Is it all just email marketing now, or is there more to sales these days? Adam Leslie, European Sales & Marketing Solutions Leader at Dun & Bradstreet explains the future of cold calls and the growth in big data.
Even in today’s digital age, and with the range of technology available, the cold-call remains a hangover from the bygone era of sales. Recent research from Dun & Bradstreet found that while salespeople are still using cold calling to contact prospects, buyers receive as many as 32 calls a week and are in no rush to answer! And even when they do, the study revealed that sellers do not have the right information to have a meaningful conversation with respondents listing failure to do the basic research (29%) and contacting them at the wrong time (29%) as key issues. It’s clear that buyers now expect a much more efficient and accurate overall experience.
Become a data master
There is a shift happening. In a complex and noisy B2B environment, even the best prospects are unresponsive to traditional marketing tactics. Sales and marketing professionals are looking to harness data to help close deals and create one single, real-time view of the target audience. By using relevant and accurate data, B2B professionals can speed the path from prospect to profitable customer. The ability to understand everything about the buyer’s needs and challenges helps with effective targeting, and this insight can be used to effectively connect with prospects at the right time and in the right way.
Three ways to meet buyer needs
Intelligence: It’s vital to have data that is organised, structured and integrated across the enterprise, so the information driving key business decisions is accurate and fresh. This should include both first and third-party data to provide the best foundation for engaging buyers, which takes them from potential to confirmed customer.
Insights: Organisations can use internal or external analytics to identify the meaning of their data and define the actions their sales and marketing team should be taking. For example, tying unique data points together and using insights to set of triggers for sales teams to contact a buyer at the exact right moment in the right context.
Operationalise: Being set up to effectively leverage data and intelligence is key. The user experience for sales can be improved by seamlessly supplying the right data and insights within their daily workflow or CRM, so they can easily act on information. Ultimately, it’s about highlighting opportunities and changes, prioritising accounts and most importantly, sharing the best way to engage with prospects.
Combining these steps can help to eliminate the guesswork that has been so predominant in sales and accelerate the entire process. With data and insights guiding the sellers approach, he or she will understand the right time to make a sale in the fastest way possible as well as cultivating valuable long-term relationships. Having a single source of data can help eliminate inaccuracies and support successful prospecting.
The end of calling altogether?
Communicating with prospects is just as important now as it ever was, but sales teams are gradually moving away from a cold call approach to a more targeted, insight-based approach. Buyers expect much more personalised experiences, and having accurate and relevant data is the best route to creating a faster path from prospect to customer.
Turn that cold call hot with data.