There’s always room for improvement in how B2B companies source prospects, craft and deliver campaigns, and manage opportunities to ensure long-term satisfaction.
Collecting data along the way is essential to see what’s working, what isn’t, and where there is room for iteration that can unlock new efficiencies and fresh opportunities.
According to McKinsey, companies that consistently use data-driven strategies to lead their customer acquisition efforts report “above-average market growth and Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) of 15-25 percent.” It’s much easier for companies to establish performance measurement baselines and determine how each salesperson contributes to sales efforts with correct data.
Without data-driven strategies, everything is subjective. It’s much more difficult to adequately measure performance, identify weak spots and areas for improvement, and determine where there are opportunities to double down on effective customer acquisition strategies.
The Role Data Plays in Sales and Customer Acquisition
There are many ways in which data plays a direct role in successful B2B campaigns. Some are operational; others focus on competitive analysis, or finding new opportunities for your company to pursue.
Here, we’ll dive into five areas where you can drive the most impact with data.
1. Uniform Sales and Marketing Messaging
It’s not uncommon for sales and marketing teams to exist in silos. While B2B companies are beginning to shift away from this traditional model, many continue to face department misalignment. Marketing goes about their daily activities building campaigns based on best practices and intuition, and not taking feedback from sales leaders who interact with customers into account. The inverse is also true.
Salespeople are in the weeds talking with customers daily, and can’t always keep track of the campaigns or psychological anchors that marketing would like them to use. With the right data, it’s easier for sales and marketing teams to align around a common message and sell products to potential customers.
Focus on collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data helps you support your assumptions with hard numbers and facts. Qualitative data helps you better understand how decision-makers at companies think, feel, and act, which impact how they make purchase decisions for their companies.
This can help you create a unified message that your salespeople share in meetings, and your marketing teams in their campaigns.
2. Lead Quality Improvement
In B2B sales, lead quality directly equates to that lead’s likelihood to make a purchase. With the right data, it’s much easier to paint a picture of potential customers and their characteristics. Implementing a concrete data governance plan also protects everyone interacting with the data – from your salespeople, to management, to any contractors you may bring to fulfill various roles in your strategy.
When you understand prospects’ unique demographic, psychographic, and behavioral makeups, it’s easier to craft marketing messaging and sales approaches that directly speak to their pain points.
You also build a positive feedback loop. As you better understand who your high-intent customers are and what makes them tick, it’s easier to appeal to them through your marketing and sales messaging.
As those customers are onboarded to your platform, service, or tool, they have a more natural affinity for the solution you provide, so they’re more likely to stick around longer. In the best-case scenarios, they become brand advocates, referring you to their friends and family as an option. Upsell, retention, and special offers are also easier to craft when you know what elements to include, and you aren’t playing a guessing game.
3. Sales Strategy Optimization
Sales strategy development can be improved through data analytics by offering a comprehensive view of the customer.
When your best customers are repeat purchasers of your product or service, certain data points signal why they stay loyal to your brand. These may include your brand’s level of customer service, loyalty programs that encourage repeat purchases (usually in return for a discount on future purchases), and other perks which make staying a loyal customer more attractive. When your best customers are repeat customers, this raises your customer lifetime value.
People who are happy with your company will also recommend your product to their colleagues. Acquisition in this type of scenario comes from referrals and word of mouth.
Data from your marketing, advertising, and social media campaigns can help to further capitalize on what works from a messaging perspective. This helps your marketing and sales teams to align on how they engage with current and potential customers.
4. Easier Competitive Analysis
Competitive analysis is always a challenging task. You’re working off assumptions, whatever presumptions you have about how your competitor operates, and what you can gather from talking to others in your industry.
Data analysis makes it easier to see how your competition operates, and helps you to answer questions about your competitors like:
- What is the core of their content and marketing strategy?
- Which keywords are they chasing in their content?
- What opportunities does that provide for our organization?
- Who is their typical customer? How is that customer different from your ideal customer?
- On which platforms are they finding the greatest success?
- Where are your competitors missing the mark? What do you do better?
When you have data points supporting your answers to these questions, your tactical decisions have a foundation that focuses on facts rather than assumptions. This foundation makes it much easier to continue refining a customer acquisition strategy best suited to how you approach your marketing, and the place you have in your niche.
Im short, there are no more guessing games. Concrete facts help you make better decisions.
5. Better Customer Segmentation
To effectively market to your entire customer ecosystem, you must take the time to segment your customers by their purchase behavior and demographics, among other factors. The more data you collect throughout the customer journey, the easier it will be to create segments.
These segments allow you to experiment with different customer acquisition strategies and find the sweet spot that works for your brand.
Some potential data-driven customer segments include:
- Profit potential / CLV
- Customer sophistication/market awareness
In B2B customer acquisition, the interplay of firmographics and demographics sets the table for the right marketing messaging. Where demographics illustrate an individual’s unique personal characteristics, firmographics dive into similar company features.
Examples of firmographics include:
- Company size
- Operating structure
Optimize Your Customer Acquisition Strategy
Learning to collect and interpret data is undeniably important as an element of your B2B customer acquisition strategy. By leveraging the right data, businesses can streamline their sales and marketing efforts, enhance lead quality, optimize sales strategies, carry out competitive analysis more accurately, and segment their customers more effectively.
Companies that can effectively weave the insights they gain from data into their overall strategies will continue to come out on top in an increasingly complex, competitive, and nuanced business landscape.
Learn more about optimizing data analytics strategies with a customer data platform here.