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At one time, sales and marketing were two distinct functions in a company. But in the age of digital marketing and Big Data, the line between the two has grown blurrier. Many of the old methods of making sales are on their way out as technology constantly evolves and changes business owners’ expectations for communications and the sales process. Even the most talented sales teams need to go the extra mile and make smart use of data in order for sales strategies to become more effective.
By making investments in your IT infrastructure and digital marketing framework, the returns on these investments will be immense. Data on your existing customers and prospects can produce insights that no amount of time-consuming and expensive market research could possibly provide. Here’s how making a solid investment in your IT systems can propel your sales team to higher efficacy.
Having access to more data = improved segmentation.
The most successful marketing efforts come from having strong segments, opposed to a general outreach campaign that goes out to all email subscribers or social media. Segmentation can be by industry, job title, geographic region, spend level, or whatever other criteria that the sales manager wishes to set. By creating more segmented strategies, this can help sales teams target products and campaigns much more effectively.
Data and a solid infrastructure can provide more insights to fuel marketing campaigns instead of relying on intuition or flawed research.
Data provides insights to managers that other methods simply cannot. By investing in your IT infrastructure, you can determine everything from how much of a webpage a prospect will read before closing it or the patterns present in how often subscribers enter and leave the company email lists. Sales decisions that are based on data are more likely to have a positive impact because there’s no guesswork involved, or costly market research that may produce flawed results.
Technology facilitates sales experimentation.
Years of sales experience alone can’t completely predict how well a product is going to sell. With A/B testing and other methods of experimentation, sales teams can try out different data-driven methods or even small things like different landing pages and see how well prospects respond to them. With an apt technological infrastructure, experimentation with different marketing segments becomes easier to perform and evaluate.
Correlation doesn’t equal causation and the right technological tools can improve data-centric insights.
What makes sales challenging is that there are so many variables which ensure that no sales strategy ever results in 100% of the prospects making a purchase. Data can provide insights and prove to be less risky than making decisions based on guesswork or market research, but carefully choosing what systems to use for CRM, analytics, and getting the right talent to utilize these tools in conjunction with the sales team can fine-tune what the original data is telling decision makers.
Technology can improve the relationships that the sales team has with clients.
In addition to improving targeting and market segmentation, the right technological tools can help sales teams manage their workloads and client relationships more efficiently. By identifying key workflow issues and addressing them with the ideal IT solutions, sales teams can become more effective and even improve their relationships with clients. When the sales team is able to completely facilitate the sales process for clients, it gives them more ability to develop relationships instead of dealing with technical limitations or heavy lifting.
IT infrastructure is a solid investment to keep a business up and running, but when it comes to sales teams it can help them harness the power of Big Data to strategize effective sales campaigns. Insights based on data opposed to intuition or market research (which may be incredibly flawed because the test subjects are disinterested and just want the incentive) will help the sales team target more precise segments and even improve their relationships with existing clients.
When the competition is not addressing market segments or workflow issues in the sales process that technology can resolve, this puts your business in a much better position to successfully sell to their prospects.