As published in Infoverity blog : http://www.infoverity.com/blog/guest-post-make-your-data-work-for-sales/
The importance of the right information for sales cannot be underestimated. A good sales executive knows how to source information and derive insights from it. Although, with data proliferation across so many applications, systems, and channels, this can be a daunting task. Organizations are collecting more data than ever before but not necessarily making better and faster business decisions. New advancements in data management technology and practices can help get us there. Let’s take a look at five data management imperatives that can empower sales teams to leverage the data better and make data-driven decisions.
1. Data reliability
Sales teams must have high confidence in the data quality. The account and contact data must be current and complete. A few misses and sales will start managing the data in their spreadsheets and contact lists, further deteriorating the situation. Ensuring data reliability involves blending the data from all internal, external, and third-party sources to create complete customer profiles. It involves ongoing data stewardship including matching, merging, and cleansing of the data.
2. Relationship discovery
Discovering and building relationships is fundamental to sales function. Can companies leverage data to uncover hidden relationships or gather useful insights about relationships? Newer technologies like graph help organizations uncover many to many relationships between people, products, accounts, and locations. Similar to LinkedIn, it helps sales to find out who the key influencers are. What is their influence? What committees do they manage? And, who in the network can make an introduction to a key influencer? Getting to the right person at the right time is gold for a sales person.
3. Personalized hierarchies
In many B2B scenarios, companies structure their sales team according to named accounts. There is a growing trend of account-based selling and account-based marketing as well. In larger accounts, it can be challenging to navigate the complex organizational hierarchies. To figure out the business units, their locations, key contacts, and product penetration across the account takes a lot of effort and resources. Companies use third-party data sets such as D&B to acquire hierarchy information, but that information may be limited to structured legal entities. Sales need hierarchies that can provide information about product penetration, competitive coverage, credit risk roll ups, and business value across the account. Constructing personalized hierarchies that provide such contextual information to sales is paramount in effective account planning and execution.
While planning an account strategy, sales may need to gather information from other executives or members of marketing or services teams. A new account owner may need feedback on the influence of key stakeholders in an account or want to share account strategy with his team. An easy way to collaborate is via tools like discussion threads and voting to help gain a better perspective about an account. Sales may also need to use structured process to source additional information from a data stewarding group. Bringing all the team together in a collaborative workspace is extremely important, not only for a building sound account strategy, but also for ongoing maintenance of data quality.
5. Recommended Actions
With large volumes of customer data, which also includes multichannel interactions and past transactions, it can get challenging for a sales person to figure out the next steps in the customer journey. It is hard to process all the data to understand each contact’s unique needs and preferences. Intelligent recommendations powered by machine learning can help. It can process all customer and account information and guide the sales person for next-best-action. For example, based on contact profile in an account, it can recommend what information to send, at what time and using which channel for the next engagement. Such capabilities can improve sales effectiveness as well as the customer experience.
Reltio and Infoverity are working closely to build next generation data-driven applications for our customers. The goal is to simplify the access to relevant information from data assets. Reltio offers modern data management platform as a service to enable data-driven applications with reliable data, relevant insights, and intelligent recommended actions. With Reltio Cloud, business users get a new breed of enterprise data-driven applications, combining both operational and analytical capabilities, for a complete view of any business entity including all relationships between people, products, places, and activities.
With Reltio’s modern data management platform and Infoverity’s MDM expertise and a vast library of domain-specific use cases, we are reducing the time to value and helping our customers be right faster.