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Why Sales and Marketing Teams Should Think Like Data Scientists

Selling is no easy feat. It requires ongoing research and being very knowledgeable about prospects and customers. You need to appear like you know the company inside and out, even if you only started researching them a few hours before your call.

Typically salespeople spend hours researching information online looking everywhere from news articles to crowdsourced and outdated databases. But when you get on the call with the decision maker, the last thing you want to is to go into the call blind or with inaccurate information.

What if they could answer questions about what accounts to focus on next and what content to put in front of the prospect to speak to his pain points without hours of painful research? Sales teams are realizing that rich, accurate data that’s compiled in one place can help them work smarter faster.

Here are a few ways sales and marketing teams are using data to qualify prospects, identify new business opportunities and have visibility into the sales path.

Spend Time With Prospects That Matter

When talking with prospects and customers, you want them to feel as if you’re creating a partnership rather than simply selling them your product. Smart salespeople listen to customer’s needs and want to solve their pain points. But this relationship building doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a time-consuming process that sometimes takes months or years, depending on your sales cycle, so salespeople should make sure that they’re only spending time with prospects whose pain points align with your product’s solution.

Matt Green, head of sales operations at Sendible, says his team prioritizes prospects based on data to maximize their lead gen efforts. “We use data to create automated scoring of leads to assess the likelihood of conversion and identify which product fits the prospect best,” Matt says. He doesn’t want to spend time talking to prospects about the wrong product, or talking to prospects that are unlikely to convert.

Prospecting is a science and art. MonetizeMore uses data attribution to know what pages customers signed up from, the lead nurturing campaigns they went through and information they input into the signup form. With data-driven information, sales reps qualify prospects and pinpoint the best product before they even pick up the phone, says Kean Graham, CEO of MonetizeMore. Sales reps prioritize customers that match their ideal customer profile without having to spend hours filtering through information.

Inspire New Revenue Streams

Data about product usage and performance can help customer success and sales teams personalize their conversations with customers and tell them about lesser-known features. It also can unveil new business opportunities. For instance, when James McCarthy, CEO of Placement Labs, dug into sales data from one of his affiliate web properties, BoldList, he noticed that headphones had skyrocket sales. That inspired his team to create a new affiliate marketing website dedicated to headphones called Headphone Charts. Data inspired this new business opportunity, and today Headphone Charts has greater total sales than BoldList.

Improve Conversion Rate With Personalization

Often lead forms ask for name, email address, phone number and company, and while this information is helpful for reaching out to prospects, the real value in qualifying prospects lies in their location, behavior and demographic information. QuHarrison Terry, marketing director at Redox, says, “Not all inbound leads are created equal. A lead that is super valuable to us is when we know their name, company, role, email, and what actions they took on our website to show interest in our product.”

Sales teams want to know how and how often customers and prospects interact with them. Did they click on a link in an email to reach the website? Did they download a case study after reading a news article that mentioned the customer? ReviewTrackers pairs this behavioral score with a demographic score that includes hard facts like company size, contact’s job title and location. When these demographics align with the company’s ideal customer profile, they’re scored as much more valuable leads and therefore prioritized, says Ryan Bottorff, director of marketing and sales operations at ReviewTrackers.

Talking to the right person is key for converting a lead into a customer and establishing a relationship with the key decision maker. When the ReviewTrackers sales and marketing team implemented a lead scoring system that relied on demographics and behavior, they improved the quality of leads passed to sales, resulting in a 20 percent increase in conversion rates, says Ryan.

Sales teams across industries and company sizes are recognizing how data can double their business impact. Instead of spending hours researching a company, sales reps can use a rich database to identify prospects that matter and personalize conversations. As teams shift toward account-based marketing and sales, they’ll need to leverage data to scale and build partnerships with customers.

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Also published on Medium.

© Mattermark 2018. Sources: Mattermark Research, Crunchbase, AngelList.
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