How to Build a Data-Driven Sales Strategy

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Consumers, employees, and companies are more connected than ever, generating tremendous amounts of data that provide clues to their needs and preferences. For salespeople, understanding the impact data has on your sales strategy is a significant competitive advantage. In the past, salespeople had limited insight into how to best approach a prospective client, but today’s data-driven sales reps know exactly where they need to adjust their priorities and how to tailor their pitch effectively. While a data-driven sales strategy can seem intimidating, here’s how to make the data work for you:
data and analytics drive sales strategyDo Your Homework
The last thing you want to do is start a conversation with zero knowledge about the prospective client’s needs. The first step is to identify the specific areas where prospects need help. You can glean some information based on where their journeys began. For example, if a client contacted your firm, was it through a referral and if he visited your website, what keywords did he search for or what pages did he click through? Online tracking and behavioral profiling make it easier to understand the customer journey and help you identify the most relevant approach or solution.
Be Proactive
Analyzing the information a prospective client’s company has already shared can give you a further understanding of the company’s needs. For example, research the ads they’ve placed on popular sites like Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn. This can give you a better understanding of the market they’re trying to reach. Then you can say, “I see you’re running ads here and trying to target this demographic group. Well, I can help you do that more effectively with X, Y, and Z.”

Uncover Relationships
Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. There are often complex interconnections between the prospect, your company, and other clients. It’s important to know what they already know about your company and whether you have any mutual ties. This information can come from internal systems, social networks, or analytics tools. A shared connection can be a valuable source of insight for both you and the prospect.

Reach Out at the Right Time
We want to offer the right product to the right customer at the right time. Predictive models and other tools can help companies identify the best times to reach out to prospects, such as after they’ve downloaded a report or performed a certain action. Sales trends are also a vital part of a data-driven strategy. For example, tracking seasonal trends, like a major sales spike each summer, is important for making sure you’re staffed accordingly. You can also use that data to figure out what is causing the spike and to find opportunities to extend the sales throughout the year.
Create a Single View of the Customer
Having a single view of the customer is important for aligning your sales and marketing efforts in delivering more relevant information. A clear picture means knowing all marketing and sales interactions that someone has with your company, on every channel. This is often challenging because marketing and sales departments have many disparate tools that don’t share data. However, integrated marketing and sales platforms like AQ360 make it easier to streamline your customer data and extract value from it.

Salespeople have a mountain of consumer and company data at their fingertips, giving them more opportunities than ever to identify a prospect’s specific needs and tailor their pitch accordingly. Diligent research combined with powerful tools will go a long way in helping you use data effectively and drive more sales.  

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