B2B selling is seeing a paradigm shift with the advent of data and analytics technology, which has evolved the sales process from actions based on gut instincts to data-driven methods for measured outcomes, leading to better customer acquisition. A change that has shortened the sales cycle and paved the way for higher revenue growth for B2B companies.
According to industry observers, 95% of companies who opted for a data-driven approach, albeit only for lead generation, saw a remarkable rise in deal closures. A data-driven sales approach has integrated marketing and sales to attain a common and well-defined business outcome.
The data collected over a period based on your prospects’ behavior, buying patterns, and their vital interests by the various business functions can transform customer experience.
In a scenario where sales and marketing have become more dynamic, sales intelligence data has gained paramount importance. It includes data of decision-makers, organizational reporting structure, financials, budgets, year-over-year growth, company initiatives, people movements, installed technologies (the “tech stack”), and predictive features – all in near real-time.
But how good is your data to produce the business results you desire? Here are some pertinent questions that will help you assess the quality of your B2B data.
Is your business generating qualified leads?
Quality of the lead is determined by where the prospect stands in the organization chart. Knowledge of the placement gives an additional sales opportunity even if the lead goes in the dark. Besides, it enriches the lead and helps the sales team build relationships across the target organization.
There are entire teams in organizations dedicated to finding the right prospect. Content marketing, SEO, advertising, email campaigns, events, and list building exercises are one of many methods to acquire quality leads quickly and fuel other lead-gen efforts.
Does your data meet essential quality parameters?
Data is an integral part of sales intelligence. Subpar data can skew ROI numbers, misalign messaging, and make salespeople call the wrong prospect. 30% of the data accounts for unused or ineffective data and we need to guard against this phenomenon.
Here are some top data qualities you should look for when implementing data analytics for improving sales and marketing performance.
- Completeness: Are the records as complete as possible?
- Uniqueness: No duplicate records
- Timeliness: Is the data near real-time?
- Validity: Does the data follow a common syntax?
- Accuracy: Is the information correct?
- Consistency: Is the data syntax same across similar records?
Does your data define the ideal customer persona?
An ideal customer persona is the keystone of sales and revenue gateway. It needs to stem from data and not perceived opinions. A data informed customer persona becomes the foundation for a razor-sharp strategy.
Leveraging sales intelligence not only helps in identifying the right persona but also in developing a focused customer acquisition strategy that is aligned with data based ICP.
Do you use your tech stack to improve conversions?
A tech stack is the most valuable information companies can use to improve sales conversions.
Tech stack with intent data helps salespersons reach out to the prospects at the right time. Intent data is the near real-time data about prospects’ web activities like searches and downloads. Intent data integrated with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms can help analyze historical data to provide a better context and far more accurate predictions.
Latest Trends in Data-Driven Sales
- More and more data is available to sales and marketing teams than before.
- Boost in ROI with personalized engagement with prospects leading to more empathy toned marketing.
- Data experts have moved beyond demographic data for planning and targeting.
- With Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking a front seat, Data experts are in the process of developing high-quality historical data to expand the application of AI capabilities.
Recent developments have proven that companies and their sales teams considering themselves data-driven are having far better ROI and productivity. With data-driven sales strategies in place, you will get:
- Effective messaging
- Focused measures
- Better pipeline visibility
- Higher funnel conversion rates
- Faster revenue generation
Companies have precious data; however, they might have secured them or updated regularly. More and more companies are moving to more accessible and secure cloud-based data storage systems.
B2B space is booming with digital data. Once marketing and sales teams are equipped with accurate data and analyzed them through the sales funnel, your sales team should know how to use them.
Data-driven marketing will help your sales team make better decisions and set proper metrics. Until and unless you are getting all the actionable insights from your data, it remains worthless. If you have strategic data-driven marketing techniques in place, you can quickly boost your sales pipeline. You need to simplify and automate your marketing and sales processes.
Sharpen Focus on Qualified Leads
Few quality leads are far more effective than an extensive list of unqualified leads. A CXO contact is better than multiple individual contractors.
Through data-driven targeted marketing, you can deliver the right message to the right leads that will have more significant potential of becoming hot prospects in the long run.
Follow Up with Your Leads for Quick Deal Closures
Once you capture a lead and get all the information, you must follow up with it so that it stays hot and active. The sooner you follow up with leads, the sooner you’ll get them in the sales funnel and on the way to becoming promising prospects.
Data-driven marketing will help you send targeted follow up emails. Lead them to targeted landing pages with compelling call-to-action to attract your lead in the best possible way. This way, you can see a dramatic improvement in open rates, click-through rates, and your sales cycle will also ramp up.
Transform Your Business by Nurturing Leads
Leads should never be kept idle. They become inactive, cold, and finally, dormant. Therefore, you need to put them through the lead nurturing process and monitor them to determine how close to purchasing they are.
Marketing automation software can prove quite useful in this regard, as it gives you a good idea of where in the sales process, your leads and prospects are and whether they’re ready for a sales discussion.
Through data-driven marketing, you can get such information and much more. You can study behavior patterns, buying strategies, and other movements of your prospects or customers quite clearly.
Analyze Your Sales Data
In today’s competitive marketplace, sales teams cannot function or make decisions based on a hunch, gut feeling, mere predictions, or guesswork. Thus, sales teams need analytics that only data can provide.
The real benefit of the data-driven approach is an insight into the sales funnel. Sales funnel the best source to determine which prospects or customers to contact, when to do it and how. It will also help you drive decisions regarding which channels to use to reach them, how much revenue can be earned, and even predicting the leads: conversion ratio.
Finally, the data-driven approach helps sales teams to qualify better leads, ensuring better customer experience, and higher customer retention after the close.