Today’s guest blog post is by James Rogers, chief marketing officer at Avention.
The increasingly complex business-to-business (B2B) buying process makes it difficult to determine with whom you should make contact. IDC predicts that, “by 2016, 80 percent of new information-technology investments will directly involve line-of-business executives as the lead decision makers in half or more of those investments.” While there are many ways to leverage data analytics and business intelligence within this market, organizations are still challenged to find the right fit for their strategic needs. The dramatic increase in the number of players involved in decision making, however, makes it clear where data analytics and business intelligence can offer huge return on investment (ROI): intelligent prospecting.
Organizations are overwhelmed with the volume of technology they must manage on a regular basis. Because the B2B decision-making process is both more complicated and faster, intelligent prospecting should be a major focal point for companies looking for the maximum ROI when implementing big-data analytics. For this reason (and a number of other factors), one of Avention’s top priorities is to create a comprehensive solution that allows reps across an organization to harness big data and uncover opportunities based on the way we think.
How do B2B companies identify prospects or companies they don’t know? They cannot take advantage of an opportunity if it’s not there, so it’s critical that big-data analytics be leveraged the way an organization thinks. For example, a company might want to search for cities with a high volume of agriculture or organizations that are involved in healthcare reform. These won’t come up in a search using traditional data such as location, market cap, and sector.
All too often, sales teams have to guess when determining with whom they should engage; note the IDC stat on the number of decision makers. When research is conducted, a simple Google search can result in hundreds of links to information that may or may not be relevant, and those results likely won’t tell you to whom you should reach out or whether it’s the right time to engage. Instead, big-data analytics can streamline what information is pulled and then weigh, score, and profile the opportunity for profitability.
For example, if you went to Google right now and tried searching for companies involved with the Affordable Care Act, you’d receive millions of hits – news articles, information, opinions, etc. It takes hours to sift through what’s viable. Moreover, you are not provided with actionable content and need to use another tool to connect what you just pulled and determine a contact person. With big-data analytics and business intelligence for prospecting, in a matter of seconds an organization can pinpoint results based on granular parameters but also provide clear next steps that meet the user’s specific needs. The same solution will then regularly update the results as new data becomes available.
Using the example above, within a few clicks, users would see these results: 22,980 sales professionals working at 4,223 midsize companies involved with the Affordable Care Act. From there, organizations can set additional, conceptual parameters to narrow down these results according to such characteristics as whether or not the company is growing or if it relies on e-commerce.
Big-data analytics for prospecting is only as effective as the base of information to which it’s compared. Once an ideal opportunity is identified, big-data analytics can be used to find similar companies in real time. For example, you might request this search: "Pull all of the chief technology officers in Texas who are involved with companies that have mentioned the Affordable Care Act on its Website or blog."
While there are many options for using big-data analytics, one thing is clear: companies should prioritize use based on where they will see a measurable impact. Intelligent prospecting harnesses big data to uncover opportunities that B2B companies may not even know exist and help them find more opportunities on a regular basis for long-term growth.
To learn more about how Avention provides actionable B2B insight for intelligent prospecting, visit www.avention.com.