It’s no secret that marketing and sales have edged closer together over the past decade, as they work together on moving prospects from the awareness stage all the way down the funnel to conversion.
Yet many sales teams haven’t fully tapped into the potential of using marketing techniques – and the data marketers have access to – to level up their sales success.
Marketing revolves around data. It tells marketers who their customers are, what will engage them, and where best to reach them.
There’s no reason sales teams shouldn’t employ the same techniques in order to hook in prospects and leads with improved accuracy and boost customer and sales engagement.
While salespeople may pride themselves on knowing their customers inside out, data will either back up your instincts, giving you confidence in them, or it will tell you you’re a little off and should be using a different approach.
So how exactly can insight-driven marketing support your sales team?
1. Improve the customer experience
Simply put, data-driven marketing is the best way to improve the customer experience, which is becoming increasingly important to consumers. Indeed, PwC research found that an excellent customer experience can lead to a 16% premium on products and services, as well as increased loyalty.
Sure, without data you can make informed guesses and try to deduce the optimal customer journey, but you can never be sure. With data, you can.
Marketers use data to inform almost every decision. It ensures that their ads are targeted at the right demographics, and that their marketing campaigns are presented in the right way on the right channels at the right times.
In order to craft the perfect customer experience, sales teams should take a page out of the marketers' book. You can use sales to analyze your customers and identify any potential areas of improvement to enhance customer engagement.
Your website data gives you unrivalled insight into what leads, prospects, and customers are doing on your website. Use this information to better target them with more personalized and relevant messaging during your client communications.
For example, if you notice one day that a blog on your website is getting a significant amount of traffic from leads, why not send your leads a value-add email that contains more information on the topic and offers to answer any of their questions around it?
2. Upsell and cross-sell opportunities
Data can also be analyzed to dig deep into the customer mindset; when used right, it’s like having a mind-reading superpower that allows you to finally know what your customers really want from your brand.
This creates opportunities to add-on features and service expansions, or to strategize for the future.
For example, say you’re selling a SaaS solution, and you notice one of your customers is almost at the limit of their permitted usage. Now is a great time to get in touch to upsell them on a higher-tier package.
Alternatively, maybe your customer is consistently using your solution’s built-in messaging platform to communicate with their customers. Great! It’s the perfect time to suggest they add on your super useful chat bot feature.
Looking at the bigger picture, say a landing page for one part of your service offerings is consistently generating a high rate of traffic, yet selling less than other services that don’t typically get as many hits.
This could tell you that people are interested in that type of service, but your package doesn’t offer them everything they need – or perhaps isn’t as competitive as rival SaaS products in that space. Either way, once you’ve analyzed that data, you’re going to be one step ahead.
Now you know it’s time to do some research, expand that particular part of your service, and/or rethink how it’s positioned on your website.
3. Minimize churn and improve customer retention
This is a big one. By harnessing and analyzing the data available to them, salespeople can actually cut churn and give customer retention a significant boost.
Use the data gathered from insight-driven marketing to identify red flags, or specific variables, that lead to customer loss. Look out for patterns in the data – certain signifiers on their own may be completely innocent, but when grouped together, often result in a customer churning or a lead losing interest.
Make two lists: one denoting these "at risk" signals, and another for "opportunity" signals that suggest a lead or customer is satisfied with the service and potentially open to buying.
Then, use these signifiers to lead your customer communication decisions. Consider the best way to get at-risk customers back on track at various points in their customer experience, and the optimal way to keep your happy customers on board.
4. Provides a competitive advantage
Salespeople today have access to more data than ever before, and capitalizing on the opportunities it presents is another way to get ahead of the competition.
Using insight-driven marketing techniques provides a way for sales teams to get a leg up on their rivals. While most salespeople will use data in some ways, whether this is looking at website traffic or LinkedIn analytics, if you become a master at insight-driven marketing you can actively improve your selling techniques.
Ensure that your data is as detailed as possible and organized efficiently. It’s also vital to ensure that your analysis is logical and consistent, and that the parameters don’t shift without data to back up such a move. Beware – if you’re consistently drawing incorrect conclusions from your data, this could harm your sales game, rather than improve it.
However, by nailing insight-driven marketing, you’ll be able to stay one step ahead of consumer expectations and sales objections, thereby improving the service you provide and giving yourself a competitive advantage.
5. Time and segmentation
You can also save yourself time in the long-term by using data to alter lead qualification scores. Analyze the data on how a prospect is interacting with your brand, look at whether their interest appears to have increased or dropped off, and use this information to adjust their score. This means you’ll spend more time on genuinely engaged leads, and less on those who have just been leading you on.
What’s more, data-driven marketing techniques are super useful during the segmentation process. They help you gather more information on prospects and leads, allowing you to more accurately segment your marketing lists. In turn, this will ensure the sales team is contacting prospects with the right content and via the right channels.
Whatever industry a salesperson may work in, the possibilities of using data to up their game should be embraced. Many of the questions you’ve had about your customers and their buying behavior can be answered in an instant just by glancing at your website data; it’s too good an opportunity to pass up.
Using insight-driven marketing techniques gives you the framework to make the most of this data, and to make sure you’re drawing the correct conclusions from your analysis. Going into the sales process with a clear idea of what you want to learn from the data and how exactly you’re going to find this answer is key.
So give yourself a competitive advantage by asking your company’s marketing experts to take you through the ins and outs of data gathering and data analysis, or request external training.
Delving into website data can be a daunting task – there’s simply so much of it to get through! But, when you know what answers you’re looking for, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Author - Sujan Patel
Sujan Patel is a partner at Ramp Ventures & co-founder of Mailshake. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.