These days, B2B customers are constantly upping the ante when it comes to buying. In an era where businesses, particularly those of the SMB variety, must understand every aspect of their customers’ behavior in order to maintain success (or even just to stay afloat), it is crucial to reach deep into data and leverage information data to gain critical sales insights. It’s not like we’re talking about some mammoth-sized task: prospect data has become increasingly available with the right tools, making it so much easier to adapt and formulate data-driven strategies to reel in potential big clients.
The best of the best know how to use data and sales insights to their advantage. What’s keeping you from standing out?
While you struggle to come up with any reasonable answer, take a few minutes to see how data and sales insights can do wonders for your sales.
Be an expert at prospect and lead generation
Generating prospects and leads is one of the crucial elements of your sales effort and the one that’s likely the most impacted when data is thrown in the mix. Here’s the gist of it: while you may have all the knowledge and experience you need, without the ability to scratch beneath the surface, it won’t help you get a foot in the door when those portfolio-enhancing industry names come into play. And there’s no better way to go deep into specifics than to become an expert at scoping out potential clients.
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In that regard, you need to map out the companies that represent your ideal customers by using potential criteria such as:
- Company size
- Yearly revenue
- Number of employees
- Website/marketing technology
and more. What does that mean, though? It’s about answering key questions about who they are and how both parties fit each other. Are those you’re eyeing a match from the same business vertical? What about their location - does it make sense for you? How are they set on the technological side of things? Answering these questions and incorporating criteria that matters to you will open the doors to relevant position holders who are your target customers within these organizations. With a mesh of business and digital insights in your arsenal, not only will you familiarize yourself with your industry and market, you’ll also have the chance to discover new verticals and new businesses that are potential users for your product or service (companies that fit your ideal customer profile but you haven’t reached out to them).
The bottom line is you’ll be able to form a clear image of the general market trends, as well as your potential customers' buying habits and have ready a personalized approach towards the company you are pitching to, maximizing your chances of closing a deal.
Focus on quality rather than quantity
With talk of massive volumes of data, it’s tempting to capture everything, especially in fear of avoiding blind spots. These can be vital pieces of information that complete the puzzle but that doesn’t mean you need absolutely everything. Sales teams routinely use different sources of data and measure different KPIs and metrics to evaluate and identify opportunities. For starters, focus on feeding your sales reps with data that is the most valuable and, ultimately, matters the most. What is it that you simply need to know? Once again - are they a geographical match in terms of their leading countries (places they perform the best)? What about their revenue? You have to pitch smarter and be specific about how your offering improves their business right from the get-go. In order to do so, you first need to assess their potential and determine the prospects with the most promising look.
A good business intelligence (BI) tool will be your right hand for the job. Say you found a company that’s a perfect match for your product or service. However, a deeper look will reveal $1M - $10M annual revenue and around 10 to 15 employees. Is this really the big game you’re so eager to fish out? And that’s just a quick look beneath the hood - any decent platform will provide you with enough sales insights to qualify your leads down to the bone, be it through detailed reports or comparisons or just flat out relevant information on key factors. Quality beats quantity here as only targeting and then narrowing down the list according to your offering is the key to winning big clients.
Be on your toes
More often than not, SMBs have a unique vantage point to maximize on an opportunity and make it their own because they ooze flexibility and adaptability to quickly react to market changes. Even if the opportunity isn’t there at the moment, the B2B environment is always changing. Businesses are changing, practices and priorities are changing, and to be able to adjust and respond accordingly, you must stay frosty at all times or you’ll lag behind and then it’ll be too late to make a move. To meet constantly changing demands and needs, you first must track them in real time. Those are the two keywords you need to pay special attention to. You need to be able to gain insights into your customers’ behavior on the fly if you want to react and take appropriate actions to address changes and needs as they happen.
The power of sales insights
You might have noticed the quiet race to form personalized customer relationships has been going for a couple of years now. Personal data is the sure-fire way to get there and it’s hard to underestimate the importance of data and targeted sales insights. Good data support empowers you to treat your customers intimately while not requiring a massive change in your day-to-day operation or an increase in workforce. The beauty of it is that’s it yours for the taking, every little drop of it. It’s the treasure trove of crucial, granular insights about current and past market state that will seamlessly help you improve your standing and catch the big fish.
It’s a simple equation: access to prospect data allows sales reps to walk into meetings fully prepared instead of blind or empty-handed. Only a business that thoroughly understands its prospects and their buying habits can be an effective seller. If your idea of a sales pitch is a complete overview of your services with a case study or two thrown in for good measure, that won’t cut it. You can’t quite tailor your pitch to the particular needs of the prospect and as such, do nothing for them other than wasting time.
The sales-savvy pros recognize the need to have all the answers to questions a prospect might ask (and have a couple of their own), especially since we’re talking about big players here. Imagine for a second you’re on the other side: the big client listening to a sales pitch. Which one would you want to hear? If your answer is the latter option, you’re on the right path to understanding how data and sales insights can help turn your sales team into a lean, mean, selling machine.