Today, we have data, data everywhere. CRM data. Web analytics data. Network SLA data. Email marketing data. Financial data. Sales forecast data.
In our never-ending pursuit to increase B2B sales, we see a common struggle between sales and marketing departments, where the sales team puts tremendous pressure on marketing to deliver more and more leads. Certainly, lead-gen is a core component of marketing, but there’s so much more that marketing departments can do to help sales exceed their quota goals.
In this blog, we identify the 5 sources of marketing data that’s often overlooked as strategic assets for the sales team and offer some specific examples to interpret the data for sales success.
Marketing Data Source #1: Website Analytics
Every marketing team has access to their website data. There’s data on pageviews, abandon rates, time on site, etc. The problem with this marketing data is that it is not tied to any specific individual.
Most companies use Google Analytics as their dashboard of choice to visually see this vast amount of data. This tool serves marketing well, since marketing managers typically want to understand trends, not specifics.
But even if we are not able to dig into specific visitors, marketing can still use this data to help sales. For example, if we know that website visitors are spending more time on Product ABC compared to Product DEF, then we can position Product ABC first in our sales presentations. While it’s typically the marketing folks who create the sales decks, we can share these insights with sales to “convince” them to spend more time on Product DEF.
Marketing Data Source #2: A/B Tests
A good marketing team constantly runs A/B tests to understand what messages and images work the best. The data from these tests can be directly leveraged not just in the sales materials, but also in how the Sales Rep engages with the customer.
We can leverage this data similar to how we use Website Analytics data. For example, if we find that describing the cost-efficiency out-performs detailing the speeds and feeds of Product ABC, then we can make sure to incorporate this marketing data point into our product messaging.
Marketing Data Source #3: Email Marketing Analytics
Marketing departments regularly send out email blasts to their subscribers via systems such as MailChimp, AWeber and Campaigner. Some of these subscribers have already purchased our products while others are somewhere in the sales pipeline.
All Email Service Providers track Open and Click Rates. Unfortunately, it’s hard to discern much from these data points.
But with Email Marketing Analytics, marketers have access to much deeper marketing data on their campaigns. Solutions from PointFast can inform marketing departments how much time specific individuals are spending on the website or whitepaper. PointFast is used alongside email systems, such as MailChimp, so there’s no need to change our workflow or email service provider.
For example, if we see that Account XYZ spent 5 minutes on the Product ABC whitepaper, of which 4 minutes were on the technical architecture, then we can remind Sales to include an engineer in their next conversation with Account XYZ. This is a concrete way to apply marketing data to support the sales team.
Marketing Data Source #4: Adwords
There’s a vast amount of data from our Adwords campaigns too. Here, marketing managers can learn from and incorporate the Keywords and phrases that lead to deeper engagement and more leads. For example, if marketing finds that customers in certain market segments resonate more with “strong ROI” or “low costs” Adword campaigns, then our Sales Reps can focus more on this positioning for these market segments.
While reviewing our own Adwords data is important, we can learn a lot by analyzing our competitor’s Adwords campaigns. For example, if we see that a competitor is focusing a lot on “easy to install”, then our marketing team should make sure that the Sales Reps can succinctly communicate how our solution is just as easy to implement.
Marketing Data Source #5: Customer Churn Studies
Why we lose is as important as why we win. While sales is focused on customer acquisition, marketing managers can add a lot of value by studying why certain customers leave or seldom use our products. The best churn studies are those conducted live with the customer within a week of their departure.
For example, if marketing learns that Module Two of Product ABC is seldom used by a segment of our customers, then we can inform sales to de-emphasize Module Two in their product demos.
We recommend marketing teams conduct monthly churn studies and share these insights with the sales organization.
Taking Action from the Marketing Data
Some companies may have more data in one area of marketing compared to another area. The goal here is not to try to grab data from all marketing disciplines, though that is a noble endeavor. Instead, it is to maximize the potential of the marketing data to deliver the insights we need to advance sales.
After all, at the end of the day, we know that if the data is not influencing or challenging us to rethink our steps to sales success, then the data is worthless. And all of our analysis is a waste of time.
What other avenues of marketing data do you leverage to support the sales team?