Today’s post is by Alison Murdock, vice president of marketing at 6sense. Join 6sense at the INmarket conference in San Francisco on July 8 to learn more about innovations for B2B sales and marketing teams. Register here and use code BLOG for a special 25 percent discount.
Data is at the center of everything we do as B2B sellers and marketers. From buyer profiles, to lead scoring, to sales pipelines and forecasts, we rely on data to drive our decisions and strategies.
Even so, many sales and marketing leaders still don’t understand how to fully optimize their own data. This is one of the reasons 6sense is assembling data experts and industry leaders for the INmarket conference in San Francisco on July 8. Attendees will learn how companies are using data and predictive tools to streamline their sales and marketing efforts and bring in more revenue.
Recently, 6sense spoke with several experts who will be speaking at INmarket. Here are four of their top takeaways about how data is shaping the future of sales and marketing.
Takeaway #1 from Paul Teshima: Teeing up opportunities for sales will soon become paramount over generating qualified leads. Marketing is becoming more accountable for the growth of the business, and, because of that, it can hold sales more accountable to do their part as well. However, as the customer (buyer) becomes accustomed to the hyper-personalized marketing experience, I feel they will gravitate toward engaging with trusted salespeople earlier. Early research from Sirius Decisions suggests this, and marketing may need to focus more on “teeing up” opportunities for sales discussions versus only generating qualified leads.
Takeaway #2 from Matt Heinz: Invest in only the technology tools that suit your particular needs. Start with your process, your strategy, your gaps – THEN identify the technology and tools that can help you the most. Too many companies let the tail wag the dog – they choose technology that’s cool and current and hip but that doesn’t solve their most pressing problem(s). Get the fundamentals in place first. In my opinion, that’s CRM, marketing automation, predictive intelligence, and multi-campaign weighted attribution. From there, fill the gaps. Prioritize your biggest problems, your biggest roadblocks.
Takeaway #3 from Nick Panayi: Data requires human intelligence.Technology can only do so much. Technology by itself – without smart, intuitive people – is just a science experiment. Smart human operators guiding how the data flows and how it gets optimized is where you unlock the real value.
You need very smart data scientists to help guide your approach. It’s not a plug-and-play situation. You need to hire or engage some pretty smart people. You need “smart creatives” (a term Eric Schmidt of Google came up with, which I think is brilliant) who are people with both sides of the brain working. They are data scientists who also have strong business acumen and full appreciation of the softer side of the marketing profession. To squeeze the value out of the technology, you need people who get both the art and science of marketing.
Takeaway #4 from Michael Ballard: Understand the ROI of predictive tools.Communicate the concept of predictive intelligence with your stakeholders and sales. Make sure they understand the full value and potential because it’s not a cheap or easy proposition. Then start small. Start with a pilot and prove its value to your stakeholders. That can make the budgeting process much easier with real-world ROI. Plus, this approach allows you to focus and optimize the foundation before you start to expand to additional channels, programs, and models.
Join 6sense and Selling Power at the INmarket conference in San Francisco on July 8 to learn more about innovations for B2B sales and marketing teams. Register here and use code BLOG for a special 25 percent discount.