The differentiation of data has transformed the sales process. We have technographic data to peer into the technical infrastructure our prospects use. We have behavioral and intent data to show us how our prospects interact with our brand and when they’re most likely to convert. We even have penetration data to see how conversation about our content travels through a company.
Knowing how various types of data allow you to pinpoint opportunities to connect with customers who actually need your solution, rather than bombarding unfit leads, is key to any successful sales approach.
Here we’ll dive into how executing against certain combinations of data points at different stages of the sales funnel will help your sales team streamline their sales process and create a unique and exciting experience for your prospects.
Using proper data in the awareness phase can save you a lot of time down the line. This phase is your opportunity to introduce yourself to the people you know need your product (and to make a memorable impression on them).
Before you get in front of these people, you first need to know who you’re looking for, which you can achieve by creating a detailed representation of your ideal customer. Ask yourself: Do I have the data I need to identify my ideal customer profile and disqualify every account that isn’t a match?
When you have a solid understanding of your ideal customer’s desires, pain points, technology and behaviors, your team is better equipped to focus their efforts on best-fit opportunities. Your lists will be smarter and your team will be able to produce original, tailored content that resonates with your audience and makes them feel special.
The most critical data types to incorporate into your awareness phase marketing strategies include:
Once you review and analyze this data and know who you’re really going after, you can craft the right kind of content and messages to attract them and address their problem.
The awareness phase in sales is best achieved through a combination of inbound and outbound selling methods like content marketing, cold email, pillar content with nurture campaigns and social selling. Collaborate with your marketing team to make sure you’re getting in front of your ideal customer in various ways to sufficiently capture their attention.
Once you’ve connected with a prospect, your goal is to drive their continued interest in your product. Your efforts in the interest phase should be focused on recognizing which channels prospects are converting on and discerning which conversions are leading to a purchase. For example, if someone responded to a cold email, they’re likely more interested than someone who simply downloaded an ebook.
That conversion is the pivotal moment when the reins will be handed over to the sales team. This handoff will be much cleaner if Marketing and Sales communicate about the data that qualified the lead in the first place. Understanding the data will also help the sales team choose an appropriate course of action.
You can discover your prospect’s level of interest by using these types of data:
After prioritizing your leads by interest, you can turn your focus toward increasing their interest through strategic campaigns, playbooks and content.
Your success up to this point could have you feeling trigger-happy with your content. But blasting your leads with campaigns and content can actually deter them from moving forward with you – especially if the content is irrelevant. The top reason business buyers have limited engagement with B2B vendors is because marketers are sending them large quantities of irrelevant content (34%).
So how do you deepen their interest without annoying your prospect or coming off clueless? Use data to deliver smarter content. Take advantage of different types of data to execute smarter playbooks, campaigns and content to keep your brand and solution top of mind.
Data can help you add value to your prospect’s journey in the interest phase by personalizing their experience. Your teams can work with Marketing to create personalized sales flows within your tools to send prospects on unique journeys based on certain characteristics.
You’ve completed the demo. You’re involving more team members. You’ve invited your boss into the conversation. Here we go: they want a proposal.
The decision phase is your chance to build trust and confirm that you can actually solve your prospect’s problem. Every step of the decision stage of the sales funnel can be optimized with data. Increase that close-to-win ratio at the finish line using these data types:
When you reach the action phase, you’re eagerly awaiting your prospect’s signature. You’ve sent dozens of documents. You’ve crafted a sparkling purchase order and you’re 100% focused on providing value through the process.
There’s just one problem: you haven’t heard back from your customer in a week. Data can remedy this issue once again. Use different data types to craft that ultra-valuable last follow-up email that ensures you retain the deal through the finish line.
This phase is about using data proactively as your prospect asks those final questions to ensure you close the deal.
Your product will dictate the different types of sales data you need
Your company’s data needs will depend largely on your product and ideal client profile. If you’re just getting started with incorporating different types of data into your sales funnel, focus on the data that will provide the most value for your organization.
Discuss various types of data with both your sales and marketing teams to see which data types are currently adding value to your sales process. Look for holes in their resources for analysis and decision-making, then create a plan to amp up your team’s current data resources with these different types of data.
I’m Matt Hogan, the Head of Customer Success at Intricately, where we give teams an inside look into the spend, usage, and adoption of cloud technologies. I have years of experience in sales, marketing, and customer success management with the responsibility of designing and implementing my vision for customer success & customer experience. Outside of business, I enjoy sailing & surfing as much as possible, and if I can't do that - golf.