I’ve long believed that sales and marketing teams need to be adaptable – but even more so now. The recent Salesforce State of Sales report sheds light on today’s sales landscape and how the current global crises have “upped the ante for transformation.” With many in-person meetings on hold or limited for the time being, sales teams are relying on digital connections to create the relationships needed for new business. Of the nearly 6,000 sales professionals surveyed, 79% say they’ve had to adapt quickly to new ways of selling and 88% say the current economic climate makes it even more important to anticipate customers’ needs. It’s no surprise that improved data quality and accessibility was listed as one of the top tactics for success in the next year.
As B2B sellers have had to rethink their strategies, new methods have moved to the forefront for reaching buyers at the right time on the right channel. From my perspective, here are two that are changing the game.
In the Salesforce survey, 42% of sales reps felt they spent too much time discovering a customer or prospect’s needs. At OMI, we’ve seen impressive results for our clients using intent monitoring to target the right buyers and understand their needs. Instead of creating campaigns for an audience segment that you think would benefit from your solution and may be in need of it, intent monitoring enables sales and account-based marketing teams to focus efforts on prospects who have demonstrated that they are looking for what you offer. Here’s how it works:
Intent data insights are gathered when buyers’ online activities are anonymously monitored, captured and analyzed based on their website visits, content downloads, product reviews, registration for webinars, etc. For example, a prospective buyer that downloads a whitepaper is clearly showing interest, but if that same buyer also searches for product reviews, has visited your website or a competitors’ multiple times in the past week, or other predetermined factors, those “purchase intent signals” could indicate the prospect was in-market. From there, sellers can focus their energy and resources on nurturing that relationship and moving the prospect through the funnel.
An important point to note: intent data primarily uncovers company data, as it captures IP addresses – it doesn’t drill down to the level of the individual buyer. However, at OMI, we’re able to combine intent data with our high-quality prospect contact data through IP address lookup to determine the correct decision-makers and how to reach them. The result is the power of data to reach the right buyers at the right time – when they are searching for a solution.
In recent years it’s become clear that you can’t rely on only one channel. Your audience operates across various channels and devices, so effective sales and marketing campaigns need to meet them where they are. But normal B2B data decays, exasperated by increased layoffs, means that it can be hard to get a complete customer profile. Plus, with many people working more from home and oftentimes on personal devices, it’s become increasingly difficult to successfully reach B2B buyers across various platforms. An identity graph aims to bridge those data gaps to create a full picture of the contact. Here’s how it works:
Identity graphs connect data from multiple sources and map the data to anonymized customer profiles. The graph includes identifiers for real individual consumers – including firmographic data. Sellers can use the identity graph to build custom audiences with offline and online prospect attributes, then take the anonymized IDs from the graph to a demand-side platform. This leads to a deeper and more complete view to better identify the right prospects for offers and engage more effectively with them. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement from OMI about this cutting-edge data strategy.
In this new sales landscape, businesses are retooling their playbook and using data to close the loop in targeting the right prospects. New data-driven methods like intent monitoring and identity graphs are enabling teams to efficiently and accurately expand acquisition reach and relevance. For sales professionals, that means they can focus their time and energy on prospects that show the most promise of becoming customers.
A new B2B sales era has clearly arrived, and our team at OMI is on the cutting edge of the data innovations that are driving the changes. Let us know how we can support you in navigating this new landscape as you look to grow your business.
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate B2B data can enable you to achieve better digital marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Read about our innovative approach to ABM account targeting here.