Today's post is by Hila Nir, vice president of marketing and product of ZoomInfo, an Inc. 5000 company whose Growth Acceleration Platform combines the most comprehensive and actionable business intelligence database with integrated tools to help B2B companies optimize sales and marketing effectiveness, jump-start growth, and maximize profitability.
For what seems like forever, sales professionals have viewed marketing colleagues as stumbling blocks to productivity. Salespeople complain that marketing campaigns miss the mark and generate disappointing leads, making conversions difficult. Marketers, on the other hand, blame sales for poor follow-up on their leads and for not tracking revenues to marketing activities. The disconnect has created antagonists out of natural allies and led to untold lost opportunities.
But now there’s good news: Big data is lowering the barrier between the two functions, contributing to better marketing and sales performance. Done right, it can bring the two together as soul mates.
Call technology the matchmaker in this new state of affairs. Recent technological advances are helping marketers improve their own performance and give sales more of what it needs. With technological advances, marketers are creating more successful campaigns with better-qualified leads. The leads also come with richer information, aiding sales conversions.
What Has Changed?
Over the last few years, big data has become much more accessible, as it has become more integrated with the workflow and more easily aggregated.
This evolution is very important because it’s easy to spend money on sales and marketing and get lost in the multitude of B2B channels – without showing any ROI. Moreover, big data is helping professionals better understand what they need to be successful so they can focus and refine their efforts.
Three Key Steps To Make Data Work for You
Let me walk you through three key steps for using current data to sharpen marketing and sales results.
1. Gain a thorough understanding of your buyer personas and target markets.
Use big data and statistical modeling to build on what you learn from your sales team’s perceptions and your interviews with sales, marketing and customer success employees. Identify all relevant criteria – for example, related to job function, job title, company size, industry, location, and growth indicators. Combine different attributes.
Now calculate the sales success rate for each criterion. Scour your CRM and marketing automation databases to determine who is buying from you. For example, if your company serves content managers, see how many content managers who visit your Website and interact with it in particular ways are converted to customers. Also note the titles of people who respond to your marketing campaigns. If you calculate correctly, certain criteria will stand out and patterns will emerge. Based on my experience, I expect you’ll find this process enlightening. You may discover new buyer personas or target markets that are buying from your company regularly, enabling you to fine-tune marketing and expand lead generation.
2. Measure campaign success and make necessary tweaks.
You can use metrics like response rates, open rates, click rates, leads generated, and impressions.
Ultimately, for each target market, you need to compare resources invested with the dollar value of sales generated. To calculate investment, look at the people on your team responsible and the marketing spend for each of your target markets. Then consider how much you sold to each market.
3. Employ lead scoring and routing to improve conversion.
Score and categorize your leads, based on their importance to your company and the best way to serve them. If possible, ask a few qualifying questions at the point of contact.
Then route the leads accordingly. For example, you might provide Type A leads to your sales team, send Type B leads to your e-commerce platform, and route Type C leads to your freemium offering.
Lead scoring and routing can quickly help your company increase conversion rates while also enhancing the customer experience.
All these steps take time, but the payoff justifies the effort. Your sales team will see a significant improvement in the quality and quantity of leads including all the information needed for a successful conversion. With marketing upping its game and sales getting what it needs, both are now operating in sync. The two antagonists have become natural allies.