverse IP lookups provide top-level domain data associated with the IP. In most cases, you’re getting the name of the business and sometimes the main phone number and address of those who registered the IP — not the specific name or contact info of the visitor.
Reverse IP lookup tools pull information from databases that house IP information. These databases only carry public data and will only include static IP addresses tied to businesses or large networks. In other words, if someone visits your website from their home, it won’t show a visit from “Bill McLastName”; instead you’ll see a visit from Comcast, Verizon, AT&T or whichever company provides Bill’s internet.
Along with this information, reverse IP will also typically show you how many visits you received from the IP, how many visitors from this IP came to your site and when they visited.
How Reverse IP Lookup Improves Sales Prospecting
As you’re probably already seeing, there are a number of ways reverse IP can be used to boost B2B sales prospecting and marketing efforts.
Here are a few:
Uncover New Prospects
By seeing which companies are visiting your website, you have a new channel to identify potential prospects.
For example, maybe you provide back-office software that you’ve been pushing to accounting firms. With reverse IP lookup, you’re noticing a lot of visits from healthcare providers. After some further research, you determine that healthcare actually presents a better opportunity, so you look up providers similar to the ones visiting your site and build a new account-based marketing (ABM) campaign with this information.
Of course, not all visitors will be ideal prospects — there will be competitors in the mix along with businesses that are just looking for information and others that simply aren’t a fit. But by keeping tabs on these visitors, you’ll likely find some interesting potential new prospects in no time.
Improve Lead Nurturing
Needless to say, knowing how interested a company is in your product or services is extremely helpful when it comes to planning lead nurturing activities.
If you notice several visitors to your site from a company in your target market, they may be interested enough in your product or service for you to call them and start the sales process. By looking at how many views and visitors there are from the company, you can get a sense of how qualified the lead is.
A couple things to note about this:
- If you don’t already have a contact at the company, you’ll likely need to go through your usual process of finding the right person — “Can you direct me to the person in charge of (XYZ)?”
- Do NOT tell them you’re calling because you just saw them visiting your website. At this point, while most of us recognize we’re all being tracked just about everywhere we go online, it doesn’t mean we like drawing attention to it.
Tighten-Up Sales Reporting
Whether you’re executing an ABM campaign or prospecting across several businesses, reverse IP lookup greatly improves your reporting by showing you which of the businesses you’ve been pursuing are actually coming to check out your website as a result.
This is a key metric to track, and without reverse IP you’d only have that information if the person contacted you.
Putting Reverse IP Lookup into Action
There are a number of reverse IP lookup tools out there, and, from what I’ve seen, they all easily integrate into your website and CRM. The price variance comes down to the number of features included — which can range from basic to more advanced features like lead scoring, heat maps and behavior analysis.
For most of our clients, we primarily use HubSpot’s Prospect tool, which comes included with HubSpot’s Sales Hub Starter offering.
Related resource: Learn more about HubSpot’s growth stack here>>
Here’s what Prospects looks like:
With this tool, you can:
- Filter your results to create custom views
- Set up daily digests or automated notifications based on activity from companies of interest
- Add companies to your CRM with one click
- View company intel such as size, number of employees and revenue
- Pull up similar companies
(HubSpot’s capabilities extend far beyond reverse IP lookup. For more on this, check out our post on what to know if you’re considering HubSpot.)
While some marketing technology can be daunting to set up, reverse IP lookup is an exception. This tool is relatively easy and painless to implement — and it has the potential to deliver powerful results for sales teams.
Interested in learning more about HubSpot?