Why is Data-Driven Sales Important and How Is It Evolving?
It’s getting harder and harder to attract and retain customers. Customers expect a personalised experience that’s tailored to their needs, and traditional sales tactics fall short.
To deliver a more personal approach, sales teams are relying less on charming sales pitches and relying more on data.
By taking a data-driven sales approach, companies are able to make strategic, tailored decisions that connect with customers and drive sales. Put simply, data-driven sales are more effective. Research shows companies that adopt a data-driven sales approach are six times more likely to be profitable year-over-year.
5 Ways Data-Driven Sales are Evolving
Sales enablement is one of the fast-growing approaches to data-driven sales. Sales enablement simply means giving your sales team all of the tools they need to deliver personalised approaches that close deals. How do they do that? With data.
While sales enablement is fuelling data-driven sales, it’s not the only aspect in the industry that’s evolving. Here’s a look at five ways data-driven sales are changing:
1. Customers are more willing to provide personal information:
While privacy is still a concern, research shows customers are more willing to share information than ever before. Customers are willing to share details in exchange for a more personalized experience, like a discount on a favourite product or tailored customer experience. Here are some reasons for sharing personal data:
2. Identifying and prioritising your best customers is easier:
With data, companies can identify their best customers and make them a priority. It’s almost impossible to know who your best customers are in today’s fast-paced world, so data that shows how much a customer spends or how frequently they visit your store or website is invaluable.
By knowing who your most loyal customers are, you can create special campaigns that cater to them.
3. New tools make personalisation easy:
There are so many tools that can help a company deliver personalised messages now.
Using an email service provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact, a sales rep can craft a personalised message for a small segment of your audience, and customise the note to include a customer’s name, job title, or an offer that’s relevant to their past purchases, for example.
There are similar personalisation tools that send text messages like SlickText.com.
4. Sales teams can utilise platforms for help:
Sales teams are now tasked with utilizing data effectively, and with so many numbers it’s hard to keep everything straight. Again, digital tools have helped in this arena.
A customer relationship management tool, or CRM, can keep profiles on every customer. A CRM like Salesforce has a lot of plugins, like SuMo that can enhance sales efforts or Conga Composer that can create reports from Salesforce in seconds.
Sales enablement tools have become a hot commodity too. Platforms like MindTickle and Brainshark rely on data to help sales reps diagnose customer problems and provide solutions.
5. Data shows you where to improve:
Data-driven approaches also track the success of campaigns and give teams insight on how to improve. For example, metrics that show how many subscribers opened, clicked, and converted from a tailored email campaign can help the sales team understand what customers respond to. Using that information, they can improve the next campaign.
Remember, data-driven strategies aren’t just collecting and utilizing customer data, it tracks and monitors the success of your marketing and sales efforts as well.
Tips to Keep Up With Data-Driven Sales
To stay in-the-know is tough. Data-driven approaches are always evolving, but here are a few ways to keep up:
1. Decide on a data collection method:
You need to collect customer data, and a lot of it. How will you do that? Consider ways to collect, store and utilize data from one central location.
2. Check your progress:
Be fanatic about looking at your campaign metrics. You want to know how every campaign did in the eyes of your customers.
3. Reward loyalty:
One of the best uses of data is to reward your best customers. This small group of customers is responsible for a big part of your profits, so show them how much you appreciate their patronage with special offers or rewards.
4. Train only the best:
When you bring on a new sales rep, he or she has to embrace the data-driven approach. In return, your company must provide all of the sales enablement tools necessary to connect with customers and make sales.
Data-driven sales is the future of sales. Customers simply aren’t responding to generic messages anymore, which means every sales team has to up their game. Data is the answer. By knowing your customers, sending personalised messages and monitoring your marketing campaigns, you can make data work for you and your bottom line.
We have been conducting extensive research surrounding the use of data in the modern Sales process. In our research, we had the chance to speak to some influential business leaders about their particular uses and needs for better insight into the performance of their sales team.
We’ve compiled all our findings into a report titled ‘Moving the Middle: Translating Data into Sales Success‘.
You can access your copy below:
About the Guest Author:
Limor is a technical writer and editor at Agile SEO, a boutique digital marketing agency focused on technology and SaaS markets. She has over 10 years’ experience writing technical articles and documentation for various audiences, including technical on-site content, software documentation, and dev guides. She specialises in big data analytics, computer/network security, middleware, software development and APIs.