Essentially, your goal is to convert your contacts into leads and finally into sales (this is also known as your sales funnel). Your B2B data can come from a plethora of sources but most likely from one or as a combination of in-house, inbound, or paid. Depending on the source, they can be categorised into one of the following:
- Cold leads (they have never engaged with your company)
- Warm leads (they have heard about your company and have shown some interest to know more)
- Hot leads (they have heard about your company, have shown some interest, and want to buy from you)
The following shows the many ways you can use data to bring awareness to your business and ultimately convert those people into sales.
Whether you want your company to be more known or trying to stand out in a crowded market, demand generation is a data-driven marketing strategy for you to raise more awareness and interest in what you are offering.
This is done by using your B2B data to provide valuable information where the goal isn’t so much about driving for the sale but more about building trust, authority and brand positioning in the space you are operating in. It is crucial to understand who your target audience is and to show yourself as a solution to the pain points they are potentially experiencing.
Over time and throughout the buyer’s journey, you want them to be continuously consuming your content. This can be done through many ways such as creating blogs, guides, running email campaigns, utilising social media, SEO, etc. All of this sparks engagement while educating and encouraging your target audience to engage further with you, which is where we get to lead generation.
Now you have people interested in what you offer from your demand generation strategy, it’s now time to turn them into leads. Whereas demand generation focuses more on building trust and raising awareness, lead generation is the strategy to get them to take an actionable step generally involving them to provide their contact details.
This is where marketing and sales teams work together, where marketing teams will capture these leads for sales teams to follow them up. By utilising your B2B data, the optimal lead generation campaign can be put in place with a meaningful call to action.
There are numerous lead generation methods such as email marketing, cold calling, gated content, landing pages, etc. Having quality data will ensure your method of lead generation is targeting relevant people and personalised to increase your chances of turning prospects into leads.
When you have a flow of leads coming in, to ensure that no potential opportunities are forgotten or not effectively followed up, lead routing is a process that ensures leads are routed to the appropriate sales people.
These leads can be categorised in many ways to optimise the highest chances of them becoming sales. Your B2B data will determine how you route your leads as it will depend on factors such as the source of the lead, readiness to purchase, location, etc.
All these data points will tell what the next steps should be for the sales rep. These data points can be quantified using a lead scoring process to see if they need further nurturing or are ready to buy from you.
Diving deeper on the categories of leads in the above section, lead scoring is a methodology that can be used by sales and marketing teams to determine the sales-readiness of each lead. The lead scoring process involves identifying which B2B data points makes a sales-ready lead and then assigning values to each data point to give you a final score for each lead.
Since so many leads can come through your business, it is important to not let any opportunities pass you by. Lead scoring can help you identify which leads should be prioritised and have teams to focus more on them to increase the chances of converting them to sales.
Every business is different so knowing which data points to focus on will mean discovering who your ideal buyer looks like. You can use commonalities between your current customers by finding out what steps they took before buying or what factors played a big role in their decision to purchase from you. Another place to discover who your ideal buyers are is from the observations found from your sales teams such as preferred communication methods or certain value propositions offered.
Typically, it will consist of a mix of the different data types covered earlier but to fully understand which data points are important for your business, you should take advantage of your data analytics.
B2B data analytics can be a game-changer when it comes to measuring and optimising sales and marketing strategies. There are many points along the customer journey whether it is visiting your website or engaging with the sales rep, each of these steps must be carefully analysed in order to see what’s working or what isn’t.
Website analytics for example can provide many valuable insights like where the source of your traffic comes from, the information captured from website visitors, and tracking website traffic and activities. Also, marketing campaigns need to be carefully monitored to see its effectiveness by tracking open rates, reply rates, click through rates, and much more.
All these metrics can be used to analyse trends or patterns in your data that can then be used to optimise your sales and marketing strategies to improve campaign performance and increase conversions overall.
Account-Based Marketing (ABM)
After you have completed the lead scoring process you can now see which leads rank the highest. Backing this up with your data analytics, you could use this information to implement account-based marketing.
What is account-based marketing? ABM is a strategy where sales and marketing teams focus their attention on 1 or a handful of high-value accounts. By identifying those accounts that offer the greatest opportunity of closing a sale, you are able to strategically target each key stakeholder in a personalised way.
By combining sales and marketing teams together to work on an ABM strategy, their goals become aligned which can greatly increase the chances of success. Targeted campaigns across relevant channels can be created to deliver high value proposals tailored for each decision maker. This combined effort can help increase the number of interactions with prospects, accelerate the sales cycle, and improve the likelihood of closing deals.