3 questions to smash sales and marketing goals

Paul Nolan

B2B marketing and sales are team sports. Data may be the world’s most valuable resource, but teams must work together to truly tap its value. According to MarketingProfs, organizations with aligned marketing and sales functions experience 38 percent higher sales win rates and 36 percent higher customer retention.

To get there, marketers and salespeople need a single source of accurate, actionable data, says Ed Thorne, managing director at Dun & Bradstreet. In a recent blog post for B2BMarketing.net, Thorne states, “Only when working from the same set of information can they effectively implement go-to-market strategies, segment prospects and nurture leads toward the finish line.”

The answers to three questions will help teams unite around data to get from start to sale:

Do we have accurate, centralized, dynamic data to drive growth?

Don’t underestimate the financial impact of dirty data. Remember the old adage: Rubbish in, rubbish out.

Old and inaccurate data costs rose 50 percent in 2017 to a market total of $15 million per year, according to Gartner’s 2017 Data Quality Market Survey. Thanks to a business world that’s changing more quickly than ever before, data’s shelf life is shrinking. To improve data quality, start by integrating in-house data with reliable third-party sources. Be sure to structure it consistently across the organization, manage it centrally and monitor it for any changes.

How can we identify and target the accounts that matter most?

Again, it’s all about data. With the right data, you can:

  • Understand and segment your current market coverage and the size of your total addressable market.
  • Identify audiences with the highest propensity to buy (these aren’t always the companies with the highest revenue) and avoid duplication.
  • Identify white space in your target market — or adjacent ones — where you could be successful but don’t have a high market penetration.

Beyond the profile of a prospect company, sellers need to know when events are happening in and around the account that may indicate a readiness to buy. For example, following a merger or acquisition or change in senior leadership at one of your key prospects, you need to respond quickly to adapt your approach.

How can we use data to close deals faster?

Combine customer behavior data with smart sales techniques such as automated sales team alerts when prospects download a whitepaper, register for a free trial, visit a web page or click a link in a marketing email.

The buyer’s journey is just that — a journey. But without shared, accurate, and actionable data, sales and marketing teams can’t work together to guide buyers. To win, everyone must row in the same direction.