Smart Data Strategy Helps Target Ideal Customer Profile
Digital credentials, verified badges-of-achievements that can be shared digitally, are fast becoming the “currency of choice” in an international marketplace of knowledge and skill. Credly is an innovative company at the forefront of the digital credential movement. Their digital credential platform is used by businesses and educational institutions to recognize professionals, students, learners, and employees for demonstrated skills, achievements, and contributions. Digital credential earners gain professional recognition when they share their badges via email and on social platforms. Issuing organizations add value to their programs, while building engagement and visibility. It is estimated that the social media impressions of a digital badge can be worth tens-of-thousands of dollars in marketing value.
Using Data to Identify the Ideal Customer Profile
Credly’s potential customer base is large and diverse. Any organization that offers internal or external training, certification, or recognition programs can benefit from their product offering. Credly wanted to empower their sales team with more than qualitative instincts and experience to identify their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). They needed to target with precision, augmenting and optimizing the data they had in their systems with additional analysis and insight.
Michael Botler, Manager of Sales Operations for Credly, explains, “Like many companies, our sales and prospect data was subject to manual data input.
"We were all working off the data in our CRM. But even with the correct information, there is still a margin for error. Teammates have different perspectives and come from different experiences. For example, when classifying what industry an account is in, two people could have different points of view, and both could be valid. But ultimately, there should only be one answer that makes the most sense for our business.
“We needed to reduce subjectivity, correct inaccurate data and fill in the missing pieces.”
Credly chose Dun & Bradstreet sales & marketing solutions because, “Dun and Bradstreet is a trusted source of business data,” said Botler. “While other vendors are focused on individual pieces of the puzzle, like contact information, Dun & Bradstreet has the company-level information and outputs such as NAICS code and firmographic information. Their data, technology and tools gave us the most bang for our buck.
“Accessing the Dun and Bradstreet Data Cloud through their solutions meant we could improve our ICP directly within our Salesforce instance. We could prevent the subjectivity that results from human data input and management.”
Building Confidence and Leads
Credly had clear goals and expectations for their data initiative. “We ran a test before undertaking the project and discovered that we had a 30% match rate between our records and Dun & Bradstreet data. Our goal was to improve to a 90% match rate. The higher match rate meant that we could be more confident in our decision making which in turn would help our sales teams operate more efficiently.
“We used Optimizer for Salesforce to automatically update our CRM records to match with Dun and Bradstreet data. Then with D&B Hoovers we were able to make strategic decisions around industries and verticals that would benefit most from our offering. Once we identified those accounts, they could be imported into our CRM with Dun & Bradstreet firmographic data. Adding records that were already matched further improved our match rate.”
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One year after implementing their Dun & Bradstreet solution Credly has exceeded their goal, attaining a 93% match rate. They have also surpassed their original prospecting goals, seeing a 25-30% increase in account identification each week. “We have developed a more robust, and more informed ICP. We can be more strategic about which accounts we want to prospect and can better focus our Sales Development Representatives’ efforts.”
The Credly team also has a better understanding of industries where their solutions and messaging are resonating best, and how a vertical’s unique attributes can affect the sales cycle. “Armed with better data, we’re better able to segment our accounts and understand the differences among segments. We’re learning more every day,” acknowledged Botler. “The time savings and efficiencies are incredible! Being able to leverage our sales team’s time and resources more efficiently means we have additional time to do more review, more outreach and grow the team.
Best Practices and Advice
Botler offers this advice to those looking to optimize their CRM environment: “Before you implement any data enrichment tool you need to identify the current state of your CRM and understand what pre-work needs to get done. This will create a smoother transition from one tool to another. You also want to set expectations within the organization, being transparent and honest about goals and deadlines. That is vital to the success of any project.”