Sales cycles increase in speed when the best prospects are easy to identify
Marketing and sales efforts today need to be responsive to shifting customer sentiment, needs, and desires. As customers move from channel to channel, they leave a wide digital footprint in their wake. Organizations that can follow the data trail, and have the means to interpret the data, can uncover abundant customer insights.
By gathering, analyzing, and acting on the insights from customers’ activities across all channels, marketing and sales teams can gain a much clearer picture of each customer, including their requirements, preferences, behaviors, and even their motivations for making a purchase. These insights enable sales and marketing teams to craft customized campaigns and strategies to develop more personalized and relevant pitches that can lead to higher levels of engagement, driving greater loyalty and customer lifetime value.
Why change the status quo?
Organizations today face major challenges with their current approaches to sales and marketing.
To start, traditional approaches have proven to be ineffective, and many organizations encounter high levels of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that never close. Most efforts do not demonstrate quantifiable proof of their benefits. Many CMOs strive to deliver a measurable ROI, but they often find it difficult to attribute marketing activity directly to revenue results to justify budgets.
Additionally, today’s business environment is very dynamic, and it’s accelerating. As a result, sales and marketing organizations need to stay nimble and flexible. They need the ability to quickly identify and react to market opportunities before they disappear. As a result, sales and marketing organizations can no longer plan on a yearly basis: Strategies and campaigns must be constantly adjusted on a real-time basis, optimizing resources to convert opportunities.
The upshot is that in today’s competitive marketplace, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find and connect with prospective customers. Some of the problems include:
- With the explosion of marketing in online, mobile, and digital spaces, it is becoming harder to reach the right prospects at the right time before your competitors do.
- With limited budgets but aggressive growth targets, simply spamming everyone is not an effective option.
- Most prospects are overwhelmed with so many available options from multiple sources.
Organizations need a way to identify the specific needs of individual customers or groups of customers. Once that is determined, companies must craft targeted marketing strategies with personalized messaging to appeal to those needs.
The increasingly important role of analytics
These issues were succinctly summarized in a quote from Eric Siegel, author of Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die. He noted: “Salespeople are investing their time poring through a heap of possibilities to find the good ones. If sales is [looking for] a needle in a haystack, analytics can make the haystack a whole lot smaller.”
Specifically, analytics can be used to optimize marketing efforts by narrowing the field of prospects for a product or service. The goal is to develop the right message for the right business or person and deliver it at the right time. This approach will accelerate sales by eliminating the wasted time spent on unlikely prospects and personalizing efforts to reach those in need of an organization’s offerings.
These are all areas where Dun & Bradstreet Analytics can turn data into intelligence, allowing an organization to optimize its strategy across the buyer’s journey. D&B analytics for driving marketing performance enables predictive targeting, digital engagement, and sales pipeline acceleration. The solutions can help an organization increase sales to new and existing customers, reduce churn and increase loyalty, and increase sales force effectiveness.
To find the right customers and identify when to deliver the right message, these analytics solutions can be complemented using Dun &Bradstreet’s Intelligent Targeting. This is a logical, multidimensional segmentation solution to identify higher-value prospects that offers:
- Product propensity: Pinpoint prospects who have a high demand for your goods or services
- Value assessment: Identify upside potential to prioritize high-value prospects.
- Responders: Focus on those who are more likely to engage with you.
- Readiness: Optimize outreach based on who is currently shopping for what you offer.
- Decision authority: Optimize sales outreach efforts at the locations and key contacts with decision authority.
- Use risk knockouts and triggers to further optimize response and conversion rates.