Building a Data-Driven B2B Sales Strategy
Data plays a critical role everywhere, and in marketing and sales, its importance cannot be undermined.
Gone are the days when marketing and sales strategies were based on pure instinct and education. Today, data and analytics have the baton in hand. With big data and analytics, marketers and sales teams can analyze their customers, and based on the insights, they create powerful marketing and sales strategies for successful growth. In recent years, data and analytics have made a massive stride and some organizations are yet to catch up.
If you are still new to this data-driven sales strategy concept, we have you covered here:
What is a data-driven sales strategy?
On the surface, one might think that a data-driven sales strategy is a strategy based on data, which directs and controls the sales practices and decision-making processes. While it is simple to explain, it is quite complex to adapt. Creating a data-driven strategy entails collecting data from main resources, analyzing the data, and putting the insights into action.
Seasoned marketers and sales people also find it hard to deal with the huge amounts of data available to them. You cannot become a data-driven marketer or sales person in a day. It requires time, patience, a distinct and detailed plan, with constant input from every department of your organization.
Steps to build a data-driven B2B marketing or sales strategy
Essentially, a data-driven sales strategy works on a top-down approach. Thus, a company’s leaders must pay attention to and prioritize the importance of data-driven decision-making. You need to follow the right approach, and here is what most successful teams suggest:
1. Get all Stakeholders on Board
As stated earlier, a data-driven strategy starts with a top-down approach; it brings all the stakeholders to the table and onto a common platform. To make a data-driven strategy work, the company’s leadership must prioritize or communicate the importance of the same. A few things you should check are:
- With a data-driven strategy, your focus must remain on your revenues. Even your employees want to know how much more money your business will make with a new strategy.
- You should start by analyzing the current set of data you have. When you identify the data in hand, you can go on to find the data gaps and collect more insights.
- Read different case studies from your competitors or experienced brands to motivate your team.
2. Collect and Maintain High-quality Data
Well, here’s the catch. For a successful data-driven strategy, you need high-quality and accurate data. We know managing a huge amount of data is easier said than done because data decays rapidly.
Data hygiene is an important step and to ensure that you set the right foot ahead, you must audit your customer database regularly.
3. Invest in an Integrated Technology Stack
Technology plays a crucial role in a data-driven sales strategy. Better technologies glue and hold everything together. In case your marketing or sales ecosystem has some internal disputes, you will not be able to share your data across platforms, which means you are likely to lose some important information.
That said, here are some tools that will help you set forth your data-driven strategy:
- Google Analytics
- Salesforce/Oracle CRM
4. Analyze and Apply your Data
Now that the data is collected, you must analyze the data and implement the same into your everyday marketing and sales plan. With a clear strategy, a healthy sales database, and integrated technologies, it is time to apply the data. Some key areas where you can put your data at work are:
- Sales Training
- Lead Scoring
- Social Selling
5. Offer Ongoing Training
By now, you must know that a data-driven strategy isn’t something you set forth and let go of. As data evolves with time, so will your way of using the data. To cater to the changing requirements, you must ensure that your sales team gets consistent training and is party to strategy updates.
Ongoing training is beneficial to any sales team, and it is also essential to drive a strong data-driven sales strategy or process.
You must analyze the performance of your reps and the average sales cycle. Focus on where you or your sales team lack.
How do leading brands use data?
There is no denying that marketers and sales people have found a plethora of ways to use data for lead generation and promotional activities for their brands. Some prominent examples are:
- Product Recommendation. See how YouTube does it. It recommends content based on the user’s viewing history, search queries, and more.
- Data-driven Content Marketing: Creating content based on actionable data offers more value than plain text. B2B companies such as Improvado often share reports, surveys, and research to promote themselves.
- A/B Testing: B2B marketers and sales teams constantly run A/B testing campaigns to find out what is working and what is not.
Embrace the power of data for more sales
Data is a powerful tool, and as data is omnipresent, marketers and sales teams must know how to leverage and channel the data for their benefit. For a talented marketing or sales manager, data is an elixir to success. With a well-rounded approach to a data-driven marketing or sales strategy, your company can be successful in the short and long term.