Shortening the sales cycle, increasing order size, and bettering company practices can be daunting tasks. All of this could be managed with ease though if B2B companies harnessed and broke down Big Data. These five steps will help you get the most out of your data.
- Know your data
To start off, you must understand which data sources you are currently using to target and inform sales and marketing efforts. Most companies have a marketing automation platform, sales platform, CRM system, and firmographic data for their customers and prospects.
- Discover missing data
Identify data that you could use for targeting your sales and marketing efforts. Check with IT, sales, and marketing to develop the full inventory of data that is captured and stored. Sometimes you’ll find a valuable data source isn’t being used simply because nobody has asked for it.
- Find additional data
Allow your imagination to run wild and create a data wish list to help meet all your objectives. This may consist of data that is hard to capture and digitize, third-party sources, or primary research. Everything comes with costs and challenges (otherwise it’d have already be done) but you should always know what options are out there and their cost/benefit analysis.
- Develop a plan
Once all the data sources have been evaluated and collected, you’ll need to make it real by creating a vision and action plan. How will this Big Data deliver more relevant marketing and advertising? Will your sales representatives have more insightful conversations? Decide upon this and show senior leadership that the benefit will outweigh the cost by improving practices, enabling new strategies, and delivering a strong ROI.
This is the most crucial yet difficult step. To effectively use Big Data, you’ll need to steam multiple data sources into one customer/prospect view. This involves navigating corporate politics (and data fiefdoms), making your case, and having a way to leverage the data to sell more effectively.
Leveraging Big Data is not easy, but if done effectively it can be a competitive advantage and help you meet and exceed your business objectives.